Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Rae Takekawa Interview
Narrator: Rae Takekawa
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Vancouver, Washington
Date: May 8, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-trae-01-0006

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AI: Well, what kinds of things were important to your parents and your family as far as any kinds of holidays or celebrations or Japanese cultural things? Like, did you celebrate Girl's Day or Boy's Day, that type of thing?

RT: I think the biggest thing was New Year's. That was a biggie, and there was, during the summer there would be a community picnic. That was another big event. Christmas, we had Christmas. We weren't too well-off, but I know there were a lot of families that were in worse straits, but even when I was very small, I remember that -- I don't know how they did it, because everybody was poor. And since everybody was poor, nobody noticed that we were all poor, I guess. And we always got something for Christmas. I mean, it was a major event. I'm sure it was my mother, my dad, too, and as economic conditions got a little bit better and sometimes the presents would get to be pretty big. I mean, I think I remember my brother got a bike one Christmas. I know I got a Shirley Temple doll that was quite an expensive gift, I'm sure.

But yeah, Christmas was there, but New Year's was the big thing. And of course, I remember that the men of the community would make the rounds, and of course, they made the rounds to have a little drink, and then everybody had a big spread, buffet, that you were supposed to eat off of, the people that came visiting. But it was always the men that came around. The women didn't because they had to stay home and cook, and set the table I guess, now that I think of it. But that was something that was expected. And the picnics, which were held over by the community hall, the kokaido, they were very large, and it was a lot of fun. We -- of course, picnics, you had to always have food. I think our lives sort of revolved around food, as far as these events go; you had to make these big, lavish lunches that you took on the picnics. But those were the kinds of things that we all participated in.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.