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-01-0031

<Begin Segment 31>

ME: Aki, was there, was there anything that I didn't ask that you wish that I had? Anything else that you want to talk about?

AK: Not really. [Laughs] I can't think of anything right now.

ME: We did cover a lot, we did cover a lot.

Richard Pratt: Aki, that day at the dedication of the garden, how did that make you feel when you walked through the gate, and to see those kids around you, like, you're like a magnet for them, they come around you, they hug you, they love you. As a teacher, how does that make you feel?

AK: It was very exciting. But the most important part of it was that it was the peace aspect of it, those kids really are thinking about peace. And peace was empowering them, and this whole thing occurring in the peace garden was very exciting for me. And they are the ones that showed me how peace has empowered them, and their parents and community.

ME: There's a couple of things that I would like to ask that I didn't get a chance to. Of course, we won't get a chance to talk with your parents. Can you tell me a little bit about how you would like your parents, and your mother, especially, remembered?

AK: Well, my mother was a very kind, loving, giving person. And... a very peaceful person. And I think that she was my role model; she was always wanting to help people. And never wanting, and, and one of the most important things, thing that she taught me was -- don't do something looking for a reward or thanks, you don't do something expecting to be thanked or rewarded. Then don't do it... she said, "Do it from the heart." And that's so important, because so often you do something and think, "I didn't even get thanked," or, "I didn't..." and so the message is do something for the good of the order and don't do it for a reward or for thanks.

ME: How about your father?

AK: Oh, he was wonderful. He was a very, very giving person. And both of them were just wonderful. And my father always had a very happy outlook and a positive outlook on things. And never felt defeated. You know, he had his ups and downs in business, but he never showed distress or anxiety. He says, "You keep going." And that's the message he gave us. And both of them felt education was very important.

ME: I was curious, how did you get through the time when you, it seems, you lost your mother, your son, and husband all within a short period of time?

AK: Right.

ME: How did you get through that?

AK: Well, you know, you look back and think of all the positive things about them, and the gifts that they gave you. Rollie died at thirty-two, but he was a wonderful son, he did a lot, he was a caring person, he helped people, and you remember those things. He lived a full life in the short years, because he was always helping people. And it was really, really something that I can always look back on. I'm so fortunate for the years that I had with him. And he left a beautiful daughter, my granddaughter, and so I've lots to be thankful for. It's just, how lucky I am to have the support system that I have. You know, there are so many people that are homeless, jobless, family-less, what a bleak life for them. I'm so fortunate to have so much love around me, that there's no time to be feeling sorry for myself. I have to feel very fortunate. Naturally, I didn't want to lose my son, naturally I didn't want to lose my husband so early. I had my mother for a long time, ninety-three years, my father left us very early. But, all the good things that I, I cannot ever complain. I feel very, very fortunate. And we live in a wonderful community. And I'm so thankful that Densho is doing this, to preserve a lot of the things that, you know, that we've gone through, which is part of you.

ME: We thank you Aki, we've lots to be thankful for.

<End Segment 31> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.