Densho Digital Archive
Topaz Museum Collection
Title: Helen Harano Christ Interview
Narrator: Helen Harano Christ
Interviewer: Megan Asaka
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: June 18, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-chelen-01-0002

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MA: So let's talk a little bit about your parents, because as you said, they were Nisei so they were born in the U.S.

HC: Uh-huh. My father was born in Berkeley, California, my mother was born in Oakland, California, my grandparents came over in 1898, and in 1908, on my father's side, and I don't remember when my grandparents on the other side came over, but my grandfather came over -- on my mother's side -- as a pacifist in regard to the Russo-Japanese war, so that would be the end of the, the Japanese, or the end of the 1900s, 1800s.

MA: Oh, interesting. You, can you talk a little bit about...

HC: Being a pacifist?

MA: ...his pacifism and how that brought him to the U.S.?

HC: Well, he, I said to, in the hearing of my mother, that he was a, he was a draft-dodger, but Mom said, "No, he was a pacifist. He was not wanting to have any kind of thing to do with war and with killing people. He was a gentle, kind, loving man, and he didn't want to have to do anything to hurt other people." And so he came to this country early, earlier than my grandmother did. She came as a "picture bride," but she told me that she went to his village and lived with his family for several months before she came to this country, and so she knew him quite well because his sisters loved to tell stories on him. And she, she fell in love with him on the basis of what she learned about him as she lived in his family at home. And so she, she was quite confident when she came as a "picture bride" to this country that she was going to marry a very fine gentleman who was loving and kind and wanted peace.

MA: Wow, that's a great story.

HC: Good story, isn't it?

<End Segment 2> - Copyright ©2008 Densho and the Topaz Museum. All Rights Reserved.