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

<Begin Segment 1>

PW: Okay, could you tell me where and when you were born and your maiden name?

SK: Okay. I was born in British Columbia, Port Moody, September the 29th, 1920.

PW: Could you tell me about your family and your parents? Like where in Japan they came from and what they were doing in Japan?

SK: North, north part of Japan, Fukushima, Fukushima-ken. And it's the Pacific side. He, my father came, went to Hawaii first. This is, I heard about the father passed away, I didn't know that. And he didn't like it, it's too hot for him, so he had the chance to get on the boat, so he came to -- [interruption]. And he came to, naturally, at that time was, I think it's Victoria, and he came to work in the sawmill.

PW: Why do you think your father came to Canada, or to Hawaii?

SK: Well, around those days, I think Tohoku was very poor, and he's not the oldest in the family, so he doesn't have to look after, take over the family's... there was a ceramic, Somayaki, that's the, what the pottery that they're doing. So he wants to make money, maybe, so he came out to the...

PW: And did he have a family in Japan? Did he have a family?

SK: Yeah, he married, and I think that time was oldest daughter and two, three, four, four children at that time. Maybe five. My, my next brother is a seven-year difference, so I think it's five. Yes, five was born at that time.

PW: And how long was your father in Canada? Do you remember at all?

SK: I don't. I wasn't born that time, so... uh-huh. And they went back, I know Mother used to talk, the shinsai, you know, earthquake in Tokyo. So it'd be 1923, but that time I was born, and we went back to get the whole family to, I think, Canada.

PW: Do you remember your early childhood in B.C.?

SK: B.C.? Not very much, no. I don't remember anything. I liked to go through one time, go to Port Moody where I was born, but that time my mother used to say, "Your skin's not clean because of, you're born in the Port Moody with the dirty water." [Laughs]

PW: And did you go to school in Port Moody?

SK: No, no.

PW: You didn't go to school.

SK: I went to school New Westminster.

PW: So then after Port Moody, did you move to --

SK: Yeah, my whole family moved to New Westminster. New Westminster, they call, I don't know exactly what they call Sapperton North, that kind of place.

PW: So did you go to school at all in B.C.?

SK: Yes, I went to New Westminster's school.

PW: Public school?

SK: I don't know -- public school. I don't know how... because after that, we moved to Woodfibre.

PW: Oh, I see. After that?

SK: Yes.

PW: And was your father then working in the sawmills?

SK: Yes. All my...

PW: And your brothers?

SK: Youngest brother only didn't work at the time and said he has to go to school, but the others all worked sawmill, and sisters work in the housework or something.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2005 Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 2>

PW: Now, in 1930, what happened?

SK: My parents wanted to retire, so I was the youngest in the family, so was tag-along to parents and went back to Japan.

PW: And when you returned, when you went to Japan, I mean, you were Canadian-born, what did you think when you went back, and what were the conditions like in...

SK: Oh, I was in the countryside, so, and the first time I went to school, everybody stand on the windowsill, and teased me from the windowsill. [Laughs] They didn't know that time was Canada, was America, so they called beikoku.

PW: And, and what, what kind of conditions were like living and also food and things like that?

SK: Well, food, I don't know exact-, too much. I think we ate most time was fish, but one thing, I always go to the washroom and come back and go back again, because washroom was so countryside, so dirty and smelly. [Laughs] At school, too, well, school was always clean, but still, for me, it's, I can't stand that smell. I could still remember. [Laughs]

PW: And, and then you went into the Japanese public school system?

SK: Yes.

PW: And what, what was that like?

SK: It was grade three, and the part I went in, and I could understand what the teacher said, everything but the, over at Woodfibre I went to Japanese school once a week at Saturday. But the school, we didn't, just we learned how to write and how to speak. But in Japan, you have to write, and especially shuuji, so kanji I have to write it, and the teacher said that's too much part of honke is the main house, and next to, said, "You're writing like they're fighting, so write close together." [Laughs] This is how teacher always said to me.

PW: Now, then also, then you went, after public school, what did you do?

SK: Public school, I went to girls' high school, those days was jogakko.

PW: And what was it like in high school for you?

SK: Well, high school was okay. That time I was already used to how to live in Japan and everything, so it was all right.

PW: And then you graduated from high school and what happened after that?

SK: Yes, after I went to sewing school, and how to learn all the wedding clothes and men's hakama and weddings. Those days, we didn't have a white wedding or anything. Like, just like old-time, really is old time, when you get married, you married in the home. But these days, everybody we were, reception and wedding is in hotel. Some over here, too, like, so, what's very different in those days was the countryside.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2005 Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 3>

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.

<Begin Segment 4>

PW: So you, you took up, you had ikebana lessons in high school?

SK: Yes, four years. Everybody doesn't like it because, come to think about this, she was a very knowledge of ikebana, and she was a good teacher. But those days, if you make so strict, nobody will like it. I didn't like either, but my mother said, "You have to." You know, those days, we didn't, girls haven't got any job unless they go into the university and the special kind of course you take, you could get a job. Unless they go to shihangakko, means a schoolteacher course, after the jogakko you passed.

PW: Were there many students or young people from your village who went to university or the teacher's school?

SK: Not many.

PW: Not many?

SK: Even the jogakko, my public school, we had sixty-eight in our class, and after the jogakko high school, it's only four people went to high school. Because we have to pay. Everybody was so poor in those days.

PW: Now, after high school, I understand you continued some of your other studies?

SK: Yes, ikebana and chanoyu, and sewing.

<End Segment 4> - Copyright © 2005 Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 5>

PW: Now, in the late 1930s, the Manchurian War was, was starting to... they started in the 19-, late 1930s, would it be?

SK: Yes, I don't exactly remember, but yes, the Manchuria was the first, wasn't it? And when we graduated from high school, Shinajihen is the Chinese, China start. And that time I came to, came back to Canada.

PW: Now, your father passed away first.

SK: Uh-huh.

PW: And then...

SK: And my brother passed away.

PW: Also at the same --

SK: My brother was twenty-nine years old.

PW: But had he come back to Japan at that time, or was he in Canada?

SK: He was in Canada.

PW: Oh, I see.

SK: But those days, they didn't take care too much, you know, so my older brother send back.

PW: When your parents came back with you to, to Japan in 1930, what did they do when they came back?

SK: Came back? We have to stay in my uncle's place 'til my house built. And when the house built, after my, everybody was so, you know, really, you can't believe it. It's just like oshin. I saw oshin, really I remember. I was lucky so far, but some people can't eat on... so my father liked to buy lots of rice, and, what shall I say, that hundred pound to the, if they want to, my father said, "If you can't make it, return, you don't have to." But I don't know, ittan with a, the rice field, how many rice you could get. My father said, I don't know exactly the business that time, so lots of people was very thankful to my father. But he never collect the money or rice, because he doesn't like that collecting. He could always give away, but, so my mother used to go and collect. [Laughs]

PW: Now, your mother passed away three years after your father, then?

SK: Uh-huh.

PW: Then tell me what happened.

