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Title: Mas Akiyama Interview
Narrator: Mas Akiyama
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Spokane, Washington
Date: March 15, 2006
Densho ID: denshovh-amas-01-0002

<Begin Segment 2>

TI: So let's go to Spokane. So you're about six or seven years old. Can you remember what Spokane was like in 1923, 1924?

MA: Well, it was a nice, friendly town that I know of. I started school there, it was the Hawthorne School, but it's gone now. It was a nice school, and I enjoyed going there.

TI: So when you were going to Hawthorne School, what was a typical day for you? You would go to school and then you would play, or what would you do?

MA: Yeah, yeah, I'd go to school for regular hours, and we'd be dismissed at three-thirty. Then we had to go to a Japanese language school, which was set up by our parents, and learned Japanese for about an hour each day. And then, of course, from there on, we went on home. And that was kind of a typical day, it was almost over.

TI: So where was the Japanese language school? How far did you have to walk?

MA: It was about six blocks, up on Second Avenue. It was right next to the Central Methodist Church here. It was called Japanese Mission, set up by the Methodist Church there, but they allowed us to have Japanese language classes there.

TI: So as a student, did you have to go to the Methodist Church? Did you go to the church there?

MA: Yeah, I used to go to the Methodist Church.

TI: And so how many, how many Japanese kids were going to the Japanese language school?

MA: There were, there were quite a few. I assume there must have been about twenty of them, different classes.

TI: So I'm curious, when you're growing up, who were your friends? Were they all Japanese, or did you have hakujins?

MA: They were mostly Japanese, yeah. We were kind of a close-knit group, you know. We didn't associate too much with Caucasians or any other races.

TI: So what were some of the names of your friends growing up? Do you remember some people?

MA: Names of who?

TI: Of your friends, you know, when you played around.

MA: Oh, yes, there was Spady Koyama, there was Joe Okamoto, there was George Numata, he was Spady's wife's brother. There were quite a few of those, but I can't remember 'em all.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.