Densho Digital Archive
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-02-0002

<Begin Segment 2>

TL: You've described that your neighborhood was mixed. Were there any parts in town where Japanese were not allowed to go?

AT: No, I don't think so.

TL: So your mother or your father never said to you or spoke directly about certain places that Japanese were not welcome or --

AT: Yes. One incident I remember, I still remember. My mother was quite a fashionable person and after the war started in Pearl Harbor, before the evacuation, Mother and I went to I. Magnin store in Sacramento. It was very high class store and not too many Asian people went to that store. Well, Mother and I went and walked in and one Caucasian elderly lady with gray hair says, "Are you Jap?" And Mother looked at her and she didn't answer, and this lady said, "If you're Jap, just get out of this store," so we just walked out without saying anything. But that one incident really stick to my mind that about the war started so I think it kind of helped me to think that maybe the relocation is a good thing for our safety.

TL: Did your mother ever speak to you about that incident or did she --

AT: No, she just, probably just left it at that.

TL: Were there any incidents before the bombing of Pearl Harbor where you were made to feel...

AT: Not welcome?

TL: Uh-huh.

AT: No, I don't think so.

TL: That's good.

AT: Well, most of the Japanese children sort of stay within the area where they live, and I don't think we went into a very high class Caucasian American residential, but there was a Chinese residence near the Buddhist church and then Japanese and Mexicans. We were kind of all mixed, but it was sort of near the river area.

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