SK: My mother passed away, and that time was, the Buddhist way is, I think it's the forty-five days or forty-nine days, you have to look after akaenda. After that, I came. My brother said, "Come to Canada and stay two years and learn English and go back; this is the way." So I just opened my house to my relative to look after for, but Japanese government, we're not there after the war, so they sold.

PW: So then in 1940, you returned to, Woodfibre, and then to go to your brother's place, is that right?

SK: Yes, uh-huh.

PW: Now, it was ten years since you've been away from Woodfibre. What was it like when you returned to Woodfibre?

SK: Well, I remember that as the mountain edge side, so it's not like Vancouver, it's not a city, so I remember everything. And I saw all the friends when I went to school in Woodfibre, but it's only a year or year-and-a-half, I think, was there. But still, it's a Japanese, almost Japanese there, family. But I couldn't talk with it, I forget every English, yes or no. Even that -- of course, right now, too, still, I can say "yes" or "no," quick. So if they, if I say, "Yes," and they turn face, some, "Oh, no." [Laughs] I change to it.

PW: Now, shortly after your return to, to Woodfibre, I understand you got into some, another health problem.

SK: Yes. Oh, this pleurisy, is I had a cold and a cough and cough, and I had water in my lung. Woodfibre doctor said -- it's a company's, the sawmill's doctor, so he could sew the, you know, the cuts or everything, but I don't think that kind of sickness he could handle. So, of course, it's no hospital, so we have, my brother took me to Vancouver, and to a specialist, and I couldn't speak English, so he have to hire the interpreter. [Laughs] And the Sansei, one Sansei nurse was there, but she doesn't understand Japanese. So he hire interpreter, older man, I don't know his name.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 2005 Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 6>

PW: Then you returned to Woodfibre and that's also where your future husband, Bob, was also working, at Woodfibre.

SK: Yes.

PW: Tell me about your, your meetings with Bob and how you met him.

SK: Baseball ground, my sister, one of the sisters working in, what they call this men's working as kitchen, everybody, over two hundred boys was there, so he helped to cook. And that went to Sunday, I think it came from Vancouver, I don't know, it's Asahi, or I don't know. I can't remember. But Bob was there, too, I think he was writing the news to Tairiku. So my sister introduced me, so he speak Japanese, so, "Oh." [Laughs] And afterwards, my brother Nakano, he said, "If you're not doing anything, it's most, it's older people, but don't you want to come into see the waka or haiku, we're doing?" he said. So, "Okay," so one night went, so Bob was there, had to meet Bob. [Laughs]

PW: So that's how your relationship Bob grew?

SK: Yes. [Laughs]

PW: Now, also about the same time -- well, now, also about the same time -- well, of course, World War I started in 1941. Tell me what happened during the time, that time, and also your situation with the marriage talk.

SK: Marriage, yes.

PW: With Bob.

SK: My brother, my, not only the brother, sister, everybody was against marry to Bob, because Bob had four sister, and I'm not the strongest. Always I get sick. "How could you look after going to the Kadoguchi family? How could you look after those girls?" They're so young still, and the mother's not there. Mother was passed away long time ago, I think. So no, my brother said, "No," he's going against me. So the story was that end there, but my brother have to move to camp, and my sister and we would have to move to Greenwood. So he, they want to take me Greenwood, so I talked to Bob. [Laughs] "I have to go to Greenwood." "Okay, then," Bob said, let my brother, send the brother first and see, and still he was going, you know, my brother said, "You're not gonna marry Bob. You'll, you're gonna die, you're gonna kill yourself." This is what my brother said. [Laughs] So anyway, Greenwood, my sister, sister Na and the sisters going to Greenwood. I said, "I'm not going," so my sister said, "Why?" "Because I'm gonna marry the Bob." Well, they can't say anything afterwards. "Okay, you stay back there." And afterwards, "If a brother heard this, you gonna marry to Bob, he's gonna get mad. He's gonna disown you." [Laughs] Well, and we had a special permit and sisters, they all went to... I don't know, maybe Hastings Park, they have to stay there, and went to Greenwood. I don't know exactly, but they went. So I by myself, and Bob had a special permit to go to Vancouver, and we married. And that day we walked to the City Hall, we heard on the radio Tokyo was bombed. It was April the 15th, I remember.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 2005 Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 7>

PW: So then you got married, and then, of course, this was also where the Japanese Canadian were being interned into the, the various interior, and so tell us about what happened with you and Bob after you got married.

SK: After married, we went back to Woodfibre. Still is, the family's almost gone, but single men and Issei people were there. So he look after all the Japanese people to move out from the Woodfibre. And they finished, we came out to Vancouver, and supposed to go into the Hasting Park. But everybody from Woodfibre people was in, oh, yes, in Hastings Park. "Don't come into here. You gonna get sick, so you stay. You could stay as, can, stay at the city." But if we go to Hastings Park, and at that time was my, compound family was there already. When we married, they were at the Hastings Park already, so the Kadoguchi family only back out, our marriage might not, my side of the family wasn't there, because they all moved to Greenwood, Vernon, and the camp, like, you know...

PW: Then tell me about Hastings Park and the conditions in Hastings Park.

SK: Hastings, really, I, when we moved to Toronto, think about the Hastings Park. Food wasn't very good, but for so many people, how could you cook different kind of thing? It's meat or fish, meat or fish, like that. And I, Hastings Park, for me, I think I was, came to very strong there, because every day, nothing to do. So we took the blanket outside, and lie down. And those days, sun wasn't like right, not grow for more, something. So I was, I think, healthy there.

PW: So you never went into the Hastings Park?

SK: Oh, yes.

PW: You did go in? You had to go in there?

SK: Yes, because we haven't got the money to stay in the hotel. [Laughs] Still, and we have to eat out. So we can't spend every penny, so, "Let's go in." And when I went in, my gosh, I never catch cold or anything at the Hastings Park.

PW: So you were there in Hastings Park from May to September?

SK: Yes, May, uh-huh.

PW: And then after, in September, where did you go?

SK: Tashme.

PW: And...

SK: That time is, too, Bob was, May we went in, and I think June, there, Bob have to go to camp. So Mr. Higaki was working in the office at Hastings Park, and he, he wasn't married at that time, so he asked Bob where he's going camp. "Okay then," he said, "I'll go your place, and you better stay back to look after Sue." He was really good for us.

PW: And you, so you went to Tashme with Bob's family?

SK: Yes.

PW: Could you tell me about Bob's family, and what you had to do, your responsibilities.

SK: [Laughs] Okay. Oldest sister is the same as my age, and two years, all different, and the youngest one is four-and-a-half-year difference. Sumi was thirteen, twelve, is going on thirteen. Her birthday's April, so it must be fourteen. So in Hastings Park, too, I was sleeping with her, you know, bunk bed, she would sleep up and I'd sleep down. And when we went to Tashme, I don't know how, you know that small place that we're living with, from the Victoria family? Just the half-father was there, too. One room, those four girls and myself in the one room. I don't, I don't remember. My goodness. [Laughs]

PW: Now, was Bob with you when you first moved to Tashme?

SK: No, Bob stayed back at the...

PW: Back in Hastings Park?

SK: Hastings Park.

PW: And came out later?

SK: Yes.

PW: So then, so then later on, you got your own house?

