"Other Faces - Other Lives" Palouse Asian American Association (TeknifilmVideo) Item Info

00:40 Idaho one of the most rugged and beautiful north western states. We picture it’s past people by Native Americans and white explorers, settlers and pioneers, little is ever said about other races. However, Asians have played an important part in working the mines, constructing the railroads, cultivating the farms, establishing the businesses, teaching the children and helping to build this great western state. Although there is occasional mention of Chinese miners, few people realize that in 1870, during Idaho’s Gold Rush, over 1/4 of the people in Idaho were Chinese, and that Boise, the population center was 1/3 Chinese, though many whites tried to treat the Chinese miners farmers and business people fairly. The story of the early Chinese in Idaho were laced with suspicion, prejudice and discrimination. The ones large Chinatown located in Boise is now gone by the Chinese have had a continuous presence in Idaho from the time of statehood to the present day. The Japanese came to Idaho starting in the 1880s to work on the railroad. Many stayed the farm and then branched out into other occupations. But we seldom talk about the fact that in 1943, the eighth largest population center in Idaho was completely Doka. A Japanese internment camp in the desert, north of Twin Falls. 1000s of Japanese Americans were brought there after being forced from their homes on the West Coast. Living in hastily constructed bear and crowded barracks. They did their best to make the area livable by cultivating gardens to literally make the desert bloom. The story continues to the present day as Filipinos and Southeast Asians come to Idaho looking for a better life. Like the earlier Asians, they tried hard to fit into an unfamiliar, often unfriendly environment, while at the same time remaining true to their heritage and beliefs. These brave and hardworking Asians show us all other faces of Idaho. This program of other faces other lives was made by people of Chinese, Japanese and Filipino ancestry, who are members of the Palouse Asian American Association of Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington. It is a project supported by the Idaho Centennial Commission ethnic heritage committee. They traveled the state to uncover some of the unwritten and untold stories of what it was like and is like to be Asian American in Idaho. Do the Asians blend in? Or do they maintain their own culture? How do they raise their children? How are they treated by the white neighbors? Do they feel at home in Idaho? Are things changing for the better or the worse for them? How do children feel who are often the only Asians in their classes or school? listen in to be raised these questions in interviews and discussions and learn about an often neglected part of the story of Idaho. Marie lelou came to the United States from China when she was 16 years old. She was the first Asian to graduate from the University of Idaho. in Spokane, her father was a Chinese ER doctor. In 1926, the family moved to Moscow, Idaho, where they were the first Chinese family to settle as permanent residents. Her family owned and operated the grill Cafe, which is now the old Hong Kong restaurant on Main Street, Marie married Milu and they raised five children. Two of their daughters, Mary Lou and Claire chin are currently teachers in nearby towns. In the 1920s, gaining the acceptance of the white community was difficult. And to this day, the loose and chants face occasional prejudice. But Marie and her family have found that their Chinese values have strong family unity and hard work have helped them to find a true home in Moscow at home.

05:06 How come that we went into the restaurant business was they? My father and mother came around he said, Well, let’s go around the police country see what is law like, you know, so they came over here and went to Moscow and went to a house cafe to get my little sister, three year old sister some cookies. before they left the house cafe they they bought the cookies and the cafe. So that’s how come we started in Moscow. We have the restaurant starting at July the third I remember that because we wanted to have the business of July the fourth.

05:48 People who see the sewer Naga family shopping at the mall in Pocatello are fishing for trout on Henry’s fork probably do not realize that they are descended from samurais of ancient Japan. Now, Richard sua Nagas young grandson, Richard the second, learns the ancient Japanese martial arts in Pocatello, Idaho. Richards start in Idaho was a bitter one. Even though he was a second generation American, Richard had to face hatred and suspicion during World War Two. Eventually, his hard work and dependability triumphed. He established suenaga masonry now run by his son who who is active in community affairs. His wife, Merica sigh. A former dancer who is born and raised in Idaho has introduced 1000s of Pocatello children to the art of dance. She has taught dance classes throughout the country, including Los Angeles, Houston, Las Vegas and San Francisco.

