Densho Digital Archive
National Japanese American Historical Society Collection
Title: Takashi Matsui Interview
Narrator: Takashi Matsui
Interviewer: Marvin Uratsu
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: December 12, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-mtakashi-02-0021

<Begin Segment 21>

MU: And were you... well, let's talk first about going to Fukuoka. You did you see your rela-, father and mother, no, father, I guess. Your mother was gone by then.

TM: Well, I had stepmother.

MU: Oh, you did? Okay.

TM: I went as far as the Kokura station, and it was toward evening, and the stationmaster came and said there was no more Allied personnel car -- not a train, but a car -- available going down that part of Kyushu, so the question was, the choice was whether I would take a regular car with the Japanese, mixed with the Japanese, or wait 'til the following morning. And I said, "No, I'd like to go right now." So they, stationmaster, imagine stationmaster came out and said, "All right, then we'll give you a seat." In fact, he gave me four seats, you know, they face each other like this. Then four people can sit. And outside of the window, they said, "This is exclusively for occupation forces," he wrote down in chalk. And then in the meantime, he told his staff to telephone the station where my father was living, and go to my father's place and tell him that I'm coming, arriving at certain time. And of course, he was waiting.

But I got into a really congested car, and everybody was looking at me in a funny way, because I had four seats to myself. And everybody was standing, and I felt kind of bad. Of course, I was in uniform, so I asked a obaachan, elderly lady closest to me, I said, "Please sit down." And she said, "No, no." Then I asked an old man, "Please sit down." He said, "No." So I said, "Well, I was born and brought up not too far from here, and I happened to go to America when I was young, and I came back, and so I'm going to see my folks. So please sit down." And one obaachan sat down. And after she sat down, everybody came to sit down. [Laughs] Asking me, asking me where I was, what I did, and where I was brought up and all that. And so they were kind of amused, strange to see same kind as them in different uniform. But the train took about fifteen minutes to get to the station, so I didn't have too much time to talk with them.

<End Segment 21> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.