Densho Digital Archive
Friends of Manzanar Collection
Title: Chikaye Sande Azeka Hashimoto Interview
Narrator: Chikaye Sande Azeka Hashimoto
Interviewer: Martha Nakagawa
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: January 10, 2012
Densho ID: denshovh-hchikaye-01-0011

<Begin Segment 11>

MN: When you started to go to grammar school in Little Tokyo you went to Amelia Street School.

SH: That's right.

MN: Can you share with us the story about, like, where did they initially place you in Amelia Street School? What grade?

SH: Well, when we first came out of camp, I don't know if I had anything to show, papers (...), so they didn't know where to place me. They didn't know what grade I was. And I think they were going (by) height, and I was on the tall side, so they thought I was in the sixth grade, (...) they sat, they had me sit in class to see how much I could comprehend, and I thought to myself, this is a little bit too much. I don't know what's going on. So I kind of mentioned it to them, and after that, then they put me down (...) whether it was the fourth or the fifth grade. (...) I don't know (what) they did with everybody else (...). My experience, they didn't know where to place me.

MN: Did you also start attending Japanese language school?

SH: I don't know at what age. I started going to Daichi Gakuen, and that was every day. On the way home from Amelia Street School (it) used to be -- (...) around Gary, (...) Jackson, somewhere around there (...). It was a house converted into a school (...).

MN: So does Daichi Gakuen, was it the, in the same building as it was before the war?

SH: I don't know because I didn't attend Japanese school. (...) Probably in the same neighborhood. (...) It seemed like it was a (two story) house. (...)

MN: Now, you have this incredible memory of J-town right after the war, and I'm gonna ask, throw some things out at you. Share with us what the Town Crier was.

SH: The Town Crier was a (...) neighborhood paper. It was run by Mr. Akahori (...) and he used to just write things about the community. It wasn't big like Rafu Shimpo (...) and he would run it off on his little printer, and then he would staple it (...). I don't remember ever having to deliver (...) I remember (...) I played with his daughter. (...)

MN: And then you remember there was the Nozaki Beauty Shop.

SH: Nozaki Beauty Shop was also right next to Mr. Akahori's Town Crier. (...) Below (there was) a very famous sushi place, (Matsuno-Zushi). (Nozaki Beauty Shop was owned by Mrs. Nozaki). Reverend Nozaki (belonged to the Zendoji Church) and they had a son by the name of Richard. He was so bad. [Laughs] He was so bad.


MN: What about Angle Inn?

SH: Angle Inn?

MN: Angle Inn, I'm sorry.

SH: There used to be a coffee shop right on the same side of the street. It used to be run by the Sato family, and they had a hotel above. (...) We used to have a lot of Hawaiian soldiers. I don't know where they stayed, but they all (came) down to J-town and they would hang out at Angle Inn (or) Atomic Cafe. There were (a lot) of Hawaiian marines that used to hang around in those areas. The reason why I know, 'cause I knew a girl that used to be a waitress. Her name was Yuki Sato, and she (worked) at the Atomic Cafe. (...) (At Angle Inn I would) eat sundaes and (...) sit at the fountain. But towards evening, (...) the marines (came in).

MN: Is that where all the fights used to break out?

SH: Probably, 'cause they do a lot of drinking, beer (also at the Atomic Cafe).

MN: There was also a lot of the China-meshi restaurants.

SH: (...) Mr. Uyeda used to have his (clothing store), and above was Sanko Low. You had to climb (many) steps to go all the way up. (...) Nikko Low was around in my neighborhood. (...) And then, naturally, the Far East. Those were the three most famous places.

MN: And your family was very close to the Jung family, of the --

SH: (...) We were there for so long that (...) I think his name was Jung, but anyways, the old man, (was) the cashier. (...) (Because) I had so much time (and) no place to play. So I used to go there, and there's chairs (near) the cashier, (...) and I used to talk to him. (...) Every Christmas they would send (a) meal to us. They would deliver chow mein and chashu and pakkai.

<End Segment 11> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.