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Title: Paul Bannai Interview I
Narrator: Paul Bannai
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: December 28, 2000
Densho ID: denshovh-bpaul-01-0008

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AI: Well, now I also wanted to ask you a little, you've told us some about your father. Could you tell us a little bit more about your mother, what she was like and some of her influence on you?

PB: Yes. My father, like in all Japanese families I guess, is the leader of the family. And he was the one that made the decisions. My mother on the other hand had come from Japan, and as a good wife, followed the dictates of her husband, bore myself, sisters and my brother, and raised us. She had many problems during her time of health and, but regardless of it raised a family. In my estimation it worked out very well. I'm very proud of all my brothers and sisters and what they have accomplished. She later on gradually began to lose her eyesight, and before she passed away she was totally blind. But in spite of that, in spite of her eyesight being very hard to get around, she tried in every way to make our life a happy one, a successful one. And as a result, as far as myself and the rest of my family go, we're both saying that we had very good parents. And I think that if you ask anybody else that had parents from Japan that they would probably say the same thing. I don't think that... none of us had parents that we could say were detrimental to our being here on earth. So I know both of my parents, I have to thank them for all the things that they did, all the inspiration they gave us and led us to what, whether we're successful or unsuccessful.

AI: Well, you say that they gave you inspiration. That, now, I know other families, Japanese American families have said that from their parents they got the values of hard work or responsibility. Usually education was the...

PB: Right.

AI: But I don't always hear the word "inspiration." Could you talk a little bit more about that, how that came from your parents?

PB: Well, the inspiration came more from their talking to us, and as you say, "You should do this, you should do that. You shouldn't do this." I think that they had values which they carried from Japan because after all, they came from Japan when they were well on in age and adults. And I think that some of the things that they learned from their parents -- and I happen to know that my grandfather, who I didn't get to know 'cause he did die in Utah early, but my grandmother was here in the United States, and my father and my mother were very close to them. So I think that these things carry over. And I'm the same way, like I have children -- I have two daughters and a son, and I've been the same way. I think that we try to pass on those things that our parents gave to us. We try to inspire our youngsters to achieve, to study, to do things that are, you might say, better than what the normal would be in all the areas. So I think that's one thing we learned, and we try to pass on to our children. And hopefully it will go on to our future generation. But that's, not only, well you might say it maybe have something to do with the Japanese character or the Japanese customs. I think it may have something to do with it.

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