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Yoko Matsuoka McClain Oral History Interview, March 22, 2008

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 EU: This is an interview with Yoko McClain for the Japanese America Association Oral History project. Today is March 22, 2008 we are in Yoko's house in Eugene. Yoko your house looks very nice it is different from when I was here last time.

YM: That is for sure. A little bit different, still kind of messy.

EU: You were redoing your kitchen?

YM: Yeah. So I was cleaning yesterday, at least moving lots of things to the kitchen.

EU: Today is foggy but usually you have a nice view.

YM: Yes. It is a nice view all the way from--this is a southern view I have. So then Spencer Butte I can see right there.

EU: How long have you lived here in this house?


YM: It is almost 40 years I think, 39 years now I think. We moved in 1970.

EU: 1970. How long have you been here in Eugene?

YM: 55 and a half, I guess. This July will be 56 years.

EU: 56 years. Well can you tell us about your family in Japan? Well let's start first, what is your full name?

YM: My full name is Yoko Matsuoka McClain.

EU: Okay. And when where you born?

YM: I was born in January 1, 1924.

EU: Were you born in Tokyo?

YM: In Tokyo.

EU: Can you tell me about your family? Your mother's family?

YM: My mother is the daughter of a novelist. She was born in Tokyo, of course, 00:02:00no sorry, she was born in Naga--, no, Kumamoto in Kyushu, when her father was a professor there at the Kumamoto University, the current Kumamoto University. In those days, the Fifth Highest School, it was called. So that was where she was born.

EU: She was born. And ah can you talk then about her family? Your grandfather, her father.

YM: Okay, father's side?

EU: Okay I am confused--

YM: Grandfather was professor at the Fifth Higher School.

EU: And that is on your father's side or your mother's side?


YM: My mother's side. That's why my mother was born in Kumamoto.

EU: Your mother was born in Kumamoto. Okay. And what was her name?

YM: Fudeko. "Fude" means "brush" so father named her so her writing would be good. [laughs] Turned out to be it wasn't.

EU: Okay. How many brothers and sisters did she have?

YM: I have, one sister died before I was born, apparently she was only 8 months old, she died very early. Remaining sisters and brothers, I had older sister, older brother, and younger brother, and younger sister. I am the middle of five. Originally six but one died early.


EU: Your mother, how many brothers and sisters did she have?

YM: She is the first daughter, and she has 3 younger sisters, and 2 younger brothers. The youngest daughter also died very early, year and half or something.

EU: Can you talk a little bit then about your grandfather? He was the novelist?

YM: That's right. He is actually the most well known novelist in Japan.

EU: And what was his name?

YM: His name is-- Natsume is last name, and Sōseki is a pen name. Originally his name was Kinnosuke but everybody knows him by his pen name Sōseki. And so-- 00:05:00He was professor and apparently he was second graduate in English in Tokyo University. The first one died early, so he was almost the first person to major in English I guess. Then he taught high school in Shikoku in Matsuyama in Shikoku first for one year and then he moved to Kumamoto and he stayed there for 4 years teaching English and English Literature and then he was sent to England in 1900 by the government. He was there for little over 2 years and came back 00:06:00and he was teaching at Tokyo Imperial University in those days and also Number One Higher School, too. But he started writing, beside his teaching, and some of the novel particularly the first one, I am a Cat, became so famous, so popular, so Asahi newspaper ask him to join them. In those days journalist were never respected but the Tokyo University professor is highly respected. He was more interested in writing rather than teaching so he took this Asahi job. The 00:07:00contract was one novel a year, apparently; he also took care of this literary column of this paper.

EU: So he wrote both for the newspaper and then he wrote his novels?

YM: In Japan it just like here, you have comic strip every day, instead of comic, they have novel every day. If you get the good writer you can sell the newspapers. They always wanted some really good writer. That's why his novel is always one chapter is always same length; because of the paper. Originally he wrote that -- after he entered the Asahi newspaper he wrote all the novels. 00:08:00Actually last year, 2007, exactly 100 years after he entered the newspaper. So, 1907, I guess.

EU: So his novels then were first published in the newspaper every day or every week?

YM: That's right. Every day every day every day. So we look forward to get the newspaper to read the new one. Then after he finished then usually be published as a book later. That is why in those days everybody knew him. If you write everyday in the biggest newspaper. Then afterwards it would be published. The 00:09:00very very last one was unfinished because he died, he died only 49 years old. Death is stomach ulcer. In those days you never hear somebody just dying from stomach ulcer but medical science was not that advanced in those days. The remaining novels all written for Asahi and then after that all of them are published.

EU: Then later translated into many languages?

YM: That's correct, quite a few. Of course English had the most, but French, Chinese, German, so many, so many. I had a list of which one is translated but 00:10:00English is the most. Almost all his novels were translated, I think, except one so far.

EU: You said his first novel then was I am a Cat. In Japanese what is that?

YM: Wagahai wa neko de aru

EU: What were some of his other books?

YM: Other books? Here, it's most popular, if you take Japanese literature everyone reads, it's called Kokoro. That is a much later work. The first one has quite a bit humor to it but towards the end is so much more serious of a thing. Like Kokoro, somehow, is most popular. So human, you know, man is always alone; 00:11:00in a way a person is always lonely that way. Somehow I was talking to Steve Kohl who teaches introduction to Japanese literature. He was saying in spring term or winter term, I can't remember which, the students write the paper, almost half or at least a third of them write about Kokoro, that's what he said.

EU: What was the theme or what did he write? These where contemporary stories 00:12:00about Japan at the time?

YM: Yeah. It is why he is so well read now is humans are always the same, that's what it is. Even though you take them out of that age and everything the psychology of the human is always same. I think about lots of things but one of them he said in this Kokoro is that the Sensei tells the student, one student, his uncle... Sensei is main character, lost both parents and uncle and aunts 00:13:00takes care of him. He trusted this uncle, his parents too trusted this uncle. But turned out to be he swindled his money so he was really disappointed and he can't trust the people in the world. He said something like money, money is the one to make anybody, even noble person, just sort of fall off. That's so true, even now, when you think about it, all those politicians, always money.

