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Title: Masao Watanabe Interview
Narrator: Masao Watanabe
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: June 19, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-wmasao-01-0007

<Begin Segment 7>

TI: When you weren't working at the market, let's talk about that a little bit. Like for school, elementary school, where did you go?

MW: Elementary school I went to Central School. It was quite famous because it was probably one of the... I think it was the oldest grammar school in Seattle. Used to be a high school at one time, but it's right over the intersection, the freeway -- [laughs] -- on Seventh and Madison.

TI: So when the freeway went in they tore down the school?

MW: Oh, yes. [Laughs] Yeah, and that's where I went to grammar school, and high school I went to Broadway.

TI: Describe your classmates. What kind of -- I guess one question is, racially, what was the makeup of your class?

MW: Percentage-wise I would say about seventy-five percent were haoles. I think they were businessmen or apartment dwellers right in that area and about twenty-five percent were Japanese. They had hotels and dry cleaners and these little stores.

TI: One question I wanted to ask is, when you first started school -- or, I guess, before school, did your parents speak English to you or Japanese?

MW: I would say seventy-five, eighty percent of the time it was Japanese.

TI: And so when you went to school, was that a, did you have difficulties with language?

MW: No, because I think as we grew up, all we spoke was English. So, in a way, it was so natural, and my parents were very limited in their English. We were limited in Japanese, but communication's a funny thing. [Laughs] You can say a lot without saying something. [Laughs]

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.