SK: Yes, when Bob came, was November. We had the house already.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 2005 Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 8>

PW: So now you're a newly married wife, and looking after a father-in-law and four, four young -- not young -- but four girls, so you had a lot of, a ready-made family.

SK: Yeah, ready-made family, and never cooked before, so I, lots of people ask me, "Oh, they came from Tashme. You should know." No, I don't know anything. I was just, went shopping and cook, washing, that was a whole day for me, and in between, I used to, wooden stove, so we have to cut the... they gave us some wood, but we have to chop it. So I chopped it. Water have to take into the, outside to inside, you had to have really handful, or I don't know what to say, but I had a, I haven't got any neighbors. I just say, "Hello," "good morning," or, "good afternoon, or, "good evening," that's all. I never talked to them. [Laughs]

PW: So it was fairly, the living conditions were fairly primitive in terms of...

SK: Oh, yes.

PW: ...of doing anything.

SK: We can't complain, you know. Yeah, right now, yeah, everybody will say something, but you, living is very up, up now, isn't it? But those days, I don't think we could complain anything.

PW: So how did you get your food and things like that? What system?

SK: We had a store, Mr. Oiye was the head of the store, and we used to get almost everything. Of course, it's limited, how many to a, we used to have a coupon in the family, so we were a big family, so even sugar or butter, rice, flour, eggs, banana, and those things was all limited.

PW: So they had a meat market and fish market there, too, is that right?

SK: Oh yes, uh-huh. You could buy fish and meat, what, according to the family's size.

PW: Did you have to get all your food by coupons, or did you have to pay money for it?

SK: Yes. Coupon, but yeah, you have to pay money.

PW: Oh, I see.

SK: When you work at Tashme mountain or, most people get forty-five dollar or something, month, so father-in-law was working, too, and Miyoko was working.

PW: So then therefore, the male members of the family used to get paid by working in the, the sawmills or lumber camps. Or in the stores for the females. So they got paid and you bought coupons with that, or how did that work?

SK: Coupon is the family size, one for the one, you know.

PW: Oh, yes.

SK: One coupon each.

PW: Tell me about some of the social activities in Tashme.

SK: Tashme? Tashme, yes, I met nighttime, we used to carry our own sugar, own tea, and cup and saucer to take -- [laughs] -- and the meat. The Onos family, Kakinos family, and from Woodfibre, that's the Unos family and the Aokis and the Fukumotos. Mrs. Fukumoto taught me how to cook; most my cooking is from her, and she always... I think my brother was contact with her, and how I'm doing. She said, "She's very healthy now." [Laughs]

PW: And what did you do for entertainment?

SK: Entertainment was, we had the Japanese movie with Mr. Tsuyuki, and they formed TYO, Tashme Youth Organization or something like that. And Bob was the president or something, and they had concert, and Bob, Bob Ito was there, so we had a very nice entertainment. [Laughs] Those young girls are here, too, all Kawada, they're married to a Shimada, they used to be a Hawaiian dancer or something like that. But the men itself was the younger ones there, they used to play. I don't know who made up those play. Oh yes, and we had baseball, too.

PW: Now, Tashme also had a large Boy Scout group.

SK: Yes. Mr. Yoshika passed away other day, but...

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

<Begin Segment 9>

PW: So you were there from September to May, and then the war was over, and then I understand --

SK: No, it wasn't over yet.

PW: Oh, it wasn't over yet?

SK: No. And the government said, I think United States and Canada knows Japan's gonna be... so before that, if you want to stay in Canada, move to east. Unless if you're gonna go Japan, you stay in Tashme. So the family in Tashme, we're the one family moved east. We're the first one, because when we moved, that day, it was a German was... so we were scared if a soldier saw us in the train, what... so Bob said, "Just keep quiet, what they say everything, just keep quiet. Don't talk to them." But they didn't bother us. You know, they think we're Indian or something. [Laughs]

PW: How, how was the decision, because you could go to, I mean, the government will pay you to go to Japan, or move east. There was, how was that decision made?

SK: Oh, yes, my father-in-law wants to go back to Japan. Of course, he was the oldest in the family, but I thought the younger one -- of course Miyoko speak Japanese and English both. But the others doesn't know how to speak Japanese. So I said, "How could you take these girls to Japan?" Well, good thing we didn't. Afterwards, we heard that they haven't got enough food, even the oldest family, my father-in-law was. You know, we haven't got the money. If you have lots of money to take to Japan is a different story. But those days, who got it, that kind of money? Especially we have to evacuate from their hometown and everything. So well, good thing we moved. But we're not supposed to stay in Toronto. We're supposed to go to the Windsor, but we never done a farm, how could we go to the farm? So the girls went in, Yuki and Koko went to... what's that? Home for...

PW: Housegirls?

SK: Housegirls. Sumi was the youngest, so she still go to the high school. Miyoko was married before we moved to Toronto. My brother was here, so my brother said, "Don't go back to Japan. Come back to, come to Toronto. I'm here, so you could stay with us." That's why we came out. And when they look at me, I came out from Tashme, "Oh, no, she's sick again." [Laughs] They thought I was so thin. Worked so hard.

PW: But you were very healthy by that time.

SK: Oh yes, oh yes, uh-huh.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright © 2005 Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 10>

PW: Tell me about the work and employment history that Bob went through when he came to Toronto.

SK: Well, he came here to really, no job, because we're supposed to be in Windsor. But my brother knows the Wakayama, the Wakayama in Japan people, and they were working, hard-working. And I think it was a Maple Leaf Mushroom farm, so my husband went there. Go to Queen Street, my brother, rent a upstair, and from the Queen to end of a line, I don't know where, but they came to pick up the, with a truck, I think, and they went to Maple Leaf. You can't see, whereas that the Maple Leaf is just there now. [Laughs] That time, my gosh, goes on the bus, "Where is it? Where is it?" Don't know where to look. And he was working, and after he had the cleaning job, so he went in the cleaner. And the meantime, I think JCCA, and he involved in that. And at that time, Consul Endo was here and heard Bob's speech. And where, and I think he asked, I think, where he's working. "Cleaners." So, "Quit that job and come to work in the office." So he started to work in the consul's, and that consul's office became the consul-general.

PW: And where did Bob learn his Japanese that he was so good in reading and writing and all that?

SK: Cumberland, and of course, he study really himself. And teacher was Aoki-sensei, Aoki Masao. He was very good; lots of Cumberland people speak Japanese: the Sora family and who else was there? I don't know the Cumberland, so I can't tell exactly, but... [laughs]

<End Segment 10> - Copyright © 2005 Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 11>

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.

<Begin Segment 12>

PW: Also, you, you had an operation and went to the hospital?

SK: Yes.

PW: Tell me a little of that one, what happened there.