EU: Do you think that is why he has continued to be popular and continues to be read?


YM: Every time you read him, you just think "oh, how true!" even now. Nothing old, that's what it is, I think. Classical literature is always like that; even Greek literature you read, is still human, is still thinking the same thing.

EU: Why do you think he wrote like that? What was in his background?

YM: His background, I'm giving talk in June in San Diego, so I was just studying, writing. He had a sad childhood because he was born to a very wealthy family but just about the Meiji Restoration then when times changing; he was the 00:15:00youngest one of the old couple. When you think about old couple had the youngest one, would be adored, but instead his mother almost thought, she was almost ashamed to have a baby so late in life. I think she was about 40, 41. Now it's so common. Father's wealth is declining so he was such an unwanted child. And then mother didn't have milk and he was foster child someplace first but 00:16:00afterwards he was adopted by a couple. But that couple just wanted to buy his love so even though they where kind of stingy people they gave him everything he wanted so he was so spoiled. But when that couple -- didn't go too well -- and got divorced, mother tried to get him to her side and tell all the horrible things about the father. Really terrible story. When he was about 9 years old after they divorced, he went back to his own home but he was still unwanted to the father.

EU: Was this in Tokyo?

YM: That was in Tokyo. It was said that even when he was little he saw that ugly 00:17:00side of people. He was always writing about egoism in later work.

EU: So he continued living with his father, or his father and mother?

YM: Yeah, so what happened was he had lots of brothers, older brothers, but two of them died. Particularly, the first son apparently was a bright guy but he died from tuberculosis, second one too, in those days so many, third one was a playboy. So finally father realized the only person who might be able to help him in the future is Sōseki himself. He suddenly started more depending on him. 00:18:00Then Sōseki never cared for his father because of that kind of person. The mother died quiet early, too, I guess. Then he was sent to Europe and came back, and then adoptive father tried to get money from him -- he thought now he had it, you know. Horrible life that way.

EU: You said he was one of the first graduate of Tokyo University?


YM: In English. Majoring in English. He was the second, but the first one died right after graduation.

EU: Did his father and the family encourage him or expect him to go to the university?

YM: Yeah. At least they help him. Afterwards he did have a scholarship too, I guess, no, he got loan, I guess, but at least father was helping. After he started working he actually tried to return all the money to him, too.

EU: Do you know why, during the Meiji time, how did he become interested in English?

YM: In those days people thought that unless you know those foreign languages, 00:20:00you can't get ahead in the world -that kind of ambition all the young bright people had. At first he was more interested in Chinese literature but then he said at certain stage "no, in this world you need to know English." So he changed school from old fashioned Chinese school, high school level I guess, he moved to the other school that teach English. In those days, I think, his English was pretty good because in those days science they didn't have in Japanese textbooks, so they studied in English textbooks. Their English was good that way. When he was at Tokyo University he was translating classical Japanese 00:21:00literature into English. That one was used by the American scholar for the conference or something like that. Harvard professor said that was an excellent translation. Isn't that interesting?

EU: Yeah, so he must have had good English teachers at the university?

YM: That's right. Apparently he didn't have any trouble going to England, either. He was quite amazed what bad English they speak. That's so true, because as a foreigner when you come here you think everyone speaks good English, but that's not true, you know [laughs].


EU: How did he go to England? Did he have a scholarship or?

YM: Yeah, government sent him. Trouble was they just sent him, then one of the Yale professors said "too bad he, in those days they didn't refer him to anybody." He was just thrown into London and he had to do everything. He went to University of London and also Cambridge, too. He was almost 30, about 32 -- much older than--. And then he already studied quite a bit in Japan so he didn't get too much. For some time he went to the Shakespeare scholars and he got a tutor, and then he studied; he didn't get too much. Last one year or something he spent 00:23:00all the money he received from government to just buy books for his own project. In London, he only studied studied, was in a boarding house, and sometimes only biscuit and water, he was just studying. He became almost nervous breakdown because of that. That's actually lasted all his life. Mother always said, [he] 00:24:00suddenly flares up.

EU: That was a difficult time for him? He didn't really feel comfortable in England?

YM: Mhm. He just didn't enjoy. But because he studied so much there, that's the basis for his later work. So in that sense it was wonderful experience. He was just telling his wife a letter telling some Japanese student come and buy prostitute and he wish he had that money to buy more books. He did travel but he actually overworked I think.


EU: What years were he--

YM: 1900 in September or something he left. He came back in 1903. Two years and a little bit.

EU: Let's take a break here.

EU: This is part two of the interview with Yoko McClain. We were talking about your grandfather, Natsume Sōseki. Um, when he went to England, um, he, of course, was already married at that time.

YM: That's right, that's right. Yeah.

EU: And had family and they stayed in Kumamoto, or in Tokyo?

YM: Yeah, uh, he was sent from Kumamoto direct, I mean, of course come back to 00:26:00Tokyo and then go, you know, but he already had my mother, a child. The other child is, uh, on the way. So, ah, he he said, um, he, he, he was also Hai poet (sp?). He was pretty good Hai poet, so he, ah, he composed a Haiku in a [?], you know, Autumn Wind, ah [?] um. [?] It was kind of sad [laugh]

EU: So he didn't see his, the second child until after?

YM: She was born apart, he was in London, uh huh.

EU: London, yeah. So, ok. Um. So when he, when he came back to Japan, did he go back to Kumamoto?

