Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Mary Hirata Interview
Narrator: Mary Hirata
Interviewers: Beth Kawahara (primary), Alice Ito (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: March 27, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-hmary-01-0010

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BK: I'd like to come back to that, but if you could kind of remember what it was like on that Sunday, December 7th? Can you remember what the feeling was in the family, or how did you people hear about the news?

MH: I don't know, probably with the radio. All I remember is walking home to the gas station and the boys were all upset. And they came over and talked to Mom and Dad. I believe they closed it that day, wondering what to do. And Mother didn't have much from Japan but what she had... she burned.

BK: So she destroyed whatever was Japanese.

MH: Yeah, yeah. Being as she was a picture bride, and Dad moved around, we didn't have much, so... I don't even think we had a flag that I can remember of. But I know she had books, so she just burned everything.

BK: What happened to the, the Buddhist...

MH: That we kept. In fact, we kept it up until I moved, and I'm so sorry I got rid of it. I think, "What a mistake." But you know how it is, you never think of it at the time.

BK: Well, it was probably meaningful to your mother, but maybe at that point...

MH: Yeah, to me... in fact, I didn't think I would be a Buddhist, but now I know that, since my husband was buried Buddhist, I want to be buried a Buddhist.

BK: Do you remember your family being upset, or what was their reaction?

MH: Well, my folks were very Americanized. They said whatever we have to do, we have to do. Gaman shite... you can't help it, that's the way it is, this is your country. And I was thinking, we were lucky all the time, because that's the way my folks were always. We have to do what we have to do. Of course, I can just see my kids doing it, but... [laughs]

<End Segment 10> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.