A conversation with a farmer in Kansas

Transcripts available in the following languages:

And there was this farmer standing next to me. And I still remember him. And he was wearing these blue coveralls and he kept nudging closer to me. And finally, during a break in the auction, he said, Excuse me, sir, he said, I was overhearing you speak the language, and I was wondering how you come to speaking it so good. Where are you from? And I said, I'm from Seattle. And he says, No, he says, Where are your parents from? And I said, Well, my mother was born in Idaho, and my father was born in Seattle. And I knew what he was after, but I had just decided, since these were questions that I'd probably answered half-a-dozen times prior to this conversation, that I would only answer him truthfully, and give him what he asked. And he said, Well, what's your ancestry? or something like that. I says, Well, I'm Japanese, Japanese American. And he says, Well, konnichi wa (hello). And I kind of looked at him, and he said, The little lady and I lived in Japan. And he said, We used to buy them pictures of 'gishi' girls wearin' them kimonos. And he says, Do you do pictures like that? And I just kind of shrugged my shoulders and just sort of said, Yeah. And my friend that was with me was just laughing hysterically. And I just wanted to get away from this guy.

Date: March 18 & 20, 2003
Location: Washington, US
Interviewer: Alice Ito and Mayumi Tsutakawa
Contributed by: Denshō: The Japanese American Legacy Project.

racism stereotypes

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