YM: No, no. Kumamoto, ah, you know, ah, his father-in-law, that like my 00:27:00grandmother's father, was a pretty influential person, and he wanted that to bring him back to Tokyo, you know, so he was looking for a job in Tokyo, so when he came back, and then, he was hired by a Tokyo University, and he was still the lecturer, and then at also, ah, he was teaching at the other school, the number one high, higher school that the in those days the educational system was different in Japan too, and so six years of a elementary, course, and five years middle school, and then three years of a higher school, that's that the one that almost prepared you for a university, and that's a higher school. And then, ah, the university three years actually. And so he was teaching, and, ah, at, uh, 00:28:00Tokyo University. Also, he was teaching at the number one higher school. Then, then, then he, he started writing, and then so besides his teaching, and teaching, I mean writing, he was more interested, that's why when Asahi approached, you know, he uh, announced that he's quitting, so, everybody was so surprised because by now he was quite well-known as a writer but a Tokyo University professor is such a prestigious position; journalist was not that respected, but I read someplace that because of him, journalists, ah, came to be respected more [laughs]


EU: [laughs] [pause] Could you talk a little bit about your grandmother? Um, and then their relationship?

YM: Yeah, um. My grandmother, um, was the oldest daughter of this, uh, ah, the man who, who was professor also, old old Tokyo University, Tokyo University, even before it was called Tokyo University, and then after he finished he was quite bright, and then he, ah, he was interested economics, and he wanted to study German, but he, only the medical school taught German so he want to medical school and then after, ah, he finished, he ah, he was ah hired at the Niigata City, which is Northeast of Tokyo, facing Japan Sea, so Niigata Medical 00:30:00school, he was assistant professor, and then, there he translated at German medical like a cholera something, or some kind of Ophthalmology, something about this in German into Japanese, which was used by so many medical schools in Japan or something. And then, there he stayed four years and came back to Tokyo, he became, um, he became ah, the Secretary General of the, ah, [pause] Congress thing, you know [laughs]. So he became really politician, almost. And so very influential [cough] when my grandmother married him, so he's the one who really 00:31:00liked the Sōseki even though he was in such far away, he heard such good reputation about him, he himself was interested in foreign language, that's why maybe he was interested in Sōseki that way too, you know, English major.

EU: Yeah.

YM: And, ah, my grandmother was, had three younger sister, she seems she was the, ah, oldest and after elementary school, everything was tutor, or every subject was a different tutor, she had; that kind of education she had. And then, um, then arranged marriage thing came up, both kind of liked the picture 00:32:00and background, and so they, so when they married was a father even took her to Kumamoto, and then that's where they married.

EU: Yeah.

YM: Then when, while he's in London, of course in those days, you know, you certainly can't take your wife or anything, and so she went alone, she went back to his father, parent's place, with my mother, and then, ah, her youngest youngest sister was, was born there too. Ah, then, then, by then, ah, cabinet has changed, so father lost it, lost his job I guess, you know; he did, uh, have 00:33:00a different kind of job. Nothing went so well, and then he, he ah, started buying stocks, and that's when, and then after he lost so much money, and so by the time Sōseki came back, they were in a very hard time, they were having a real hard time. That's all he said in his novel Michi Kusa ah, he tells everything about that too. So but my grandmother, as I said, Sōseki, after he came back, from this nervous breakdown he had, now current doctors think he really had a serious depression, you now, and from time to time that's explored 00:34:00and so I think that the family had a difficult time with that.

EU: Did they live alone or did they live with her parents in Tokyo?

YM: After he came back, several months later, I can't remember how many months, then they had their own house, they rented their house. Interesting enough, I was just writing, he was already a very well known novelist, he could never afford a house in those days, he always rented, and after he died, you know, such big royalty, my grandmother had, so she built, so two years after his death, I think, she build a huge a home, but the rental house, she bought that 00:35:00house. Then toward, had a huge home and that's where I was born.

EU: And where was that? It was in Tokyo?

YM That's right, Tokyo, of course, everything's in Tokyo.

EU: What part of Tokyo?

YM: Ah, it's all old, old time Tokyo, it's Waseda, right now Shinjuku actually, Waseda so. Just very recent, last year, they had a campaign, to ah, the house where he studied was burned during the war, air raid, and so they had a big campaign to rebuild it. At least they clean out the place, so last year, I guess 00:36:00November / December, no, this year, earlier this year, they had the opening of that and so when I go back, (?) ward chief wants me to come and look at it.

EU: So, do you think they had, well, it was difficult for you grandmother at times?

YM: Pardon?

EU: It was difficult for your grandmother at times?

YM: That's right, that's right, that's right

EU: But they had what, seven children altogether?

YM: Yeah, uh-huh, of course the youngest died early, but even after, six children, you know, every two years or something, you know. So, but at the time I think it was very difficult even though he was making good enough money to 00:37:00support the children, support the family. When depressions comes from time to time, I think, must have been very difficult, because my mother's memory of him is only, she was scared; it's a kind of sad thought, you know.

EU: Yeah, so she was still very young when he died?

YM: Only seventeen

EU: Only seventeen

YM: So he didn't have any grandchildren of course, you know. Two years after, so, my mother had been nineteen, she married. And then my sister, my oldest sister was born, so...

EU: Um, maybe now, could you talk a little bit about your father? You said your mother was nineteen when she got married. How did she meet him?


YM: Oh, ah, he was my grandfather's student, one of the young students. Apparently several people wanted to marry her I guess, you know, [laughs]. But, so other person wanted to marry her and when my father married her, he wrote a novel and apparently it was read so much that he said something almost like my father, you know my father took her from him, all those guys [laughs]; in those days everybody read that.


EU: Did your mother, you said she was basically, she had tutors at home, did she go to?

YM: That's grandmother.

EU: Your grandmother.

YM: That's not my mother. Grandmother was the one who was tutored.

EU: Oh, right, right. So what? How? Then, could you talk about your mother's schooling, where did she go?

YM: Yeah, mother was just a, to high school than she really wanted to go to music school, she just loved piano and but my grandmother, you know, after her husband died and everything, didn't want her to go to college and didn't want her to marry [laughs]. And so that's why my mother always felt that her daughters should have higher education because she couldn't do it; it's too bad.


EU: So your mother and father, they lived in Tokyo too in the family's home?

