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-01-0003

<Begin Segment 3>

AI: What about you? Did you ever have an English name?

MF: No, I never had a American name, but lotta people called me "Rose" when I was going to school. And I was the only Oriental girl that went to that school, B.F. Day.

AI: So there were no other Japanese American girls in your class at B.F. Day?

MF: Uh-uh. I was the only Japanese.

AI: Were there any --

MF: 'Cause that was on Forty-second and Fremont Avenue.

AI: What was the neighborhood like there?

MF: Oh, it was mostly Norwegian or Swedish people living around there. And I had a very happy childhood because -- I didn't know too many Japanese 'cause "Japanese Town" was pretty far from where I lived. And, well, later my father bought a car. But my mother was a Buddhist and she never went to Japanese Buddhist Church because it was so far. But after she retired, mostly after the war, well, she was very faithful going to church.

AI: But when you were very young, you mentioned that when you first started grammar school, that you didn't know English?

MF: No.

AI: So you --

MF: That was when my grandma and grandpa was living with us. We spoke Japanese.

AI: Do you remember learning English in school?

MF: Well, you know, I could remember one time we were cutting something with scissors and see, I didn't know a word of English, so she took my scissor and put it in my hand and said to cut. And well, gradually, as I went on through grammar school I learned English.

AI: Well, and then do you have any other memories of grammar school that stick out in your mind?

MF: Well, I was the only Japanese and they all kinda liked me because I was different. You know, I looked different. And...

AI: Did they ever ask you to speak Japanese or...

MF: No, they didn't. But they invited me to birthday parties and things like that, which was nice.

AI: So it sounds --

MF: I was never isolated.

AI: It sounds like you were included with the other kids.

MF: Oh, yes. We had birthday party at our place and I invited all the girls that I knew and they invite -- they always invited me.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 2002 Densho. All Rights Reserved.