Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Title: Miyoko Kaneta Interview
Narrator: Miyoko Kaneta
Interviewer: Virginia Yamada
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: October 12, 2018
Densho ID: ddr-densho-1000-449

<Begin Segment 2>

MK: Yes, at the Buddhist Temple there in L.A.

VY: And what did they do after they got married?

MK: Let's see. I guess they moved to El Centro where I was born, and my father started his barber shop.

VY: Okay, so it was your father's barber shop or was it like a family barber shop? Did your mom work there as well?

MK: She helped. She helped in the shop, but I think it was my father that started it.

VY: And did they own it then?

MK: Yes.

VY: It was their business.

MK: Yes, it was their personal shop.

VY: Did they have other employees there?

MK: No, but I remember behind the barber shop, there were several rooms with bathtubs, that they took in customers also.

VY: And who were the customers at the barber shop?

MK: You know, I don't remember too many people going into the baths, but there were a few Japanese men.

VY: Okay, and how about people who came in to get their hair cut?

MK: They were mostly laborers who worked out in the farms. So on Saturdays it was most busy with laborers coming in from the farm, Mexicans and a few other... Filipinos. And they would also drop in to get their hair cut.

VY: Okay, they mostly came in on Saturday because they were working during the week?

MK: Yes.

VY: Were there any other customers?

MK: During the weekdays a few, I used to remember coming in. But, of course, after I started school, I don't really remember how the business went.

VY: I see. Were most of the customers -- other than the laborers -- were most of the customers Japanese American or Japanese?

MK: Japanese, and I would also say a few Caucasians that dropped in.

VY: Do you remember any of the conversation you used to overhear in the barber shop?

MK: Only between the Japanese men and my father. And the only thing I remember, I hear the word fukeiki, which meant "depression." It was during the time of the depression so I guess they would just talk about the unfortunate circumstances and all that. I didn't really know the rest of it.

VY: Were they speaking in English or Japanese?

MK: Japanese.

VY: But you, so you understood enough Japanese?

MK: No, not at that time, no. [Laughs] But I heard that word fukeiki so often, I happened to ask my mother what it was all about.

VY: I understand.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2018 Densho. All Rights Reserved.