Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Toshio Moritsugu Interview
Narrator: Toshio Moritsugu
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Date: March 2, 2011
Densho ID: denshovh-mtoshio-01-0012

<Begin Segment 12>

TI: Tell me about Japanese language school, where did you do that?

TM: Just about every youngster went to Japanese language school after the regular English school. This meant that one hour after your English school was over, (...) you went to this particular Japanese school and it had different grade levels. You learned basic Japanese, writing, speaking, a little geography, little history and penmanship. (We) spent so much time on penmanship, you know, writing Japanese. Class was rather small but you had to do your homework. You had to clean the room after class, and you had enough time to play around the big yard.

TI: Good, and where... who were the teachers of the Japanese language school?

TM: The Japanese teachers came from Japan and they were hired by the organization that ran the Japanese school. And they were on contract and you had different grade levels so this particular language school had three teachers, the principal, his wife and another teacher. Three of them managed the whole classes.

TI: Okay, good. You were the oldest son of the family. Were there like special expectations for you?

TM: Yes, this thing was always on my mind. The old tradition was that the oldest should get all the education, all the benefits as possible and they expected that person to (...) live an upright life, so that the younger children would follow. So they put emphasis on the oldest child and I was put in that position.

TI: And so how was that manifested, I mean, what would be an example of putting more education for you?

TM: Apparently, from early they gave me an option (...) to get to high school and then get into university. Going to an university was uncommon at that time. But they had figured that if you had the knowledge, or you had the know-how, they would want for you to get to the university. Even sacrificing whatever means, they would try to push you all the way along and hopefully the younger children would follow the path. But emphasis was on the first, so in a way the first got certain privileges.

TI: Certain privileges but was there also, I guess, how did you feel about, like, pressure, I mean, it was like there was maybe a little more pressure being the oldest to do well also?

TM: Yeah, there was a pressure on that part. In fact, I believe I studied more than my younger brothers or sisters, spent a little more time doing homework and then keeping up with the schoolwork. It was a sort of a challenge and it wasn't a burden on me because I enjoyed it.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright © 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.