Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Mitsu Fukui Interview
Narrator: Mitsu Fukui
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: December 18 & 19, 2002
Densho ID: denshovh-fmitsu-01-0028

<Begin Segment 28>

AI: Well, I wanted to ask about Bill's job also, as a dry cleaners in Detroit -- I thought I saw in some of the papers that David had that it, I thought it was a union job. Is that, do you remember anything about that?

MF: I don't think this place was a union job. But there was -- they said they had twenty-five or thirty-five people working there. It was a big place, the biggest in Detroit. And it was a dollar a hour and that was a fair price at that time. He worked from eight to, eight to five.

AI: That, it sounds like that was a fair wage.

MF: And he said half of the people were Negroes. And he said on Mondays they would bring their fried chicken for lunch and he said, "My, it smelled good." [Laughs]

AI: Were there any other Japanese Americans there besides Bill?

MF: Well you know, somehow they found out we were there, the Baptist church there, Caucasian Baptist church, I don't know how they found out, but we were invited to a Christmas party and there was only about two or three Japanese people that were there and they had udon for us.

AI: What do you know?

MF: For refreshments.

AI: That must have been a surprise.

MF: Yeah, it was. David, he says, "Mother," he says, "we haven't had udon for a long time." [Laughs] I didn't know where to buy noodles. Where we lived, why it was on Polish side and they used to have little small grocery stores. Never had, didn't have a big chain like Safeway and Tradewell's and things like that. Yeah.

AI: So life in Detroit sounded very different, very interesting --

MF: Gee, I do appreciate that man that lived here -- in Detroit for all his life. I don't know how we met him but he came and at the hostel and introduced himself and he didn't have a car. But we went around the streetcar or a bus and he knew where to buy a bed and, and pots and pans, and things like that.

AI: Right.

MF: But you know, when the, when we wanted to come back, why the government brought everything back for us.

AI: Well, I think we'll --

MF: Packed it up for and back, brought it back.

<End Segment 28> - Copyright © 2002 Densho. All Rights Reserved.