SK: Well, I want a family, and naturally Bob wants, too, and especially my father-in-law. So I went and changed the doctor to Dr. Yoneyama, she passed away, too. And she have, she have to go to take another exam in the United States. About two years doctor look after me, Dr. Yoneyama. And Dr. Mahoney or Maloney, this lady, Women's College Hospital, and she touched my, she touched my stomach. Oh, it was so hurt. I don't know, it's the wrong place. And he said -- I mean, she said, "Oh, we have to operate right away." Because of this thing in Japan, rupture my appendix, that was touch to my ovary, and I don't know, some kind of things, so my ovary was, looks like grapefruit-size. So nurse said afterwards, "Didn't you get hurt? Didn't you have any pain?" So I said, "No. I was sewing, but sometime my side of my stomach is, you know, like not hurt, but so heavy kind of thing." It wasn't hurt, so I stand up and stretch couple of time, it's gone. So that was bothering me that time, so operate, and afterwards doctor said to me, "You can't have any more child. You could adopt child, same as your own. So if you like it," he said, she said she'll contact with the Children's Aid. So I cried and cried and Bob was, well, doctor said that, I was wondering what my father-in-law is gonna say if I adopt. That's only my worry. But my father-in-law was so understanding, father, if it's a baby, so no, it's better than without child. "So if you like it, you could adopt it." So this is what I did, two of them, oldest one and younger one is Donna.

PW: Tell me about your first adoption.

SK: Yes, the first adoption was, right now it's very easy, but those days, Children's Aid come to check you, even no notice. Just, they just come and see how I'm doing, so that's why I have to quit my job, because you don't know when. You know, they said they'll come tomorrow or something, I could take a day off and work, but I don't know when they're gonna come. Twice a month or once a month, you never know. And they tested year, one year that time. One year passed and finally we got Jerry in our name to Kadoguchi.

PW: And how old was he and what was your first experience with him?

SK: Yes, it was very hard, because I think he was two. Turned to two because he came June and her birthday, his birthday was April, so he was two, little over two. So he was in, not, he always looked from far away, hiding, to the, looking after the mother, mother, and looking at us. So Children's Aid said, "This is no, not enough house. We will go some kind of plant." So I can't work, and when, you don't know when they're gonna call me, and we go to the Eglington and the near Yonge, that part of Coast Avenue and the park there. They bring up Jerry there. And they said, "Oh, Jerry, look at those man and the lady. We saw them before. You know, Jerry." So to close, close takes about one week, he finally close to us. And he have to go into the hospi-, Dr. Kuwabata was looking after him. Tonsil and the ear operation. And we went to see, and he was so happy. And that coming home, he cried. He called me, "Mommy," and sick children, I had a phone call from -- "Don't come to the hospital. When you get, when he get out, coming out, we'll let you know, because we had a hard time to stop other kids to stop crying." [Laughs] And very, once Jerry was close to us, it was okay, but before that, he was very suspicious looking at us. Black, blue, I mean, big eye looking at, up and down. [Laughs]

PW: Then tell me about, about your second adoption.

SK: Yes, we wait five-and-a-half years, so all, now, we are not going to get, because we're getting old, too, so when you get old you have to get only teenage. See, I like to have a child, see, and baby, so I don't think so, so we give all the children's bed, crib and everything to friend, and what do you know? After, even the one month then pass, and they said, "Mrs. Kadoguchi, we got a little girl for you," and they phoned me, so Bob went to, with, way up close to Mississauga, where she was staying. And when I look at her first, "Oh my gosh," teeny, thin, bow-legged, this girl, and no hair. "Can I raise this child?" Because I was weak myself, so I always think about how parents was, hard to look after me. So Children's Aid, Bob phoned next day, "Yes, we will adopt." So they said, "Are you sure?" I looked at the wife, but the wife wasn't very keen on, so, "You better talk with." "Oh yes, she, she said she'd like to have." "Okay, this is what..." so, if you look at the child and someone go like that, you have to watch yourself, what kind of face you make. [Laughs] But really, when I see Jerry was very healthy, he was taller than the age, and, and that when I look at Donna, my gosh, nobody think about that she was like that recently, you see Donna. [Laughs]

PW: And tell, tell me about your, the reaction of your father-in-law and your relationship they had with your...

SK: Oh, the children? Yes. Jerry didn't go very fast. He always go back my back, and when someone visit to see Jerry and look at, I don't know. But Donna was different. When Ojiichan said, "Oh, Donna," you know, he, hand down, oh, she was just like a baby chick. [Laughs] Both, both hand out, so he loves Donna really. So when he was in the hospital, whole family goes and call, "Papa, Papa, wake up. Open your eye," he never does. But when Jerry and Donna visit, wide awake, and you know, smile. So he like both my child, children. [Laughs]

<End Segment 12> - Copyright © 2005 Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 13>

PW: Now, I understand you took, when Bob joined the consul-general's office, you had to go and do some assistance. Tell me about what, what happened during that period.

SK: Yes. Before that, I brought all my kimono from the silk, kimono from Japan, but my brother and sister went back to retire, I sent it with them, because no sense keeping it here. And not even a year Bob work in the consul-general, so they have a party. They said, "Wear kimono." And every time invite them we have to help, so drink, how to drink -- I don't even drink -- and I learned it there. [Laughs]


PW: Can you tell me about your, your life and what you had to do when Bob started working at the consul-general's office?

SK: He was working at a cleaners at that time, and he was in JCCA's Issei group, I think, he was in. And they had a concert at the Centre... wait a minute. Not the Centre... where did they have it before? Downtown, Regent Hall? I don't know, but he, the Consul Endo heard Bob's speech, so he saw, "Nisei, Nihon ni itta koto arimasu ka." They ask and Bob said, "No. Doshita sonna perfect Japanese, hanasareru no katte." He ask, I think that Bob speak perfect, no accent. Like I'm speaking like a Japanese, it's a Tohoku-ben, a little bit, inside. But his was, was a perfect Japanese. So don't work, those kind of thing, and come to work at the Consul-General's office. This is what he involve in the Consul-General's office.

PW: And what did you have to do as his wife, as Bob's wife?

SK: He was working, but I thought I (don't) have to do anything. I just adopt Donna, and I don't want to leave her with, small child with ojiichan, grandfather. So, but they thought, they said, "No, wife have to come out, too, to entertain those, the guest." Consul-general's guest. So, oh, and after that, I can't say, "I adopt a kodomo, child, so I can't go." Do you know what? They said, "Babysitter tanon dara e." They ask me, that is what I start. So once he said, afterwards, I didn't say no. "Hai, mairimasu, ikimasu." And I went with Bob, and afterwards, they said, "Sometime we have big occasion, so you'll have to wear a kimono." Oh my gosh, so I came home and I telephoned my brother right away, my sister-in-law: "Could you make --" before, was I brought lots of kimono, but when I was seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, too young things. So my sister-in-law make kimono and sent it right away. And I wore those things to the party and everything, and Consul asked me, "Can you drink?" I said, "No, no thank you." "You have to," he said. [Laughs] "You have to learn how to drink, even little bit."

PW: Now the, you had gone to Japan, and you'd taken your children very early on.

SK: Yes.

PW: Tell me about what happened when you took your children without your husband.

