Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Tsuguo "Ike" Ikeda Interview III
Narrator: Tsuguo "Ike" Ikeda
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: October 20, 2000
Densho ID: denshovh-itsuguo-03

<Begin Segment 1>

AI: Today is October 20, 2000. We're here with Tsuguo "Ike" Ikeda. I'm Alice Ito for the Densho Project, and Dana Hoshide is the videographer. Thanks for coming again to speak with us. And I wanted to go back again in time and ask you about some of your involvement with the larger-scale church-related work that you had done, especially with -- in the early '60s, as I understand, you got involved with the Church Council of Greater Seattle.

TI: Yeah.

AI: And if you could tell a little bit about that time, especially some of the work that you did there that had to do with more inclusiveness of people of color?

TI: Yes. We had a feeling that churches and their leadership, local leadership, had a major role in the way in which the local church would function. So the Church Council of Greater Seattle Church Racial Audit was formed, and we decided to interview all the top bishop administrator from all of the Protestant churches. And we had a person of color and a Caucasian teamed together to do the interview. And the thing that really blew my mind in a way was that practically all the bishops were naive about racial issues and how best that the church should function. And it seems contradictory in a sense, that you'd think the church would be there. And I had the good fortune of being on a national level, the United Methodist Church (which) started for the first time a Commission on Race and Religion. And we met twice a year in different parts of the United States, primarily where there were racial conflicts like Birmingham, Alabama, and so on. And we had some outstanding African American leadership who were active in the south be part of this effort of the church to be more responsive. At least from a structural standpoint, the United Methodist Church agreed to have a proportionate representation of male, female, clergy, and lay on all structure of the national (church). (This) has worked quite well. But at the local church level, it just wasn't working.

Being of Japanese ancestry, I was concerned about getting bishop-level representation. So when we found out that the jurisdictional conference -- at which time they elect the bishops -- would be held in Seattle, I volunteered that I would help set up the system how to get a bishop elected. We ended up having a quota system based on the population size of the local congregation to get so many voting points and that sort of thing. After our committee met and had our recommendations, we sought out nominations from all of the West Coast churches, where the majority were located, and we found Reverend Lloyd Wake, who happened to be a minister at Glide Memorial in San Francisco. He was formerly a member of Methodist Church in various Japanese Methodist churches. And other hand, he was in this Glide Memorial, which dealt with poor, predominantly minority gays and lesbians. And here was a minister that was that open to all people. And as a committee, we agreed he would be an outstanding (Bishop).

Well, when he was recommended to the delegate, Seattle, other conservative Christians couldn't buy it because he dealt with homosexuals -- gays and lesbians. And we really were naive, but we really felt he was the most Christ-like because he was so inclusive. And since the majority of the delegates didn't believe that, we re-caucused and thought of Reverend Dr. (Wilbur) Choy, who was the district superintendent in Oakland area. And the majority of us were Japanese Americans. And we felt he was the best qualified even though he was Chinese American, (and the majority of churches were Japanese). And still, the voting delegates -- didn't sway their votes. He wasn't a theologian. Of course, no Asian was ever given the opportunity to teach at a theological seminary. And he was not in a national-level involvement. Well, they didn't (elect on national committee, and commissions of Asians) who were Methodists.

The Pacific Northwest Conference delegates said they would back any Asian American, brought before the jurisdictional conference, and we said we would welcome if bishop -- Reverend Choy was elected. [Narr. note: Justice Dolliver of the State Supreme Court was the leader of the Pacific Northwest Conference.] Well, so we told these other regions that, the (Pacific Northwest Conference would welcome Bishop Choy as our Bishop). "Don't worry about it. They're so scared, I think." But how could he minister to the Caucasians' needs? I tried to convince that the majority of the churches in the Oakland area where he was a district superintendent were white. But that didn't convince them. And when the vote came up, and the -- we were so angered that they rejected our nominee, that we sang in this large University Methodist temple sanctuary, and sang the round "Amen, Amen, Amen" over and over again, must have been twenty minutes or more, tears were running down my eye. I mean, I was so hurt from this experience.

And then the following morning, the presiding bishop said, "Now, we'll try voting again." And the district superintendent from Los Angeles area, (and having a big delegation), withdrew his nomination. Of course, there was a big response, positive acclamation of the minister's decision. And then the white theologian from (a Methodist seminary), also withdrew. And that left Bishop Reverend Dr. Choy. He was elected. A tremendous response of (appreciation to) these two gentleman (who) made Reverend Dr. Choy, became the first Asian American bishop in the whole United States who was Asian.

