Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Frank S. Fujii Interview
Narrator: Frank S. Fujii
Interviewers: Larry Hashima (primary), Beth Kawahara (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: September 3 and 5, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-ffrank-01-0037

<Begin Segment 37>

FF: 'Cause you know, your master's wasn't exactly -- I got my teaching certificate already, but when I got my master's, it was after I was teaching already so it was still a stepping stone to say, to build up on your self-esteem. So if anything, I'd like to pass, not getting master's, to say that's the secret. It's to say to have stepping stones to, to improve yourself, or to feel good about yourself, not other people. I mean, I didn't get my master's for my wife or for my kids. I basically had to do it for myself, 'cause they're not gonna to take the test for me, or they're not gonna write my thesis for me. I think that part of it, I hope to, or hope, rather, that I have expounded on that issue with my kids enough that they might translate that into what they want to do or what they are achieving or whatever. Because even to say what if they're not going to become academic people, no, that's okay. Ann went to college and got her degree, but Susie hasn't. And I think to be a good parent takes a heck of a lot and I think, I'm so proud that she could be this caring, loving mother. I would say if anything, "You're a good mom." Isn't that saying a lot, 'cause it is. 'Cause when Mich, my wife and I had the girls, she was a professional, she could have gone to work as a CPA and made better money than me, but I was old-fashioned. I said, "Hey, I want you to stay home with the kids and give them the care and love, and take care of them," and to me, that was important to me. And I'm glad I did. So... and she felt that, too, it wasn't a forced issue.

But all this camp experience, like I said, going back to what you were saying that -- yeah, it's, it's shaped my whole goal setting in a sense because I see -- well, at my age, you start to sort of know what you're good at. I felt I was good at athletics. My academia kind of inched up a little bit when I jumped from seventh to ninth grade, thinking that I'm a genius, which I wasn't. But that was okay. I felt good about myself, and to see my former Seattle people who haven't seen me since Puyallup to say, "Hey, you mean you're in the soph-, I mean, you're a junior now? I thought you were a sophomore." I said well, gritting my teeth and just kind of smiling and saying, "Well, I skipped," and kind of implying my great, great intelligence. But I thank my brother Daibo for that. He, he was always academic and he had a way of teaching me without forcing me or making me feel dumb. And I think when I, I mentioned it in his eulogy, in his funeral, I mentioned that, what he was to me. 'Cause his being the older brother who offered me something was as a model was not athletic, it was something a little bit more important. And I guess some people were surprised I would put that first, because usually I would say sports because of the accolades, and accomplishment. But when I had mentioned Daibo who helped me and to realize my worth intellectually in a sense, that to me is -- I found to be more important than the models of being, having brothers who are great at athletics or sports. Because you don't think of this other part being important, but as you get older you say yeah, he was really special. I know his wife appreciated that comment when I gave that light eulogy at the funeral, and because... and then sometimes I wish I would have said that to the wife but maybe there wasn't a time to, 'cause who am I to say I know when he's gonna pass away or you know, whatever. But I'm glad I was able to say that so that the people that knew him, his level of age level could hear me say that. And so I was pleased.

<End Segment 37> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.