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Title: May Ohmura Watanabe Interview
Narrator: May Ohmura Watanabe
Interviewer: Nina Wallace
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: December 28, 2018
Densho ID: ddr-densho-1000-454-16

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NW: Well, one thing, when you mentioned some of these things that you're doing now and sort of being more active on issues happening today, do you think that that is something that is influenced by your own experiences of being in Tule Lake?

MW: Oh, yeah. You can't help but be. And when you're connected with... I'm not active. I've never been in a place where JACL was... see, being in the Midwest and not in Chicago, even Cleveland, and even Cleveland now that generations are changing, JACL is not that active. And so when I get the Pacific Citizen and they say, "What JACL do you belong to?" Well, I'm not really belonging, so they just put Cleveland on there. But going to the pilgrimages, I can't go every year, but I've gone to three. And my family this past year, when my two sons-in-law and my two grandsons came, besides my daughters, of course, it was really very, very special. The second one I went, my daughters sent, and my two nieces and nephew went. And the husband of one of the nieces who was Caucasian, This is all very thrilling.

NW: And what's it like for you returning to that place?

MW: I'm kind of sad that it's such a, not being made into a place to be remembered. Because all the other places are doing much better, and we have this opposition of the locals, then we have Trump cutting down the National Parks funds. And it's just so barren, and it's really heartbreaking. And we've come to the point of having a lawsuit, to me, that's not the way you achieve things, to bumping heads. You need to find way more for understanding. And so I'm a little disappointed. I don't think in my lifetime it will become a place that's... more and more, the world is not going to get better by bumping heads. We have to be able to talk, understand, to forgive. But we must have hope.

NW: Hope is always important.

MW: I don't know if there is much more to say.

<End Segment 16> - Copyright © 2018 Densho. All Rights Reserved.