YM: Yeah, we all lived in Tokyo but my father was born in Niigata Prefecture, so then came to Tokyo, number one higher school and Tokyo University and at that time about, do you know Actama Unoske (sp?), very famous writer and a few people young people start going to Sōseki's house, you know. So my father was born the oldest son of the temple so he was suppose to succeed, become a priest, but after he came to Tokyo and he was interested in the writing so he just never went back, and his younger brother took over the priest. And so mother said 00:41:00later that she was the one who, who fell in love with him [laughs]. Since Sōseki had so many students and some wanted to marry my mother and that's what she said she was the one who was interested in him, in my father.

EU: You said that there was a group of writers around your grandfather?

YM: Yeah

EU: Was there, what were they called?

YM: Yeah, actually, some are writers but many of them more like scholars. Did I show you my book I publish last year? One picture--17th death anniversary--I 00:42:00have that--here--this is my grandmother, Sōseki's friend, and my father and me.

EU: Oh, okay.

YM: And my mother, and my sister, and this is a neighbor, but my brother, and mainly all this, these are all my mother's brothers and all the sisters; lots of those are very well known

EU: When was this picture taken?

YM: So, last 17th anniversary--that should say something--1932

EU: 1932, okay, yeah, wow

YM: Yeah so, people think that, you know, not many writers have that many top, 00:43:00all well-known students, you know [laughs]. People just, he had that problem of like depression and from time to time he really acted like that but he, apparently he was a person who had charisma, what we call now, you know, because some many young people just gathered around him

EU: Gathered around

YM: Ever since he was, he taught, one of them is a, his doctor when he died, but he was his own student too, when he was in Matsuyama, some Kumamoto student and everybody comes to Tokyo and all of them were just even after 17th year after he 00:44:00died, they were together

EU: So that's when, the purpose of the picture, it was after--

YM: That's right, in Japan you die, have funeral, right? And the second year, they don't, they have a third, third, third and the seventh, I don't know what significance is, but the three and seven, so after seventh anniversary, 13th, 17th, 23rd , 27th and all the way to, then 50 and then that's the last year because all the family will be died too [laughs]

EU: So this picture taken on, of the family and his students on one of the anniversaries


YM: [coughing] Excuse me

EU: Did, this book that your showing me then, did?

YM: That's him, Sōseki, and that picture of arranged marriage picture, the exchange.

EU: Oh, okay. What's the, can you tell me what's the name of you book?

YM: Yeah, name is a Sōseki and his Wife -- sort of a, you know, this is a, publisher put that title but I would maybe says its Love between Sōseki and his Wife I suppose, something like that

EU: And when, when was this book published?

YM: It was in, last October.

EU: Last October.

YM: Yeah, that's why I went back in December to give several lectures and I'm going back again, I'm giving four talks in May.

EU: So when you do research for books like this about your grandparents, um, 00:46:00because of course you didn't know him, you were born after

YM: Correct, correct, correct

EU: So do you have memories from your mother or?

YM: Just, you know, all the things I heard from my grandmother and then my parents and aunts and uncles then some relative who knew him, that kind of thing and then so, my theory was that, my grandmother had a reputation the she was a bad wife [laughs]

EU: Oh

YM: Isn't that crazy? I think that's because of the Japanese men are no good, that's why [laughs]. You know, I mean, if the women just always follow husband, it's that kind if society. So I just said she isn't a bad wife, I thought.


EU: She wasn't, yeah. [pause] You said your father was also a writer.

YM: Yeah that's right, that's right.

EU: Did he write novels?

YM: He did write novels too; he did lots of those on Sōseki too; one, everybody used it and I still think it's one of really good one; it's Memory of Sōseki by my grandmother, she said, she talked to him, he recorded but he had to read, study all Sōseki's writing then everyday and heard her talk and that's a very 00:48:00interesting book, you know, what she thinks about and so.

EU: What was the title of the book?

YM: That's The Memory of Sōseki

EU: And his name was? Your father's full name was?

YM: Yuzuru Matsuoka

EU: Matsuoka

YM: That's right, correct, correct.

EU: Okay, um, so, and, so you were born then, in 19-?

YM: 24

EU: 24, okay. And tell me again, you had, how many brothers and sisters did you?

YM: So, two sisters, I'm the middle, older sister, older brother, younger 00:49:00brother, younger sister, and one died of course so we always think about five.

EU: And you were living in Tokyo.

YM: That's right, I lived in Tokyo. And the first three years, my parents went to Kyoto for three years but I have no recollection of Kyoto, because I came back to Tokyo when I was three.

EU: When you were three, okay--and what part of Tokyo did you live in?

YM: Um, well [laughs] we moved three times. First, of course I was born, that's Waseda, my grandmother's place; then after came back from Kyoto, we came back to, we had house Ogimachi which is from Tokyo and Yokohama and then maybe about 00:50:00here; then, we moved to, the last one we lived in Denechofu, in those days it was suburb, but I think it almost middle of the town, now getting to be isn't it?

EU: Yeah, okay

YM: So my parents, my brother and sister were still so young, so during 1944 when the war, air raids was getting so much, they moved to Niigata, where my father was born and lots and lots of people, when they had little ones, they were suggested to move to the county side, so they did. I was already a college student, I was at the college dormitory, and every weekend I went back to, when 00:51:00my parents there, every weekend, I went back to my parents, then after they moved to Niigata, then I always visit my grandmother, on the weekend. Because she never moved, you know, because she said she was always in Tokyo so if she had dies, she would die in Tokyo; that's what she said.

EU: Okay, um, were to you go to elementary school and high school?

YM: It's all Ogimachi

EU: And where did you go to college?

