Densho Digital Archive
Loni Ding Collection
Title: Edward H. Mitsukado Interview
Narrator: Edward H. Mitsukado
Interviewer: Loni Ding
Location: Hawaii
Date: February 1, 1986
Densho ID: denshovh-medward-01-0004

<Begin Segment 4>

LD: That's how you remember your father, as someone who really took care of you and he sacrificed for you, take care of people.

EM: Yes. Well, that's why I said, give my father full credit for how his children grew up, and like I say, that it wasn't so much how my father disciplined me, but it was much more than that. That what he was doing for us at that time, he was struggling, I knew he was hurting his back, his back was hurting. And yet he would never ask us, to tell us, "Come on, I've worked all day, and will you massage my back?" or something like that. He never said that. We know that the doctor would massage his back, and the doctor would tell us, "If you want to help your dad, massage him." So without Dad ever asking us to massage him and all that, we would take turns doing it. And then, of course, at times, when he knew that it was our study time or we're supposed to be going out with the boys to play or something, or went out to, somewhere with the boys or something, he would tell us, "Just forget it, that's all right. My back is fine tonight, so you can, don't worry about it." I don't think there was ever a time when he told us, "Come on, do it on my back," when he was driving taxi. And it's the way that he talked to us. Surely he scolded us at times when we did something wrong, but he never lifted a hand. That is the... well, I've heard of other fellows telling me his father slapped his head or maybe give him a whack in the back or something like that. But for some reason, my father would get mad as he could be at times, but never use his hands. And he would, of course, calm down, and then talk to us again, and tell us, or if, for instance, it was studies, he would get mad at us when we don't study. Because he says, "Look, I'm trying to, what do you call, help you for your futures. I'm working now as your father, and I want you to study. And if you're not going to study, how can I be happy when I'm trying to do something for you?" So maybe you can play at times, there's no question. But he says, "When study time is now, I would like to have you study. Because after all, that is the main purpose that I'm working very hard to send, to do something for you both," especially two brothers. And girl, he didn't think about my sister as a career for her or anything like that. It was in terms of myself or my brother. He was very thoughtful about my sister, too. So in this case, with my father taking care of us in that fashion, never giving up, doing things... I mean, getting his prefectural friends to help him, and he would, that's why he was always willing to help others in that same group, or anybody else, for that matter. I would say that he was a "never say no" man when somebody needed help.

LD: He told you by example, or did he also tell you some things about how to live your life?

EM: He also told us that in this world, you have to have friends. They're the ones that will help you all the time. Like now, I needed help, they helped me. They need help, I help them. And people must help each other, especially in this world of people. He says, "You're going to find all kinds of people. You're not going to find all good, kind people all the time, but," he says, "you have to be strong yourself. You have to be ready for anything." So in this case, that's what they call that, making sure that you get your meals and you go to school, and especially when you get into fights with the other children and everything. "I don't want you to feel as though you're doing something bad. If you have to fight, you have to fight." But he said, "I don't want you to, what they call, fighting the wrong way, that is, doing something wrong to somebody. You have to do it the right way." You shouldn't be what they call the man to start the fight or anything like that.

I got into a lot of fights myself in those old days. And I'd get hurt or something and then he would ask why I got into a fight. I would explain to him, if you thought that I wasn't wrong or anything, he [inaudible] but he was nice to me. Very kind, very helpful, and if he thought that I was wrong, he told me about it. But then one thing he told us, "Don't be afraid to fight if you have to fight." So I'm not what they call being, trying to say that there was a fight in those days as a kid, but I was never shy when somebody came up, if you had to fight for your rights... well, like for instance, I'm selling newspapers as a kid and somebody else comes around and grabbed the paper or wanted to tell you to get out of that corner or something, tell you that's his corner or something, we have to fight. If you're going to fight, you get pushed around again. And so I got into all kinds of fights in that fashion. Of course, you get fighting to school when you're playing or something. He would never say don't fight, you have to fight the fight, he says.

<End Segment 4> - Copyright © 1986 The Center for Educational Telecommunications and Densho. All Rights Reserved.