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Title: Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga Interview II
Narrator: Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Torrance, California
Date: July 7, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-haiko-03-0010

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TI: During this sort of growing up in Los Angeles time period, were there any individuals that you viewed as role models, or really helped you out in terms of advice that you can recall? Someone you looked up to during this time period?

AH: Somebody that I looked up to... in the Japanese community?

TI: No, it could be a teacher, it could be anyone, an adult that you thought... or maybe some even older, a little bit older, that perhaps mentored you or helped you in any way?

AH: I think I got something from a lot of different people. Nothing particularly... like I was also, in high school, what they call a schoolgirl. After high school classes, I'd go to a home and help the woman of the house, lady of the house wash dishes, make beds, vacuum the floor, help her prepare for dinner, something like that. I did that for a couple of years in high school. And I had a couple of very interesting women for whom I worked. One was a very strict German lady, and I thought, "Oh, she was very strict." But I learned a lot of little things from her. The proper way to set the table, the proper way to peel a tomato. And I used to wear a little apron with a little hat, lace hat, to serve. And I'd be waiting at the door of the kitchen while she would get a bell and ring it. "Okay, bring the soup." Then when the soup is finished, she'd ring the bell. I'd go in and pick up the soup and bring the entree or something. I learned little things that was helpful to me, as strict as she was. And then another lady I worked for was my French teacher, and she was very different. She was very friendly, and this was her way of helping me to learn a little bit of what French people do. So things like that. In terms of the Japanese Americans, I'm not sure I had looked up to anybody in particular. I think I got something from a lot of different people, whether they were my schoolmates or whether they were older. Isn't that, I'm glad you asked me that. I'll have to think about my past to see who was influential in my life.

TI: No, as you say, I think it's probably lots of people, lots of things that you did.

AH: Yeah, lots of little things from a lot of people.

<End Segment 10> - Copyright © 2009 Densho. All Rights Reserved.