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Interviews

Kimi Wakabayashi

(b.1912) Japanese Canadian Issei. Immigrated with husband to Canada in 1931

Her early life in Canada

I*: So when you came to Saskatchewan, how did you feel?

Well, I forget but very lonesome that time, isn't it? Yeah. I don't know how cook and I don't know anything. Can't talk English, and kind of lonesome, kind of, sometimes.

I: How many families were there?

Regina? Maybe (I know) Kitano, Nomura, maybe five or six families.

I: And how did they help you?

Oh, they take me shopping, yeah, shopping most of the time. Oh, Mrs. Kitano same apartment stay, she, and then that's why she taking me shopping and cooking. So I'm lucky that time.

I: So you stayed with the Kitagawa family the first time?

Yeah, same apartment, yeah.

I: And basically you spoke Japanese all the time?

Oh, yes, yeah.

I: So then after you were in Regina, then you didn't work at the store, did you, at the Silkalina?

Oh, no, no.

I: You just stayed home?

Yeah, that's right.

Sugu ni are ninshin shita desho. Dakara. [Laughs]

I: She got pregnant. [Laughs] And so she became a mother.

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


communities immigration languages

Date: January 10, 2005

Location: Mississauga, Canada

Interviewer: Peter Wakayama

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

Interviewee Bio

Issei female. Born March 27, 1912, in Binmanji, Japan. Grew up and married in Japan, before immigrating with husband to Canada in 1931, eventually settling in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Raised family in Saskatoon, working in fabric store established by husband. City street named in honor of the Wakabayashi family's contributions to the city over the years. (January 10, 2005)

*The full interview is available Denshō: The Japanese American Legacy Project.

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