06:53 Deputy community here, the cliches you know, they were held the dances every once in a while, well, she didn’t have a date night didn’t have a date and a guy Shut up, get your good date. So that’s how I got to nurse

07:09 Paul and scenario Camorra have lived in the Pocatello area all their lives. Paul is a retired farmer, having taken over his father’s truck gardening business. His father was killed in an accident while helping a neighbor put out a fire Sanaya is a retired elementary school teacher. She is quite proud of her teaching record and pleased that she received kind words from her former students and their parents. The newcomers were founding members of the Pocatello chapter of the JA CL the Japanese American Citizens League. The Pocatello chapter was established in 1940 and Paul Okamura was president in 1941 when it received its charter, one of the slogans of the J ACL is better Americans in a greater America. The J ACL has 900 members in the inter mountain district of Utah and Idaho and 113 chapters nationwide.

08:16 There were a lot Orientals working for the railroad. And however, my father didn’t work for the railroad. Oh, I don’t know, couple of years or so. And then he started a little truck garden on the edge of town. And as a town grew, he had quit his little gardening project move farther out, away from the city and went into general farming to

08:51 de Jihye ashita was brought to Idaho during World War Two when he was ordered from his farm in Bellevue, Washington, and relocated in the Minidoka internment camp. After the war, Seiji settled in the Nampa area. He eventually became the first Japanese American bowling center proprietor in the state of Idaho, and possibly in the United States. His son who was born in the internment camp, is the first Asian American teacher in the Nampa school system, and was recently voted Outstanding Educator for many years say gee did not speak of his experience at the internment camp. But now he feels it is important that the story be told and remembered. He was one of those instrumental in the Idaho Centennial project, establishing a memorial and plaque at the side of the Minidoka camp. And he was present at the groundbreaking ceremony there.

09:54 That $500 separated whether he was going to buy that farm or lease it we kept leasing it, year to year lease. So when I went back everything that I had left farm equipment, furniture, household belongings, you know, because we was only allowed to carry a suitcase a piece. There was somebody living in a house, not the person that I left it in charge of. He showed me a government bill of sale for everything. So I couldn’t, there was an irrigation system on a little farm too and stuff. So I go back and had to start from scratch. There was nothing there. So I stayed out in Idaho. Right. So I happen to be one of the few that was from Bellevue. In fact, I’m the only one from Bellevue that’s still in Idaho.

10:49 Filipino Americans are often called the invisible minority. They seldom congregate in special neighborhoods like China towns and little Tokyo’s, as their Chinese and Japanese counterparts often did. Unlike the Chinese and Japanese, early Filipino immigrants came from a territory of the United States, and they were brought up saluting and pledging allegiance to the American flag in grade school. The first Filipinos to come to the United States mainland in the 1920s were mainly farm laborers and how servants but Latter Day immigrants are largely college educated, and are most prominent in service fields, such as medicine, engineering, and administration.

11:37 Currently on administrator with the Department of Agriculture, my work I deal with the legislature or with the farming community. The Commission’s in the States. They mentioned being commission alfalfa growers. I’m involved in certifying Idaho products to be exported to different countries.

12:12 Early Asian settlers came to America to make their fortunes and start new lives. They did not find the streets lined with gold, but they did find the streets lined with opportunities. After the first generations established themselves, they looked to education to help give their children better lives.

12:35 The earlier the earlier Filipinos that came I think, is the equivalent of what the Mexicans are now. They were the laborers. That was the first wave of migration.

