Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Seichi Hayashida Interview
Narrator: Seichi Hayashida
Interviewers: Alice Ito (primary), Sheri Nakashima (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: August 21, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-hseichi-01-0011

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AI: Well, it sounds like you were very busy with running the farm and being the head of the family. But, when you and I were speaking earlier, you mentioned that you did have some time to get involved with some community activities, such as the JACL.

SH: We didn't form a JACL in Bellevue until the war started. But, we had activities. We had baseball team. We formed, prior to the JACL we had what they call, it's a Japanese name, a Seinenkai, a young people's club. We had baseball teams, basketball teams, both men and... the girls only with the basketball team, the girls didn't play softball or baseball. The boys played baseball, and baseball was the most popular. The leagues, we were league members, member of a league. And at that time, the Japanese American Courier newspaper -- community newspaper started and operated by James Sakamoto in Seattle -- had different leagues. And in baseball, we had as many as three classes, there were so many teams. We had A class, AA class, A class, B class, C class, four different league divisions, so many. And that was popular all summer. It covered from Tacoma to Seattle and Bainbridge Island. It kept us busy... kept us out of trouble. Lot of, well, most of the good players in their high school days played for their local high schools. I know some of them made all-conference in their areas. But after high school, we had your different area teams in baseball. There was no Japanese or Nisei football league after... they played football in high school, but we never had a football league. We had basketball league and baseball leagues, that kept us, most of us, busy and occupied and out of trouble. I could imagine what it would be if we didn't have an organized plan like this. The leagues were all sponsored by the Japanese American Courier. We just called it Courier League for short those days. It was the foresight of... as most of you people know, Jimmy Sakamoto was blind, but he knew that he needed to have some kind of a program to keep them out of mischief. You never had any, I never heard of any Nisei kids getting into trouble with the law. Because we was occupied with, especially the farm kids, 'cause we had to work, and had the weekend off. It was a little different in Seattle, but I'm not too familiar with Seattle people.

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