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-01-0016

<Begin Segment 16>

PW: So you have a very close relationship with Ikenobo, and also with the headmaster, 'cause you kind of grew up in the same development together.

SK: Yes. Yes, another thing is Montreal, the Expo, the Montreal was '70, that time I was call from the New York and went and helped. Not exactly helped, but, you know, the headmaster assigned to big arrangement, large arrangement, and we were staying in the small rental apartment or something, the Ikenobo rented. And we were two lady, we were three, counting me, in the room. And the headmaster came and headmaster doesn't want to (go back to) hotel by himself. He want to stay there. So we all said, "Oh no, you can't stay here." I mean, Yamamoto-sensei's uncle, if uncle heard this, "You're gonna be in trouble." [Laughs] I think he was so lonely by himself -- this is before marry. So that time, it's one lady from Florida, she passed away, too, she was in Montreal, too, but Montreal wasn't doing anything that Ikenobo was... right now the president, Mrs. Maeda, she's doing, but she wasn't active, I think. Because I went once, Montreal Museum of Art... I think it was art gallery, I went, arranged a flower. I took all my container and kenzan, and I arranged the flower at the Montreal Art Gallery.

PW: Now, I understand the headmaster in Japan is almost treated like a god.

SK: Uh-huh.

PW: And nobody can even go near him or talk to him. But when he comes over to America, it's a different situation, isn't it?

SK: Yes. And I think he's so relaxed when you come to North America. That's why I said thirty, yeah, the thirtieth anniversary finished. [Interruption] No, do thirty-fifth, too. [Laughs] So I'm doing content what headmaster -- if I say I'm not going to do thirty-fifth, now fortieth, maybe take a time, so he said, "No," writes. So I'm, according to headmaster, I'm doing every five year, Toronto chapter is doing.

PW: Well, I think the Toronto chapter, and especially with you, that there's a very close relationship with Ikenobo and the Toronto chapter.

SK: Yes. Of course, that time Bob was there, too, so every time the headmaster comes, he likes Bob, so I think he lost their father when he was twelve years old. So I think he's, older men, he liked to talk and everything. So you know how Bob is, easygoing, so... [laughs] And he drinks and especially Japanese sake, he likes it, so headmaster brings... I was so sorry for the other teacher to come with him. Everyone have to carry the container and the sake. My gosh, "Hontoni suimasen hontoni koshite ano mote... motte konakattara, sosho," sosho means "headmaster." "Headmaster kara oko rareru karu," you know. [Laughs]

PW: In translation, what she's saying is Bob liked, liked his drinking and sake, so when the headmaster or the professors used to come to Toronto, it was obligatory that they bring a bottle of sake to give to Bob, because Bob and the headmaster had a very good relationship as well. So, so all the other professors were obligated --

SK: Yes. [Laughs]

PW: -- to bring all their containers in and lug all their luggage and the sake to, to bring to Bob, and that was really an obligation that the headmaster imposed on all the, the teachers that used to come and visit the Toronto chapter.

SK: Because headmaster's sister married to a, (saka), you know, a Japanese sake-making place. It's a different kind of sake, so he, he's not bringing any kind, just from the sister's place. He used to drink it, so it's, we don't have to warm the sake. It's a cold...

PW: I guess he used to get really premium sake, then.

SK: Yes. [Laughs]

<End Segment 16> - Copyright © 2005 Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Densho. All Rights Reserved.