12:48 When we first came here, really I was lost. Because when we came here, we saw only Well, my son was the only Filipino here. But then, a month later, we saw another Filipino married to America. And then from there, I tried to inquire where Filipinos are Filipinos are if there are any Filipinos around. When we were having about say maybe about more five or six families, we started to have we painted spider den. Two that we should be having a community

13:38 that I think most of them that came over our parents that came over, they were looking for a better life. I think like most Issei parents, they came with a dream of making and saving money. Quick and going back to Japan. I think that was their intent. From what I have gathered, talking to older people, most of them who are gone. My dad died at the age of 60. So I was 21 at the time. But he told me that that’s what he planned to do. But in the meantime money didn’t grow on trees like they thought it was going to be so he was then he started a family. So you know it was they gave up idea of going back. I think that’s probably the way most of the families that settled here. Some of those that came a little later to the country before immigration was stopped somewhere educated people and they started businesses when they came here. But the very first ones that come over we started working on farms started working on railroads started working coal mines, mining.

14:53 About 1920 The winter 1920 I remember it was wintertime because the first time I saw Snow was was when we came over by boat into Seattle, the Port of Seattle. And I saw the snow I said, Well, what’s what’s all this on the ground? You know? Well, they explained to me that, no, and that’s when I saw that and, and then my father went into Seattle to bring us back to Spokane. And then the first thing after we got home was, I heard my father talking next room, I knew there was nobody there, you know, I can understand what he was doing. So I went around, he was talking on the telephone. That’s the first time I knew about the telephone. So about later on, in, I think, the first semester in 1921. I started in grade school at the Hawthorne school in Spokane.

15:49 I was just so thankful that, you know, my grandparents, both mom’s parents, mom’s dad, and also, grandpa, Lou had the foresight to leave China. And to give us the opportunities that we had, you know, for being Americans, it was just, I mean, it was just unreal, I just could not have imagined myself growing up. In in China,

16:12 the United States has the best opportunity for everybody and anybody. I know, I know, one thing, if a person is, is healthy, and willing to work, they never have to starve. Not in the United States,

16:29 I feel good. When I was growing up, there were a lot of people who went out of their way to do to do a lot of things for me. And without those kinds of things that other people did for me, I don’t think I would be what I am now. So

16:47 I was born in beautiful Idaho, which is a tiny, tiny little community reminds my folks had a restaurant there. And then from there, they moved to show shown and eventually moved to black but, and we had a restaurant there. Then later on, during the Depression, they had to give it up because of the business, you know. And they kept going in debt. So they finally gave that up. And then we moved to Pocatello.

17:19 He came over, more or less to make his fortune as I think the general people the man especially did at that time,

17:33 my father came over from Japan when he was just a young fellow about 16 years old. And he never ever did go back. My mother came as a picture bride. So they, I don’t know whether you’re familiar with that. But, you know, pictures were sent back and forth. But usually the fam was talking about when was that 1918. And usually, the families back in Japan knew each other, or they, because they would say now, if your son would marry my daughter, you know, so on and so forth, you know. So that’s how come the pictures would start going back and forth. And they would correspond. So my mother came over that way.

18:23 I think a student here who wants to go to college, is highly motivated, would have a better chance of going to college and finishing college than the one who’s in the Philippines, who wants to go to college and doesn’t have the resources to go to college, even though he’s highly motivated. I mean, the chances are, he won’t go and finish college,

18:42 I have benefited from not only the tradition of knowing my grandma, my grandparents on both sides, and I guess cherishing those memories, but you’ve also been fostered in in an environment where education was was a very key role. And I think that that’s an outstanding element in most Japanese families. But it’s not a direct education, so to speak. It’s an application to life, my parents would share going to where we would travel. And it wouldn’t matter whether it was from here to black fit or, or to a foreign country, and they would save up and they would give my sister and I the benefits of traveling. And they taught us that probably 99% of our education would come through travel and learning to deal with people in our circumstances. But they were, I guess, smart enough to qualify that statement and say that without a formal education, we’d never truly be able to appreciate those experiences.

19:47 My husband might have always enjoyed and he really believes in education and through his effort and persistence. Many of our Chinese Quinn, older friends in our generation, not quite as modern as we are not graduates of college, but they are good people. And we tried to push through it them to send their children to onto school. We have been persuading our friends in Spokane, Walla Walla, even in Pullman, you know, to send the daughters to school to the Chinese attitude is that well, our daughter’s gonna be married into her husband’s family. Why should we spend the money to educate our daughters when they go live? Live with, with other family anyway. But we always tell them that it doesn’t hurt for our girl to to have a good education and be able to support herself. In case of necessity. That men she does not have to obey and, and do what their husbands want them to do. We tell them

21:11 studying is their first job right now. That’s their main job. Later on, they’ll have their own job, which is probably not studying. But right now their main job is education.

