Densho Digital Archive
Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre Collection
Title: Mitsu Ito Interview
Narrator: Mitsu Ito
Interviewer: Mary Ito
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Date: March 23, 2005
Densho ID: denshovh-imitsu-01-0008

<Begin Segment 8>

Mary I: And what about, as far as, did you go and visit or stay with other families at all for vacation, or did anyone come to stay with you? Was there any of that kind of exchange going on?

Mitsu I: Yes, in the wintertime, we used to go there just to visit our friends at... you know, stay for a few hours and come back. Because my father, they used to like, lot of people liked to drink sake so they get together and have a drink. And sometimes they used to come to our place and have a drink and talk. 'Cause that was the only thing to do. I mean, they didn't speak English so they couldn't go to downtown and go to a movie or anything like that. They just went from one house to another or to see their friends and just drink sake.

Mary I: They didn't play cards or anything like that?

Mitsu I: Yes, at New Year's time they used to play Japanese, Japanese card, gaji.

Mary I: And how did you feel about being Japanese and growing up in Canada? Did you think about it very much? About being Japanese?

Mitsu I: No, no, we didn't, no. 'Cause there were a lot of Japanese people in Mission anyway, so no, we didn't think about it, no.

Mary I: Did you ever encounter any problem being Japanese? Any sort of racism?

Mitsu I: No. Only once when a hakijin boy called us "Jap," so we had a little fight, but that was about it.

Mary I: Who won? [Laughs]

Mitsu I: And in those days, it was only, nobody carried knives or things like that. It was only wrestling or boxing. We knew judo, so we were very lucky.

Mary I: Oh, you used your judo?

Mitsu I: We used to go to judo, we used to take judo. Mr. Hajizume was our teacher, and we used to go to judo class twice a week.

Mary I: So that came in handy?

Mitsu I: Yes. [Laughs]

Mary I: And what about religion? What religious background were your parents?

Mitsu I: Well, most of the people were Buddhist, so they built a church in Mission, a Buddhist Church. Everybody helped them build it, and Mr. Miyagawa was the minister. Well, he, he wasn't a real minister, but he took over as the minister in Mission. And we went to Sunday school every Sunday. I think we just went to, because after the Sunday school, we used to play baseball. Mr. Tsuji used to take us out and play baseball, and they used to give us a chocolate for coming. [Laughs]

Mary I: Do you practice any religion today?

Mitsu I: Yes, I go to Buddhist Church sometimes. Not like we used to. In Mission, we used to go every Sunday.

<End Segment 8> - Copyright © 2005 Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Densho. All Rights Reserved.