Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Susan Hayase Interview
Narrator: Susan Hayase
Interviewer: Glen Kitayama
Location: University of California, Los Angeles
Date: September 12, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-hsusan-01

<Begin Segment 1>

GK: My name is Glen Kitayama, and I'm interviewing Susan Hayase at UCLA on Friday, September 12, 1997. And Susan, I wanted to start this interview off by asking you, how did you get involved in Japanese American and Asian American issues?

SH: Let's see. I guess I should tell you somewhat about my background. My, my mother was at Gila River and my father was at Amache concentration camps. And after camp, they both ended up on the East Coast in Washington, D.C. and that's where they met and got married. And all the kids -- four of us -- were born on the East Coast. I was born in Washington, D.C. And when I was six years old, in 1962 -- that was twenty years after my parents had left the West Coast -- my dad was finally able to get a job in California. He was an engineer, and it took him that long to actually get a job in private industry in California. And so, he really wanted to come back to be near his family, so we came back and ended up living in Orange County.

Orange County was very segregated, and we lived in a pretty much all-white neighborhood. And this is during the '60s and early '70s and the... well, I mean, people have heard of Orange County as very conservative. But in addition to that, the general atmosphere in this country was very negative with regard to Japanese Americans. I mean, we didn't even call ourselves "Japanese Americans." We, I think that people, other people called us Japanese, if they weren't calling us "Japs." And you know, we insisted we were Americans, but we... I think our identity as Japanese Americans was, hadn't emerged yet, in some ways. My experience as a child in that environment was, it was very racist and I couldn't understand it. It was terrible. And I was lucky in that my parents actually talked about camp. So I knew about camp, although it took me a while to totally understand what it really meant. And I do remember as a child reading my mother's copy of Mine Okubo's Citizen 13660, and just... I mean, looking at what I thought were just cartoons, and slowly understanding like, what, kind of, what was that? And that my parents had been a part of an experience that was similar to that.

Also I remember that there were things that my parents used to do that I couldn't understand. Like, they were very security conscious, in an era where people talk about feeling so safe and not locking their cars and that kind of thing. I remember my parents being very, very overprotective compared to my friends and being very concerned about our safety. And I remember strange things, like I remember my father once kind of yelling at us. He was telling us, "Don't you ever get in trouble like those other kids, because if you do, people don't even have to see your face to know who you are." We were the only Japanese family for miles, right? We were confused, like why would we be getting in trouble? We didn't know what he was talking about. I remember he yelled at us, "You better do your homework, because education is the only thing that anybody could ever -- that can't take away from you." And I didn't really understand... I didn't really understand what... what was the source of his anger. I couldn't figure -- it seemed out of context to what was happening. But I was really angry, too, when I understood, like what the camps were all about. Because I guess, what it kind of told me was like confirmation of the hatred that this country had for my parents and for me and it was... so I don't know, I, I grew up very angry about that.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 2>

SH: Also, I think I had a very similar experience, that nobody else outside of our family seemed to know what the camps were. You know, teachers, history books and that... it was just very odd. It was a very strange, alienating experience. I went to Stanford University and when I first got information from them they asked me if I wanted to live in an Asian American dorm. And I wanted to. And my parents counseled me not to. They told me that I shouldn't hang around with other Asians, that that would get me in trouble. And I didn't... you know, a lot of these instructions were a little bit mysterious, I didn't totally understand, you know what I mean? Like I just felt like my parents were very controlling, but I acquiesced and I didn't. I was... because of my experience being so isolated, I also was one of those Asians that felt very uncomfortable around other Asians. I mean, it was so bizarre to see somebody else who was Asian, that you didn't feel normal. And I think that for people who grow up so isolated, you're always kind of wondering, "Am I a normal Asian person?" You know what I mean? You don't know if you have anything in common with these other people and you kind of suspect maybe you don't, and stuff.

