Densho Digital Archive
Twin Cities JACL Collection
Title: Don Maeda Interview
Narrator: Don Maeda
Interviewer: Carolyn Nayematsu
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Date: October 13, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-mdon-01-0013

<Begin Segment 13>

CN: Did they suffer any discrimination that you know of when they were trying to buy the house? Was there...

DM: Yes, there was. I remember we went to a house, it was one of the houses, it wasn't all that great but it was off of Randolph and Snelling. And the realtor brought us in there and we went back out and he says, "They won't sell it to you. They don't want the neighbors to talk about selling to any Japanese," so that was the only time that I can recall. But Kay and I ran into that, we were married in 1950 and in 1954 we decided to move out to Roseville and at that time there were a lot of returning GIs and so as all, they were new little homes and we were all set to close and the guy said, "I don't know, I better talk to the rest of these people that are buying in this neighborhood. I better see if it's all right with them." And apparently it's alright with them but we didn't even think any problem, but before that when we first got married and was looking for an apartment in Minneapolis, we'd answer an ad in the paper and go and, "No, that's already taken." We went through that three, four, five times and finally the last one we got kind of wise, you know, and right after, we called up right after we looked at it, and were refused and called up and asked if, we didn't say we were the ones, we just said we're checking on the ad, is it still, oh yeah, it's still open you know, so we realized then that, ah.

CN: They didn't want to rent to you.

DM: Right.

CN: Was that about the only time that you experienced, that you felt discriminated against, in Minnesota, in the early days?

DM: Well, I do remember I didn't have a car here at first and you'd ride on the streetcar, and if you were by a window and there was an empty seat next to you, people wouldn't sit down. They'd prefer standing rather than sitting next to a, same with the colored people, a lot of people wouldn't sit with colored people. Little things.

CN: Did people know that, about the internment, evacuating?

DM: I don't think, I don't think most of them out here did. I really don't know.

CN: So, how many people attended your youth group at the Episcopal Church?

DM: Oh, at the peak, the young people, there must have been twenty to thirty.

CN: And where did this Daisuke Kitagawa, did he receive his training in Japan, I mean, become an Episcopal...

DM: Yeah, he was a Nisei, I'm not sure where he got his training, but had a church in Seattle. We didn't go to the Episcopal Church but he did have a church in Seattle.

CN: Because after him, wasn't there a Father Otani?

DM: Otani. Father Kitagawa left here and he went to the World Council of Churches in Switzerland and he passed away relatively young.

CN: How did your wife like Minnesota?

DM: You know, after her training here she wanted to see the east. So she had some friends in Baltimore, he was an Episcopal priest, and she lived with them for a year and worked in Baltimore for a year and she had enough of the east so she came back to Minnesota just before we met.

<End Segment 13> - Copyright ©2009 Densho and the Twin Cities JACL. All Rights Reserved.