Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Mitsuko Hashiguchi Interview
Narrator: Mitsuko Hashiguchi
Interviewer: James Arima
Location: Bellevue, Washington
Date: July 28, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-hmitsuko-01-0020

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JA: Then again, back to the Nikkei community, can you tell me more about the community interaction, the clubhouse?

MH: Uh-huh. At the clubhouse, like I said, they do have judo and kendo, basketball, and then they have Bukkyokai service there, too. They were using that for that purpose. And then the basement was used for Japanese school until we were able to build a Japanese school, which was built in the next lot in the later years is what it was. And then we have dances yearly there, too. The Seinenkai sponsored a dance and invited Seattle, Greenlake, everybody all over and they came out and that's where we had the opportunity to meet other people besides Bellevueites.

JA: And did you attend a Japanese language school?

MH: Yes, I did. I attended all my life, it seems like. I went through elementary school to Japanese school all the way through. Then I went to night classes and covered as much as I could. So, and then, I went to Bellevue Community College for one quarter to learn more Japanese, so I've been quite fluent for a Nisei they tell me, yes.

JA: Right. And you don't regret that, right?

MH: No, I won't. [Laughs]

JA: And can you tell us about the Nisei Club and its activities?

MH: The Nisei Club, after the evacuation was organized...

JA: So this is after the evacuation, the Nisei Club was organized.

MH: It was right after.

JA: Okay. So what other -- I guess at the clubhouse...

MH: Before that was Seinenkai.

JA: Seinenkai.

MH: Yes. That's what they call it.

JA: But at the clubhouse, at Seinenkai, you yourself participated in certain classes. Could you tell us?

MH: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

JA: Ikebana?

MH: Oh, (yes). They had flower arrangement. They had tea ceremony that they taught us. They taught us dancing and all these Oriental things were taught to all of us, too.

JA: So you were exposed to quite a bit of the Japanese finer arts.

MH: Yes, yes. I think the Bellevue Japanese mothers kind of encouraged all the girls to do all these things, and I think the greater percentage of girls were all involved in all these different classes, dancing, and plays, Japanese plays they had, and Japanese schools and just made it very educational for all of us young people.

JA: Now, who were the instructors?

MH: They were hired from Seattle. (Mrs. Fujitsu, Mrs. Okamura)

JA: So the community really made an effort.

MH: Yes, they did. They were hired from Seattle so we had to pay a tuition for every class we went to.

JA: I see.

<End Segment 20> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.