Densho Digital Repository
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Helen Takeshita Interview
Narrator: Helen Takeshita
Interviewer: Brian Niiya
Location: Emeryville, California
Date: March 13, 2019
Densho ID: ddr-densho-1000-471-7

[Correct spelling of certain names, words and terms used in this interview have not been verified.]

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BN: And then from there, your father, you mentioned, went back to find a place in San Francisco.

HT: San Francisco, yeah.

BN: Did he always want to come back to San Francisco eventually?

HT: Oh, yeah, sure, but we came back, and then he had a friend, and they said there were housing available.

BN: This was at Hunters Point?

HT: Yeah.

BN: Can you describe what the housing was like at Hunters Point?

HT: Well, I think at the beginning part it was like a big building like that, I think people got rooms or something. But after that, on the hilltop, they had apartments, and they were like military, American soldiers that were coming back from the war. And they had places, and we had one that was kitchen and, what is it, a bedroom, two bedrooms, like a living room. And they had a lot of it, and it was way up on the hill, and there were a lot of Japanese.

BN: Was there kind of a Japanese area, or was everybody all mixed together?

HT: It was all mixed together, and I knew there was one down the hill that was, my friend that eventually we all came back to Japantown.

BN: But you said there were quite a few Japanese families there.

HT: There were some, yeah. I don't know how many, but I know there was one girl that was my friend, so I don't know.

BN: Was there, did you have friends interact with, kind of, all the other, the various people that went there?

HT: At school, they took us to school somewhere far away, not right there.

BN: Then what did your parents do in terms of work while you were living there?

HT: I know that my father had two jobs, I think, I think two jobs. I don't know what, but I know he had two jobs, one that he would go, like a janitor or something like that, I don't know what the other one was, but I know he had two different ones. And then I think he would go on the weekends and then another time he would, I don't know what the other one was. I should ask my older sister, maybe she remembers. (He was a houseboy, live-in.)

BN: And then these were, like, apartments you mentioned? So it wasn't like you had... the bathrooms and stuff were separate, it was all...

HT: I wonder if they had a bathroom. I can't remember.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 2019 Densho. All Rights Reserved.