Densho Digital Archive
Friends of Manzanar Collection
Title: Bill Watanabe Interview
Narrator: Bill Watanabe
Interviewer: Sharon Yamato
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: February 8, 2012
Densho ID: denshovh-wbill-01-0020

<Begin Segment 20>

SY: So your, your earliest memory, then, now that you're a young child, after the war, do you have an inkling of what your earliest childhood memory is, like where you were, what, obviously growing up on a farm?

BW: Right. Those are my earliest memories.

SY: Do you remember preschool kind of?

BW: Yeah.

SY: Can you put an age to it?

BW: I must've been like three. I mean, I remember, I hate to say this, but I remember eating dirt, like taking dirt and saying, "I wonder what it tastes like," putting it in my mouth. [Laughs] I remember that very clearly. And then I remember pooping in my pants, kind of like, "Oh, that feels terrible." I hate to think I did that when I was seven or something. I'm assuming I was before preschool. And I do remember playing with my younger brother, in the dirt playing with rocks and bits of wood and that kind of thing, 'cause in the farm you have lots of places to play, lots of dirt to play around in.

SY: So did your mother ever characterize you as a young boy, what you were like?

BW: Well yeah, bratty kid. [Laughs]

SY: Bratty as in...

BW: I actually remember an incident breastfeeding. I think my mother must have breastfed me pretty late 'cause I can remember riding in the car, in the backseat, and my mother breastfed me. I don't know how old I was.

SY: Let's hope you were not too old.

BW: Yeah, I hope I wasn't like seven years old.

<End Segment 20> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.