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-01-0006

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ME: You mentioned that your father, or your parents, told, told you guys, "Don't be bitter." Was there a tendency for you and your siblings to be bitter about what was happening to you?

AK: Well, we would kind of complain because of the inconveniences. More than bitterness, just complaining. Oh, you know, we're in this small barrack, all six of us, bumper to bumper, and no privacy, and lots of extra time. And so we got bored and whatever and we'd grumble. And my dad would say, you know, "We mustn't... we're all together, we have to make the best of it." And both of my parents were smiling and making the best of it. My mother did a lot of needlework. And she did a lot of knitting and crocheting, and was very productive that way. And my father worked in the mess hall as a chef. And he enjoyed working with all the people. They always called him "Happy," because he was smiling. And when the... I guess it wasn't idle, when the army came in to recruit for volunteers, that was a very hard time for my folks, I think. You know, my brother was the only son. But some of the families protested that their son had volunteered and whatever. But my dad said, "It's your decision, and I don't want you to go, but," he said, "you go with our blessings." And so he got a very cordial and warm send-off. So, I think I've just been real fortunate.

ME: I was curious about that. So your brother, he did volunteer?

AK: He volunteered, yes. And he went in the 442 infantry.

ME: What was your parents' initial reaction when he...

AK: He said, "Oh... must you go?" And he said, "I'd like to go." And my dad said, "That's your decision and if that's what you want to do, go ahead. We will back you up." And so I never heard any negative things, or protesting that he doesn't volunteer. He says, "If that's your decision, that's fine, we will..."

ME: Your parents were very supportive in, in anything.

AK: Anything, yeah. And so, I don't remember my dad really getting mad at me, or my mother getting really mad at me. We were very lucky. And my dad was not chauvinistic, he was in the kitchen helping, he loved to cook. And, you know, my brother was mopping the floor. It was just, you know, just a natural thing to do. And I noticed that, when I got married, my in-law's family was very chauvinistic. My father-in-law was a very nice man, but he had certain kinds of... well, he had a rigidity about him, where he expected his wife to do certain things. And they didn't cross that line.

ME: And that's completely opposite of what you saw in your household?

AK: Yes, uh-huh.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.