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-01-0047

<Begin Segment 47>

TI: Now, how often did you get back to Seattle? When, I know you were up in Blaine and then Tacoma. Did you still think of Seattle as kind of your home?

MW: Oh yeah.

TI: Or did you think Blaine was more, or I think Ferndale, or...

MW: Yeah, well I lived in Ferndale and I worked in Blaine. But, during all this time... how much time do you have? [Laughs]

TI: No, keep going.

MW: There was this strong feeling of mine, because -- like, even in Seattle, I guess the enclosed, isolated society, per se, like the Orientals, or International District, Nihonmachi, a lot of people took it from a negative standpoint. Which, in a lot of ways, it was that way. But when you leave the city, there was something so warm and enjoyable about knowing people from churches and the communities and the athletic leagues. There's a closeness that comes with it. You know, like redress, and relocation, and all that is very negative. But, all I'm saying I guess is there's something positive to some of this stuff. And one of these is the friendships that are formed and the closeness. And together back to where we started from, every time one of our friends, their kids got married or... you know, even if I was in Blaine, I saw these guys all the time, because they'd come up to Ferndale or Blaine for golf or something, or picnics, and I'd do the same every time something was going on in Seattle. It was this closeness that you don't find too often that I really enjoy.

TI: And so, and just to sort of paraphrase, so this sort of small community in Seattle that some may have seen as a negative, there were positive things also from your perspective.

MW: Precisely.

TI: In terms of this closeness that exists even to this day.

MW: That's right.

TI: Earlier you were mentioning fifty-year anniversaries, and going there, and feeling a special closeness with the people there.

MW: And there's something very warm and comfortable. Or if you want to call it a comfort zone, or... and we've stuck together for seventy-something years. [Laughs] You know, that's a long, long time.

<End Segment 47> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.