SK: Yes. Bob was so busy and he can't take a holiday, so I went with children. And my best friend said, "When you come next time, could you bring your husband? Because everybody think you're married to hakujin." Because they saw Jerry and Donna, they weren't perfect Japanese, and you know, there's a mix anyway. So I said, it's a Nihonjin, you know, from the Kumamoto, but I'm telling a lie, they said. "So bring your husband." So I have to ask Bob, "You have to come next time to introduce my friends." [Laughs] Even my name was changed to Kadoguchi, they won't believe it. You know, Kadoguchi is, for the Tohoku people, it's a different kind of name. There are no Kadoguchi in... of course, it's only Kumamoto, I think. It's all the Kumamoto, there's a cousin or uncle, or something, Kadoguchi. But where you go Tokyo or where you go, you can't find Kadoguchi. So they, they don't care what I said, they have to see my husband, Bob. [Laughs]

<End Segment 13> - Copyright © 2005 Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 14>

PW: I'd like to go over your, your involvement with ikebana and especially the Ikenobo Society. Can you tell me about what happened in 1964?

SK: Well, my high school teacher was coming to New York World's Fair, this is what I got the letter from my friend: "So if you could go and greet the teacher, she will be happy." So I ask Bob, "I got the friend from the letter and Suzuki-sensei's coming to New York World's Fair. Can I go and see?" So Bob says, "Okay, go ahead." And I went to the airport, and all the Japanese Ikenobo teacher about twenty, twenty, twenty-five came, at the airport. And I said, "Suzuki-sensei," and she look at me. For her, she's in my class, is from the, one from the United States, one from Canada. So she was thinking, and looking at me up and down, you know, and, "Oh, Hide-san." And she hugged me and she started to cry. I don't know what to do. [Laughs] And that way I went to the, help all the teachers for, to take to the restaurant and take to the florist, and like Expo place. It was so hot... that was, I think, July or August. But they stayed about, not ten days. I think I thought it was two weeks, or I was staying two weeks. And not a hotel, but we all stayed. And my Ikenobo, ikebana started from that, involve with, and I saw all the professor came from Japan. If you were in Japan, you'll never see those professors. And the headmaster was young, I don't think he married yet.

PW: But he was there in New York?

SK: Uh-huh, and Uncle, Uncle was looking after the, headmaster's mother's brother was looking after Ikenobo because the headmaster's father died quite early. And so anyway... oh, Canada, Toronto, he said, "Open a chapter. Kanada hitotsu wa nai kara, open a chapter." So I couldn't say yes or no. I said, "Mada chibun demo sokomatte ittemasen." I said, "I'm not that thing. You know, I have to do the study first," I said. "Well, come to the Japan. You don't have to pay tuition fee or anything, I'll look after. You come and study. Tokyo Ocha No Mizu Gakuin and Kyoto. So always had a class there, so one finish, you go to Kyoto, and Kyoto finish, you come back to Tokyo again." This is what... but at that time, so of course, I can't do right now, but I was young, so... [laughs] But young, but I was, I think I was forty. Forty years old, because it's forty years. Maybe it's thirty. So anyway, I came home, I didn't say I would go over or not. And talked to Bob first, and Bob said, "If they say that much, why don't you go so you could have a study?" So I talked to, dinnertime I talked to Dad, Father. "Oh, sonna ii hanashi. Kitakoto nai. Hai, ikinasai, ikinasai. So I said, "Donna dosuru ka to omote shimpai." My father-in-law said, "Sonna koto shinpai sen. Papa ga iru desho, Papa ga." [Laughs]

PW: What she's saying in English is saying that when he, when she was discussing the offer with her husband and her father-in-law, the father-in-law said, "You'll never get such an offer like that. You got to go, and you should go," and encouraged you to go.

SK: Yes, I went. And my gosh, at New York, too, I don't know how to get on the subway. Right now, if I go to New York now, I don't know how to get on the subway. But that time, I get on the subway, I went to the floors, with my English, I went through. So, and father-in-law, well, another thing is that those teachers take to the lunch, or supper was in, I think it was hotel. So lunch, "What do you want to eat?" So they always, "What do we want to eat?" And drinking, you know, like soft drink is summertime, so they said, "Coke, Coke, Coke." Oh, so I ordered a Coke and everything, and they all left the Coke. I said, "If you don't drink, why did you order the Coke?" "Only I know the Coke." [Laughs] So I said, "Why, there's 7-UP, too." So after that, they order 7-UP, but before, they only know the Coke so they, they didn't like it, but they thought it's only, they want the Coke. [Laughs] And when, by the time I order and then when I sit down and eat, everybody's going out from the door, so I never finished my lunch (order). [Laughs] And Professor Yujiku-sensei, this is a elderly teacher, and he, he was doing the rikka, and I didn't know that rikka, those days. Never woman could do the rikka. 1964, you know how the ikebana came, so anyway, he said he's gonna do the taisaku with pine. So everybody have to go out and that Professor Fujiwara said, "Kadoguchi-san, dake nokorinasai. Stay back," you know, so I said, "Oh. (Watashi dake) stay back?" Of course, the helper was there, couple, you know. But I heard afterwards, "How come she could, she's the only one could learn? Jibun tachi mada naratte nai no. Jibun tachi mo oshiete moraitai noni. Kadoguchi-san dake, tokubetsu sensei, tokubetsu atsukai ni shita." I felt so bad after that. [Laughs]

PW: What she said, translated into English is that in those days, in 1964, this particular style of ikebana called rikka?

SK: Rikka.

PW: Rikka, was not taught to women, but only men did it. So when they were doing the demonstration, this senior professor said, "Well, you ladies go to the side, but only Mrs. Kadoguchi stays." And then she was able to do the rikka with the professor. Afterwards, she heard that the other ladies were very ticked off because, "Why did this lady get special privilege to participate in the rikka arrangement?" And so, so even from the early periods, I guess Mrs. Kadoguchi had a very special place at Ikenobo family of, of teachers. So then what happened after you came back and you got the encouragement with your husband and your father-in-law, who agreed to look after your children?

SK: So my friends, they all said, "Okay, let's start ikebana. You learned that much, now you could teach." Before that, I was just teaching a little thing for my friends, but came back, they want to learn, so I start to teach. And Cultural Centre was coming to start, and that they want a ikebana class there, open, so every day, Monday, Tuesday to Friday, they had a different school started. And I was in Wednesday class right through, and Bob was working there. Bob doesn't want everybody to say, "Oh, there's a wife there, so special, she..." so I'm the only one left, but what can you do? Everybody coming, we can't say, "Others, class people didn't come back," at the Cultural Centre. And Sogetsu, two teacher was young and their family, so got pregnant and they can't come out to teach anymore. So end up I was only one Ikenobo. And Wednesday was, bingo was starting at the Cultural Centre. It was so noisy and the smoke -- [laughs] -- so we changed to Tuesday night, because that smoke bothers us so much. You know, downstairs we are doing, but still, upstairs has that bingo, the smoke and noisy, and start right through the Cultural Centre, teaching. In the meantime, I'm going back to Japan every year. Come to think of it, Bob and father-in-law was so good to me, that's why I get through this ikebana.

<End Segment 14> - Copyright © 2005 Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 15>

PW: So when did, when did you actually take up the offer to, to go to Kyoto? Was it right after you came back from the World's Fair?

SK: Yes.

PW: And how long did you stay there?