And I stood up, and I said, "Wait." The district superintendent from San Diego who was African American, was the first -- on the very first day he stood up and said, "I want to withdraw my nomination so that an Asian American can become bishop." I want that as part of the (official) record, too. Irony is that (years) later he became a bishop, African American. His value across ethnic lines really demonstrated what he felt was important to do.

I had the good fortune of being involved this way pretty much because I enjoyed having a good time in church (work), not because I was being a nice Christian at all. Nothing to do with that. I felt we made a real breakthrough, and he became one of the top bishops in this area, the way he managed, how he included people in the decision-making process. Since then, we had Bishop Sano, who was elected bishop later, and then maybe others to follow.

AI: So this time period that you were just speaking about really goes back to the '60s, in that the Church Racial Audit that you mentioned earlier was in 1969, and then this Western Jurisdictional Conference in Seattle, where Reverend Dr. Choy was elected bishop. That was in 1972. So really, then, quite a bit of activity was happening around this time of the late '60s and the early '70s.

TI: Really exciting, yeah.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2000 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 2>

AI: Well, I also noticed that in about 1975, you were a member of the Racism Committee of the Church Council of Greater Seattle and that they actually had a committee devoted to the issue of racism. And I'm wondering, how did that develop later within the church council and here locally in the Seattle area? What kinds of activities came out of that?

TI: Well, during that time, beginning of the civil rights revolution, questions were raised about the church and what they were doing or not doing. (We believed) interviewing the top administrators of the bishop level, the Baptists, archbishop of the Catholic Church and so on, we felt was vital to, for the Church Council of Greater Seattle (began a history). I had the good fortune anyway of referring a volunteer on that committee, and wanted to be vital role that we had.

AI: It seems that many of these issues of race were coming into, more and more into public consciousness, and at the time that you were conducting these activities in the church sphere, you were also active professionally among Social Workers Association. And I think it was in 1978 that you were president of the Asian American Social Workers Association in Western Washington. And also about that time, you worked as or acted as a consultant on affirmative action to the Social Workers Association. I wonder if you could talk about that a little bit.

TI: Yeah. I don't know how it came about, but I was appointed on a national commission within the National Association of Social Workers, composed of minorities across the country. And through that involvement, later I was hired as an affirmative action consultant. So there were about five of us that covered the United States, and we had about six states each. And we went -- I had like North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and so on, and Idaho, and even Hawaii. I visited those states and engaged them, challenging the professionals how inclusive it could be, responding to needs of Native Americans, could be other Asian Pacific Islanders in Hawaii. And so these kinds of unique opportunities came to me. And I had the good fortune of trying my best to bring a sense of equality within our professional body as well. And the struggle continues.

AI: So it's not finished.

TI: No.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2000 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 3>

AI: Well, I also wanted to again, going back a bit more in time back to when you started with Atlantic Street Center. And into the early '60s, you were also very involved with United Way, which at that time was called the United Good Neighbors.

TI: Yes.

AI: And Atlantic Street Center was a very full participant in the United Good Neighbors and United Way campaign. My understanding from hearing from secondary sources is that at that time, there was also what we might call a "glass ceiling" within the United Good Neighbors and United Way in relation to racial participation. And I was wondering if you could tell me a little bit about, at that time, the situation about organizations that were primarily in communities of color or headed by people of color and their involvement or lack of involvement in the United Way.

TI: There were very few agencies of color. (And none for) Asian Pacific Islander community. I had the good fortune otherwise to be chairman of the, of all the United Way agencies, executives, and trying to bring some changes that way, but -- and at the same time for a couple of years, anyway -- this would be about twenty-seven years ago, we used to have a group of about eight Asian Pacific Islander social workers I met at the Atlantic Street Center. For two years, "What can we do about bringing some services to our community, which is lacking."

So from that two-year exploration and just talking, "What can we do?" And it ended up that a larger group then decided to start a volunteer counseling agency, and -- housed at the Blaine Memorial United Methodist Church. And the good luck was that Dr. Masuda from the School of Psychology at UW had a group of his students do a study of who came to this volunteer counseling agency. And they did an excellent piece of review and assessment. And in that early time, about twenty-five years later, when Asian Counseling Referral Service was proposed to become part of the United Way family, that United Way was just elated and surprised how well-thought-out their proposal was.

