Densho Digital Archive
Twin Cities JACL Collection
Title: Mary T. Yoshida Interview
Narrator: Mary T. Yoshida
Interviewer: Megan Asaka
Location: Bloomington, Minnesota
Date: June 18, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-ymary-01-0009

<Begin Segment 9>

MA: Tell me a little bit more about this family that you worked for. What did they do? What was their occupation?

MY: They were a prominent family. And I think the husband -- I never did meet the husband of the wife, because he was working in Washington, and I don't even know what he did. They had a daughter that was going to Smith College and son that was younger, he was ten years old at that time. So he and I became buddies. And he taught me how to play tennis, so that was fun.

MA: Was there another, you mentioned there was a group of you working there?

MY: Not there, but in the city in St. Paul. Others were coming out doing the same thing with other families. So that's when we, and I don't even know how we got together, but we finally established a group of... so on Thursdays, the "maid's day out," we'd always get together and go out to eat or something.

MA: Was the "maid's day out" sort of a common thing among all people who worked in homes?

MY: Yeah, right.

MA: Where were some places that you would go, some favorite places?

MY: There was one Chinese restaurant, I don't think he's still around, in, I think it was downtown (Minneapolis). And sometimes we'd go to... in fact, I invited the group out to my home where I worked, or out to the lake, because it would be a chance to get together. About that time, Fort Snelling was coming alive, so we were seeing the boys coming into town, so we got to meet some of them and have get-togethers.

MA: It seems like Fort Snelling and the language school really drew a lot of Niseis to the area.

MY: Plus, it, I think, made it easier for people here to accept the Japanese because of the language school. That's why I came back here, because I felt that the people here were more tolerant of us and accepted us. And I think that's because of the language school. 'Cause the boys always come into town and shop or mingle around and they were seen.

MA: Yeah, that's interesting. I'd imagine that would have an impact.

MY: Right. Because when I was working at the first job that I had after I graduated from college in Texas, I was working for the YWCA in Minneapolis. And kind of started the US, what they called USO and invited the guys to come for dances and socials and things. So it was kind of a gathering place for the Nisei girls to come around. That's how I met my husband.

MA: Was that a dance or a USO activity?

MY: I'm sure it was a USO activity, 'cause I was working at the Y at that time.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright ©2009 Densho and the Twin Cities JACL. All Rights Reserved.