Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Masao Watanabe Interview
Narrator: Masao Watanabe
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: June 19, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-wmasao-01-0041

<Begin Segment 41>

TI: Okay. Well, let's go back now, I guess, to Nebraska, and you're gonna meet with your family. And how was it seeing your family, after all these years?

MW: Well, they were in these workers' -- it was an ordinance depot. So they apparently had these -- well, they weren't too different from the bunks and stuff in the camps. But they were better quality. I was... well, by that time I was pretty well-adjusted to the camp types of homes and the overseas and tents and things, so nothing bothered me.

TI: So how was it, what was the reaction of your family when you saw them?

MW: Well, you're home. [Laughs] I mean it was... there were a few people from camp, Seattle, at the ordinance depot. I don't think there was anything special about it. We didn't have any big homecoming or nothing like that.

TI: How about you? How did you feel? Was your father there?

MW: Yeah, my father was there.

TI: 'Cause you hadn't seen him for...

MW: I hadn't seen him for several years.

TI: Several years. So how were you feeling when you saw your father?

MW: Well, I think I was typical Nisei, Issei greeting. "Hi, Dad." [Laughs] I mean, you know. I enjoyed it, but I don't think that the generation that I grew up in was that emotional or that -- showed emotion that much. I was happy to seem him, of course.

TI: Can you recall anything that he said to you or asked you during that first meeting?

MW: No. I think, I think by and large, Japanese and Isseis are pretty stoic, you know. They don't show their emotions that much. But I was, it was obviously a happy occasion, but it wasn't a over-gushy type.

<End Segment 41> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.