Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Henry Miyatake Interview I
Narrator: Henry Miyatake
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: March 26, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-mhenry-01-0006

HM: I went to Bailey Gatzert Elementary School like lot of the other Nikkei kids did. And it's located on 12th and I guess, what is that?

TI: Weller?

HM: Yeah, Weller and Lane, between Weller and Lane. I guess most of the Nikkei kids went there but they were mainly Japanese American kids, Chinese American kids, and a slight smattering of Caucasians, very slight. The principal there was Ada J. Mahon, and she was a staunch American in the true sense. Singing "Star Spangled Banner" and "God Bless America" and we marched to the "Stars and Stripes Forever" and all the John Phillip Sousa marches. And you march out of the school everyday, hearing this "Stars and Stripes Forever" and all this kind of marching music. Kind of indoctrinating us on how to become a good American, I guess. And she did a helluva good job. In fact, she did such a good job that we weren't able to see the perspective of being Japanese American. We were trying to be so totally American that it prevented us from looking at our parents' culture and truly reflecting on what we could gain by being both Japanese and American.

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