Densho Digital Archive
Watsonville - Santa Cruz JACL Collection
Title: Jiro Sugidono Interview
Narrator: Jiro Sugidono
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Watsonville, California
Date: July 28, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-sjiro-01-0005

<Begin Segment 5>

TI: As we're talking about, sort of, these community things, how about, like, New Year's Day? What was that like?

JS: Oh (yes). Early time, I remember when they used to have New Year's, oh (yes), they didn't have just one, they had just, seemed like they had a whole week. 'Cause I know we had Japanese food for a long time, and at first, we didn't go to visit other people, but later on, we used to go to different, our friends' place, and when I was a little older, well, around grade school or high school, bunch of us younger guys go to different family, know them, and well, naturally, we go there, that's where they have drinks and things like that. And then we would go out to somebody's car and go to the country and meet our friends over there in the country. Those days, when they had New Year, every family had gotsou. So heck, they had teriyaki, rice balls, everything, and especially drink, sake, whatever. So...

TI: And so would you go around with your, your father or father and mother? Or how would this work when you went to another place?

JS: Oh, at first, I don't think at first my mother and father, they didn't make the rounds then. It was the younger people later, the Nisei, they started making the rounds, going to different family, go see their, their friend, family, this and that. (Yes), I used to go, I could name a few, like Tadas and Niyama and those people like that. We know the boys, the kids that we go over there, and so it's just like they invite us, but we just go there anyway.

TI: So in the same --

JS: It was open, you know.

TI: In the same way, people came to your place, too?

JS: (Yes), same thing, (yes).

TI: Now, did your mother have any specialty that she was really good at preparing?

JS: Oh (yes), she was, my wife, she made inarizushi, she brought it here, she learned that from my mother. And I don't know, everybody, well, I think it tastes like the way my mother did, make it. 'Cause my wife, she's pretty talented, too, so she learned from my mother. So every time they have get-together like this, she always volunteered to make it, you know.

TI: No, I had it last night. So it's a lighter, it's not, it's not really heavy.

JS: (Yes), she, I don't know how she does it, but sometimes I thought it, don't make it too greasy, you know. Hers -- and she don't fill it all in, she make it a little light so people could eat it instead of having a big ball. [Laughs]

TI: Okay, so last night I noticed that. When, the potluck, so the inarizushi, that was similar to how your mother used to make it?

JS: (Yes), oh (yes), and it tastes like, it's kind of sweet/sour taste, but it's still sweet. That's why it tastes good. (Yes), everybody tell her that, "It's like your grandma, I mean, your mother-in-law."

TI: Oh, that's good.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright ©2008 Densho and the Watsonville - Santa Cruz JACL. All Rights Reserved.