AI: The proposal of Asian Counseling and Referral Service?

TI: Yes, that Dr. Masuda was able to help do a professional job. And I heard that the United Way was just surprised that they did so well as a volunteer group, and as a result, they got in. And, with the highest degree of respect. And since then, of course, with the concern of APIs, we were able to get things like International District Housing Alliance or there was an International District Health Clinic or Asian American... you name it. And all of a sudden, it started to bubble up and establish credibility by a variety of groups of concerned Asian Pacific Islanders. And has resulted in significant improvements. All of a sudden, it started to open up.

So we were very fortunate that a handful of folks were meeting and calling themselves Asians. And at the time, that was a dirty word. Very few people would buy into being called an Asian, but rather, "I'm Japanese American," or, "Chinese American." And over a period of time, the term "Asian" was then changed to... it was okay. We really were fortunate in this city, where we had no majority among all the Asian Pacific Islanders that we were able to find that by coalescing together, we would result in better results. And sure enough, that's what happened. And other cities across the United States which I happened to visit, oh, about five years ago, found very little cooperation, and it's too bad. But we've been fortunate in this city.

AI: So here in Seattle, you think that one of the very positive factors was a willingness of people from the different ethnic backgrounds to come together for a common purpose?

TI: Yes. And where we all were trying to be sensitive to each other's needs, and that no one ethnic group would dominate the others. And that kind of mutual respect, that trust that was built on that, has resulted in many successful API (and other minority) agency development.

AI: Asian Pacific Islander agencies?

TI: Yeah.

AI: Where in the beginning of your work in the social work field, there were none.

TI: None.

AI: And now there are a number.

TI: Yeah.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 2000 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 4>

AI: We're covering a number of issues today, and another issue I wanted to ask you about was really the, maybe returning to consciousness about the internment, decades after it actually occurred. And we were talking in another conversation about Farewell to Manzanar. First the book came out and then as a television program. It aired on television here in 1976. And that for many of the non-Japanese American community, that might have been the first time that some of them heard of it or saw something sympathetic more from the Japanese American point of view.

And also in, around that time in the 1970s, I understand you began going out to schools. You were getting requests from schools to go and speak about the internment. So I wanted to ask you to talk a little bit about that time. When you would go out to a school, what kind of response would you get? Were there some kids who had seen this television program, Farewell to Manzanar, or read the book, or did they know anything at all when you came to their classes?

TI: Well, some of the schools were very smart. They took the book as a class learning project. And so they were more ready and understanding as I came forward to speak. And these speaking opportunities provided me with a forum on which I spoke out, that I rarely spoke in the community about the fact that the internment was only a combination of past institutionalized racism by the federal government like Exclusion Act of 1924, where persons of Japanese ancestry were not allowed to come to this country, democracy. As a democracy although we honored land or owned property, was sacred, but not for us. And by looking back at history of these alien land laws, inspired primarily in the state of Oregon, Washington, and California, where the majority of Japanese Americans were residing, were not allowed to own property. And then found out later because there was, never talked about it, but our parents could not vote. They couldn't become citizens of this country, by federal law, which was ridiculous in a democracy.

I'll be speaking in a couple weeks again to another school -- I try to highlight those factors first and then speak about the internment experience. There are no other avenue where I could speak out, I became more comfortable and felt appropriate to speak. I have a (overhead) presentation I give. I (believe this was an opportunity) in which I could really clearly communicate my feelings about America and what it should stand for and practice. Otherwise, in the Japanese community or the church or anywhere else I'm involved in, that kind of opportunity to sound off -- [laughs] -- just wasn't provided for. As more and more speaking engagements became possible for me, I responded back more clearly about my feelings about America.

AI: And so it was really a process where, as you were explaining to these schoolchildren and classes what happened, it clarified for you in your own mind how you were, how you viewed the whole experience?

TI: Yeah. That really helped me. That was kind of an unusual situation, but that's how it came about.

<End Segment 4> - Copyright © 2000 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 5>

AI: You mentioned the term "institutionalized racism" and gave the examples of the laws and the legal discriminatory treatment of Asians and particularly Japanese, people of Japanese ancestry. When you talk about this, these forms of institutionalized racism to classes, what kind of response or reaction do you get from some of the students?