And so, for two and a half or three years, I thought about, but never actually joined the Asian American Student Association at Stanford. But I think at the same time I... I realized that I had to deal with this issue. And I am very... I take some of the credit myself in that realizing that I had to deal with this. But I also feel very lucky that I had something that I could go investigate. That there was, there were organized Asian students at Stanford, and so I still remember the first Asian American Student Association meeting I went to, and I was very... I remember being so tense. I mean, it's funny, I think back now and... but I knew that I had to deal with it and I met some people there that are still friends of mine, and who... basically, my friendship with them, and being part of the Asian American Student Association at Stanford really helped me personally a lot, in terms of my whole understanding and comfort at who I was. I, through the AASA at Stanford, I became educated about things such as the Bakke decision. I was involved in the anti-Bakke decision coalition, I guess. And also with the Divestment from South Africa movement at Stanford. Those also were very interesting, because those were both movements where students of color, I think we called ourselves Third World students then. But, were really struggling to organize, create coalitions between the different nationalities and ethnicities and really play a role in the student movement. I think there were a lot of conflicts with white student leaders who felt like, students of color should kind of be there to make it multi-national but weren't that interested in, input and leadership from students of color, but... so I was there during a lot of those struggles. When I left Stanford, also, I was an engineering student. I majored in double E, which again made, put me in a very alienating situation -- [laughs] -- with the, all the white men who were engineers. But that's another whole story.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 3>

SH: But when I left Stanford and I went to go work as an engineer -- that was in 1978 -- I hooked up with some of the same people who were in AASA who had gone down to San Jose to work for AACI and also who were forming a new organization called the Nihonmachi Outreach Committee. And that was formed, I believe, in 1979. And their main activity at that point was to organize around the, kind of the preservation and defense of the San Jose Japantown. San Jose Japantown was, and I think maybe is today, the only remaining Japantown that hasn't been redeveloped out of existence or turned into a tourist trap. And so there was a lot of concern among the community residents and some of the workers and some of the social service providers, as well as students and other people about the preservation of Japantown, so I joined NOC.

And in 1979 I went on the Tule Lake Pilgrimage, and that was one of the early kind of mass mobilizations around monetary compensation and redress. And that was the first time that I had heard people discuss the concept of redress for the camps. And see I, from my background, I was... I very much identified with my parents and their situation. I think a lot of times in families there's one person that kind of decides to inherit that. [Laughs] And I think in my family I was the person who decided to inherit that. And so I had harbored this great anger and deep feeling about that whole thing. And when I... I had never heard of redress before, that concept, and I think that when I heard people talking about it, it was like "zing." [Laughs] I felt it physically, that it was really clear to me that's what I wanted to do, that I wanted to work on that until my dying breath. [Laughs] That I felt that it was really clear to me that, that was so important, that that would... I think on some level I felt like it would avenge my parents.

But I also felt that personally, a lot of the racism and oppression that I had experienced, and that I knew other people had experienced, partly was a result of the fact that the camps were an unresolved issue. That Japanese Americans still were looked at as enemy aliens, an enemy race. And anybody who even knew about the camps generally felt that it was justified militarily. You know all those misconceptions, I felt that a lot of the racism aimed at us was a result of that not being resolved. And so I personally, personally wanted to participate. I -- that's when the Nihonmachi Outreach Committee became -- kind of shifted focus and became more of a redress organization. It was actually a multi-issue organization and continued doing stuff around the preservation of Japantown and other things. Like we did some work on the Vincent Chin case, but -- and other things -- but the main focus shifted to become the redress campaign. And we started... I think we were part of the NCRR founding. We went down in 1990 -- 1980, sorry -- and I was there for that conference. And a lot of the people who joined NOC around that time were, a lot of people who also came out of the student movement. And then we started meeting more Niseis through the organizing for the commission hearings.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 4>

GK: Okay, we were gonna start talking about the 1981 commission hearings. And, so if you could tell me what your role was, and what NOC's role was.

SH: Well, NOC, as, same as NCRR in different areas, we decided that, although we had problems with when the decision for the commission bill came down -- we weren't necessarily in agreement, we had some problems with it -- we decided that, like Mia said that, it was gonna happen with us or without us. And we decided that it'd be better if it happened with us. There were some people who were saying, "Well, let's keep it small. Let's get a bunch of experts to testify." There were some people who even wanted to limit testimony to nine Japanese Americans. And I think it's interesting, because I think now we don't remember that exactly, but in those days I think people felt like, the specter of Japanese Americans testifying, demanding justice on our own behalf, that that was bizarre, you know what I mean? I think the whole stereotype of "quiet Americans" was so strong and so omnipresent that just the thought of ordinary Japanese Americans demanding redress was strange. So people kinda thought it would be self-serving. But we felt that only if ordinary people could get up there and really show how an action of the U.S. government impacted regular people... and only in that way could the American public relate to it and understand what a travesty it was.

