Densho Digital Archive
Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre Collection
Title: Kimi Wakabayashi Interview
Narrator: Kimi Wakabayashi
Interviewer: Peter Wakayama
Location: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Date: January 10, 2005
Densho ID: denshovh-wkim-01-0002

<Begin Segment 2>

PW: And what did your parents do in Binmanji?

KW: Oh, that time, my boys is a farmer, you know, but she started that rice... what you call? Business. They send her to Osaka, Kyoto, and all over, send her to rice, that kind of business.

PW: And I understand the rice around Binmanji is very good rice.

KW: Rice?

PW: Yes, it was very good rice.

KW: Oh, yeah, yeah. Nice farming.

PW: Rice farming?

KW: Yeah, that's right.

PW: And, and what did you, what school did you go to? How far in school?

KW: Well, you know, shogakko is grade one to six. Very close, one half-a-block away my house, so very close. Up to grade six, and go grade six, eight, nine is Taga. Taga is maybe twenty, twenty-minutes' walk? Yeah. You mean Taga?

PW: And did you, did you go to grade shogakko dake?

KW: No. Shogakko sixth...

PW: Sixth.

KW: And grade twelve, I mean, seven, eight, is Taga, then graduate and sewing class, three-year.

PW: And what, and what did you do after you went to the sewing class, after high school?

KW: Well, that's a sewing class. I wanted to try to go Osaka or Kyoto, and Hokoni ikitai to omotteta no. Suguni okekkon no hanashinatte ikinakatta. [Laughs]

PW: Oh, I see. What she said was that she wanted to go to Osaka, but marriage came up and so she couldn't, couldn't go there. Could you tell, tell me about what happened about your marriage?

KW: Marriage?

PW: Yes.

KW: Oh, at that time I'm young and I don't know anything about kekkon, you know. Just obey to my mother and daddy. [Laughs]

PW: And what happened?

KW: What? Oh, I'm, I'm lucky, he's real nice, you know.

PW: Could you tell me about the experience about how the marriage was arranged?

KW: Marriage?

PW: Yeah, how was it arranged?

KW: At that time I'm young, I don't think anything, just mother say, and just to obey, that's all. [Laughs]

PW: Did you know that Tokujiro, your husband, was going to Canada and that he came from Canada to find a bride?

KW: Yeah.

PW: And did you know anything about Canada?

KW: Oh, no, nothing. Nothing. [Laughs] But just my daddy and his daddy just arrange, you know, and married, that's all. And I didn't think anything about that time.

PW: So you didn't know Tokujiro, but he was from the same village?

KW: Yeah, same village.

PW: Did you know him at all before?

KW: Oh, no.

PW: You didn't, you didn't know him at all?

KW: No. Yeah. [Laughs]

PW: Then you were married in 1931.

KW: 1931.

PW: And then you, did you, right after the marriage, did you come to Japan -- to Canada?

KW: Canada, yeah. I think just a month, isn't it? Yeah, after month in Binmanji, then come to Canada. Yeah, that's right. Vancouver. We went to stop, I think, in Canada. Oh, at that time, already told me Regina, open store. But on our way Calgary and Edmonton stop, then come to Regina. Then Regina we stayed one year, I think, then moved to Saskatchewan.

PW: And what did they tell you about your husband before you got married?

KW: Before, well, they say, "Nice man." [Laughs] He not drink, drink, you know. So I don't know. I can't think that time, just, just obey my daddy and mama, that's all. [Laughs]

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