TI: Well, they're surprised that such acts, undemocratic acts were common practice. Of course, it shocked me too, when all of a sudden, I was put away. And that, that really just made me so angry because we were taught about democracy, and here the practice was anti-democratic. I don't know if I mentioned this, but during the World War II, "God Bless America" was the theme song. And I had a hard time singing that song and asking God's blessing on America for putting us away. That's how I felt. So it was hard. It's one thing to be angry. And I felt I didn't want to have that (institutionalized) racism to then control me. And I want to control that. And so any opportunity there was, I would say to pound away at housing issues, employment issues, and so on.

AI: So you took your feeling, and then you took, made some action, took some action and used the energy from your anger?

TI: Yes. And again, I want to state again that because of the unusual position I had and opportunities to be involved in different levels of the United States, that I was able to do this, whereas majority of other Japanese Americans weren't blessed the way I was blessed, by a particular work. I just say that I had the chance and the opportunity, and felt good that I could try to work on them.

AI: Right. Well, continuing on with some of your classroom speaking, I'm interested to know what kind of questions students come up with. What do they ask you about the experience of internment and about the related issues?

TI: Well, as high school students, they want to know what high school was in camp. And we didn't really have textbooks. I (didn't) know what we were doing in the laundry room as our science class, using the tub. But we learned to do without. And I try to communicate to the students how fortunate they are, and the resources they have. So even though you don't have resources or you do have resources, you can still function based on your attitude about that. And so I try to let them know about my anger on one side, but at the other, I work real hard not to have the anger control my behavior in my (daily interactions).

AI: Do the students ever ask you a question such as, "Why didn't you protest?" or, "Why didn't anyone protest being put into the camps?"

TI: No. That hasn't (happened). But I would have said that, why we didn't, why I didn't protest at that time was we were taught really to obey our leaders: our fathers and mothers and teachers. So that respect was ingrained in our culture, and we behaved. When the government said to go, we went willingly in a way. We didn't grumble, which was not the thing to do based on our cultural upbringing. So I'd say we were excellent internees in these concentration camps. We obeyed. We were good inmates. (Our) culture really helped us so that it didn't become part of our anger and not be able to function. But we took upon these deprivations and made good about it. So I feel very grateful I had a Japanese cultural background experience. It really helped me out a great deal.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 2000 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 6>

AI: Now, you were saying that at that time, as a youngster, as a teenager and a young man, you felt that your, the democratic principles that you had learned in school were not being upheld. They were being violated.

TI: Yeah.

AI: But at the same time, I'm wondering did you actually -- it sounds like you did not actually lose faith in democracy, even though you had this huge negative experience and disappointment in how they were not carried out. Can you talk a little bit about that?

TI: Well, I just wasn't that knowledgeable. Because these kinds of exclusionary practices were not taught in school, so I didn't know about it. And the constraint of functioning, behaving in public or in the home was still grounded by my cultural upbringing which said, "Grin and bear it. Don't talk back." So that's how I, obedient son, I personally behaved that way.

And once I had this unique opportunity of being involved in a broader society, broader systems, educational system or whatever -- you name it, these chances, opportunities were made to me. So then I began to have a two-faced thing about myself. In the Japanese Methodist Church, I was Tsuguo Ikeda, and in the broader society, I was Ike Ikeda. I became more assertive out there and more and more and more outspoken. My unique position gave me such unique opportunities to really be involved, be more vocal, and protest, and contrary toward my upbringing. So it was a real fight internally, trying to be Japanese American, but at the same time, be more American, too, for a change, rather than primarily Japanese. And so that struggle really helped me a great deal in saying, "Well, I'll behave a certain way in the Japanese community and another way in the (broader) community." Even though it was kind of confusing in a way, I, it helped me.

AI: So over the years in the Japanese American community, your "Tsuguo" portion of yourself came to the front --

TI: Yeah.

AI: -- and in the broader, mainstream community, the "Ike" portion of yourself came to the front?

TI: Yeah. It's unusual how labeling changes your behavior, but that's what I did. And I was very conscious the way I behaved at church. For instance, with the elder Issei, I knew my role. And whereas in the broader community, I was free as a bird, I felt. I took that kind (opportunity) to sound off or protest or speak out.

AI: Well, now, while you were going through this process yourself of developing these different sides of yourself, there was a whole new generation, the Sansei generation, growing up, the generation of your children. And I was wondering how, if you ever gave them advice or had some expectation of them or your own children or other people's children that you knew or that you worked with, whether you were hoping that they might become more the part of the mainstream and act in more of those ways or whether you were hoping they would also retain some of the Japanese culture?

