Sue Takimoto Okabe Segment 5

Family background (ddr-densho-1000-74-1) - 00:03:46
Childhood in Seattle, the beginning of a musical career (ddr-densho-1000-74-2) - 00:07:21
Childhood memories of a desire to be around other Japanese Americans, and parents' emphasis on education (ddr-densho-1000-74-3) - 00:05:02
The period leading up to the mass removal: losing one's faith in government (ddr-densho-1000-74-4) - 00:05:48
Puyallup Assembly Center, mother struggles to adjust, and teenagers learn the latest dances (ddr-densho-1000-74-5) - 00:05:34
Memories of Minidoka, and traveling outside the barbed wire to perform in nearby towns (ddr-densho-1000-74-6) - 00:07:01
Resettling in Denver, meeting an influential teacher who becomes Guardian (ddr-densho-1000-74-7) - 00:06:54
Continuing with intensive music training, an "avocation only"; leaving Denver for Minidoka, "probably the only person who ran away from home into camp" (ddr-densho-1000-74-8) - 00:05:07
"It hurts, but you don't show it," facing racist audiences while singing and traveling with USO (ddr-densho-1000-74-9) - 00:05:01
Moving to Los Angeles postwar, finding a burgeoning social scene for the returning Nisei amidst larger societal discrimination (ddr-densho-1000-74-10) - 00:06:52
Finishing high school, attending college (ddr-densho-1000-74-11) - 00:05:17
Continuing music studies and performing regularly in the local Japanese American community (ddr-densho-1000-74-12) - 00:04:47
Music becomes a vocation, divorced and singing in nightclubs to support family (ddr-densho-1000-74-13) - 00:10:44
Career highlights: "It's just a job" (ddr-densho-1000-74-14) - 00:02:46
Teaching children about camp and personal reaction to receiving redress (ddr-densho-1000-74-15) - 00:03:52
Civic work and current involvement with Jive Bombers Christmas performance (ddr-densho-1000-74-16) - 00:06:51
Other recent performances and musical productions: Larry Honda Quartet & Music to Remember (ddr-densho-1000-74-17) - 00:04:29
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ddr-densho-1000-74-5 (Legacy UID: denshovh-osue-01-0005)

Puyallup Assembly Center, mother struggles to adjust, and teenagers learn the latest dances

00:05:34 — Segment 5 of 17

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December 3, 1999

Densho Visual History Collection

Densho

Courtesy of Densho

ddr-densho-1000-74

Sue Takimoto Okabe

Sue Takimoto Okabe Interview

01:37:12 — 17 segments

December 3, 1999

Seattle, Washington

Nisei female. Born 1928 in Tacoma, Washington, moved with her family to Seattle at age four. At age six, began singing, taking voice lessons and performing on stage for Japanese American community events. In 1942, was incarcerated with her family at Puyallup Assembly Center and Minidoka concentration camp, Idaho, where she continued to sing -- including performances outside of the camp arranged by camp authorities. Remembers fondly the freedom from parental supervision teenagers experienced while in camp. In fact, after the family was allowed early release to relocate in Denver in April 1943, she ran away from home and briefly returned to Minidoka. In Denver, continued her music studies and joined a United Service Organization (USO) group, experiencing both racial prejudice and warm welcome at USO performances. Postwar, resettled with her family in Los Angeles, where she attended the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music, University of California, Los Angeles, and University Southern California. Continued to pursue music as a hobby through schooling, marriage, and two children. Began teaching private piano and voice lessons in 1952. Following her divorce in 1958, began singing in nightclubs and lounges. As of this interview, continues to teach private voice lessons and perform at special events.

Alice Ito, interviewer; Dana Hoshide, videographer

Densho

Courtesy of Densho

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