Densho Digital Archive
Twin Cities JACL Collection
Title: George Murakami Interview
Narrator: George Murakami
Interviewer: Steve Ozone
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Date: October 13, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-mgeorge_4-01-0011

<Begin Segment 11>

SO: Can you talk about your relationship with your parents because they couldn't speak fluent English. Your Japanese was a year or two of Japanese school.

GM: Yeah. Although at home we spoke strictly Japanese, and of course, a lot of Japanese words were Americanized words and so forth, but we really didn't get any help from them with our classroom work or things like that or stories read to us like we did with our children and grandchildren. But my Japanese was terrible. My English wasn't that good, but my father's and mother's Japanese was, I mean, their English was not very good either. They could get by, you know, but if you wanted to talk or discuss something a little bit more heavy, it was very difficult to do. Because if you want to talk about life situations and things, you couldn't discuss it and get any directions or help in that way, so all of the children were more or less kind of on our own as far as getting advice from our parents. So that was very difficult, and you didn't really get to know your parents that well because you didn't know what they were feeling, what they were thinking.

SO: Did you end up relying on your older brothers?

GM: A little bit, not so much because in the formative years he was already gone from the house. So that was another problem, too, that most of our kids didn't get directions or advice on life situations.

SO: Did you talk to your siblings about this?

GM: No, we never have. But I think like most families the sisters usually became the mothers, you know, and so I think she helped out quite a bit about manners and so forth.

<End Segment 11> - Copyright ©2009 Densho and the Twin Cities JACL. All Rights Reserved.