YM: College is in Tokyo; it's the college that is oldest women's private school, do you know the founder, Tsuda Umeko? She is an amazing woman: she left Japan when she was six years old, and then she arrived in San Francisco, when she was 00:52:00seven, together with lots of people, who came to the States for exchange, and then so she stayed in the States until she graduated from Bryn Mawr. And then, then went back to Japan, and then she was so shocked that women's position was so low, and so, she never knew almost, right? And then she privately taught English to the nobility people first, and then when she came back here, she got also donations from the Bryn Mawr people and she decided to start her own 00:53:00college and that's she thought lots of Japanese women need: higher education; that's the only way to improve their position, so that school started in 1900.

EU: Did you always know you would go to college? Your parents, your family?

YM: I wasn't thinking anything but I always enjoyed English at high school so my mother said, "Why don't you go to the college, you know" I said, "Okay" [laughs] That's what I did, very simple.

EU: How did you get interested in studying English?

YM: Oh, I went to the Catholic high school, you know, and all those nuns, was Irish nuns, they're the ones who were the English teachers, so somehow I was 00:54:00kind of always interested; that's what suggest English lit maybe, that started, it that, it was considered the best in those days, so that's what I did.

EU: And how, where were you when, during World War II then, during the Pacific War?

YM: I was at college, working in the college factory, you know, the factory brought all those huge machines to the gym, to the college, so for three shifts you know: 8-4, 4-12, 12-8, and it's a horrible, horrible time in Japanese 00:55:00history of course, you know. We made what they called "pistons" for the airplane and then between times, every time siren rung, we just rushed into the air shelter, uh-huh, uh-huh, that's how we did. So our education in only two years, college two years, then war ended, even though we were not qualified, school just gave us diploma, because they didn't want all those girls, because once occupation starts, they didn't know what would happen; Japanese men were so bad 00:56:00they thought American would too [laughs]

EU: So you were working in the factory making pistons, were you going to school at the same time?

YM: No, oh no, no classes

EU: No classes

YM: That's why we actually, two years, first two years was okay, you know, we got to study two years. And then afterward was just out year and a half, but we were forced to get diploma [laughs]. So in those days once we finished, there were not enough people who knew English, so we could get any kind of job, you know, they all needed. Japanese government so stupid so in this country because of the war with the Japan, they actually need to study, that's what they did, but if you studied English, you studied enemy's language, that kind of thing.


EU: What was the like it like in Tokyo during the war?

YM: Oh, awful; day after day was air raids, you know, uh-huh

EU: And you said your grandfather's study had been bombed and burned?

YM: Yeah, that's correct, unfortunately

EU: But you weren't living at that house?

YM: No. So that day was one of the worst in Tokyo, so many houses were burned.

EU: When did your parents come back from Niigata?

YM: Pardon?

EU: When did you parent come back from Niigata?

YM: They never did, until my father passed away.

EU: Oh, okay, did he die during the war then?

YM: No, no, after the war.


EU: Okay, so after the war ended and you had your diploma, then what did you do?

YM: So I worked for lots, US Forces, you know, they needed anybody who knew little English; so, translator, mainly translator, typist, translator, all those kind of things I did.

EU: What was it like working during the occupation of the Americans?

YM: That was fine because even my English speaking was not that good, but still, I could spell much better than certain [laughs]. When they write something I always corrected their spelling at least, right, so there was not problem in those days. I can hardly understand about Iraq, you know, has going on, right? 00:59:00No, no, many US people were good enough.

EU: Did you continue to live with your grandmother?

YM: Right, I did. First, I went back to Niigata and I lived with my parents and my sister, brother and then I, of course in the country side not much to do, so my mother suggested that maybe you know, nearby I can take a lesson on making kimono, and I did, several month I did. Then, my typing was not that good, I did have a little bit and I did take typing lesson. Got on the train, everyday, about an hour or so, go to the north end of the city that were teaching. They 01:00:00had US soldier there teaching typing so that where I find my typing wasn't that fast but good enough to be able to work, that kind of thing I did and then came back to Tokyo and live with my grandmother. And then I also went to. I also went to dress making school for two years; I get all the dress making, you know, so that was good and then I started working for the US Forces mainly.

EU: And how long did you work for them?

YM: You know I can't remember, you know, about how long; I, at least maybe three years.

EU: Okay, alright, let's take a break.


YM: Okay.

EU: This is part three of the oral history interview with Yoko McClain. So Yoko, you were talking about, you were working for the Americans in Tokyo after the war--

YM: That's right, that's right

EU: And how did you come to Oregon?

YM: Oh, what's happened was that there was a scholarship in those days they called GARIO Government Account for (Relief in) Occupied Areas, that's-- now, it became Fulbright. So what happened was, one day the other girl who was working with me she said, "Oh there's a test for that so if you pass you can go to the 01:02:00States so why don't we take it?" I said, "Hmm, that would be fine." So we just went to, that test was given Tokyo, Osaka, and a few other cities, I think you know. I was in Tokyo of course, so went to the, I think they rented the Tokyo University classroom, and that's where they had test. And so, then so, I never thought that I would, but the day when they announced the people who passed and we went over to look at the list on some wall, so my name was there. And so then afterwards I have to go to the oral exam and then physical exam so I passed; and 01:03:00so that's why, they ask now, "Congratulations, you pass, but where would you like to go?" So I said my friend said, then somebody introduced some Japanese gentleman who studied in Michigan before the war and so I talk to him "So where shall I go?" and so he said, "If you go why don't you ask East Coast, then you can see West and Midwest, and then East Coast." So I said "Okay" and I wrote to the State Department, you know, they took care of that, so State Department, "Please send some school West Coast, I mean, East Coast." And so a month later or something, they send, they answered and said "You assigned to Oregon?" [laughs]. So I thought Oregon must be the East Coast, [laughs]. So, turned out 01:04:00to be, always laugh about that. That's what happened.

EU: Okay, so when did you come?

YM: 1952

EU: To Oregon, 1952, in September?

YM: No, we came in July and then had an orientation until early September, University of Washington.

EU: Oh, okay, so how long did you, so you spent a month or two in Seattle?

YM: Ah, six weeks, I think.

EU: Six weeks.