21:25 The various Asian groups have different views on intermarriage. Although many of the first generation Asians strongly preferred their children to marry within their respective groups. Life in America has led to many inter marriages, succeeding generations have had to struggle to reconcile their parents values with the realities of life in Idaho.

21:51 That going to school is going to school and you have no time to be dating. And so he said, Well, wait till they’re at least a junior at college before me the junior know that he didn’t like to have you do it, but he did not forbid you to do it.

22:13 I was married by the time I was a sophomore. In other words, he let he’d let us go out as long as it’s the right person, right and the right person had to be

22:24 Chinese. Not Not that we have anything against the American people. It is much better. If you do marry within your own race, you have background together, the same background, the same rule. The same heart cultures and the same ideas that the Chinese people have.

22:54 We have heard that Filipinos have a very high intermarriage rate. Can you comment on that?

23:02 That’s where I can see. That’s what I can see. Because my son is married to American and my, well, my other son is married to a Japanese in my other son is married to American. I mean, my daughter is married to American dedicated features. Yeah, she married to American. So that’s what it is. They’re all I don’t have any pure Filipino children.

23:36 Why? Why do you think that is? So? Yeah, good question. I.

23:42 Well, the reason? Well, I really can’t say anything about that. But I think the reason is that we don’t have many of our people in care. You see, when he was still minister in California, the early part of his ministry, they did not allow marriages intermarriages like that. So so he cannot marry. So we have been bringing these people who wants to marry another nationality to renal. In fact, we have brought about seven of them

24:22 into that so when you say they can you clarify that who would not allow

24:27 the law belong in California, California, California, maybe maybe in United States? I didn’t know how I didn’t know this. But in California, they didn’t. It was not allowed for for intermarry. intermarriages, so he can marry them.

24:45 So Reverend Carla knew would take them to Reno. Yes.

24:55 Well, how did you feel about the intermarriage show? What do you think? Oh, of intermarriage.

25:04 I went so far, like, I have been talking to him that in my observation here, all this, there are many that we know, who are as good as when they are Filipinos, or there are many times it’s themselves. See, there are there are many that I know that we deal with, that they have the best husbands, they have the has the, they’re the best husbands in the American side.

25:39 The races have been able to mix them and be a cohesive group. You know, I always thought that when, when I was younger, I had a friend who was Caucasian and I, it was a very dear friend, because we lived he just lived down the street aways and, and if something came up, and he proposed to me, I still as much as I thought of him, I wouldn’t have thought of marrying him because at the time Caucasians were you know, and Japanese married just just didn’t go. And they had all these laws to that the regulated us from so since that time, it’s really been almost a complete turnover. And because we have children in on his side of the famine, and mine too, who are married to Caucasians and being very nice to them, I think I think just as much as the daughter in law’s is if you know if they were Japanese and I think the grandchildren naturally they’re just your grandkids and just extra special and like you say we’ve got blonde and darn near blonde, blue eyes and curly hair, you know, I said I’m, I’ve often wondered how mother would think if she saw curly haired granddaughter or grandchild, because in all in Japanese always had a straight black hair. And here we have our grandchildren who have pretty curly brown hair and beautiful all his complexion and everything. And somehow I feel like that the offsprings have an inner marriage, the children seem to be stronger. And healthier, better, and stature. They’re taller. They’re better looking. There’s much more intelligent in school, I mean, all children, you know, I’ve done very well on school. So far, so they always talk about hybrid, you know, the first strain of a hybrid being so good, whether it’s wheat or corn or whatever. I kind of think that with children, too.

