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-01-0048

<Begin Segment 48>

TI: While we're talking about, sort of this closeness, I wanted to ask some questions just about your family and to sort of end with information. And I guess the first one is your wife, Hisa. When did you meet Hisa?

MW: Well, she only lived, maybe three or four blocks from me. And I would like to say she came after me. [Laughs] No. No, but really... she went to Pacific School. The boundary between Central School and Pacific School was just about between our homes. But she actually lived only about two blocks from me. And I really didn't notice her much or anything, but... I guess the proximity or -- I think there was something about the racial differences and being a minority, where people became more enclosed physically in certain areas. So all the Seattle people, it wasn't that big or widespread. There was this sameness of Nihonmachi and churches and all the athletic things.

TI: Right. And going back to Hisa, so when did the two of you start dating?

MW: Gee, that's a good question. I know I took her out while we were still in high school. But, gee, I wasn't that one-womanish at that time.

TI: [Laughs]

MW: I think it was right around junior, senior year. And we had quite a long walk to Broadway High School. And you can't help meeting, seeing the same people all the time, so... it was sometime during that period, I guess.

TI: Well, how about during the war? Was she your girlfriend during the war?

MW: Yeah, we used to correspond. And, well, we did actually go out in high school a couple of times. In camp, we used to go to dances. And I used to write to her while I was in the army.

TI: And then, when you came back, when did you get married?

MW: Gee, what year was that? She went back to school about the same time I did. And transportation was very limited in those days. Gee, I guess I had a car at that time. I used to pick up so many people to go to school, and we'd all have a meeting place to come home. So I guess we really started to go around in the latter years of college.

TI: Okay. And then... okay.

MW: Then we got married. Gee, I think we were married before I graduated. So it would it have been '40, yeah, late '40s.

TI: And how many children did you have?

MW: I had four.

TI: And why don't you run down...

MW: We had four.

TI: Yeah, why don't you run down the list of your children?

MW: Well, the oldest was... three oldest were sons, John, James and Gordon. And then Lisa is my only daughter. And she's the youngest and I forgot how old she is.

TI: And how about grandchildren right now? We'll test your memory. [Laughs]

MW: Let's see. I got, one, two, three, four, five grandkids.

TI: When you think of your grandchildren, and think, maybe thirty, forty years in the future, are there any things or any messages that you'd want to say to them at this point? Because this tape will be around for a long time.

MW: [Laughs] Oh, gosh.

TI: Yeah, I thought they might not be interested right now in what you have to say, but in thirty or forty years, they might. And if there's anything that, when you reflect upon your life, or anything that...

MW: Real wise words of wisdom?

TI: Yeah, words of wisdom, or anything that you would like to tell them?

MW: Boy, thanks for givin' me all this time to think about it. [Laughs] But, live your life to the fullest, you know, harmlessly and the best way you can. Follow your desires. It's... life, life's gonna be good. So enjoy it. I guess that's about all I, all the words of wisdom I have.

<End Segment 48> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.