SK: Three-and-a-half months. It was so cold... wait a minute. October, November, yes. September I went, because Japan, materials, every season is different, so fall and the winter, I could learn. So that's why I went. And another thing, I shouldn't say this, but when you're so thirsty in the shinkansen, bullet train, I don't know, I want to drink water, but no water. So the girl came up to sell in the shinkansen, bullet train, so I ordered a beer. You know, just sip of... but I'm so thirsty, I think I didn't, take the beer, half a bottle, so, and tired, so I slept. Almost Kyoto Station I missed, wow. I don't know how I woke up, and when I looked the station, "Oh, it's Kyoto." So I came back and told Bob, "Omae wa nanini shini itteruno Nihon ni." [Laughs]

PW: What she said was, Bob, was when she came back from Japan and told her husband that story about the beer, says, he said, "What did you go to Japan for?" So, so you took lessons in Kyoto and Tokyo?

SK: Tokyo. So it's a funny part, is Tokyo, this is a class. I have a picture somewhere, you know. I don't know how many ladies, about twenty, twenty-five ladies, and Mrs. Nakayama here, Mrs. Nakayama's daughter married to this, someone in Japan, and her mother-in-law knows me. She said she was in the class, same class, so I was trying to show that picture to Mrs. Nakayama. It's so, it's a small world and another thing is, in San Francisco, they married to soldier and came to San Francisco, and she said she looked at -- she was younger than I am -- so she look at me at the class, and, "Everybody talk about you that time, and look, she's the one came from Canada." [Laughs]

PW: Now, I understand they also, you stayed at their, their residence?

SK: Yes, oh yes. And Kyoto, it was getting October, end of October, getting cold. Not only that, I have to sit on the tatami to learn. Oh, my legs are hurting, and I don't know what to do. It's not, the lesson goes into my legs, hurting, and my, stars coming out. So teacher look at me, Professor Uyeno, he's gone, too. Anyway, he said, "Ashi dashinasai," the leg, pull out the leg. I can't. If I pull out the leg, I can't sit there, or else I'll fall off. And next morning, I went to this study place, table and chair was there. And the teacher sitting on the tatami and I was way up. That was terrible. And he took me to resident every time a class finish. The bus, and I got the purse and notebook and everything. So many people are getting on the rush hour to the bus, I don't know where my purse is, you know, really, it's so far. And the teacher took me to... he was so kind, take me to the resident and came back. And another, the resident is from the United States, three people was studying with me. But not this same teacher, they were studying in a different class. Those ladies are passed away, too. So my goodness, I'm the only one living still. [Laughs]

PW: Do they still have residence for out-of-town...

SK: Yes, out-of-town people. They have, they built.

PW: Oh, they built a place where you could stay.

SK: Third floor, no elevator.

PW: Oh, I see.

SK: Uh-huh. So this resident, what I stayed with this lady and one, two daughters, they had, they were special because her husband was involved in Ikenobo and passed away, I think.

<End Segment 15> - Copyright © 2005 Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<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.

<Begin Segment 17>

PW: I'd like to talk about, about the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, and I understand that they started early meetings, early planning period in 1952. Can you tell me about Bob's involvement from the beginning?

SK: Well, I can't remember everything, because I was in, raising Jerry and Donna, so, so much. But he speaks Japanese, so he's in Issei side. So he, I think they decided to do the Cultural Centre at Don Mills. Everybody was, I think, against. How could we go there? It's very, it's a hick place, you know, so...

PW: Way out in the country.

SK: Yeah, way out in the country. "How could we go there?" Nobody could go there. But you know, way back when they started, not many people had a car. Naturally, they worried about that, but even those days, the bus was running. But he had a really hard time. Most of the Issei people wants it, this Japanese gathering place, but the Nisei people said, too much Japanese people so we're going to, you know, just like Vancouver. This is what I heard. But afterwards, George Tanaka came in and Raymond Moriyama, sometime I think he was involving, too, so when Raymond Moriyama was going to build the thing, so lots of people against, too.

PW: Why did you think that was?

SK: I don't know. I didn't even ask Bob. Bob doesn't say anything, but this is outside, from, I heard. When Bob come home from the meeting, I, when I look at his face around the clothes, the neck side, all the rash comes out. I never talk about the Cultural Centre.

PW: But he was, he was working and then going to meetings after dinner until midnight, past midnight every day?

SK: Yes. He usually come home one-thirty. And Donna started to cry before one-thirty, exactly. I don't need alarm clock. One-thirty she started to cry. So Bob opened the door and Donna cries. You know, it's not, it's no sound or anything, but she cries one-thirty.

PW: Now, Bob, Bob worked also at the consul general's office as well as at the Centre, then?

SK: Uh-huh. First in the consul, afterwards, half a day working at the consul general's, half a day at the Cultural Centre, but that's not enough when this is going on. So they advertised, I think, to come to some, come to work. But I heard they had quite a bit, the university graduate. But the pay, who wants the pay, just like a chicken feed? Nobody wants to work, so end up Bob have to take. So Bob said, "I won't get like the consul general's office money, but do you think you could, can you live with what I get paid?" So I said, "Well, we have to, we have to," I said. "So go ahead."

PW: So, like it was twelve years from the early planning stage 'til they, 'til they opened the building in 1964, I guess it was then. And then Bob worked, what, for how many years?

SK: Ten.

PW: As the executive director?

SK: Yeah, ten years.

PW: And who also helped him during that period? Ken?

SK: Ken.

PW: Was he the assistant, Ken Kutsukake?

SK: Isn't it... yeah, Ken and Harry Fukushima.

PW: Oh, okay.

SK: Early days, and the secretary was Kathy Okawara. It's a part-time, though, I think, not full-time. And who else worked there? Oh, Sumi Utsunomiya.

PW: I, when we were having a talk with Rose, she was telling us about Ken's involvement at the Centre.

SK: Uh-huh.

PW: And that time period, they used to have alarm system. And as part of the alarm system, if something happened, they had to phone somebody, and it was either supposed to be Bob or Ken. And Bob says, "Well, don't phone me. I've got young children, so don't phone me if there's an alarm situation." So Ken got the alarm calls all the time. [Laughs] So Rose said, "Well, gee..." it was terrible, 'cause he used to get calls in the middle of the night.

SK: No, because the, you know, break in, and they didn't have anything to take, so they take Bob's camera, and make a mess because they had a knife or something. And the mezzanine to go to the downstair, they all cut with a knife. And outside is a toro, Nihon no yuki, that's all stolen, too. So after that, I think, they need an alarm system.

PW: How was, what's your memories of the early days of, of the Japanese Cultural Centre when it opened, after it opened?

SK: I don't think about that. [Laughs] It was okay, but from the first, we have to take from our frying, if there's something going on, they can't buy anything. So all the ladies' auxiliary took the frying pan, even naosumashi we have to take that one and everything. So Masako Okawara and Yone Kobayashi, Yas Fukushima, Pat Adachi... of course, Hattie Hagino... what's the Hagino? Sam, wasn't it? Sam Hagino. So we took all our frying pan, electric frying pan, it's all broken afterwards. Do you think Centre paid for us? No. [Laughs]

PW: So there was a lot of volunteer work...

SK: Oh, yes. It's mostly volunteer, yes. Not like these days, they never paid.

