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-02-0005

<Begin Segment 5>

MU: Well, then, you started going to school here?

TM: (Then) came September, and well, there was, I think it was known as the Jefferson Elementary School where they had three classes for foreign students like us. And I was assigned to one of the classes. See, that was September, and I stayed there until February of the following year, 1935. We learned reading, writing, conversation, and American history which was the toughest course, American history. [Laughs] I didn't know the history. So it was tough. Interesting, but very tough. So I stayed there until February and then a teacher suggested I continue on to high school, I wasn't sure. But (she) said, "No, you can handle it." So I started at Broadway High School. And yeah, it was tough. Science classes (and such) were easy, chemistry was easy, math was easy, grammar was easy, but reading, reciting, American history, now that was something else. [Laughs]

MU: But you finally made it?

TM: I finished high school in 1938.

MU: Then you, what did you do from there?

TM: Well, at that time, as I recall, about 25 percent of the students went to university or college. And some of my friends started to look for a job and some of them found jobs, odds and ends. But I thought I should continue on so that I have better chance and I did attend the University of Washington in 1938. I was supposed to be the class of '42, but toward the end of '41, something happened in Hawaii.

MU: [Laughs] What was that?

TM: Bombs started to fall.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.