28:00 We, each of us, when we graduated from high school, went to Hawaii for a summer. Yeah, of course, we had been raised, you know, amongst, you know, in Moscow, essentially in all Caucasian community atmosphere. And so when I went to Hawaii was the first time I had been immersed into, you know, in a multicultural setting. And I realized when I came back, that my dad was right, and that I would marry within my, you know, with it, at least within the Orientals. And so then Leonard and I started, Leonard already had was working on his master’s. And so we started dating when I was a freshman in college. I was married at the beginning of my sophomore year. And I really feel and you can ask my own children, this because they’ve also gone through this, but I still feel quite strongly, you would

28:50 say you’re raising your family, you and Leonard, in according to the traditional, traditional Chinese

28:58 way, well, from the standpoint of who they marry, okay, and who they want to make lifetime commitments to as far as a family.

29:07 How do you feel about that?

29:09 I don’t know. I never.

29:12 I just kind of think about more of getting through college and finding my own career before I even think of having somebody else to marry. They have a lot of priorities as to what what kind of guys that we date, they would want us to marry a Chinese and in our race, I agree. In I see their standpoint, but it’s, it’s it’s a modern world and you have to, you’re living in a white world. So I think of myself as both Chinese and American and white and stuff.

29:54 Lutece parents were, I’m sure a bit apprehensive, more for her sake. I think that in mind, they were concerned that she wouldn’t finish school that she had been a valedictorian and all of these things in school and they had great aspirations for her. She had great aspirations and they thought when she married somebody, somebody I think it’s worked out alright.

30:28 I think it’s also, you know, parents never tell you really what, you know, how they feel. I mean, it’s part of the culture they in for a ride. I mean, it’s all in for. And I think my mom has inferred to me that when she grows old, you know, I won’t be there as a girl, you know, usually the woman takes care of your aging parents and, and he was quite, she was quite apprehensive about that, that I won’t be around, of course, because they might, you know, fall on my husband. So when she was born.

30:56 So how is it now

30:59 She comes every two years, sometimes with my mom or with just a mom, I mean, with my dad, and she comes into visit, and I tell her, you know, when she needs me, I’ll be ready. Sitting around my kids do some of his work.

31:16 My mother would have been worried if I married somebody else, just you know, be sure you know what you’re doing. Be sure it works. No specific rate

31:26 of divorce. Everybody in America gets divorced.

31:30 At the time, the time we were going to get married. Another one from this minus my hometown. I was in the process of getting divorced with his American wife, who happens to be a good family friend. So that was something that my mother as well. Are you aware of this? Are you aware of that I of course, said yes. But like any ideal is it’s ever happened to me.

32:00 All Asian groups have experienced forms of discrimination. In early days, there were laws preventing Asians from becoming citizens and owning land. Prejudice was extreme against the Japanese Americans during World War Two. An unfortunate example of this was the construction of Camp Minidoka, where 1000s of Japanese Americans were interned.

32:27 I’ve been here ever since 1920. But I could not become a US citizen until 1943. Paul Buck was one of the persons that got this law change in the US government. And so as soon as we were able to join, my husband and I a went to get our citizenship paper at that time. And if you’re not a citizen, of course, you cannot buy land or building or anything like that. And so at that time, you have to Biden your children’s name, because they are citizens and they are allowed to buy. And we cannot even vote all these years until after we become citizens.

33:15 Well, I had to do a little bit better in order to succeed. See, that’s been that way throughout my life. If I want to hold down a job, no matter what, I had to put out a little bit more effort to be a little bit better than anything I do. So keep my low depression, some that hold on to me and get rid of the others. But if I were Eagle, I would have been the first one to let off. That is a racially because if you’re competing with a bunch of Caucasians, you’re you’re just mud unless you excel in your ability a little bit better.

33:51 I stopped it was a noon hour. So I thought I’d stop and my wife and my son was about a year and a half years old.

34:02 Stopped at a restaurant there and didn’t get waited on and finally the waitress came over and said, Are you Japanese nicer to Japanese descent? Yes. Well, we don’t serve you. So I think she was more embarrassed than I was. But we left.

