Densho Digital Archive
Twin Cities JACL Collection
Title: Judy Murakami Interview
Narrator: Judy Murakami
Interviewer: Carolyn Nayamatsu
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Date: October 13, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-mjudy-01-0012

<Begin Segment 12>

CN: Now another organization that your family belonged to was something called the Rainbow Club.

JM: Right.

CN: And that was composed mostly of Japanese? It looks like some of these pictures, like this one, it was kind of an intercultural, multicultural group?

JM: I would call it more internationality...

CN: Okay.

JM: opposed to just "cultural." They, in the early days... somebody else probably knows the dates and the history better than I do, but the Episcopalian Diocese had this building at 2200 Blaisdell in Minneapolis, and they either gave the building to the Japanese American community or they allowed them to use the building. And so there were many functions there. We had bazaars there, we had meetings there...

CN: Now what that also called the Japanese American Center?

JM: It was the Japanese American Center.

CN: Okay, because you have a couple of photos like the "Japanese American Center bazaar" and...

JM: And that one had my brother, my little brother, who was born in 1949, Philip.

CN: And then this is a...

JM: This one I think is Miyeko Uyejima and Kimi Hara, and my mother Emi Nomura. And that was again at a bazaar for that. So at these centers --

CN: And this is at Halloween it says?

JM: That one, is that the Rainbow Club or is that the...

CN: It says "JA Center."

JM: That's the Japanese American Center. So what they would do is they would have, they would use the center for multiple things. And they would have, it was mainly a place to meet. And then they also had this Rainbow Club which was this multi-nationality, mainly Caucasians, there were some blacks or African Americans and a lot of Japanese Americans there.

CN: Here it shows sort of a mixture of... it looks like there's an African American.

JM: Right. And they became friends for many, many years. So it was... the Japanese American Community Center was a place for people to meet. It was kind of a place where they would have like young people's groups organized from there. But as I understand it, as the families got bigger, as the Japanese American families got bigger, and they moved into the suburbs or they moved away, they became more involved with their local communities and their children's activities, and it became more difficult to go into Minneapolis for occasions, and they were also supposed to help keep up and maintain this building. And so they would take turns, the Japanese people, families would take turns taking care of it. Well, again, as you became busier and moved farther away, eventually they wanted to give the building back to the Episcopalian diocese and so they no longer owned that building.

CN: And the Episcopal, there was a Japanese American father, right? A minister?

JM: Right. His name was, we called him Father Dai Kitagawa. Right, and he was followed by Father, Reverend Otani. But again, I don't remember if Reverend Otani actually was, if by that time the community center was starting to be less active, and the Twin Cities Independent Christian Church that you were looking at earlier, they no longer had the meeting place on Blaisdell, so they tended to meet, I think, in, they may have met in some high rise, in the party room in some high rise.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright ©2009 Densho and the Twin Cities JACL. All Rights Reserved.