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-01-0003

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PW: Tell me about the, the separation or segregation between boys and girls in the school system.

SK: Oh yes, that was very strict. If you talk -- when I, even after the school or Saturday, Sunday, of course, Saturday, half a day was the school. And after finish school or you go out for the shopping with parents or friend, you have to wear school uniform, so you could see this, high school students are doing. So if you talk with the boys, I don't know who reports, they go to school right away. I don't know, that time, do you think they had a telephone?

PW: No.

SK: I don't think so, so somebody must be, go to school, and, because I was talking to neighbor's boy, because he asked me how I'm doing, and he asked me how the mother is. And talking like that, and somebody report. And one time, my father passed away when I was sixteen, and my brother came back from Canada, and my brother said after that funeral and everything, "Let's go and see the movie." So I wore my uniform, and I went to, two brother with movie, somebody report principal for me, and, "Where did you go last night?" "I went to see movie." "With who?" "My brother." So principal was so surprised; they thought I was only daughter in family, so they, they were kind of, "Oh, your brother? All right, you go to the class. Go back to class." [Laughs]

PW: Now, I understand you had some health problems when you were in Japan?

SK: Yes, that was just before going to high school, I was going to the... lots of the high school, jogakko, they had kenritsu, shiritsu, choritsu. It's the three different type of, level of the high school. So I went to the kenritsu, it's the best one, and I write exam and came back on the train. I, my stomach hurt, and I went home and my parents called the doctor. So doctor thought it was food poison. So finally, three days later, I had appendix, and it was a rupture. And doctor, this doctor was so young, just graduated from school, and he was so surprised that open, and he closed -- he didn't take the appendix, and he closed up. So that's why I had what they called fukumakui, so I don't know what they call in English. So it was, my stomach was just like a really pregnant, eight, nine month's pregnant. [Laughs] And I went to Sen Miyagi Kenka, Sendai, large hospital, and I was there about eight months. So I had exam passed, but I couldn't go, so they, they eliminated my name and came back. And when I went to public school, I was already year-and-a-half older, almost two year older than everybody, because I can get into the class where Japanese things, everything not used to it. So I don't want to wait another year, it'll be so different than everybody. So I went to this town, choritsu town's high school. So they didn't ask, they asked me, "Can you read English?" So I said yes, I could read English. So that's why I passed and went into high school. [Laughs]

PW: What, what kind of influence did your parents have when you were growing up, when you were in Japan? The influence of your mother and father? Do you remember anything?

SK: Mother was very strict, but the father was, I think, easygoing. But when he get mad, my, all the brother and sister never talked back to my father. I'm the only one talk back to the father. [Laughs] And when I talked back, I always have my knees up and ready to go, run. [Laughs]

PW: You would be in your high school or your teen period. What kind of social or recreation things was there in Japan, or was there any at that time?

SK: No, no. 'Til after school, in high school, four years, high school, no, nothing like that. Just study. Just studied.

PW: Now, I understand the separation of the different... between boys they have their own high school and the girls' high school, and the different subjects they took. Can you tell us about that?

SK: Yes. That subject is, ikebana is the girls' side, that's art course, and boys are chugakko. We call ours, jogakko means, "jo" is onna first, jogakko and chugakko is middle of the, before go into university is chugakko. You have to pass that one and go into the university. So, and that's why it's far apart: boys' school and girls' school. Or, I don't know, is that they don't want a girl and boy together, or something, is very, how many, four miles or something, different, yes. It's a different town.

PW: Oh, so it's really separated.

SK: Yeah. It's separate. And I went back after the war, and my high school was boys and girls together. I was so mad. "Wow, they're so strict, and now, it's the boy and the girls are together." [Laughs]

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 2005 Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Densho. All Rights Reserved.