<End Segment 17> - Copyright © 2005 Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 18>

PW: Then after ten years, Bob resigned and you at some point --

SK: No, he wants to resign but he didn't say that to me. So I said, "Quit." I said, "Just a nice time, it's ten years. I'm tired, too, working for the, you know," because my ikebana was getting full-speed, growing, so I'm so tired to do... and not for the volunteer, just for the going out and coming, I got the family, you know, the cook and everything. So when the daughter was small, we used to take her, so he was, she was sleeping on the table or chair. It doesn't matter where she could sleep, she... but Jerry, no. She want, he wants to stay home and stay in our room.

PW: So what did Bob do after, after that?

SK: After retire?

PW: Yeah.

SK: So he was trying to do translator or, you know, book or something like that, the Japanese novel, like, and he wants to translate those things. But Consul General Yamaguchi, "Still you could work, so come back." So he, that's why Bob went back to the consul general.

PW: And how long did he stay?

SK: Stay, stay 'til '70, '72. I don't know when he quit, what age. I can't remember.

PW: And tell me, is it -- now, I understand he wrote all the Japanese correspondence to Japan.

SK: Yes.

PW: Tell me about that.

SK: Uh-huh. He said he have to write everything, and right after, when he quit the consul general's office and visit, it's all machine line up in that huge place, so he said, "Oh, good thing I'm old," he said. [Laughs] He can't tackle with those computer anymore.

PW: And why, why do you think that he was given that role, to do the correspondence?

SK: Well, he could write. Well, he, that was his job.

PW: But why, why couldn't the other Japanese staff do it?

SK: He said, they, well, said they can't write the kanji.

PW: So it's amazing that Bob had all this knowledge of Japanese.

SK: Yes.

PW: As a Nisei, to be able to do that, because there's a whole formal language of writing and, you know, the kanji, so that was pretty good. Now, Bob was awarded a special award from Japan. Can you tell me about that?

SK: Well, that was, it came out from Toronto mayor, this is bad, because I can't remember. He passed away a couple of years ago, he was living in Etobicoke. He, I think consul general was pushed, he can't put his name in, so... and another person from... not Peterboroug h, Lindsey? That's the mayor there, Bob was involved in Japan sister-city and...

PW: Oh, Lindsay?

SK: Yeah, and Hokkaido. So they nominate, I think, Bob was doing. And he was, that time what's that called? Multiculture... just started, and he was involved in that, too. He was working at the Cultural Centre, and he went to Ottawa, too, so I think that kind of thing...

PW: So was, was that the Order of the Rising Sun?

SK: Yes.

PW: That was the award that he was given from, from Japan.

<End Segment 18> - Copyright © 2005 Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 19>

PW: The other involvement was that Bob was very active in the United Church. Can you tell me about what he did at the United Church?

SK: Oh, United Church, he was still at the United Church every week, shuuho, everything writing, Bob have to do it.

PW: So this was a newsletter from --

SK: Newsletter from United Church, yes. Because of course, computer was out, Japanese, too, but nobody could use it. So right now, they're using a computer, what they call Soft Word or something, Japanese, so it's clean and nice. So before he passed away, before three weeks, doing, he was so tired. I kept his newsletter, because the writing is getting little sloppy. So I looked at Bob's writing, so I said, "Why don't you quit? Aren't you tired?" Oh, he said he's tired. "Go tell the reverend, tell Reverend Aihara to, you can't do anymore. Why do you have to do it?" I didn't know he's gonna pass after that three weeks, you know. "Nande, shinu made shinakute naranai no," I said to him. [Laughs]

PW: What she said was, "Why do you keep doing it 'til you die," but without knowing that three weeks later, he did pass away. But I guess he was getting pretty tired by that time.

SK: Oh, yeah, he was very tired. Because he usually come to our flower show, that time was Professor Yoshioka was here, so I was out most of the time, and he wants to come and United Church, Mr. Yamasaki wants take him. He usually bring osushi and everything to Bob, you know. But he said no, he can't sit still because he gets so tired. So up and down is no good a demonstration or something. So he didn't come. But when he took the Professor Yoshioka to airport and come home and take Bob to the hospital. Because Donna was doing everything behind me, because the last, when we went to... which hospital? No, not the Willowdale. What's that... close that hospital? Anyway, he was there and the doctor was looking after him. He didn't come and Donna, Bob came out and that time he was in a wheelchair; he can't walk. So anyway, doctor wants Donna to talk. So, and the nurse went, talked a long time. So I thought, "That's funny. What's going on?" But Donna and Toshi didn't say anything to me. And went into the Bayview... what do they call it... the Jewish...

PW: Baycrest?

SK: Baycrest, yeah, and that place, you have to just wait for dying. I didn't know that, either. Bob said that if he goes into the hospital, maybe he'll get better. This is why, he doesn't want to go into the hospital, this is another thing. So he wants to stay home. But the last minute, he said, of course, Donna was, I think, talking, maybe Bayview is closed, so, "Why don't you go?" But he didn't say, but after I came back from airport, he said, "Yeah, byoin ni hairu," he said. So when we went in, one week, he ate well -- he likes hospital food, is the funny part. I don't like hospital food, but Bob think, "Oh, it's so good. Their cooking is good." And the one week he ate everything, but the second week, no. So, and Donna knows, so she all ready for the funeral and everything, she was by him, herself, but he didn't even talk to Jerry. So Jerry was, "Why didn't you tell me Daddy was that bad?" "But if you, if I tell, everybody's face is different, so Daddy could notice right away," she said. "That's why we didn't say anything." So... well, he went peacefully, because the last day, Friday, Reverend Aihara and Mr. Taira even Sid Ikeda was, came to see. And that time, Bob doesn't want to talk too much, but when Sid said, "Okay, Bob, take care, I'll come again." And he went out, but he woke up and called Sid, talk about the Cultural Centre. "Look after the Cultural Centre," I think he said that. And the next morning he passed away.

PW: I think Sid mentioned that it was Bob that really got him involved in the Cultural Centre.

SK: Yes.

PW: And I think actually said it's carrying on a great tradition at the, at the Cultural Centre.

<End Segment 19> - Copyright © 2005 Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 20>

PW: When the redress came up, what was Bob's opinion of the redress situation when it came up?

SK: First he wasn't go with it. But he didn't against or anything, but, "It's not my place to go out to do," he said he'd let the younger ones to do. But when we had redress money, we went to see the sakura in Japan.


PW: What about... what did, what did you think about it?

SK: I don't... you know, lots of people complain that, like a ghost town or where we were taken to the, for instance, I was in Tashme. Compared to United States, so far we are, nobody had a gun or anything, the mounted police. So I think it was, you know, our government protect us. I was thinking that way. Good way, not... of course, lots of people lost their home and boat and everything, but we don't, so I don't know the feeling of that. But we lost in Japan, too, Japan was doing the same thing. They took our house and everything, and they gave us ichiman yen, 1930, around there was a very, very good money. But after the war, ichiman is nothing, but my brother got sanman yen, thirty thousand dollar only for that house and all the fields, the mountain, too, yama. They took that, everything from, we're not there. Fusaichi nushi, they call. So we're here, and we ate, well, we didn't have every day steak, you know, night, but still, we lived. So...

