Densho Digital Archive
Twin Cities JACL Collection
Title: Lucy Kirihara Interview
Narrator: Lucy Kirihara
Interviewer: Steve Ozone
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Date: October 13, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-klucy-01-0004

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SO: Can you talk about growing up when you were, your earliest recollection when you were little?

LK: When we were little it seemed like the three of us were always together. My older sister Esther skipped two grades so that makes her, even if she were five years older than I, she was seven years ahead of us, myself. And she was always reading a book or something like that, and so my middle sister really sort of took care of me and would take me here and there and so forth.

And then I had, when I started grade school, I had my best girlfriend and her name was Sherma Neushin. I would pick her up going to school in kindergarten or first grade. Maybe Eunice was with us too, I can't remember. But it was safe in those days. And she, parents made Kosher pickles, so every time I'd pick her up she'd go to the barrel and she'd get a pickle for us and we'd eat it on the way going to school, it had a lot of garlic in there, I think. Surprisingly I saw her years later, she lives in California now, and she said, "Oh Lucy, remember the pickles we used to eat?" and I said, yes, and she said, "Well, we became quite famous." Her brother, they had a little business and they made pickles. In fact, one girl got married in California, she must have lived in Portland or something, and she said the only wedding present she really wanted was a Neushin pickle jar and so it did become famous. They did something with it after.

SO: Can you talk about this picture?

LK: Oh, that must have been... they took a lot of family pictures because they wanted to send them back to Japan. And so there is my father and my mother, and then Esther is the oldest and Eunice is on the other side and I'm in the middle. It must have been at Easter time. I'm born in February, so February, March, April, well, maybe... anyway, I don't know why I have a chocolate bunny on there, but that's a picture that they sent back to Japan.

SO: 1932.

LK: Oh, 1932, I was born in '31, so then I had to be over a year. I'm a year then.

SO: And let's see. This one...

LK: Oh, that's when we were little. We had many friends, and they were... I guess that's a little bit too young, but when we were older we used to go to the farm. In the summertime my mother would take the three of us and we would pick berries.

SO: Was it a special farm?

LK: Berry farms, and friends were very good to us, but we're older. I must have been about ten. We must have been visiting that farm at that time. And Esther was old enough to work and Eunice was, too. I remember when she picked, my mother bought her a typewriter and then Eunice got a bicycle. This is just before the war, and when we had to get rid of everything during the war I remember someone gave Eunice two dollars for her bicycle, so that was sort of sad. But we used to pick strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and...

<End Segment 4> - Copyright ©2009 Densho and the Twin Cities JACL. All Rights Reserved.