Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Peggy Tanemura Interview
Narrator: Peggy Tanemura
Interviewer: Elmer Good
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: May 20, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-tpeggy-01-0002

<Begin Segment 2>

EG: You were living in the Japanese town area of Seattle?

PT: I was living at, I remember the exact address -- it was 1214 Washington Street. Where the current Bailey Gatzert School stands. And it was a private house, but it used to be... the Miya-san Gakkou they called it. It was, I believe some kind of school for Japanese youngsters. But after the school moved out, then this man named Mr. Ikeda rented the house, and then he in turn rented a portion of the house to my family. So we occupied the main floor, of this house.

EG: Just two families in the house?

PT: There were actually three families. Mr. Ikeda was a bachelor, so he occupied one room upstairs. And then there was another family, the father and the son, they occupied the rest of the upstairs floor; and then the main floor my family occupied.

EG: What was it like for you as a youngster growing up here in Seattle? What things do you remember?

PT: Well, I just remember that all of the Japanese American families lived fairly close to each other, because we were not accepted in many parts of the city. And so, naturally we all lived in just about the same area. And so we, all the Japanese American kids went to the same schools. And every day we saw each other. And on the weekends we would play, go to church together. And so we formed some very strong friendships that have lasted over the years.

EG: And the common language among you all was Japanese?

PT: No, no. After we all started grade school then, of course, we picked up the English language very, very rapidly. And so our common language was English.

EG: After school started?

PT: Yes.

EG: Prior to that, you were all speaking Japanese to each other?

PT: Not necessarily. Some of the, my friends who had older siblings, they were all ready speaking English. But I was an only child. And having been raised by this, Grandmother, I would call her my Grandmother, and my mother not being able to speak English, Japanese was the spoken language in the home.

EG: Okay. How about school now. How did school go?

PT: As I recall, school was fine. I think the majority of the students, at Bailey Gatzert at that time, were Japanese Americans. We got along fine. And the teachers were all very wonderful.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.