Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Mits Takahashi Interview
Narrator: Mits Takahashi
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: March 20, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-tmits-01-0030

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TI: And so when you made it to Seattle and met the family, what was that like?

MT: Definitely my mother was just, just really ecstatic, excited and happy to see me. There was an incident there, when my family moved into Seattle and got a house, they had, used to give you a little flag to put in your window if you had a serviceman. And somebody did break the window there, so there was a little bit of the discrimination that I saw immediately after I got home. And then when we tried to buy a home somewhere else in the locality, real estate agents would say -- I think we looked at homes around Mount Baker area. And I don't remember the real estate agent, but he said, "As much as I would like to sell you this house over here, or in the area," he said that we, "I just can't do it," because they didn't want Japanese there. So we were forced to stay pretty much into the Central Area, possibly Beacon Hill areas was open to Japanese, but we were restricted as to where we could buy or move into.

TI: So how did that make you feel? Here you're coming back to Seattle as a decorated war veteran, and you're not, your family's not allowed to live in certain places?

MT: There was, there was a little bitterness about that, but I think my feeling was, "Well, I don't like it, but what can we do? We'll put up with the way things are." So we moved into the Garfield area and we lived there for quite a few years. And from the Garfield area we moved away from there, and by that time, housing was pretty much open to us almost anywhere.

TI: Going back to that incident where you said, it sounded like, were you back in Seattle when they broke that window?

MT: No, it was before I got home.

TI: And so your mother had, or the family had put up a flag indicating that we were fighting for our country, and a vandal or somebody broke that window and took that flag?

MT: Uh-huh.

TI: And do you, do you recall how you felt about that when you heard about that?

MT: I was quite bitter about that. I think I was pretty mad about that when I heard about it, or I got a letter from my family about that. But I think there was a lot of little incidents like that among the veterans when their families came back here to the coast.

TI: So that was kind of a common story that you heard, it was hard to come back.

MT: And I think there were still signs up that said, "No Japs wanted" and things like that, you know.

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