Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Akiko Kurose Interview I
Narrator: Akiko Kurose
Interviewer: Matt Emery
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: July 17, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-kakiko-01-0010

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ME: What about elementary school? Where did you, where did you go?

AK: I went to Bailey Gatzert at the beginning, and then went to Washington, and it was an elementary school. And that's where all our classmates went -- the Jewish kids, and the Japanese kids, and the Chinese kids, and the black kids.

ME: So the elementary school was also very ethnically diverse?

AK: Yes, uh-huh. And our class is pretty unique because we had our fiftieth anniversary together of the elementary school, not high school or college, but elementary school, that's pretty good. And I'm still in contact with several of those people.

ME: Did you think it was strange when you would go over to the household of a Japanese family and not find any other African American or Jewish children playing?

AK: No. I just wasn't thinking in those terms. And, you know, multiculturalness and multiethnicity was not something that I even thought of at that time. It was just a natural thing for us to interact with these people of different races. And so... you know, today they make such an effort to make sure that there is this balance or whatever, and we were very fortunate, that we had this natural, spontaneous interaction with each other, without really considering race.

ME: That is wonderful. Your friends were your friends.

AK: Uh-huh. And we were, you know... our living situation was determined by the economics. And so people of the same economic level lived in the area and we interacted with each other. And it wasn't by ethnicity, and it wasn't, you know... although we were considered more or less like in the ghetto, so to speak. But it was because of the economics, more than the race that determined that.

<End Segment 10> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.