Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Kazuko Uno Bill Interview I
Narrator: Kazuko Uno Bill
Interviewer: Megan Asaka
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: May 7, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-bkazuko-01-0015

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MA: Okay, so we're back from the break, and we were talking about your experiences in Japan and also your high school experiences and your memories from high school. So what year did you graduate from high school?

KB: 1938.

MA: And then at that time, had you already decided on a college, or did you already have plans to go to college?

KB: I wanted to go to the University of Washington.

MA: And had you already applied?

KB: I'm trying to think how that went. I must have. I think I must have applied.

MA: And then did you start at the University of Washington...

KB: In the fall.

MA: That fall of 1938?

KB: Uh-huh.

MA: From your high school, were there many other women that went on to college?

KB: Women? I only know of one other, my very good friend. She was a friend for life. I'm trying to think if, I think she and I were the only ones from Cleveland. There were several other fellows who went, maybe five or six from Cleveland went on to the University of Washington. Now, I'm not sure how many went to other colleges, but probably not very many. Because the students at Cleveland high school were mainly from working-class families, and it was not as rich as some of the other schools in Seattle. In fact, it was sort of overlooked by many people in Seattle because it was just a small school in kind of an industrial, agricultural area.

MA: So most people kind of went on, maybe, to farming or other...

KB: Right, yeah. Other type of work.

MA: So then you went on to the University of Washington in 1938. What were your first impressions of college life?

KB: Well, I was very fortunate that from the first day of school, almost the first day of school, I got some very good friends. So I enrolled as a pre-med student, and so we were what we called lower campus. And let's see, I was taking, we had to take English, which was not a science course, but then I was taking zoology and chemistry. And I don't know whether you're familiar with the campus, but as far as I know this building is still there, Johnson Hall, that's where most of my first classes were. And so I carried my lunch like I did for the most part in high school. I carried my lunch, I went to the lecture hall, and thought, "Well, okay, I'll eat here, it's empty," big empty room. And actually, when I got there, it wasn't quite empty, there were other students there having their lunch. And we just met each other, introduced ourselves to each other, and some of the people there became my lifelong friends. We just, just hit it off right at the beginning. In fact, I kept contact with them until they passed away. So it was a good start for me, I didn't feel like I'm all alone in this great big institution.

MA: Were your friends mainly Caucasian women?

KB: Yes. There was one Japanese, and the others were Caucasian. They were in my class, I've forgotten, they were in one of my classes, and we just happened to meet at lunchtime.

<End Segment 15> - Copyright © 2008 Densho. All Rights Reserved.