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Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Takae Tanino Walts Interview
Narrator: Takae Tanino Walts
Interviewers: Tom Ikeda (primary); Barbara Yasui (secondary)
Location: Emeryville, California
Date: April 21, 2022
Densho ID: ddr-densho-1000-508-5

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TI: And how big was the kitchen?

TW: It wasn't very large, barely fit this table. And then there was a wood stove next to it, a sink. It was not a large place.

TI: Now, you said sink, so did you have running water into the house?

TW: Yes.

TI: Okay, so that's the kitchen, big kitchen table, so I'm getting a picture of it. Tell me about the bedrooms, how many bedrooms were there?

TW: There were two downstairs, and then there was an upstairs that had three bedrooms.

TI: Oh, so a total of five bedrooms?

TW: Yes.

TI: And so there were seven of you. So I'm guessing your mother and father were in one room?

TW: Well, it's really... in one bedroom on the lower floor was my mom and dad, and Kats slept there. And the other bedroom, I slept with Grandma and I think my -- no, my sister slept with Grandma because there were two double beds and I slept with Grandpa. And then Rye, being the oldest, had the privilege of having a bedroom near the kitchen all by himself.

TI: Okay.

TW: Funny arrangement, huh?

TI: And then Tom, where did he sleep? He was like the baby.

TW: Where was he? Oh, I guess Tom, yeah, Tom and Kats slept together, and then Rye had a bedroom of his own.

TI: You mentioned your grandfather. So was this Waichiro?

TW: Yeah, he was Waichiro.

TI: And I noticed, when I looked through the records, he didn't go to camp during World War II. So what happened to...

TW: He had died just prior to camp.

TI: Okay. So tell me about that. How did he die?

TW: You know, I really don't know. I just know he was gone before we went to camp.

TI: And do you remember the memorial service for him, or what kind of service?

TW: I don't.

TI: So let's go back to the house. So you talked about five bedrooms, there's upstairs, three bedrooms, two downstairs, you have a kitchen. What else did you have in the house? Like a bathroom? How many bathrooms were there?

TW: There was one downstairs and one upstairs. What else was there? There was a pantry. We had a big living room and a large porch off the living room.

TI: Describe the living room. When you say a large living room, what was in there? Were there couches and chairs?

TW: Yes. And, like, when we 'd have a gathering of the Japanese people, you can put about, I think about three large tables in there and accommodate friends for a party. And then the sun porch was really nice, right out of the living room that looked out to the yard.

TI: And in terms of the floors, were they carpeted or rugs?

TW: I think it was wood, as well as the porch being wood. Then they had a big stove in there, like a potbelly stove to head the place.

TI: When you think of other Japanese families in Bellevue during that time, how would you compare your house to the houses of your, like, Japanese neighbors?

TW: You know, I couldn't say. I don't recall visiting many, visiting other Japanese families in their home. We had a community, the Buddhist church community house in the Buddhist church, and we would meet there. But I don't recall going into their homes.

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