YM: And in those, days US was so wealthy, they give us everything, you know, every weekend they took us to all over inside of Washington, Mt. Rainier, and that island and any place. Then when the time came, when that all ended, from 01:05:00about, two German students from that group, too, was coming to Oregon, so we just traveled, came to Portland and apparently train didn't go directly, so we stayed in Portland YMCA, and then came down.

EU: What did you think about the United States, seeing it for the first time?

YM: Oh, you know, we thought it was just wonderful because we didn't have enough things to eat, and then we have more than enough things to eat, Tokyo was still burned, you know, and it was so green. So everything, was just, we thought was wonderful.

EU: So when you started at the university in Eugene, what did you study?

YM: Oh, um, since I thought it was the one year, scholarship was one year, and 01:06:00so somehow, whatever I wanted I just took [laughs] but I was always interested in French, so I started French too. I can't remember what else I took. And then when the one year was up, I met one Japanese medical doctor in Portland through another student and so this, he was so good to me and he said, in those days you can't be in this country unless you have a sponsor, who sponsor you, in case something happens, they are responsible, and so he said, "I'll sponsor you, so, one year, you can't see everything, so you can't learn much about the States, so why don't you stay longer?" And so he offered, so, State Department said "okay" 01:07:00- I stay longer. Then I still had tickets, return tickets, then third year they said I had to return, either return, or just return the tickets; then I had several good friends here and so they said, "Oh, you should stay" - so they wrote letter to State Department and here the foreign student advisor and everything, so they said I can stay and I send tickets back. So I decided [laughs]

EU: You decided

YM: That's what happened

EU: Okay, um, how long then, were you at the university as a student?

YM: Uh, so, then I got my, you know since I was only two years in Japan, and so 01:08:00I could have graduated sooner, just transferred those, but since it was all during war time, we couldn't do that much and so I stayed on, and then I got BA here; then I married and then after child came, I came back to this university again for, as a graduate student. And then after married in those days there was a draft, so my husband was in the service, so I went to Germany, and a year in Germany, you know, with him. And came back and then I thought, and I majored in French, you know [laughs], don't remember a thing [laughs]. So I thought, if I just get a teaching certificate in French maybe I can go anyplace, so, you know, if my husband go anyplace, then maybe I can get the job. So I went back to school to get the teaching certificate in French. Then I always worked in a 01:09:00museum ever since second year of my stay here, because first year I had such a good scholarship, but from second year I had to work so I got a receptionist job, then I was translating something, so I went back to the museum.

EU: That was the art museum at the university?

YM: That's right, that's right. So I worked again, you know. Then, actually, I worked until the day before my son was born

EU: Oh boy, okay.

YM: [laughs] Then afterwards, about, when he was about 8 months, Japanese Department said they need some teaching assistant, if I'm interested, so I said, 01:10:00"Yes, I'm interested." Then I had a very good babysitter, next door neighbor, grandmother, so then I went back to school.

EU: Okay, and that's when you got your master's degree?

YM: Right, that's right, that's right.

EU: That wasn't in French, what was your master's degree?

YM: Comparative literature.

EU: Comparative literature, okay. Did you study other languages? English, French--

YM: [laughs] Oh, yes, yes, I was always interested, but nothing I remember, but German, Spanish, Italian, [laughs] Chinese

EU: Okay, um, going back a little bit, when you were an undergraduate did you live in the dormitories or?

YM: Only one year; then I rented the room, much cheaper: 25 bucks, you know.

EU: Could you talk a little bit about some of your friends or your classmates?

YM: Oh, yeah, you know, I was very lucky because from the beginning I had such 01:11:00good friends you know. That's what makes my, made my life here so easy, I think, and my best friend even now, she was high school, she was at high school, when I came first time here, and in the fall in those days they had a big foreign student introduction or some kind of thing, so in the ballroom on the campus, and all the foreign students put on their native costume; and the foreign student advisor introduced everybody, and townspeople, faculty, students, anybody who wanted to come. That time after that, one girl came up to me and so, she said her birthday is same as Japanese emperor's [laughs] and she started talking to me, you know, and so she was in South Eugene High School, in those 01:12:00days, University High School, is what they called it. And then she took me to the movie, or you know, to eat hamburger, those kind of things, and then so, such a funny way starting some friendship, so she still my very best friend.

EU: And what is her name?

YM: Her name is Sally, and she, ah, her dad was an attorney, lawyer, and her mother was a harp professor, such a nice family and so almost like a family, even now, we brought up our children together and even the grandchildren, so it was three generations that we were just laughing, but then many other such good friends I made, you know, that's what, I was really lucky actually.

EU: Someone said you're friends with Misa Smith?


YM: Yeah, yeah, Misa was in the same class, you know, not class but about the same time we went to school together. Right, right, she's such a nice woman, you know.

EU: And I think you once mentioned Mitzi, Mitzi Asai?

YM: Mitzi was at the Carson Hall, that's why I remember her. I lived there only one year. Misty must be a senior at that time, I think

EU: How did you meet your husband?

YM: You know, I was working at the museum, as the receptionist and so he came in with his friend, whom I knew, that's what he introduce him to me; that's how I met [laughs]

EU: Was he a student at that time?

YM: Yeah, he was a student at that time, um-hum

EU: And what was he studying?

YM: He was studying education, I think that time, and then later -- he taught at 01:14:004J, too, for special education in the psychology thing -- and then but he was always interested in art so he went back to graduate school in Art History and then he got an Art History degree and he started his own business selling Japanese prints and he was always interested in printmaking himself, you know, so that's what happened.

EU: And when did you get married?

YM: '56

EU: '56

YM: In December.

EU: And then you said you went to Germany?

YM: Yeah, he was already in the service, you know, so I followed him later, I went there in '57.

EU: Did you like, how did you like, that was the first time in Europe?

