Densho Digital Archive
Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community Collection
Title: Yukiko Katayama Omoto Interview
Narrator: Yukiko Katayama Omoto
Interviewer: Joyce Nishimura
Location: Bainbridge Island, Washington
Date: June 15, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-oyukiko-01-0002

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JN: Can you tell us a little bit about what life was like on Bainbridge when you were growing up?

YO: When? I mean, real early or...

JN: Anytime you have stories about. Anything.

YO: When we were living down the Point, we... them days they didn't have cars like we do now. Well, we had to hike up the hill. The hill was just like it is now, and on Sundays, to go to Sunday school, we used to ride on the, a milkman used to come every Sunday -- well, we used to ride on his buggy up the hill. [Laughs] And then he went the other direction while we cut off on the top of the hill to go to church, but I don't remember how we came home. All I know is we took that right up the hill. And then that's the way you went to school, too, when we were down in Wing Point, but most of the people, the kids like us, we walked, we had a shortcut through the Robinwood, 'cause there were all woods. Now there's homes, but there's a lot of shortcuts that we can take to go to school. Then, after we moved to Winslow, you were right there where the Scott Real Estate is now, so it wasn't bad at all because it was short walks. But them days it was real nice because we didn't have stoplights or anything, no, not very many cars, so we used to walk to school every day. I think them, they had, downtown had telephone companies and garages and drugstores, grocery stores and stuff, just like there is now. Some of the stores are still there.

JN: Where was your school?

YO: Lincoln School. That's where the, where is that, the green? Yeah, that's where the Lincoln School was. Then the church is right across the street where it is now. We had, first and second grades used to go to the church. That's where they had the school. The high school, after seventh grade, they had the school, the regular, that's in the greens now. And then high school courses, when we went to high school we went to Bainbridge High School where it is now. But we did more walking than anything else. [Laughs]

JN: Tell me a little bit about school. What kind of things did you do in school? What did you like? What did you not?

YO: Gee, that's a long time ago. I think them days it was, school was different. I mean, of course it wasn't only one class, it was about two or three classes at one time. It's too far back. I can't remember too much. [Laughs]

JN: Can you remember about what you did for leisure, what you did for fun when you were growing up?

YO: Yeah, we played around a lot, 'cause even if we did play around a lot, we couldn't, we did a lot of walking, and my friends were pretty close by. We didn't have to walk too far. We used to walk down to the, where I'm living now, there was a daughter there that was same age as I was, and we, I used to go down to that YWCA and we used to, they had tennis courts and places where we could play down on the beach. And there was a family down there that had two girls. I can't seem to remember their names, but they were the, they were the caretakers down there, so they used to come up when we used to go down there and play, play down in the, in that YWCA, play ping pong or tennis or... anyway, we, I think we weren't very good about it. [Laughs] We used to sneak down there and then sneak back up. But I would still say it was the good old days. We were able to do whatever we wanted to.

JN: Did your family have a farm then, or a greenhouse? Did you have to work there?

YO: No, that's the time that we, we had a farm because we moved to, down Winslow. When we were down at the greenhouse we were quite small, so we had plenty of place to roam, to play around. There wasn't very many, what you call it, homes around, so we could really play out in the, what do you call, farmland or whatever it is, so it wasn't cleared or anything.

JN: Lots of ways to just have fun when you have open land.

YO: Yeah, that's true.

JN: Then what did your parents do when you moved to Winslow?

YO: We had a strawberry farm then. We had a greenhouse down at the, down Wing Point. When we moved to Winslow we had farms.

JN: Did you have to work on the farms?

YO: Did we? Yes. We started early.

JN: Do you remember what was, what were some of the community events you did, or church events that you can remember in Winslow?

YO: I can't remember.

JN: Can you tell us a little bit about working on the farm, what it was like? Did you do that in the afternoon after work, or how did you...

YO: Working on the farm, we were going to school, though. We used, when we used to come home in the afternoon, if we had time we had to go out in the field, prune weeds or whatever we had to do. And holidays, of course, we had to work too. [Laughs]

JN: Did your father have a lot of workers to help on the farm? Was it a big farm?

YO: Well, not too large. Yeah, we had a few Filipinos helping.

JN: Okay.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2008 Densho. All Rights Reserved.