Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Takayo Tsubouchi Fischer Interview
Narrator: Takayo Tsubouchi Fischer
Interviewer: Sharon Yamato
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: October 25, 2011
Densho ID: denshovh-ftakayo-01-0007

TF: And as I got older, right after, during the war, you want to be so American, you want to be so white American, everything that it stands for. But as I've gotten older, I mean, I was never ashamed of who I am or what I was. But somewhere in there, I know there was that desire to not be who I was because there was so much prejudice. I remember being shoved down on a sidewalk in New York saying, "Only a good Jap is a dead Jap," or thinking of my dogs being poisoned. And in high school when I was, you know, going to be going to a prom and a party, this tall, good looking, I don't even remember his name, boy was inviting me. And then he had to uninvite me because his family would not have me in the home. And so of course somewhere in there you're trying so hard to fit in. But I never denied who I was, because I remember soon after, no one would ever say to you, "Are you Japanese?" after the war. It's, "Are you Chinese?" because if you were Chinese you'd be insulting them if you said, "Are you Japanese?" And then when I was married and I had my children and I could hear kids, they'd say, "Oh, that's John, Juliet, they're Chinese." And I'd run out of the house and I'd say, "No, no, they're half Japanese and a quarter English and a quarter Irish." I had to get the Japanese out because I didn't want to try to pass for something I was not, and I feel it's important that unless you can accept who you are. And so then I worried about my children, too, but then I thought, "They're growing up in a time when it's more acceptable, more, maybe it's even an advantage to be mixed." But whatever you are, you better accept it because there's no changing it, right?

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