<End Segment 20> - Copyright © 2005 Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 21>

PW: What, what's your, what do you think about the future of Ikenobo ikebana, since you're very involved?

SK: Well, this is kind of... I can't say it out loud, but, you know, more younger people comes in... unless lots of Chinese, Taiwanese people are Ikenobo. You should see the, lots, you know, I didn't know it's lots of chapter there, but that tiny island, but I know one north part of chapter, the two thousand member going. And they have, I don't know, five or six chapter in Taiwan, and the most is 1,500. Not less than one thousand, you know. So it's lots of Chinese, I mean, Taiwanese girls are here, and they're so keen onto this. Eventually, I think, all the chapters gonna be Taiwanese, the girls are gonna take over. Unless Sansei, Yonsei, or young Japanese are coming from Japan to, with marriage, and those people took after. But for instance, I teach one girl married to a Canadian, and she came here. But they bought a house, and if they have a family, they can't come out. So older people are, everybody's almost -- more than, not almost, but retired, and some are forgetful. [Laughs] So I like the next forty-fifth anniversary headmaster's daughters, Yuki-san is the next headmaster, Hijiki Imoto is the next headmaster. Husband's looking after that, too. Right now, Japan is the same; younger people is getting less and less. So they're trying to do all those, like, high school, they want to put ikebana in the kamoku ne, so they could... right now isn't a high school there, unless it's a special course. The school makes it, the few people -- it's not in the subject, okay? So it's not going to be in the report or in report cards. But my days, ikebana was in the report cards. You're, how many you're percentage in there, so...

PW: And do you think the... like Ikenobo is the largest of the ikebana groups, right? Do you think Ikenobo will still continue to be the most active one?

SK: Japan, yes. So this Yuki-san's husband is Ikenobo now, name. He's trying to do... Ikenobo have a university in Kyoto, it was almost gone, and when he went in and build up.

PW: So he's promoting it a lot more now.

SK: Yeah, promoting. And then he goes out to speak for the young group to why, why it's better to learn ikebana, why? This is that kind of subject, speech. When you're going out from Japan, where you go, you're North America or south to Asia, if you know how to entertain with flower arrangement, nobody will say, "I don't like flower," so, and the guest or something, you could speak and I could arrange the flower. Some place, you go to Europe, if you know the ikebana... they think Japanese knows ikebana, but lots of people doesn't these days. So it's better to learn how to arrange the flower. It's not only that, that the university teaching how to educate and everything, teaching English, teaching cooking course, Japanese traditional cooking course and those things they were teaching. That's why it came up. So I like to invite him to come, because he speak English and Japanese both, half and half, he could, with... even elderly people, some Ikenobo decide, "This is what Japan, our Ikenobo group said. If you take Ikenobo course, you live longer." So lots of hundred years old... [laughs]

PW: You're an example of that, aren't you? [Laughs]

<End Segment 21> - Copyright © 2005 Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 22>

PW: What do you think of the current building and the programs and the future of the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre?

SK: Oh, they're doing good. They're doing good. I thought they, they won't carry on, but they're doing okay.

PW: So you think the future of the Cultural Centre is good?

SK: Yes, uh-huh, because --

PW: Especially with the new facilities, I guess.

SK: And especially when you're involved in all the cultural thing, even Canadian people are more than Japanese Nisei or Sansei. More into it, so, I think it's okay.

PW: What, do you have any comments about the Japanese Canadian community in Canada, Toronto, in the future?

SK: I don't involve too much in things, so I can't say.

PW: You're now eighty-four-plus.

SK: Yes. [Laughs]

PW: You've had an excellent life. What do you, do you have any comments about, about your life now?

SK: Oh, yes. I saw the day with NHK, with, they always once a week, hundred years, over hundred years men or ladies. And most are very healthy or some was when they were young, (they were sick, some), they were very healthy. So they lived hundred and four, so my daughter listened to that, "Oh no." [Laughs] So I said, "Why, 'oh no'?" "Well, never mind," she said. "You were sick, too, when you're a child, and always get sick. So like that man, you're gonna live to hundred and twenty," she said.

PW: But I think you got all your sickness out of the way when you were young, so now you can continue on.

SK: Yeah, and healthy like my brother and sister all passed away, and weakest one lived. [Laughs]

PW: Well, I think you've had a fantastic life, and thank you very much.

SK: You're welcome.

PW: It's been a great story.

SK: Thank you.

<End Segment 22> - Copyright © 2005 Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 23>

[Photo descriptions]

PW: Mrs. Kadoguchi and her family when she was six years old.


PW: Mrs. Kadoguchi with her family when she was nine years old in Vancouver.


PW: This is the Ide family in 1926 in Vancouver, Mrs. Kadoguchi was six at this time.


PW: Mrs. Kadoguchi when she was six years old.


PW: The Ide family in Vancouver, B.C., Mrs. Kadoguchi was ten at this time.


PW: The Ide family in Vancouver, Mrs. Kadoguchi was nine, the year before she went back to Japan with her parents.


PW: Bob and Shizuko married in Vancouver, 1942.


PW: This is a photograph of Mrs. Kadoguchi when she went back to Japan, and the photograph in a formal wedding gown in Japan, substantially after she was married.


PW: This is the commission permit to allow Bob to go to Vancouver from Woodfibre in April 15, 1942, so he could travel to Vancouver and, to get married to Shizuko. He was to return to Woodfibre on April the 20th, 1942. This was issued by the British Columbia Security Commission.


PW: This is Tashme, where the Kadoguchi family was interned in the interior of B.C. Photograph taken from near the top of the mountain, looking down into the valley where the houses were located at Tashme.


PW: The view of Tashme showing the row housing, the store area, the smaller buildings by the trees, and the barn which was converted into apartments.


PW: The group photo of the cast of the shibais, or concerts that were held in Tashme.


PW: Bob and Sue in front of their house, shack, in the winter in Tashme.


PW: Logging and preparing firewood for the houses in Tashme.


PW: Working in the forest to get firewood for the Tashme camp.


PW: Bob and some of the people who were preparing firewood for the camp at Tashme.


PW: Hauling firewood for fuel for Tashme.


PW: Bob and Sue outside their tarpaper shack in Tashme.


PW: The first Tashme troops, Boy Scout troop. The leaders and patrol leaders.


PW: The members of the cast for a shibai, or concert, in Tashme.


PW: Bob in the center of the executive committee of the Tashme Youth Organization in 1944.


PW: Young Bob, the organizer for the TYO.


PW: 1944, the Tashme senior baseball championship champions, the Hayabusa.


PW: The executive of the TYO, Tashme Youth Organization executive committee, 1944.


PW: Bob Kadoguchi.


PW: The cast of the TYO for their concert in Tashme.


PW: Scoutmaster Shig Yoshida. Bob Kadoguchi.


PW: Young Bobby Ito. And Bob Kadoguchi.


PW: Bobby Ito tap dancing at one of the concerts.


PW: Some of the members of the cast in their kimonos. Bob Kadoguchi.


PW: Bob Kadoguchi getting his Order of Canada from the governor general in Ottawa.

<End Segment 23> - Copyright © 2005 Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Densho. All Rights Reserved.