YM: That's correct, correct; we had fun because in Europe it's a small country, 01:15:00small, so for the weekend you can almost go to the foreign country, you know. But in Germany it's a nice old, old town we were. A few years ago my student was in Frankfurt so I just stop over because I went to Poland to give a talk and Frankfurt I just, then she took me to, she took me to Bamberg where we were; so no, I went in peacetime so that was good [laughs]

YM: Did you ever go back to Japan in those early years?

EU: I went back to Japan after 13 years.

EU: Okay.

YM: Now so easy I go back once or twice a year. In those days wasn't that easy, 01:16:00you know

EU: Yeah. So you came back to the United States, and then you went to graduate school, your son was born, you went to graduate school; what was your thesis when you studied your comparative literature degree? What was your thesis?

YM: Oh, about my grandfather.

EU: About your grandfather

YM: And he really liked Jane Austen and so, you know, compare those things, Jane Austen and I can't think of other one [laughs] right now. I, I think he had a very good sharp mind because, now I was reading the other day, like, oh what the bookstore for the web?


EU: Amazon?

YM: Amazon, uh-huh, Amazon. Yeah, they said Jane Austen is still the best seller, you know, that's interesting isn't it? That's a Pride and Prejudice was the one he really liked, you know, he wrote lots of things about him, about her. Pride and Prejudice is first novel I read in English, you know, and then I was in still high school and my English wasn't that good but story was so fascinating, so interesting, without knowing lots of vocabulary, I could follow the story, so I have such special love of her stories, you know.

EU: Do you think her writing had an influence on your grandfather's?

YM: That's what, I, that's my paper [laughs].

EU: Oh, okay. So you were back in Eugene and your husband was teaching at 4J?


YM: At first.

EU: And, um, when did you start teaching at the university?

YM: Let's see, ah, let me just see--'64

EU: '64

YM: That was as a graduate student I started teaching; then I stayed on, so I quit teaching '94 so I taught exactly 30 years.

EU: 30 years. And what department, then, were you teaching in?

YM: East Asian Languages and Literatures.

EU: Okay. So, um, you, could you talk a little bit about, you were teaching Japanese?

YM: That's right, that's right, that's right.

EU: Were there other Japanese teachers here? Was it a big department?

YM: That time was a, when we started was only two graduate assistants and then 01:19:00two professors, but now it's a huge department, you know, hard to believe. And so no, I..it was lucky because I really enjoyed teaching very much and so, in Christmas time I still get lots and lots of letters from lots of kids, you know. Last year we had a reunion here in town and this coming summer in Seattle my students want me to come and he's contacting all the other people nearby to get little reunion too. So that's one nice thing about teaching, you know, always some kind of young people, you know.

EU: Did you teach, what did you teach then?

YM: All sort of things, you know. Yeah that's right. I enjoyed first year to 01:20:00teach and those kids would know nothing about Japanese and those kids become fourth year when I taught Japanese literature in Japanese, they get up to that stage, you know, and that's rewarding, right?

EU: So you taught everything from beginning grammar to literature?

YM: That's right, that's right, that's right, that's right.

EU: Yeah, um, you wrote a grammar, a handbook?

YM: That's right, that's right.

EU: What was that called?

YM: Handbook of Modern Japanese Grammar

EU: Could you talk about that book?

YM: You know, after some years, you start finding out what kind of trouble they have learning Japanese, so sort of a basic grammar, and I collected so many 01:21:00expressions, many many expressions, that you use in Japanese, that's what the students have so much trouble, so I made it into book. And some after verb, you have this expression, and after noun, you have this kind of expression. So that's what it is; that's the one, 21 printing, I think, so far.

EU: So it's still in print?

YM: Uh-huh, that went to all Europe, South America, wherever, Russia -- wherever they taught Japanese, so, that was a, I got letters from London, from Germany, you know, those kind of things. When I was in Japan and I met French linguist he said he wanted, he brought his, my book, and he wanted me to autograph it; 01:22:00"everybody in France who teach Japanese use this book" so I was so flattered [laughs].

EU: Yeah, so in your thirty year career, how did, can you talk about the development of teaching Japanese language? At the beginning there weren't many books for you to use? You wrote your own book.

YM: Of course, every language same, some teachers say talking, you know, speaking is the most important but I'm still old fashioned. All my students said if you go to Japan, to be able to say little bit Japanese doesn't help, you have to be able to read newspaper, you know, to work there, so I just emphasized that, you know. It was tough for the students but in one week we do hiragana, 01:23:00you know, and start reading in Japanese right away. And then usually I did for two terms all the grammar and then a third term start reading more, you know, something, and then so, then by the end of first year, one professor who was taking, history professor, he said, "I never realized you can do this much within one year." You know so, that's always rewarding [laughs] because my own professor said, one thing students have to feel they learn something after a year, which is so true because just anybody can say ohayo gozaimasu, or those 01:24:00kind of things, little conversation, to be able to speak is important but if you have the basic good grammar, then, if you spend year or two in Japan, they become fluent, but without that good background you can't go forward; that's how I felt, you know.

EU: When did you start teaching kanji?

YM: Oh, usually, almost second term, right away, I think. Might be even, yeah, and then of course day after day, teacher who started teaching "How did you do?" so I said, "You have to give a test everyday for kanji." Otherwise people won't study and never learn, so day after day first ten minutes it's always kanji test 01:25:00[laughs] that's just how, you have to force them, you know.

EU: 'Cause it's, it's just difficult learning all the kanji.

YM: If you start saying it's too difficult, of course it's too difficult, so you have to push them, you know [laughs]. Then, you reward if they work hard, you know. Some people just don't have any problem just doing, then skip classes; some people work harder, so that's how I grade it, for your efforts too, that's something so important.

EU: So you, you must have been a strict teacher?

