Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Mae Kanazawa Hara Interview
Narrator: Mae Kanazawa Hara
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: July 15, 2004
Densho ID: denshovh-hmae-01-0002

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AI: And what was your mother's name?

MH: My mother's name was Chiyoko, C-H-I-Y-O-K-O, Nishioka, N-I-S-H-I-O-K-A. And she comes from Isahaya, Japan, which is another area on the lowlands. Not on the hills, but on the lowlands. And today it's almost like a suburb of Nagasaki. And her family not only farmed, but they raised silkworms and things of that kind. But she was very talented, very creative person, (...) and she sewed beautifully. So her mother would not let her in the kitchen, but she had her in the other room doing all the sewing, because Japan, sewing back in those days were all (done) by hand, and she did beautiful work. And you take a Japanese kimono, a winter kimono, if you want to get it clean, you take it all apart and you wash it and then paste it on a board to dry and then put it all back together, so that meant a lot of (sewing). And my mother had three other sisters, so there were a lot of clothes to do. So that was her job. Not only that, she mastered the Japanese art of flower arranging, and she was brought up with the Ikenobo School. She did beautiful -- she brought all those talents with her, and so we've had a lot of beautiful flower arrangements to grow up in, you know. And so we've always appreciated... very, very creative in that respect. And she had... we had a family of eight children and she certainly had us well-organized. [Laughs]

AI: Now, tell me about your older brothers.

MH: I was the second one from the top, and then there were two brothers after that and two sisters after that and two brothers. My oldest sister never lived with the family, because she was left behind in Japan and brought up by the grandparents, but, so I was almost considered the oldest one of the seven. And so we had quite a family, but my mother had us well-organized. She had tasks for everyone to do, and on weekends we couldn't go to play or participate in a ballgame unless our chores were done, and she saw to it. But we were surrounded with very loving family and very supportive family. And my father and mother both encouraged us to, and so we've all... I think all of us have had college educations for which we are very, very grateful.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.