Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Satoru Ichikawa Interview
Narrator: Satoru Ichikawa
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: April 20, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-isatoru-01-0020

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TI: Okay, so earlier you were talking about the train ride. So the train went through California and then brought you back to Seattle. What was Seattle like when you got back to Seattle? Now you're a young man, you're in high school.

SI: I was a junior in high school. And I came back and I saw the lights of the King Street Station. It was at night. I can't remember exactly what time it was, must have been about seven or eight. But we unboarded the train, and members of the temple greeted us. And they took us on a car up Jackson Street. I don't know if there were a couple of cars, but they took us and transported us up to our houses on Jackson Street. I can't remember exactly who was there, but one of the persons that I could remember was a man by the name of T.R. Goto. And I think he was one of the fellows that were there to help us unboard and transport us.

TI: And that... and what did you notice? How had things changed in those years that you were gone?

SI: Well, we were four years older. [Laughs] I think the change has to do more with myself rather than with the surroundings of the temple. The building was still there, although it was still being used by the Maritime Service. Our family had grown, all of us have grown four years. We're ready to go back to school, we had to go back to school. So it's really a continuation of the schooling that we've had, plus reacquainting ourselves with our new surroundings, new school, new classmates.

TI: And so when you went to high school, which high school did you attend?

SI: The high school that I returned to or went to was Garfield High School.

TI: And when you went to Garfield as a junior, how did your education at Minidoka and Crystal City prepare you to be junior at Garfield?

SI: Well, apparently they felt that I had all the credits necessary to enter high school at that particular level, junior class level. It was actually the second half of my junior year.

TI: But when you went to, like, your math classes, science or social studies, did you find that you were, that you had good preparation to fit in and do the work, or did you feel like you were more advanced or perhaps, or behind? Did you have a sense of the quality of education?

SI: I felt like, in some respects, that I had to do a lot of catching up in order to become up to the level of the other classmates. The classes that I had were... what did I have? Spanish, English, Math. Well, actually, the curriculum was pretty much the same. There wasn't that much of a difference between what I'd been taking. It's just a matter of you have to do a little bit more studying to catch up with the rest of the group. It was in, I think it was in March that we returned to Seattle, March of 1946. So, you know, that would have still been near the beginning of the second half of high school, the junior year.

<End Segment 20> - Copyright © 2009 Densho. All Rights Reserved.