Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Marion Tsutakawa Kanemoto Interview
Narrator: Marion Tsutakawa Kanemoto
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: SeaTac, Washington and Seattle, Washington
Date: August 3 & 4, 2003
Densho ID: denshovh-kmarion-01-0029

<Begin Segment 29>

AI: So, your father came back to reunite with you in Minidoka. And that was September, I believe.

MK: Yes.

AI: September 1943.

MK: Yes, yes.

AI: And so when he was, came back, what happened? How... what was your reaction?

MK: Well, that was truly a very joyful time. But then again, being a teenager, oh, I had to watch my p's and q's and how I sat, and... he was more the American way. My mother was the Japanese way. And they really did keep us in line. And he was more verbal. So my, my lifestyle was getting a little cramped. [Laughs] I was not an angel by any means.

AI: Well, what were some of the expectations that he had? Here he had been away all this time, he hadn't seen you, and you must have changed a little bit in the meantime. You were starting to grow up a little bit more?

MK: Right. But the thing is, even in Seattle, he wasn't really around at home putzing around. He was out socializing, doing the business. He'd be in and out. We knew, my mom knew exactly what he was doing each day. But to have him constantly in the same room, it was cramping. I mean, it was, you were getting used to that, direct supervision all the time. It was cramping me. But, you know, it's a bittersweet situation. You're happy but at the same time, mmm, you're uncomfortable. [Laughs]

AI: Right. Very happy --

MK: To be honest, that's what it is.

AI: Very happy to have him back, but as a kid, who, you had some freedom before he came and then --

MK: Right.

AI: -- here he was in a very small room --

MK: Uh-huh.

AI: -- with, with all of you.

MK: But then again, you feel normal. That, well, this is the way it's supposed to be. So that when, in that sense, you feel, we're intact, it's, we're normal. I mean, we're complete.

AI: Your family is back together.

MK: Yeah, right.

AI: Well, so then, here's your father, he's telling you that, well, it'll be better back in Japan. You can all be together and your mother won't have to worry about being deported separately.

MK: Uh-huh. She almost thought she would have to be deported herself, just she herself because her, it was she that was the treaty merchant's wife.

AI: So there were all these fearful possibilities.

MK: Right.

AI: And pressures.

MK: And she, she mentioned it, so I'm sure she gave it some thought.

AI: Right.

<End Segment 29> - Copyright © 2003 Densho. All Rights Reserved.