Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Toru Sakahara - Kiyo Sakahara Interview I
Narrator: Toru Sakahara, Kiyo Sakahara
Interviewer: Dee Goto
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: February 24, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-storu_g-01-0007

<Begin Segment 7>

DG: Tell me a little bit more about yourself before we go on. Did you play baseball?

TS: Yes, the Japanese community was very close. They had a Japanese Farmers' Association, then it became the Japanese Association and they sponsored the Seinenkai which had baseball teams. They had juudou and kendou and all of these teams had competition with teams in Auburn, Kent, Sumner and Seattle. And close to the outbreak of war, there was Class AA, A, B and C leagues of the Courier (Baseball) League. Our parents furnished money for suits and baseballs, mitts. The only thing we brought ourselves was the balls. So we got a lot of support from...

DG: This Seinenkai?

TS: Seinenkai is a youth group.

DG: And that was sponsored by like the older community services?

TS: Well, that I think ultimately became the Japanese American Citizens' League chapter.

DG: What were some of their roles when they were first organized, to build the language school maybe?

TS: The Farmers' Association and later the Japanese Association built the Japanese Language School. And also the members of that organization would donate money to the baseball team, support of the juudou school, support of the kendou school, (etc.)

DG: Oh, they had those also?

TS: Uh-huh so there was competition...

DG: Did they organize the picnics, too?

TS: The Japanese Language School used to have picnics and at picnics there'd be big feasts, some drinking and I remember one... two Issei (men), they loved to drink, they loved to talk, they loved to argue and every year they would end up in a fight, so it was annual entertainment for us kids.

DG: Did they play games and things for the families at those picnics?

TS: There were races for the families, all kinds of games.

DG: Were you one of the oldest kids? Were there other?

TS: There were many, many older kids but they were only about one, two, three, four, years older than me but age wise, if you're older or younger, you don't fool around with other kids of other ages.

DG: They were all Nisei?

TS: That's correct.

DG: I guess I get the... you're almost like a Sansei though.

TS: Generation wise, I'm a Sansei.

DG: Right. 'Cause your grandparents were here.

TS: That's right.

DG: So you were one of the oldest ones who had grandparents here.

TS: That's right.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.