<End Segment 4> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 5>

SH: So we started trying to find people, and we knew some people from our organizing thus far, but we started doing things like having house meetings. Like, as you recall, people weren't used to talking about it at that time and it was very controversial. People would enryo like crazy: "Oh, no, no, no, I have nothing to say." And so we started this thing called house meetings. What we'd do is we would get somebody who was willing to deal with this on some level, and we'd have them invite their family members who had been in camp, or friends or something like that. And a lotta arm twisting -- "Just come and sit there. You don't have to say anything, just sit there." And so, and then we'd, the NCRR group, we'd come with our slide show and we showed historical pictures, and we talked about... we talked about some of the constitutional violations, we talked about redress, we talked about monetary compensation, and we talked about the commission. Then we asked, we asked people to tell us what had happened to them.

And it was incredible, I mean, I think a lot of people... nobody had ever asked them. And I think that a lot of people, even though they say, "Oh, no, I have nothing to say," I think one of the rules of thumb that I learned is never take "no" for an answer, 'cause you could kinda tell that they had something to say. That they actually really did want to say something, but they had to be convinced, you had to ask them several times. But once people actually could see that we were sincere and that we were sympathetic and that... and I think that they -- people responded to the fighting spirit, I think, because deep down inside that's how they felt, too. And so, a lot of people did tell us what had happened to them. And we learned a lot of really moving stories.

And I think it really affected us, too, that lot of the Sansei who were involved... like in my statement, I said that, "Not only did we find people to testify, but we also really secured the commitment and raised the consciousness of a lot of Sansei." I think... oh yeah, one observation that I have about that whole process and the redress movement as a whole, is that there was a lot of... like the reconciliation between Nisei and Sansei wasn't necessarily just within families. Like for instance, like my family, I always wanted them to be more involved, and speak out, and do all those kind of things that Sanseis want their Nisei parents to do, around the camps and stuff. And for a number of reasons, one of them being that they were very isolated, they never did and... but I was able to meet other Nisei who kind of fulfilled that need in me and who also, interestingly enough, frequently said that their children didn't want them to do it. [Laughs] It was funny, there was kind of a funny... you know, people gave each other what they couldn't get in their own family, and so anyway, that was an interesting thing that I noticed.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 6>

SH: We, so we found a lot of people and we helped them develop their testimony just by talking to them about it. 'Cause I think a lot of times people didn't know what was important to say and so we'd encourage them, "No, your story is important, and just tell it the way you told us." And we'd help people type things up, and we'd help them edit it, and we'd help them practice, we'd... and we worked out a lot of rides to the commission hearings, and I remember when we went... like for me, that was the, at Golden Gate University in San Francisco. I'd never been with so many Japanese Americans before in my life, I didn't know there were that many on the planet. But yeah, there was a large number and that in itself was really exciting.

But what was really exciting was that, not only was there a large number of people, but they were all there on this mission that was so heartfelt. I mean, everybody's heart was on their sleeve, it was very emotional. I mean, people were just sobbing all day and cheering. It was so amazing. Like people were sobbing and cheering simultaneously and just that feeling of solidarity and pride, you know, you just felt so... there's somebody who was testifying, you didn't even know them, but you felt so proud of them. And especially like, knowing that a lot of these people were afraid, and so that was, that was really exciting.

I think the whole... the "quiet American" died that day. And I think that that was so thrilling, I think. Especially to a Sansei like me who had really struggled with a lot of racism and for whom the "quiet American" was no answer to that racism, you know what I'm saying? It's like, so the death of that "quiet American" was, it was just thrilling. It was like finally, finally getting back up on your feet and hitting back, and in a principled way, too. And it was very, I think people were also very proud that it was... also, very lofty sentiments were expressed. I think one of the things that people said over and over, and it was unprompted, we didn't try to tell people to say stuff like this but... like when we met people in their houses and stuff, one of the things that people said over and over again was that, "I don't care about myself, but I don't want this to happen to anybody else." And I think that was very sincere, and I think... and I'm so proud of Japanese Americans for, I don't know, having that compassion and ability to see beyond their own situation, you know what I mean?