TI: Well, here there's a real distinction, where you could see that, where I've said, I must be quite a great person, but I was an outstandingly lousy father in the sense that I didn't communicate regularly with all my four daughters (and be available to them). They never questioned me in saying, "Well, what was life like?" Never. And even to this day, what had gone through is -- I don't know whether it's taboo or what is -- I never asked the kids why they haven't questioned me, but it never occurred.

And so one of the guilt things I had was because I spent so much time away from the family and being involved and this and that, I felt real guilty about it. And one time not too long ago, I asked all of the girls... how I felt, that I felt guilty. I wasn't really paying that much attention to their upbringing, whereas my wife, Sumi had that major role, and I excused myself by messing around outside the home. And they all said they understood me, that, what I was doing. They didn't feel deprived. So I felt much better, although I still feel guilty of it. I didn't, I wasn't that responsible a father, putting the family first, and I put the community first and the family second.

AI: Well, I think in some ways, you are similar to a number of other husbands and fathers of your age group.

TI: That's too bad. [Laughs]

AI: That there were many expectations for people in your position.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 2000 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 7>

AI: Well, changing to another topic and another time, I wanted to ask you about your testifying with the commission on redress. This was the Congressional Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians. And in 1981, that commission was holding hearings around the country on the internment, and they did have hearings here in Seattle. I was wondering if you would tell about that commission hearing and your part in it.

TI: I wondered how best to communicate my feelings about that experience, and I felt communicating by pictures would be most helpful. So I set up a series of overhead projector slides, and my presentation was that, a series of excerpts from different articles and pictures of the camps and the experience. And so I felt by having a different presentation, might be useful. So that's what I did.

AI: And while you were there during the hearings and listening to other people's testimony, what kind of reaction were you having yourself just to being in that situation?

TI: I was really surprised that people I thought I knew really had a rougher internment experience, or the way they were picked up and -- but they never talked about it, and I never talked about it with, with each other. And so that was the most dramatic understanding I got, was that many people with -- as individuals -- had different individual experiences that were rougher than for me. But they never complained about it. They were taught culturally not to. And this part of our cultural background experience is, "Never complain." It's just, would be shameful. So that legacy still hangs with even me and others. But in some ways, it also is a positive thing on, spin on that training, is that we could ganbaru, bear with it and handle ourselves in spite of the problems that face us in life. And that's a precious skill, a value that we learned from our parents and other Japanese elders, and I'm certainly thankful for that.

AI: Well, at the time that redress was being debated, people had a variety of opinions. And even within the Japanese American community, some people thought that actual monetary redress or financial redress was not a good idea, for many reasons. What was your opinion about this?

TI: Well, as an advocate on issue of racism in America, I felt we needed to speak out and demand certain rights that were denied us. And so I felt comfortable in speaking out and demanding this kind of recognition by the government, by the President of the United States. And I don't knock down other Niseis who felt opposite. They felt to complain about it openly and talk about it, they felt was not right, and based on our upbringing, that was correct. So on the one hand, I could appreciate other Niseis feeling, keep it under cover, don't speak out, create problems, was correct. And because of my Ike mentality, and (unique extremes I had.) I felt much more stronger the opposite direction. And so again, my unique series of background experience helped me to become more like a Caucasian in speaking out. This was the appropriate behavior.

AI: And also at that time, there was a lot of skepticism, I understand, that many people both in the Japanese American community and in the broader mainstream community really thought that there was no chance that Congress would ever approve of redress legislation. Do you recall how you thought at the time? Did you think there was really a chance it might happen?

TI: I didn't think we had a chance. But our Governor Evans at the time had connections nationally, and other prominent leaders like Mike Lowry, who submitted a special law for the Congress, which failed, but there were a few leaders like that that advocated, and along with the Japanese American community leadership, that made the difference. But I didn't speak out or take leadership role of being involved in that technical part, whereas a lot of Nisei, Sansei lawyers were able to use their talent to do it the correct way from a legal standpoint. And I think I told a story of that approval process. It was just amazing. But it took other skilled persons to do that, not me.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 2000 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 8>

AI: When you actually received in the mail your letter of apology and your payment, what was your reaction?