34:20 Well, one day when there was a young kid, he saw us eating. He got on the table start preaching. He says we got to get rid of them. We got to kill them, causing us a lot of trouble. That was us who had nothing just a fork and knife. And the guy was with he was managing our team. And I told him I said, you know, the book can be attacked not by one person but the whole mob in here.

34:48 When they call me names, having to do with my race. It takes me more personal than if they tell me that I’m ugly. Because you are aware. I think it takes me it It bothers me more because they’re insulting my whole race. They’re insulting. My whole background. And what I believe in,

35:09 didn’t flinch was the dean woman at that time, you know, she had a good talk with my sisters as well, you must go out with American boys too much, you know, I mean, but of course, my sister didn’t go overboard, but she have her regular friends. So well, if the other students can keep, can keep the boyfriend so I can I, you know, go out on dates with them.

35:44 I’ve always felt like I’ve been, because I’m Oriental. Because I’m Chinese. And I’ve always felt that all the way through school. If, if, if in the classroom, they would recognize they would know me first, before they knew all their other little faces in the room, they would know my name first, they would know, you know, their expectations of me that they would know me for. So I always considered a special, I always thought that I’m so special that everybody’s gonna notice me. So, to me, it’s never been a negative discrimination has always been positive. And it’s, you know, and this is my experience with it. And therefore, when kids call me names, it’s just the fact that they’re noticing there’s something special about me.

36:21 When I go to staffing. I know people if they, you know, I initially they have, they would I don’t think it’s making fun, but they would call attention to like to some how I would pronounce some words. And I you know, I think I don’t know, I I’ve never experienced that before we I was an exchange student before and, and wasn’t that, you know, not much attention was was given at that time. But here, it seems to me that maybe people are not used to other culture as much or, you know, like we were saying before, there’s that veneer of discrimination maybe to other than, you know, to a culture other than your own

37:05 record, see that he just said a heading or San Diego or San Francisco, we headed east. And I knew we’re going to Mexico I didn’t have been I knew how to navigate to like me, I had a skippers license to hold when I was unsuitable. And by doing that, it took us about 15 days to get back from Hawaii. But we finally ended up in San Pedro see our home port was was in San Francisco. Well, we got in Okay, the Ben you know who’s waiting for him? Guess who? The FBI know about a dozen. They come up and they grabbed me and says now don’t you get away you’re gonna get off this ship. We don’t trust you. But did you know that all the Caucasians deserted us? One day I knew for years while the propaganda was that the Japanese were treacherous, you cannot trust them. They all bleed that say

38:06 I’m proud to be a Japanese American now. I wasn’t. I was always proud of that. But it meant a lot of trouble during the war years. But having weathered the storm and went through all the troubles and getting through it, you know in good shape. I always say that I’m proud to be a Japanese American is roughly around two weeks, when a definite word came that we had to leave we weren’t going to be able to stay the summer. We had talked about it ever since December 7. But it was middle of May when I left and we had to just about two weeks notice to get everything in to get all your business in order. Dispose of anything. I sold a refrigerator for $5. So pick up line teen 36 model Ford pickup for $50 and a man who was I considered a good friend traded with me at a service station where I figured it was a good friend. He said I will send you the other 25 When you let me know when you get there your address, which I did. I never did see him again. So I got $25 for 1936 pickup camp life I spent two winters severe cold that we weren’t used to coming from Seattle area and real hot summers that we weren’t used to the lack of privacy and That was one of the worst. And of course, the cramped quarters. When I went back into camp I had my mother and two sisters and my wife and I baby in a 20 by 20 foot room. So you can imagine, no running water, just bare lightbulbs, hanging down from the ceiling, no partitions. No toilets. It was a community toilet. I guess by the time I went there, it was a little better used to be they didn’t have toilets. It was outdoor without water. Those that went in, opened up the camp and then a dhoka had the worst of it. That was dusty when he got there in August, July and August. Dustin ankle deep. Then in September, October, the rain snow came and it just got mud. You leave your shoes in the mud, you know, I mean it slip off.

