Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Hikoji Takeuchi
Narrator: Hikoji Takeuchi
Interviewer: John Allen
Date: November 7, 2002
Densho ID: denshovh-thikoji-01-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

JA: I should have asked you, so I have it on tape. Tell me your name and where you're from.

HT: Beg your pardon?

JA: Tell me your name and where you're from.

HT: My name is Hikoji Takeuchi, and I now live in -- do you mean my residence, present residence?

JA: Yes.

HT: In Alhambra.

JA: You were talking about your parents. Do you know why they decided to come to this country in the first place?

HT: That I never asked them. I'm sure they were like any other people from various countries. They came out here to... wanting the American life, I guess.

JA: And do you think they were satisfied that they found it?

HT: In a way, yes, they did. Well, my dad always used to say, "Nothing like America." What he had meant at that time, I was a little kid and I never knew what he meant, and I'm sure he meant what I think of America today. For you to do what you wanted hoping that he would make what he wanted to. [Laughs] But like anything else, it's never enough, I guess.

JA: Was it a struggle for him, do you think?

HT: Beg your pardon?

JA: Do you think it was a struggle for him to succeed in the business?

HT: From what I had heard when he first came over here, everything just happened the way he wanted it to happen. What he had meant by that, I don't know, but I guess in a way he found success in a little way that he wanted to call it success.

JA: Did you or your family before the war ever experience any difficulties in the attitudes of Caucasians because of your background?

HT: Beg your pardon?

JA: I'm wondering if you or your family ever experienced any difficulties or racist kinds of things from Caucasian Americans because of your Japanese blood?

HT: You mean when I was -- before the war?

JA: Before the war, yeah.

HT: No. As a matter of fact, we used to have customers who were steady customers that came and they took a liking for sushi, I guess. They came in for beer, sake, sushi, and they were like any other customers. Very nice and always joked around in the house. Never asked my dad where he was from or anything. He was there in business like any other people. We never had problem with the people around us because we were Japanese. No, we never did.

JA: That's great. That's good.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2002 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.