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-01-0024

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MA: Great, so before we wrap up, is there anything, anything you would like to share? Anything else, any other memories or any thoughts?

HC: Well, I think maybe just say that I'm proud to be of Japanese ancestry, and I'm not one to be, at this point, be shirking and saying Japanese-ness is not a good thing. It seems to me that we all have something to contribute to the world no matter what we look like, and we all have an important role in this world to make it a better place and to make things better for our children, and to see to it that the older people are taken care of properly, and maintain our own health and our own dignity so that we are contributing members to the society in which we live. And I would say that I don't think -- for me, I don't think that the evacuation experience was a bad experience, it was one of growing and understanding, and one of growing to appreciate my Japanese-ness. What Japanese I've learned, I've learned in camp, and I think my, I could talk to my grandmother in English and she could respond in Japanese ad I could understand it, which I wouldn't have been able to do without that, I suspect. And so I think that the evacuation experience helped us as a Japanese community to be more broad-minded, to be more understanding, to hopefully be compassionate about what happens to other people, especially if they're in something of a same situation. And I think that the evacuation experience made it possible for to achieve way beyond what we possibly would have otherwise been able to achieve in the way of vocations. I suspect there will always have been good Japanese university teachers, 'cause they were always acceptable there. But when it comes to medicine and the law and public education, public health, these were possibly not available to Japanese without having had the experience of the time, of the evacuation. So let's be proud of being Japanese.

MA: Great, I think that's a great note to end on.

HC: Oh, well, thank you.

MA: So thank you so much for coming down here, and it was just a wonderful interview.

HC: Thank you, I appreciate your, your experience to make this an interesting time to talk about, talk about myself and our Japanese-ness.

MA: Yeah, so thank you.

HC: Yeah, my pleasure.

<End Segment 24> - Copyright ©2008 Densho and the Topaz Museum. All Rights Reserved.