Densho Digital Repository
Katsugo Miho Collection
Title: Katsugo Miho Interview II
Narrator: Katsugo Miho
Interviewers: Michiko Kodama Nishimoto (primary), Warren Nishimoto (secondary)
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Date: February 9, 2006
Densho ID: ddr-densho-1022-2-19

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MN: So you know this Boy Scout troop, which troop was it?

KM: Well, we had we had Kahului troop, Paia group, we had the Puunene troop and each town had their own troop.

MN: And nowadays, you have, like, certain schools sponsoring a troop?

KM: It was town, not schools. It was a town, Kahului Troop Nine, I think my troop was troop nine, I think.

MN: And what sorts of activities did the Boy Scout group do? What did you do as a Boy Scout?

KM: We used to go out camping, right next to Pier 1 or Pier 2, Kahului. Sort of like a park, for overnight camping we would sometimes go there. Or we would go to Iao Valley for camping. Then Easter vacations, we used to go to Kaanapali, where the Kaanapali Hotel is now located. That was the favorite Boy Scout camp area. The beach that is now fronting the Kaanapali Hotel was the front and center for Boy Scouts to camp every Easter vacation. That was a big deal to go out to spend four, five days out there during the Easter week.

WN: Was that Fleming Beach?

KM: No, this was not Fleming, this was Kaanapali Hotel. You know where Kaanapali Hotel is protruding out there, and then there's this beautiful beach right alongside of it? Alongside of that was the camping area for Boy Scouts. It was a big deal, you cook, we learned how to cook cabbage and corned beef, tuna cabbage, that was our favorite dishes. And then going there, we'd spend, one or two nights, we would go movies, to Lahaina. From that place, Kaanapali to Lahaina, I would say... how many miles? Two miles or two and a half miles. And our troop would go to Lahaina down to take in the movies. But the thing about going back, you see, it would be about ten o'clock, ten-thirty, right? You have to walk past the graveyard. Old Japanese graveyard along, right along the highway. That was a long graveyard, believe me. At that time of the night, that was one of the so-called initiation for the younger ones. You had to go to the movies, particularly to initiate the young ones, to walk that graveyard highway. But graveyard is still there. It's still there along that old part of the main highway. You hardly see it from the highway.

WN: On the beach, yeah?

KM: You hardly see it from the highway, right next to the beach.

WN: Yeah, yeah, by that temple with the Buddha?

KM: No, no, it's not that one. No, no, this is between Kaanapali and... there was nothing between Kaanapali and Lahaina.

WN: Oh, okay.

KM: It was all blank. The camp was dark, the road was dark, there were no streetlights or anything.

MN: Except the graveyard.

KM: Oh, that was something. Thirteen-year-old, twelve-year-old. The new ones were always twelve years old, right? Tenderfoot. But there was, I don't know whether we had, we were just as scared as the Tenderfoot or what, but we had to act big and brave. [Laughs]

MN: Would you remember your leader's name?

KM: Yeah, my leader was, for a long time... not Takeuchi. Oh, he was a postmaster, I think. He was our postmaster. His wife was a schoolteacher, and the wife outlived him for a long time. Oh, I forgot his name, but he was my Boy Scout leader.

MN: He was an AJA?

KM: Uh-huh, yeah.

MN: So an older second generation?

KM: Older second. He was second generation. How can I forget his name?

MN: Did your parents encourage you to do things like Boy Scouts? How come you did it? How come you joined Boy Scouts?

KM: I think all my brothers, Katsuaki and my brother Paul were also Boy Scouts. Yeah, they were also Boy Scouts. Katsuro, my oldest brother, was a Boy Scout. And as a Boy Scout, the first inter-island model airplane contest was held and sponsored by the Star-Bulletin, when he was fifteen year old, sixteen year old. That inter-island model airplane contest. The winner was going to get a full, all-expense paid trip to Detroit, and Katsuro won it. The first inter-island... and I don't know how many others they had at that time after, but he won the statewide model airplane contest. And so at that time, it was a big deal, big celebration and all that. And so he went to Detroit, the consul general came out to see him off. He met all kinds of bigwigs those days, ambassador to Japan or some this and that. The fact that he was an AJA was a big deal. And he came back with stories of seeing talking movies. Oh, those days, we never heard of, you can go to the movies and hear the voice. He came back and said, oh, he went to see the talking movies. I remember he was telling us. And it was from that time on that he had made up his mind that he would, after high school, he would go to the Mainland to go to school. But he was still a junior, I think. We have all kinds of pictures at that time. But that exposed our family to the Mainland. Yeah, it was a big deal. In fact, one of the pictures we had, I think it was Hung Wo Ching. Katsuro used to say that that was the first time he met Hung Wo Ching. Hung Wo Ching was the second or the third in the community, I think. So way back when, when you talk about the Ching family, Hawaiian, Hung Wo was, he met Hung Wo that far back.

<End Segment 19> - Copyright © 2021 Densho. All Rights Reserved.