Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Ayako Murakami - Masako Murakami Interview
Narrators: Ayako Murakami, Masako Murakami
Interviewers: Dee Goto (primary), Alice Ito (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: December 14, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-mayako_g-01-0029

<Begin Segment 29>

DG: Tell me what your mother said about how you should not say things. You remember she said?

AM: Huh?

MM: What Mama said...

DG: Your mom used reprimand, reprimand you.

MM: "You can't take it back. Whatever you (have) said. Once you get it out of your mouth, you can't take it back." And she comes out pretty strong sometimes.

DG: That's what's good.

MM: But my dad says, atarimae no koto dattara dondon ittemoii. Like, camp no koto, he (didn't) like those things. Like the American teachers who were doing the same we were doing, how come they get a bus and we don't? And (Aya) gets it. So she wrote articles for the...

AM: The school paper.

MM: The teachers' paper. Not for the coun-, school no nani whatever. So she's, she's good in composition.

AM: This principal wanted me to write articles in the...

MM: For the teacher's magazine.

AM: Superintendent wanted (me) to write articles for the school. I said, "I don't know..." You would think the American teachers would do all the writing in English but they didn't do it. But I think they don't have natural writing, I think. They're too flat and they're not very imaginative. And they're all out for themselves, not the, you know...

MM: 'Cause, the other kids in the camp no school. They said, Gee, you folks get to eat ice cream. We don't get anything. Hakujin teachers get much better pay than what we were getting. But they're, they won't dish out for the kids.

AM: So when we get a $19 check, off we go to the canteen. Today a cookie. Tomorrow, maybe a piece of candy, ice cream. That was our pleasure.

MM: That's why those kids were real good.

AM: Uh-huh.

MM: And some other kids, like Jimmy, ano, what was his... that little short boy. He was in another class. He was a good pitcher. He'd come to our steps and says, "Gee, we don't get anything like that."

DG: This is from another class.

MM: Another class.

DG: Yeah, right.

MM: Jimmy Ogawa. Jimmy Ogawa. He was a good pitcher. Very cute little boy. "Gee, we never get this." [Laughs] But, they look us up sometimes. Those kids that I wanted to see, Billy Tomori, I think he studied to be a lawyer and now is down in California. Maybe someday I'll see him. Some of them died, like Kako Miyake, Kazuko Miyake, she died young. Howard Suyama died young. And George Kiuchi, we keep in contact with him. He was a cute little guy. He, they'd call him, what was that nickname for him?

AM: Cue Ball.

MM: Cue Ball. Pitcher. [Laughs]

AM: I enjoyed my kids.

DG: Yeah, he always talks about you.

MM: And George Sumino looked you up in Japan. He was a talker, smooth talker. [Laughs] Henry Odate was quiet boy. He was in the service, I think, he...

<End Segment 29> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.