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-01-0072

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JA: So following the loss of your husband, I understand you made a trip to Japan for the first time?

MH: What? Didn't hear you.

JA: In 1966, the year after the loss of your husband, you made your first trip to Japan.

MH: Yes.

JA: What was that occasion?

MH: In 1966 it was after my husband died in 1965, my son was stationed in Vietnam, and I think he served his two years term in Vietnam, and then they sent him to Iwakuni to train for air force... air force part. And so he said, "Mom, why don't you come over here for vacation?" I said, "Well, that's a good idea." So I asked Mrs. Ringdall, "May I go over to Japan for a couple weeks. I would like to take a break." She says, "Stay a month if you want to from your job. It's all right." So I went over there and spent a whole month with my son. We traveled from Miyazaki to make sure we saw the Hashiguchi side of the place, and we saw all the Okayama and Hiroshima and all those areas. I traveled with him and made a special trip by visiting my son while he was in service over there.

JA: So it was very special to be with your son --

MH: Yes, it was.

JA: Especially in the conditions that he was coming from.

MH: Uh-huh.

JA: But on a more personal level in terms of being in Japan for the first time, what were your feelings?

MH: It was quite an experience to me because I have never met my sisters. I've talked, I've written to them before, for my mother because my mother was blind, but I have never met them, and it was just a thrill. And my sister has seen Wayne, my youngest son, at Iwakuni before I ever saw him. And she said he couldn't talk Japanese, but that's all right. They communicated with hand movement, dictionary, whatever. And so, I'm glad they were able to see my son, too. Plus they were, I had a wonderful time with them visiting with my sisters and her brother -- her husband and children and oh, it was just a wonderful reunion, that it's hard to describe.

JA: And all those Japanese language class sessions came to use, right?

MH: No, they said, "Oh, that American Japanese." That came out just right there. [Laughs]

JA: But you knew enough to understand what they were saying. [Laughs]

MH: Oh, yes. They understood what I was saying and I knew what they were saying, yes. [Laughs]

<End Segment 72> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.