Densho Digital Archive
Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre Collection
Title: Shizuko Kadoguchi Interview
Narrator: Shizuko Kadoguchi
Interviewer: Peter Wakayama
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Date: February 15, 2005
Densho ID: denshovh-kshizuko-01-0011

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PW: And tell me about your, your, what you did for work when you, when you first came to Toronto.

SK: I came because I, I don't know the English, so my sister was involved with the United Church, so minister's wife introduced me the doctor's place, two place, and I went to do housework, day work, nine to three. Three-fifty plus fare, streetcar fare, and lunch. But I didn't do the hard work of, like, ironing and silver, clean the silver set, those things. But he, she said I don't speak, I didn't talk too much, so I, she thought I don't speak any English, so teach me how to "spoon," "fork," and "knife," and this is a main dish, this is the large one, it's a dish, and this is a butter plate. [Laughs] But I went work at three place. After one doctor was Maple Leaf's doctor, Maple Leaf, what's that, the company was their big, Japanese people quite a bit, they were working there, too. So sometime I have to clean the doctor's office. And after, to learn English was go to a movie, Bob select for me. "Not this one, not that." And right now is one movie finish, you have to get out. But in those days, you could stay all from the morning to the night, you could stay, three times you watch the same movie. [Laughs] That way I learned English. And after I went into Spadina, piece work, and those time was DP? I don't know, it's from Polish and Ukrainian, lots of immigrant came. And they always give me a nice color, pink, white, light blue material, and everybody take brown and black. And then afterwards, my head, oh, if it's a light color, you have to watch the sewing machine because oil gets on, so you take more time to look, you know, watch every time. So I thought first, "Oh, how they, nice to give me a nice color and bright color." [Laughs] I was so happy. And after that, union was so strict, and one inch for some kind of stitches, okay. So boss said, "You sew a sample dress." I was in-between my operator and the boss. "It's two stitches too small," the operator would complain, and boss said, "No, exactly what I said: one inch is how many stitch you're supposed to do." So I was so fed up and I quit and came home, but the boss came and, and the union came. "You can't quit. You have to work there." "Can I change my job?" "No, you can't. You have to stay there." That's why I hate union. This is what it started. [Laughs]

<End Segment 11> - Copyright © 2005 Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Densho. All Rights Reserved.