Densho Digital Archive
Japanese American Museum of San Jose Collection
Title: Mollie Nakasaki Interview
Narrator: Mollie Nakasaki
Interviewer: Jiro Saito
Location: San Jose, California
Date: November 1, 2004
Densho ID: denshovh-nmollie-01-0016

<Begin Segment 16>

JS: Any other, were there any amusing incidents that took place, besides your mother's business?

MN: Well, they built a, a great big huge stage for us, and then they called it Poston Square Garden. And it was really a huge stage, and then we built our own swimming pool, huge swimming pool; I thought it was huge, and oh, we went swimming every day, and then I joined the so-called Poston Repertory Theater, and I was, I was one of the, one of the actors there.

JS: Oh, is that right? So you acted there?

MN: Yeah, I acted there.

JS: Did you get to sing?

MN: No, no.

JS: No singing? That's still later.

MN: Yeah.

JS: That's still later.

MN: Well, then they had these block parties. We had block parties once a month or so, and especially New Year and Thanksgiving and then they always had, had entertainment. So I don't know, for some reason, I used to go up there and sing. [Laughs] I don't know, I don't know why, but so ever since then, I would always, had to sing at one of those block parties.

JS: What kind of songs did you sing?

MN: I, I liked ballads.

JS: Okay.

MN: I sing ballads.

JS: Any particular favorite one?

MN: Yeah, I love Margaret Whiting, I don't know if you know her, and I like Sarah Vaughn.

JS: Okay. Any particular song that you liked, that you performed the most?

MN: Well, I don't know if they sang it or not, but then one of the song is called "That's My Desire," and there's another one called "Magic is the Moonlight." Now, this goes back long, long ways away. Those are my songs that I like.

JS: Would you care to give us a sample?

MN: No, thank you. [Laughs]

JS: [Laughs] So you're in camp, and you're participating in the Repertory Theater. What did you, what did you do there?

MN: We did Japanese plays.

JS: Oh, okay.

MN: Yeah, uh-huh, Japanese, mostly all Japanese plays. And I don't know where they got it, but then this, this... he's a director, he's our director, he had all kinds of costumes; just gorgeous, beautiful costumes. And then that's what we wore.

JS: Did you have to speak Japanese?

MN: Yes, uh-huh.

JS: So you could memorize Japanese?

MN: Yes, uh-huh, memorize Japanese.

JS: Did you know what you were saying?

MN: No, I don't know what I was saying.

JS: So besides that, were there any other things that you did for, to pass the time? Any hobbies you developed or anything like that?

MN: No, I was in the Girl Scouts, and that was a lot of fun, uh-huh.

JS: Okay. While you were there, did you have any thoughts about what you might do after the camp was over or anything like that?

MN: No, no. None. Probably become a secretary, and my mother said that secretaries are always in demand. I never thought of nursing or... and she didn't want me to be a singer.

JS: Why was that?

MN: She, she heard bad reputation, all entertainers are all bad, bad people, she said.

JS: Did you, did you still want to do that?

MN: Oh, yes.

JS: Okay, okay, so you did have that ambition.

MN: Ambition, uh-huh. Oh, yes.

<End Segment 16> - Copyright © 2004 Densho and The Japanese American Museum of San Jose. All Rights Reserved.