Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Tom Matsuoka Interview
Narrator: Tom Matsuoka
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Ridgefield, Washington
Date: May 7, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-mtom-01-0016

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TM: And I think around '28, '29, finally I kind of sit in the Bellevue community. And time when I went, they don't, not too big boys. I think next bunch was just about Tok and them. There were one or two. All the Tominaga must be older than Tok maybe, I don't know, one or two. One man, Hideo Yabuki's uncle, and he was going to University of Washington -- and him. Any few, but the next bunch is coming up. So I thought maybe we should have a young men's group so I founded the Seinenkai. By gosh, lots of young kids that came in that Seinenkai. It was pretty good.

In the meantime, there is a, people is talking about kokaido. That's the community hall, Japanese Community Hall. Well, that is a, we have to ask donation from Seattle people, too. Everybody divide group. Divided, you know, some go to the company, some go to the store. Everybody ask for the donation. That time I get picked up in those groups, too. I know I went quite a few times to ask for the donation and made pretty good that time and start getting the kokaido. Well, but building group when get together, that's building group, that's whole building group get together, oh, lots of ideas. You know, ideas come because some people is want some places of Otera no yo ni, place for the bukkyo place, you know. Well, what there is Christian in the bunch, too. They think that's not necessary for the... and building size is, length and width size, I think must have been all right and come to the ceiling. They want 14 feet high in the ceiling. So I had to pipe up. "No. If you're going to make, I want to make to 16 feet and the reason why is boys going to play the basketball and 14 feet too low so I like to have about 16 feet." Oh, some think that costs too much. Back and forth, back and forth, you know. Well, then I don't know how much it cost, but two feet, then Seinenkai going to be paid. "What you talking about then?" Another guy is hollering about, "Namaiki na koto iuna" that's like a Kumagai-san, is saying, you know. Oh, gosh. Well, finally, finally passed. And, okay, then finally they decided 16 feet ceiling. Good thing. How handy that hall was. [Smiles] We played quite a few ball game in that hall. Well, then anyway it was 1929 Depression came, but kokaido is community is built.

AI: Just in time.

TM: Yeah. It was pretty nice.

<End Segment 16> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.