So that was thrilling, and I remember a bunch of us coming back and I think we were driving back in a van or something. And, you know, that whole day had been very noisy, I mean, just cheering and yelling and running around, and the newspeople, and just a lot of noise, right? And we got in the van and we're driving back and it was just silent because we were just so drained, we were just so exhausted. But it was, we were so happy. It was really incredible. And people say, "Oh, the Japanese American's community was galvanized," and I keep thinking, "What is 'galvanized?' Does that mean covered with steel?" [Laughs] I don't know exactly what that means, but I think it's, really people were just energized from that. And so yeah, just personally... I'm so glad, I'm so glad that I took the day off work and I went to that. It changed my life. And... yeah. [Laughs]

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 7>

GK: From your recollection of this period organizing for the hearings, how closely did NOC and JACL work together on this, and were there differing views in how to organize the hearings in San Francisco?

SH: Yeah, in, well, I'll answer part -- in San Jose we worked with Judy Niizawa of the San Jose JACL, she was, at some point she was the president of the San Jose chapter and she was the only person in the JACL who was willing to organize for monetary compensation. I mean, there were a lot of people in the San Jose JACL chapter who were very suspicious of us. We were a new organization and whatever. I think our organizing work actually helped her, and she was very open to it. I don't think we always agreed on everything, but actually the NCRR started out being a coalition of NOC, and Asian Law Alliance, and the churches and... I'm not sure if it was San Jose JACL, I would have to check. I can't really actually remember if they were a member of it. But Judy, through the Peninsula Redress Committee was part of that also. So, yeah, so and there was a lot of struggle over time to unite.

I think... I remember, I remember people getting red baited and I remember people having fingers shaken in their face -- "Young lady, I'm old enough to be your father." There were a lot of problems that had to be worked out, and I think that we, we stuck it out. It was... like some people were saying at this conference today, that there's a certain tension, and differing views, and differing approaches and stuff. It's actually in some ways beneficial to the movement to actually have that debate. It's very difficult and uncomfortable to endure it, but I think that overall we felt that in the interest of the ultimate success of the redress movement, we had to work with these other people. And we had to struggle to unite with them and get them to unite with us. So ultimately in San Jose we were successful, that we did yearly Day of Remembrance programs, and we got consistent response, co-sponsorship and endorsement from the both JACL chapters, West Valley and San Jose, and from the churches and from different organizations. So you know, I think ultimately we were able to unite to a fairly high level.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 8>

GK: In 1987, NCRR sponsored a lobbying delegation to Washington, D.C. and they also had earlier smaller delegations. Can you tell me a little bit about this?

SH: In 1984 we had a lobbying delegation. I think it was when the bill was in some sub-committee and they had hearings. And Julie Hatta and Tom Izu went for San Jose. And in 1987 the NCRR had a large lobbying delegation, that I guess 140 people ended up going. We invited... we had NCRR people going, from NOC. We also invited Judy Niizawa of the San Jose JACL to come, and she came. And we invited Rudy Tokiwa, who was a 442 vet, to go. Unfortunately, I didn't go, I wish I had gone. It sounds wonderful. I mean, it sounds like it was very effective, and there are a lot of great stories, I think, from the meetings with the congresspeople. But yeah, I personally didn't go. So I can't comment too much about it.

GK: Okay.

<End Segment 8> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 9>

GK: What do you think were the contributions of the different redress groups to the movement?

SH: Well, let's see. I think that... I think that the JACL, national JACL had, as an established organization, they had a lot of... they had a big infrastructure. They had paid staff, they had chapters around the country. They had ultimately a lobbyist in Washington, D.C. They also had, as an established organization, they had a lot of stature in different areas, like in Washington, D.C. and with different Congress people, and with their relationship with other organizations and stuff like that. And they... they did a great job doing lobbying. I mean, that was, I believe, a major contribution. They used all their resources to very effectively put in place a lot of networks around the country to get a lot of lobbying done.

