Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Cherry Kinoshita Interview
Narrator: Cherry Kinoshita
Interviewers: Becky Fukuda (primary), Tracy Lai (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: September 26, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-kcherry-01-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

BF: Well, this is actually kind of a good segue to some of the questions I was going to ask about your background. When you were...

CK: Are we starting?

BF: Yeah. I think it's rolling.

CK: Oh.

BF: Yeah... when you were -- before camp, so you were like junior high, high school -- what were you like? Would you, were you liberal back then you think?

CK: I don't think we had liberal or, that kind of identification because we weren't politically involved and all. I guess, if you want to say, if there was some difference, it may have started back in grade school. Because I went to a grade school, that there were no other Japanese, no other Asians, no blacks. And our family -- my maiden name is Tanaka -- we were the only ones. That was Daniel Bagley in Green Lake area. And therefore, you stood out like a sore thumb and in our case, it was an advantage. It was kinda being treated special and so, being part of that select group, usually there is a group that gets all the favors and things like that. So, grade school was a wonderful experience. I enjoyed grade school a lot more. High school, too. Well, I was going to say about grade school, I thought, "We ought to have a newsletter." And so we didn't have anything like that. So I asked the teacher and she gave a go-ahead, so I made up a mimeograph kind of thing where the office person did type it up, but I did all the stories and everything. And that may be one time when it was doing something different from, from the usual thing. So that may have set off the difference, I guess. And then in high school, we had a few more Asians. There were about ten, ten or twelve at Lincoln High School, but there I was in with the so-called the Girls Club group, the honor society group and so forth. And so I don't think that we had a political type of orientation in those days. At least I wasn't aware of it. I don't know where being liberal started.

BF: It sounds, though, you had a lot of confidence as a kid.

CK: Well, somehow it seems like I was thrust into leadership roles. That, I don't know how I got there, but I was there. [Laughs] Like in high school, the Girls Club president would be the top position. And in the honorary group, which was called Triple L, that was where I suddenly found myself as president of that, which I had never even thought that I would want to be, or aspire to be, and there I was. I think I made a goof of it, but...

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.