Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Gene Akutsu Interview
Narrator: Gene Akutsu
Interviewers: Larry Hashima (primary), Stephen Fugita (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: July 25, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-agene-01-0005

<Begin Segment 5>

SF: Gene, what was your family life like in those days?

GA: Are you talking about prewar?

SF: Right.

GA: Well, here again, the family life all centered around the dinner table. The, the, lot of it is family discussions where we did things together. And we did have radio, but then that was the only outer communication that we had. And so, we were a close-knit family and we did things together quite a bit. Although we never had a automobile, which some of the people were fortunate to have, so, but we were able to go out to various picnics and outings with somebody that did have a car and went out that way. But yeah, in those days the families were pretty close-knit.

SF: Everyone in your family got along really well or, pretty tight?

GA: Within the family? Oh yes, yes. My brother being five years older than me, I used to follow him like a shadow. My mother used to make sure that he took care of me because she had eventually started to work. And me being five years younger, I was just maybe two or three years old, that he had to take over and watch over me when he's like, eight. And he watched over me very carefully and made sure that I wasn't beat up by anybody, he took care of that. And I think the family was very close-knit. That is what's lacking in the families these days right now, that they don't have that family unity where they do things together.

LH: Well, just going back to that idea of the family unity, did you think that that's something that has continued as you grew older, your brother and you sticking together or did that sort of dissipate as he got older?

GA: Oh, no, when you, when you grow up with that kind of a close network, it goes on. In fact, even to this day, my family, the kids are very close-knit, we are all a close-knit family and people, many of the people, are amazed that we're so close-knit that we do a lot of things together. We make sure we get together once a week. Incidentally, my wife is gone but my, my three children and my oldest son has a wife and a daughter, we get together once a week and we have a dinner together and we kind of mull over with what's gone... what happened for the day or the week and anything of interest we talk and plan things like having a vacation together and we've done that, too. And I think it's a very good thing to have.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.