41:03 But it was a hellhole and you feel about it? Well, I felt that I didn’t think it was right. Really, because it was

41:22 they were supposed to be citizens and to be put into a place like that, you know, I guess I’m more or less thought that they were entitled more than that if they had to be put under some kind of security. So I didn’t think it was at all fair.

41:43 I gotten over the disappointment I had, and went through hardships or went through an economy evacuation. But there are people that need to know and people that would understand if they got the story. But if they just read propaganda, and listened to it, and never been told, they would carry that on, they’d be teaching that to their children and continuously grow. This experience that we went through should never happen to any group of people.

42:16 I think this monument is long overdue. The Japanese American Citizens League supported it with money. We support it as an educational tool. We support it as a reminder to all Americans of America’s rather sordid past

42:31 you against you don’t realize that any of you don’t realize what happened to us.

42:37 I know that a lot of people at my school do like me, but they always know that I’m there for them when they need me. Do they know that you’re half Japanese? No. I didn’t tell them to do any of the kids that you play with? give you trouble because you have Japanese? No, but there’s one kid you gave when I was at my little girl school.

43:11 But that wasn’t because you were Japanese. Just because you’re

43:18 30 years old.

43:21 There if there’s any discrimination right now, it’s probably more positive than a negative. I think those that are still continuing to discriminate are probably a little bit ignorant of the facts. You know, when I say a positive discrimination, I think, I think because of because of my father, and people like him and our grandfathers, they earned the right they earned that respect, I think from from this community and the country in general. And so if anything, it’s it’s more a matter of pride now to be Japanese, because so much more is expected of you. But it’s it’s a wonderful challenge that I think that we’re as a race. I think we’re up to 30 children during the day being discriminated. No, I again, I feel that they’re hooked up to the they adapt, and they accept all of the different races very, very well. In fact, you know, one of the things that I’m happy to say is that when someone else for example, a black is discriminated. My children can understand that and they usually side with that poor unfortunately,

44:34 as long as the country realizes that we need immigrants to help us in our industries, our labor supply, I don’t think it will happen. But when that happens, though, then we probably have some people in Washington who don’t realize the significance of keeping our industry smoking or keeping our society far develop or far more developed in other countries like Japan, or Europe,

45:05 they look beyond what color you are, what race you are, they look for the person, they definitely do. So. I mean, sure, you’d have some people, you know, look at the outside

45:19 eye think is true just as any other person, because we’ve been friends for two and a half years now and

45:28 no difference. Really.

45:33 As time goes on, Asian families have had to compromise between maintaining the traditions of the past and adjusting to the culture of the present. Each group, each family, and each individual must find a comfortable balance between these two forces.

45:55 They used to have what they call Japanese language summer schools here before World War Two. And most of us attended those and we weren’t taught the basics, how to read and write. But through not using it, I have lost all of mine.

46:27 A lot of good culture from Japan. That mixed with American culture, it would help but I think the most important thing that I taught my son was to respect the law.

46:44 Well said it might be children, the children nowadays they call they call you by the name, first name, first name or something like that. Or, but I teach this grandchildren to say we are their grandparents. And they had to say grandparents to us, whatever we want them Apple or Lolo or grandma or but really they mostly are talking only in English that is my that is my, my, my mistake because I am not. I have not taught them our dialect, see which others they they insist them to learn Mexican, Chinese and Japanese they teach them their dialect talk to them in during their infant days, you know, but me I never did to my children or their grandchildren. I there was a comment one time that somebody read a an article that was written by my son in a magazine. And this this friend told me he has Shame on you, they said you you have not even taught your child to speak your dialect.

48:06 Again, this is just because of me. But I’ve encouraged my kids to read, you know, I marked the stories and say, Okay, you gotta read this, you know, when you’re going to bed tonight, and you know, I’m going out and I seek these books and I’m, I’m one of them that was really strong and in wanting to bring some of the books into the library on on Asians. And when I’m making my donations I, for example, buy there’s a heritage book company out of Honolulu. And I’m my my donation this year, I’m going to ask him to send and get some of these. You know, consider some of these books.

