Densho Digital Archive
Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community Collection
Title: Yukiko Takahashi Interview
Narrator: Yukiko Takahashi
Interviewer: Hisa Matsudaira
Location: Bainbridge Island, Washington
Date: March 23, 2007
Densho ID: denshovh-tyukiko-01-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

HM: All right, you can start now, if you like.

YT: Okay. What do I say?

HM: Your name, and a little about...

YT: Yuki Takahashi.

HM: And, can you tell us a little about your family? Who was in your family?

YT: Who was in my family? About the time of evacuation?

HM: At the time of evacuation.

YT: Well, there was my dad, two brothers, and two sisters, because my mother had passed away years ago.

HM: How old were they?

YT: How old were my kids, brothers and sisters? Let's see, I was nineteen, so Hideaki was seventeen, Archie might have been... is that right? Eighteen or seventeen. Ruth was about fifteen, and I think Jane was about nine, eight.

HM: And you were nineteen, you said?

YT: Nineteen.

HM: And so, your mother was gone, so you had to...

YT: My mother had passed away in 1935 when I was thirteen, so, just the six of us, my dad and five kids.

HM: How was your life on the island at that time then, after your mother passed away?

YT: Oh, I would say, it must have been rough, although, you know, being a kid at that time, I really don't know, but if I think back, I think it's a wonder we came through, because at thirteen, I had to take care of the kids, I had to go to school, Jane was only two, and my dad was a farmer, he was struggling. So I really don't know how we made it. Because I would have to get their lunch, make sure they were clothed, before I could take off for school. And I had to do laundry on Saturdays, and we didn't have washing machines those days, so we had to boil our hot water outside and use a scrub board. So when I think back about it, I think, my goodness, you know, at thirteen, my grandchildren couldn't do that, and I thought, well, I couldn't either. So you can imagine what kind of laundry I hung up, you know, and it just embarrasses me to think people would be passing by the street and see my laundry hanging out, maybe sheets still dirty and kids' overalls and all that, still dirty, gives me cold chills, but that's how it was. But we made it.

HM: And then Hideaki was...

YT: Hideaki and Archie were...

HM: Seventeen and fifteen? And they left.

YT: I can't remember, they must have been cooperative, otherwise we couldn't have made it, but they were boys. I don't know. I was too young to really understand the whole thing, and yet, we had to make it come through, so I think about it and I think my dad must have had a real hard time. It's scary.

HM: Was he working the farm alone, then?

YT: Yeah, he was alone, and you know, I mean, he never liked farming he used to tell us, but my mother was the one that wanted to try it because everybody else was farming and she thought they were doing good, that she could help my dad get started, but my dad always said he was not a born farmer.

HM: Where did you farm?

YT: Where?

HM: Uh-huh.

YT: Well we had, right under the Furukawa's area, across the street from Nakaos, you know, new territory, I think my dad said we had about ten acres, but he couldn't have handled all that by himself so he really had to struggle, and to think that he had little kids that had to be taken care of while three of us went to school. I don't know how he managed either. It's a pitiful story, really, you know, because we didn't have a mother. But we made it.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2007 Densho. All Rights Reserved.