The NCRR was not an established organization, didn't have the same kind of resources that the JACL had. But I think that by broadening the movement, actually made possible the participation of people who wouldn't have gotten involved otherwise. There were people in San Jose that we met who, for whatever reason, wouldn't work with the JACL. And we tried to open our arms to people, to encourage different kinds of involvement. We tried to make it an organization where, like Nisei who maybe didn't want to go to five meetings a week until eleven o'clock at night, could actually provide leadership based on their experience. So, our experience is kind of different. I mean, I think we did a lot of... like, I think a lot of our efforts went to uniting different organizations. I think that was a big contribution. I also think that in San Jose, we went out and specifically tried to bring other nationality organizations to the Day of Remembrance, to endorse the redress legislation, and that actually was a big breakthrough for a lot of Japanese Americans. Actually, a lot of Nisei came up to us and were so impressed that African American, Chicano organizations, Native American organizations and other Asian American organizations would come and support us, because I think that, especially in the early days of the redress movement, I think that they were very used to feeling isolated. Like some Nisei said, "I thought everybody hated us." And they were so moved to that, and I think it was kind of an awakening on some level in terms of political consciousness in terms of what does that mean to build these ties with these other organizations and other people and stuff? And I think we also struggled to get people to understand that it was mutual. That we needed to support their parallel struggles for justice. So I think that was a contribution in broadening the redress movement.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 10>

GK: What do think the contributions of NCJAR was, and the coram nobis cases?

SH: Well, I think, I think they were very strong contributors to the success of the redress movement. I know that there were a lot of debates at the time, like, "What was the vehicle for redress victory?" And some people felt that, "Oh, everybody who didn't agree with me should stop what they're doing and do what I'm doing." I think that, in the NCRR we didn't feel like that at all. Actually, on a practical level, there were a lot of people who supported all efforts. I think that was very common among the grassroots. That there were people... it was very common for people who joined and supported the NCRR to also be members of the JACL. You know, there wasn't this real sharp division. People, people felt like they should support everything. There were also people in San Jose who supported the legislation, who also were either members of the lawsuit or supporters of the lawsuit. I think that people were... I think people recognized right away that the breakthroughs in the legal efforts could only help the legislative effort, because a lot of what the breakthroughs were in the legal efforts were new evidence that the government had misrepresented the entire case against Japanese Americans. So, I think... people were cheering, I think people generally recognized that we were all part of the same movement. To me, that's what a movement is, it's very broad, there... it's not just one organization's thing. So there were multiple organizations, there were multiple strategies. I think our official position, and I think it was borne out by the opinions of a lot of the grassroots people, that we had to support all efforts.

<End Segment 10> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 11>

GK: What do you believe the legacy of the redress movement is?

SH: I think that the legacy of the redress movement is... goes beyond Japanese Americans. I... a couple of years ago, after the redress victory, in San Jose, the Border Patrol was picking up people who looked like they might be illegal aliens. There was supposed to be a crackdown, right, on the illegal aliens. And I think this was happening in different communities, but it did happen in San Jose. And they were staking out schools where people were picking up their children from school. This was terrible, they caused people to stay away from school, and keep their kids home from school. They were picking people up on the street, like when they were going shopping and stuff like that. And based on the fact that they looked like they could be illegal aliens. There were citizens and legal residents who were picked up in that process. And, at a hearing in front of the human relations commission for Santa Clara County, unprompted by Japanese Americans, some Latino organizations cited what the FBI did to Japanese Americans following Pearl Harbor. And they cited the concentration camps and the redress victory, and what the implications of that were, and how it was a very parallel situation, what was happening to them. And when I heard that, I was so proud that we'd been able to arm them with something that they could use in their defense.

So to me, that's one of the legacies. I think about, I think about, sometimes there are petty struggles for credit, like who did the most, and blah blah blah. I guess my attitude is, you may have spent your entire life -- I spent my entire adult life to a point, working on redress, day in and day out, and other people did, too. But you know, the point is not whether we'll go down in history because we won't. Nobody is gonna remember us in fifty years. We're just tiny little specks of dust in this whole movement and... but if we were able to do something to further the cause of justice and equality, and make it easier for people to continue to struggle in the future, then that would be a lasting legacy. I mean, I think of anonymous people that won't go down in history. There were, I... in the Nihonmachi Outreach Committee, there are three Nisei who were very active who have passed away since. Tom Nakaji was an older Nisei who helped organize Issei and keep them informed of the redress movement. And Luther Ogawa was a Nisei who was actively involved, and George Yoshioka. And they're not famous, nobody is ever gonna remember them except for us, and when we're gone, nobody's gonna remember them or us. But I am so proud that they played a role in this campaign for justice. So, yeah, so I think that that's one of the legacies.

