Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Bill Hiroshi Shishima Interview
Narrator: Bill Hiroshi Shishima
Interviewer: Martha Nakagawa
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: February 8, 2012
Densho ID: denshovh-sbill-01-0007

MN: Let me ask you about, now, the kenjinkai picnics. Did your parents take you to the Wakayama Kenjinkai picnics?

BS: Yes.

MN: What was that like?

BS: Oh, I always looked forward to that. Because usually it was at Griffith Park, Solano Canyon, fairly close by. But that time, we look forward to that because they always had picnics and then competition. Three-legged race, or with a spoon you carry an egg a distance and see how, first one to get across the line. Or potato sack race, get in a gunnysack and hop along. So those were activities and it was always competitive. And I always was sports-minded so I always liked that. Plus, the big bonus was unlimited number of soda water. So they always had big tubs of ice and soda water in there, you just have to go grab it and get a soda. So, oh, seemed like we drank five, six bottles of soda. We really guzzled it up that time.

MN: What kind of obento did your mother make for these picnics?

BS: So usually that was the Japanese style and the Japanese, I don't know what you call it, a Japanese box and you had three, four and the layer. So I remember that. And then they had Japanese programs, too, but didn't understand, but it looked like everyone that had a little bit to drink was able to sing up there. So that's how the entertainment was.

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