Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Shigeko Sese Uno Interview
Narrator: Shigeko Sese Uno
Interviewers: Beth Kawahara (primary), Alice Ito (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: September 18, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-ushigeko-01-0024

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BK: So you returned, then, to Seattle in February of 1947, and you went back into your Beacon Hill home?

SU: Uh-huh. And we had just bought new furnitures, new stove and furnitures and all, and it was in such terrible shape. But my house was nothing, compared -- and all the switches were out. I guess they must have -- and the brand-new stove, the oven door was loose. Someone must have sat there or something. But it wasn't as bad as some people, who said they came home and found litter all over their front yard, things like that. People just, guess they didn't know how to live in a home. And our home, at that time, was comparatively new. We had to, yet was in a bad shape.

BK: Right. Was it a shock to you, when you saw the condition of your home?

SU: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Reverend Andrews, he came and helped us. Well, of course, he met the train when we came in. And so the house was ready.

BK: So then you let Chick know, eventually, that it was safe? I mean, did you find Seattle to be safe when you came back in '47?

SU: Oh, yes. Thought nothing of it. In fact, the Japanese Baptist Church wasn't in exist -- well, they had the church building, but other churches were meeting there. First Baptist Church came, right away invited me to become a member there. So I went there. Became a deaconess and a Sunday school teacher, and, for a long while.

BK: So right away, back into the whole community --

SU: That's right.

BK: Involvement?

SU: Uh-huh.

BK: Uh-huh.

SU: And, JACL, in which I am very interested in, had disbanded. So we had to reorganize. And a group of men came up to our house, wanted a meeting. So since I was one of the few that had a big house, we had it there. We decided to reorganize. And I became the first woman president in '48.

BK: That's wonderful. Again, you've always been the center of the community involvement, I think.

SU: Well, I just, I don't know. I enjoy it. Despite having five children. But it was because I have such an understanding mother, who took care of the children when they were young, while I gallivanted all over different churches. At least it was in the church.

BK: Right, that you're gallivanting. Right. Indeed.

<End Segment 24> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.