I think practically speaking, right now, we have to make sure that redress is complete, and there are uncompleted aspects of redress. The railroad workers are uncompensated, a significant proportion of the Latin American Japanese are uncompensated due to a technicality in the redress law. So, you know, those things need to be dealt with. Also, one thing that I really hope is that this becomes more than just a Japanese American issue. I mean, Day of Remembrance, I think that it... the legacy will only be meaningful if people other than Japanese Americans can remember with us on Day of Remembrance. And when little children, like my son in preschool, learned that George Washington chopped down a cherry tree... he knows that, all little children know that. But until all little children also know that, about the concentration camps, and the resistance, and the struggle to defend the Constitution... until all little children know about that, too, then the work is not done. So, there's a lot of practical things required to insure the legacy, so that injustices like the camps won't happen again.

<End Segment 11> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 12>

GK: And I wanted to talk also about your work with San Jose Taiko, and how did that start out?

SH: Oh, I joined San Jose Taiko in May of 1980. I had just been involved in the redress movement for about a year at that point, and I think NOC had a program, or there was a program in San Jose -- I still remember -- at the Wesley Methodist church. And the taiko group played, and I'd never heard of taiko before. I grew up in Orange County. [Laughs] And I'd never heard of taiko, I'd never seen it, and it was another one of those things that kind of just went "zing." It was so thrilling, because another thing that was interesting is that a lot of the taiko players were women. And, you know, taiko is such a... it's not a shy and retiring musical form. [Laughs] It's very assertive and it's very joyous, it's a very joyful feeling. You can feel the drum music just reverberate through your body and it's just... I mean, a lot of, a lot of people struggling for redress and justice, it's motivated by this deep feeling. And I think that in some ways the music of taiko really knocks that loose, 'cause you can feel it in your body.

And I think I was really excited, and I immediately started asking people, "Who are these people, and how can I join?" And so I called them up and I was very lucky because they actually were just about to close down. They had opened up their membership, but were just about to close down, 'cause they had gotten a number of people, so I think I might have been the last person to join in that wave of people. So I was really lucky. So I ended up playing with them for nine years and then did some independent work with Jon Jang and some other people for a couple of years after that. But I think I might have, I think I... well, no, maybe there were one or two other people, but there weren't too many taiko players who were also involved in the redress movement. There were a couple. But I think I have a theory that the growth of American taiko really paralleled the redress movement, and I think that it's really understandable that that's the case, because like I said, I think taiko really evoked a lot of, you know, Japanese American pride and feeling. And that was what was also happening in community organizing and as the legislative campaign progressed. So I think that they both helped each other in a way. And yeah, I think, I want somebody to graph this, but I really think that it parallels the redress campaign.

GK: When you joined San Jose Taiko, did you have any sort of musical background or...

SH: Yeah, actually I did. I played piano when I was a kid and I played the flute and I played the string bass.

GK: But you never played taiko before?

SH: Oh, no, no.

GK: How long... 'cause did they have classes, or what's the process after you join?

SH: Oh, well, it's changed. I think that taiko groups like the San Jose Taiko have evolved. And San Jose Taiko in particular has evolved a lot, so it's very different than it was then. But it was relatively small, and it was different from some of the other taiko groups. It had no sensei and it was kind of an apprenticeship program, so... and, it was a non-academic approach to teaching taiko. It was very orally, oral rhythms and teaching like that.

GK: When did the group start recording?

SH: Umm...

GK: Was this is after you, after you had quit or stopped?

SH: Yeah, I think there was a cassette tape when I was a member, but... yeah, I think after I left in 1990 they... at that point they were starting to really kind of reinvent themselves, and become more of a professional organization. So yeah, I'm not exactly sure when.

GK: Well, those are all of the questions that I had. Is there anything else that you're wanting to add?

SH: I don't know. No, maybe that's it.

GK: Okay. Thank you very much, Susan.

SH: Sure, sure.

ME: Thank you so much. That was wonderful.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.