TI: Oh, naturally I kept it and put it in my scrapbook. And then I wanted to use that money for something lasting, supposedly, and I bought a Honda. And I was shocked. It took -- I only had about a hundred dollars left. [Laughs] And so I had a reliable Honda for many years, and then I gave it to my son-in-law. So it's still within the blood line as a continual reminder that I got this car as an apology from the government of the United States, the wrong that was done. And so I still experience it vicariously -- once in a while I ride in it -- the money that the government did pay me (makes me feel good).

AI: And the apology, the letter of apology, when you saw that, what was your feeling?

TI: Well, to have the President of the United States do that, was a miracle, in my mind. It really couldn't happen, but it did. Rarely does a president of the United States apologize for any wrongdoing in this country. And there've been many, especially Native Americans. And we still have a problem with that. Similarly with Australia just recently in the Olympics, it stirred it up again. A group were mistreated. Alienated, and as the Hawaiians in Hawaii also. So it's a long struggle internationally, let alone the United States.

AI: When you, when you're thinking about all that has happened and all that has changed including the redress and the apology and the payment, now you must still get the question when you go out and do speaking engagements and talk to classes, do you get the question: "What do you think could happen now," or do you talk about this issue of whether a similar kind of injustice like the internment could happen again?

TI: Right. Well, that's one, I'm not sure what I stated before, but while I was in Minidoka, I sort of vowed to myself that I would never allow or speak out and try to stop any kind of similar behaviors from any other group in the United States. And so that's still within me, that if there are opportunities to right wrongs, I will become involved in it.

AI: And one other activity that you did that you were involved in was in 1992 here in Seattle at the Wing Luke Asian Museum, a major exhibit was put on called E.O. 9066: Fifty Years Before and Fifty Years After. And you were involved in helping to put together materials for that exhibition. Could you say a little bit about that?

TI: Right. Well, I'm a collector, and so I had a lot of stuff about the internment. And so it was only sharing that, is my role, whereas my wife was really working, attending meetings after meetings and meetings to help develop that major exhibit at the Wing Luke Asian Museum. And, and I got the publicity, whereas the other people that worked real hard really didn't. I felt kind of uneasy about that. It was a wonderful exhibit, and it needs to be expanded upon because most people just still don't know that it actually happened. I'm on the board of the Wing Luke, and we're working toward finding a site for our much-enlarged museum, where a portion of that would be a long-term exhibit about the internment experience.

<End Segment 8> - Copyright © 2000 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 9>

AI: Well, now, we're coming up here to the present time, and I know you have some grandchildren. How many grandchildren do you have now?

TI: We have six grandsons, lot of energy, and one grandchild -- a girl. And they're -- two of them live in the South in Mississippi, but the others are here locally. So we're lucky to baby-sit or relate to the grandkids and try to spoil them and leave. And that's the best part of, you know, you go back to your own house. [Laughs]

AI: Well, have any of the grandchildren asked you about your internment experience?

TI: Not at all. [Laughs]

AI: And have you said anything to them about it?

TI: A little bit, but again, it's such a strange experience that, doesn't relate to the kids now. And that means all the more we need to have it institutionalized in school itself in teaching and giving materials out. Otherwise, because the two kids in Mukilteo, it's primarily a white school. Such issues that I'm concerned about is they're raised there, and then the three in Bellevue, certainly in similar sort of situations and more so in, in Mississippi. I don't know if they would have materials that could help reeducate and give a more complete picture of pros and cons and what was going on. That will be a challenge in how to set up a way of binding that into the curriculum of the schools.

AI: Well, as you're looking back on all the things that we've discussed and the different portions of the eras that you've lived through and activities you've conducted, is there anything else that we haven't touched on that you'd like to talk about?

TI: You know, I haven't... I'm seventy-six years of age. I'm still concerned about how to help the newer, younger executive directors of the non-profit agencies, so I made a proposal to the Nonprofit Assistance Center to develop a mentoring project. And I sure would like to see that work. And so we set up a way in which the, which as minorities, we all help each other and support each other. And in the process, I've learned personally the limited knowledge I have and the desire to learn more. So I've done extensive book reading and analyzing data from the writer's source, current sources and in turn try to help other younger executive directors take advantage of that knowledge.

And so that's my last period of my life is how to transfer or set up ways so that others could help each other so they have the capability to do that and set up a system to do it. So thanks to the Densho Project, we may be a voice in the particular issues I'm concerned about even to this date. And thank you.

AI: Thank you very much, Mr. Ikeda.

TI: Thank you.

AI: Appreciate your time.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright © 2000 Densho. All Rights Reserved.