Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Akiko Kurose Interview II
Narrator: Akiko Kurose
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: December 2 & 3, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-kakiko-02-0001

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AI: Then as I mentioned, I wanted to take you way back, Aki, and ask you just to think back to when you were a very young child, what are some of your earliest memories?

AK: Well, I always, my parents were very positive, and so I always had a zest for living. I mean, I just felt like life was always nice and happy and that everybody was so nice. I just, I just had a good... I don't recall any real awful, awful things happening.

AI: You have mainly happy, positive memories of your childhood.

AK: Yes, positive memories, and my childhood days with the family was lots of fun. My mom was, had lots of, both my parents had a good sense of humor, and they were very gregarious people. So we always had people around. And the emphasis of always helping people was there in our family. And sharing was just part of our life, that we'd share with each other. My dad loved to cook, he loved to bake. So on the weekends, you know, we lived in the apartment and my dad would bake, he loved to bake jellyrolls. And we'd all gather, Isseis and Niseis, all of us, got together, and just ate. We were, we communicated with food a lot. [Laughs]

AI: Well it sounds like sharing and generosity and being with other people was very important in your family. What other values do you remember your parents passing on to you at an early age?

AK: And do you know, now, and as I reflect back, my folks did not display any racial prejudices, discrimination. So, and when I went into camp and found out that there were a lot of those kind of biases among the community, I was very surprised. Because black kids could come to my house as well as white kids.

AI: I think you mentioned in the earlier interview that you lived in a very diverse neighborhood, and that there were Jewish and a Chinese family and a black family, what neighborhood was that?

AK: And that was on Eighteenth and, between Fir and Yesler. The Elnor Apartments.

AI: Oh, the Elnor Apartments. And let's see now how --

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