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Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Ayame Tsutakawa Interview II
Narrator: Ayame Tsutakawa
Interviewer: Tracy Lai
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: June 5, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-tayame-02-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

TL: Today is Friday, June 5th, 1998. This is Tracy Lai interviewing Mrs. Ayame Tsutakawa. I'd like to start by asking you about some of your memories of living in Sacramento when you first returned to the United States. Where did you live in Sacramento?

AT: The home that my father and mother had was across the street from a big park, city park, called South Side Park. And so it was really nice and we were occupying the second floor of this house. So we had a very nice view of the across the street greens and then there was a good size lake in this park. Yes.

TL: Was your father's liquor store very far away?

AT: It was in the International District, sort of called Japantown. Not too far. I could walk to it, but it was... from the Sacramento river it was on -- the city start from First Street, Second Street, Third Street, and his store was on Capital Avenue and Third Street so it was close to the bridge approaching Sacramento.

TL: And what was the neighborhood like where you lived? What kinds of families lived there?

AT: There was some Portuguese and some Japanese, few Chinese, but it was all mixed, yes.

TL: Did you make friends with the neighborhood children, or did you mostly have friends through school and church?

AT: I think mostly through Nichiren church that my mother was very active there, and they had a Girl's Club. And then I went to Sunday school so I made friends.

TL: What kind of activities did the Girl's Club do?

AT: I don't recall too well what they did. It was just like after Sunday school service we sort of gathered and talked about everything, [Laughs] had some tea or omanjuu or something.

TL: And do you remember how big the Nichiren congregation was? Were there a lot of people who were members of this church?

AT: Oh, gee. I think the city of Sacramento members and there were some members from the farm nearby, farmland, Japanese farmers.

TL: Was it the only Buddhist group?

AT: No, this was Nichiren Buddhist and there was a big bukkyoukai, which is a Buddhist church. I think they had more membership there.

TL: Uh huh. Maybe larger. And then were there also the Japanese American Christian churches, too?

AT: Yes, and I think there was a konkokyo and some other Japanese groups.

TL: Let's see. What were places in town that you most often went, like was there a library or certain stores or...

AT: Well, my schedule was pretty tight because I went to public school trying learn English, and then after school I went to Japanese language school. So I wouldn't be coming home 'til five o'clock or so then prepare, helping Mother to prepare dinner and ate. And on weekends I had to go to this dance class. I was taking private dance class and sometimes with a little bit of tea ceremony training and so quite busy.

TL: Where were the Japanese language classes held?

AT: It was near the Buddhist church.

TL: Was it a building that was owned by the school or was it a building that had other uses?

AT: I think this was just the classrooms. I think it was built as a, for a Japanese language school, Nihongo gakkou.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.