Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Victor Ikeda Interview
Narrator: Victor Ikeda
Interviewer: Richard Potashin
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Date: November 6, 2007
Densho ID: denshovh-ivictor-01-0018

<Begin Segment 18>

RP: On the subject of social activities, do you remember attending any prefectural picnics, kenjinkai?

VI: Yeah, they always had picnics.

RP: What were those like for the kids?

VI: Oh, they always had games. We used to have a Japanese community picnic up at Jefferson Park, I remember, which is up by the golf course. And they used to be an annual thing, and I think they used to have races and the whole bit. I think the kenjinkai, see, our kenjinkai, there was only two families. [Laughs] So you don't have a big picnic, three at the most, I think, depending on what prefecture you come from. Now, if you come from, like, Hiroshima or areas where you are close to the sea or times are hard you get more people here, and you get certain kens that are not that populated or you don't see too many people from those. If we had a party, we could have had it --

RP: In your hotel.

VI: [Laughs] Backyard or hotel or someplace. Right. But now, I go to my wife's, and she's Kagoshima which is a big one. We just celebrated, well, the 100th year of the kenjinkai in the United States, in Seattle. And we had the mayor and the dignitaries come over from Kagoshima for this celebration. So depending on the certain kens, you know, Hiroshima, Kagoshima, they're pretty big, and they are pretty active yet, so...

RP: So what was, what had the greatest influence on you growing up in Seattle? Was it sports?

VI: Probably sports. Sports.

RP: And was there a particular individual person that also influenced you in your thinking and your behavior? Anybody you looked up to?

VI: No, I don't think, I can't think of any one particular person. It's the community that kind of influenced the way we were brought up.

RP: Did you pretty much tend to stick to your own kind in terms of your Japanese American friends, or how did you interact with Caucasians, particularly in high school?

VI: We just... some wouldn't, I played freshman football, and then you interact with the Caucasian. But as a rule, since we lived in the Japanese community, we just kind of associated with the Japanese, all the friends. So it's only after we started working, going to college, that we interacted.

<End Segment 18> - Copyright © 2007 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.