48:43 One of the questions that they asked from me is that seems to be held down there in the Philippines. I told them it stands at probably around 300 Is that right? Are you kidding me? And when they wind up in the Philippines actually when I started introducing them to my relatives, I usually say this is your uncle or this is your mom or your Lola. It reached the point by the time we have been in I think poor place they will be the one and B segment it looks a little bit older, another Lola another another, another girl, another Iran but

49:22 very often speak to them about the Philippine traditions, how family relationships are not with the idea that hey, you’ve got to follow this, essentially, you know, this is how I was brought up. This is how things would have been in the Philippines or at least in my specific community. Again, as I said, not specifically Hey, you gotta follow this because this is the Filipino way more more sharing my experience with them. It’ll be up to them to make use of that lesson or phase of life, as it would be adapted to their, to their society. Now, the place where they leave.

50:14 David is very interested in our kids is, is quite interested in being aware of, oh, I guess you’d say the Asian part of his heritage.

50:24 I heard telling us what the stories were. We understood how they thought and how our culture, our culture, through those stories, I, I learned the culture of our background and stuff, that was really good.

50:41 They don’t perceive themselves, any different from the other kids. And I think that’s a very healthy, healthy attitude, you know, and I think, I think they can weather anything, you know, that will come their way having that kind of an attitude that, you know, I’m not, I’m a person like you basically, not, I’m not saying they’re color, blind, but you know, they know their heritage, but they’re also asserting that I’m a person first, before I’m a Filipino American, you know, and I think that’s, you know, and I’m glad I’m hearing that from all these kids.

51:13 Growing up with with my parents, it was a fairly typical American family where there wasn’t a lot of real closeness and when you got to be 18, you left home and you wrote every so often and went back on major holidays, but there was not a real closeness and going to the Philippines it was, it was really an experience, being able to share that real tight cohesiveness that extends clear into people that you barely even know. And that was very, very powerful man, I don’t want my children to lose.

51:46 They have a sense of obligation and responsibility. And I’ve tried to impress that on my children, not to forget when someone does you a favor, or helps you in any way.

52:04 America has often been called the melting pot are immigrants from all over the world assimilate into American society, losing their original cultural ties. Our interviews with Asian Americans of Idaho fit better with a more recently proposed metaphor of a tossed salad, where each element retains its own distinct flavor, but all combined into a single delicious experience. Certainly Idaho has become richer because of the contributions and hard work of the Asian Americans. Obtaining acceptance and recognition has not been easy for them. But in spite of the struggles of starting life over in a strange land, and the pain of the prejudice they have had to face, the people we spoke with, placed a high value on the beauty and advantages of the state in which they live. One constant theme heard in all our interviews with stat, Idaho is my home.

53:05 That I’d rather live in Nampa than anywhere else in Idaho someplace than anywhere else, especially Western Idaho.

53:13 Far Pocatello goes I think it’s a good time. I wouldn’t be anywhere else.

53:19 I feel that Moscow and the University of Idaho and Washington state to help help our family to be what we are. And Idaho is it’s a very good state to be in and I’ve although I we lived in my parents and I lived in Washington for six years, but really, Moscow is my home.

"Other Faces - Other Lives" Palouse Asian American Association (TeknifilmVideo)
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The full "Other Faces, Other Lives: Asian Americans in Idaho" film. This includes the narration, stills, interviews, music, and more.
Transcribed by Otter.AI. Note that transcript was produced by and may contain discrepancies. University of Idaho Special Collections and Archives is currently working to polish and clean up all transcripts in this collection.
Asian American Japanese American Chinese American filipino (culture) mining farming (activity or system) immigration racial discrimination railroad builders concentration camps culture (concept) clubs (associations) communities (social groups) family life communities (inhabited places) restaurants
Lily Wai Committee papers, MG 390, University of Idaho Library Special Collections and Archives
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