Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Edith Watanabe Interview
Narrator: Edith Watanabe
Interviewer: Stacy Sakamoto
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: November 4, 1996
Densho ID: denshovh-wedith-01-0029

<Begin Segment 29>

SS: Looking back on the years now, before the war, during war and even after the war, do you have any regrets? Do you ever think, "I wish I could have done this," or, "I wish could have done that," or I wish I could have gone to...

EW: Well, if the war hadn't interrupted, you know, you wonder what kind of life you would have had. But maybe that experience toughened us. I don't know. But that gave us a deeper appreciation of what we have. And to vote -- especially tomorrow. I can't handle those people saying, "I don't vote," and, "It's not going to matter." And it does matter. I take my citizenship seriously.

SS: Did you ever feel at any point a feeling of betrayal, though? That you had done your part, that Harvey had done his part, but that the government...

EW: Well, when we hear now about things happening, that our President Roosevelt, at that time, knew about Pearl Harbor... and he knew ahead of time that this was going to happen, but he did nothing to stop that. He was told and he chose to put that aside.

SS: Are there any decisions you've made over the years, or things that you did that were influenced from your wartime experience?

EW: Things that I'm doing now?

SS: Things that you've done over the years, how you've viewed life, things that might have been influenced by the war?

EW: Well, I think that you can't put your faith in people. I have a faith in God. And it's unwavering. And unless you have a deeper faith that things are going to work out, I don't see how you can get through life on your own -- you can't. You have to have something to hold on to, and that's what I have, is my faith, because people let you down a lot of times.

SS: What lessons would you like to leave behind for your grandchildren or great-grandchildren?

EW: Well, my parents instilled in us the importance of education, and to work hard, and to be honest and to make an honest living. And I think that's what I'd like to pass on to them, that nothing comes free and easy. You need to put yourself into whatever you are doing. Be honest, you have no regrets then. And my father always said, "Don't bring shame on the family." And that's what I'd like to leave.

<End Segment 29> - Copyright © 1996 Densho. All Rights Reserved.