Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/407/

Interviews

Rose Kutsukake

(1918-2004) Interned in Slocan during World War II. Active member of the Japanese Canadian community.

Experiences during World War II

I*: And then, and then did you, did you go to, were you evacuated to go into Hastings Park? When they --

I was not in Hastings Park.

I: You didn't go into Hastings Park?

Never went to Hastings Park.

I: Oh, and where did you go then?

From the home right to ghost town. To... where was that? To Slocan. From Slocan I went to... no, because we had a home in Vancouver. Lot of people came out to Vancouver without a home. They were shipped out to, like, where was it? Hastings Park. But we had no second home to go to, so they kept us where we stayed. Not a good place, but...

I: So you stayed at the home, and then from there, you went directly to Slocan?

Yes. Where we were, we got a room on Powell Street, rooming house. I: And then, and when you were in Slocan, what, what did you do in Slocan? Another job. Another sales job, 'cause they have to have stores.

I: So you were working in a store?

Store, yeah.

I: And how, how did you find the internment camp?

Huh?

I: How did you find the internment camp, the housing and the food?

Oh, they, they sent you there. You were allotted to one place, you know.

I: And did your family go with you?

Yes.

I: Your father and mother?

Mother, uh-huh.

I: The father went, too, with you?

Uh-huh, at that time, 'cause all the younger fathers were shipped away. It was our old... well, in fact, I had no father. It was my, my brother-in-law, which was, who was my brother-in-law?

Female voice: You were with your brother.

Huh?

Female voice: Weren't you with your brother?

I: Was your brother, was your brother --

No, my brother was old, I mean, he was, he was not allowed to go to a house. It was these old men over sixty or young kids. Yeah.

*"I" indicates an interviewer (Peter Wakayama).


British Columbia Canada Slocan City internment camp World War II World War II camps

Date: December 2004

Location: Canada

Interviewer: Peter Wakayama

Contributed by: Sedai, the Japanese Canadian Legacy Project, Japanese Canadian Cultural Center

Interviewee Bio

Rose Mieko Sato was born on May 28, 1918, in Vancouver, British Columbia, where her parents ran a boarding house. She attended public school and the Japanese Language School in Vancouver. Prior to the war, she worked in sales in a Japanese department store. When the Japanese were removed from the British Columbia coast during World War II, Rose was interned with her family at Slocan, in the British Columbia interior. The family relocated to Toronto, Ontario in 1948, where Rose worked at various jobs in the garment industry. Rose married Ken Kutsukake in 1953 and was married for fifty years. Her husband was a member of the famous Asahi baseball team in prewar British Columbia. Both Rose and her husband were active members of the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and the community. Rose passed away in Toronto in 2004.

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