Densho Digital Repository
Friends of Manzanar Collection
Title: Grace Hata Interview
Narrator: Grace Hata
Interviewer: Martha Nakagawa
Location: West Los Angeles, California
Date: March 16, 2012
Densho ID: ddr-densho-1003-10-10

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MN: Now let me ask a little bit about your mother's health. She's working seven days a week, and how healthy was she?

GH: She had high blood pressure all my life, that I know of. And occasionally she would get terrible headaches and she would lie down and oftentime I had to massage her and get on her back, walk up and down her back. And later on she got into okyu. She had all those... and I learned how to do that too, put mogusa on there and give her her treatment. We got ours too when we were bad. My mother had an anecdotal note in her mind, when she had it she says, "Go bring that footstool." And we'd, my younger brother and I, we both got it at the same time. I'd get it first. "Sit there." She said, "Mama had --" she'd give us the psychology -- "Mama had good children and there's some mushi in your stomach that makes you do these bad things. I told you not to talk back. When you go over to people's house, I told you not to beg for things. I told you that." "I didn't beg. They gave it to me." "No, then you say thank you." Here, we get all these lectures and everything we did bad and wrong, she would give us this, every time that thing, fire hits the skin, I would scream as loud as I could because I wanted the whole neighborhood to hear how I was getting tortured. I would scream bloody murder. And then when it's my brother's time he would go [makes a face], and he won't scream, so I would giggle. She says, "Okay, you're coming again." So I'd have to stop giggling. But I think I got that maybe two or three times 'cause I still have a scar back here from where she did that to me. [Laughs] But I was gonna let the neighborhood know how I was being tortured. But we didn't do those bad things again, though.

MN: You know, you also got very sick.

GH: Yeah, one time, I don't know what I had, whether it was one of the communicable diseases, scarlet fever or what it was, but I was at Okeiko with Kansuma, I think, and I came home that night very, very sick. And I was really, really sick, had a fever that wouldn't go down, and so that one night my mother had a big party and the ladies asked my mother what was wrong because it seemed that she was just running back and forth, just all excited and not getting her work done back there in the kitchen. And so she said that I was sick and I was dying, and so these people were from Nam Myoho Renge Kyo -- I don't know what religion that was exactly -- but they came in and looked at me and they said, "Okay, we'll pray for her." And I remember them coming, [chants], "Nam myoho renge kyo," and they prayed for me. And about the next day or the day after the fever went down and I was fine. And another thing, my mother was into Seicho no ie, and this man who was teaching told my mother that when the parents fight a lot it's taken out on the child that they love, and so my mother told my father about that. And so thereafter my father never argued with my mother. He would just, he always smoked a cigarette and always on a pipe, so he'd say, "Okay, Mama. Are you finished now?" And that would make her so mad that she'd go all over again and repeat, all day long she'd be repeating the same thing she'll be so mad. But he quit arguing with her. And so, talking about religion, I don't know what we were, but they were interested in different religions. [Laughs]

<End Segment 10> - Copyright © 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.