YM: Maybe I was--that's what they say [laughs]

EU: But kind teacher

YM: I was there 5 minutes before, and I told them, "If you're a minute late to come to class I take one point off." So everybody had to just rush [laughs]. You 01:26:00know, that's one thing, if you get lax, there's just no end to it, students come all the time late. Only one student, I still remember, he was a Korean student, but he always came late, but I sense right away something wrong with him, you know, so I didn't joke or anything. But other students if they're late, I say ohayo gozaimasu or something like that, then it would be embarrassing, so they would come. Then a couple weeks later they call me, office call me and they said he had a problem, mental problem, and in hospital or just have to go home or something. That's kind of thing, you know you could tell, you know, like Virginia student, I thought teacher must have felt something, must be horrible 01:27:00depression or something, but that student I can't joke with him, that kind of feeling I had.

EU: So you started off as an instructor, but then you graduate, you got tenure--

YM: Um-hum, and then I had master's, didn't have any PhD but because of my publication, I got full professor, so it was more unusual [laughs]. Like the president himself, Paul Olum was at that time, dean and president was very open minded and so he said when they put me first in senior instructor, lots of people thought I deserve so much more, or something, so he looked at it, Paul Olum was the president but before that he was academic provost or, you know he 01:28:00was the one who took care of the promotion and everything and he said, "I look at your record and I think you deserve to be associate professor, so why don't you do that in a year or two?" So then my department was very understanding and they put me on to that. So it's, without PhD you won't get to that too much but he said that whatever you brought not too many people get such good comments from, from Harvard Professor, Stanford Professor, so, they gave me [laughs] so that was nice.

EU: Okay, let's take a break.


YM: Okay.

EU: Okay, this is part 4 of the interview with Yoko McClain. Yoko when you retired did the university, what was your status where you an Emeritus professor?

YM: Correct. That's right. Of course you don't any money [laughs]. I get free parking, parking sticker that is all that you get [laughs].

EU: And I believe that there is an endowed chair in your name at the university?

YM: Yes, yes that is the one that..

EU: At the university can you tell us about--

YM: Japanese alumni students raised money.

EU: These where alumni from the university in Tokyo? In Japan?

YM: That is correct. In Japan. They raised $100,000 then the state matched that 01:30:00for $200,000. They accumulated of course. We can get a visiting professor or last year a Japanese journalist who had a very good experience, an interesting experience so he gave a talk - that kind of thing.

EU: What do they call that fund?

YM: That's the one that is a Yoko McClain professorship.

EU: Okay

YM: Then I have another one which I started long time ago. I put some money in then some people put some money in and that called the Japan America Friendship fund. That would be for mainly scholarship.

EU: Scholarships for Japanese students?


YM: Students who studies Japanese

EU: Here at the university?

YM: Right. For the Japanese student I do keep it from time to time for international office, they had a scholarship and so.

EU: You, we talked some about the grammar handbook that you wrote. But you did many other, you wrote many other books and articles.

YM: Mainly Japanese books and all sorts of different things. After I retire, I enjoy retirement, so Joy of Retirement or Japan American cultural differences; I think that was called American Common Sense Japanese Common Sense. I had the 01:32:00three books about Sōseki and most recent one October 2007.

EU: That was the one about your grandmother and Sōseki? And all of these books where written in Japanese or in English?

YM: Actually I wrote American Common Sense Japanese Common Sense then Japanese textbook company asked me to translate a couple chapters so that was a tough time, I was still teaching, so my students translate it and two small books for Japanese textbooks for English class or cultural class. And so they have been used in Japan. That of course is in English; of course grammar book is all in 01:33:00English; I put the Japanese in of course. Rest made in Japanese. Tokyo.

EU: In Japanese, okay.

YM: Publishing in Tokyo.

EU: You said you travel back to Japan almost every year, once or twice?

YM: Yes, after I retired. When I was working, the only time I could do it was during the summer which is the worst time [laughs] In Japan, right?

EU: Because it's so hot?

YM: It hot. Now I usually go in the spring or fall. Last year I did go twice. This year I am going in May and I don't know about fall. Usually like to travel some other place too so we will see what happens.

EU: When you go to Japan, you say you give lectures?


YM: Yes quite often.

EU: Where do you give lectures and what do you talk about?

YM: This time is three universities in May, one is Takales (sp?) the other one is Waseda and other one is Niigata University, another city is Niigata, that's four of them. Last December was Tamakura (sp?) and Tamakura, society type of thing, so that is where I gave a talk. And also Toyota is a famous for your auto mobile; Toyota Cultural Center they asked me so than a nearby Toyota, in the city Toyota is a university so that is what I did. I gave three talks and this time is since right after I published the book so many people wanted me to talk 01:35:00about it. About Sōseki and at Waseda in May said half Sōseki and half English major, mainly English major will come, so something about English. So maybe giving half of cultural differences that in a sense I talk in English and Japanese, language itself sort of reflection of culture so that is what I am going to talk about.

EU: Have you received an award from the Japanese government?

YM: I did receive from foreign minister, ministry, to something like "to the 01:36:00betterment of relations between American and Japan" or some kind of thing [laughs] Promote it.

EU: You travel other places? You have gone to Poland?

YM: Yeah. I have a gone for seven continents, age of course. North America, South America, Antarctica I went, and Africa, Europe and Australia/New Zealand.

EU: Where these travels related to your books and lecturing or for pleasure?

YM: Some places I did, like Australia. But lots of times I go just when I feel like it; I don't even take, I don't even have laptop because my eye is so bad - 01:37:00[unclear]. When I go on vacation, it's kind of nice to forget everything for couple weeks, right? [laughs] Week or two and enjoy it. But like Poland I was invited to speak, Australia, and Singapore. Thailand I gave a talk. Antarctica of course you meet the penguins, seals, [laughs] no, that was fun.

EU: But Eugene obviously is your home?

YM: Correct

EU: And you talk before your grandfather wasn't particularly happy when he was sin England but your experience has been the opposite?


YM: You're right, very good.

YM: I really enjoy being here. And I said I did make friends from the beginning which makes lots of difference I think.

EU: And your son, of course, is here.

YM: That is right.

YM: Where does he live now?

YM: He lives almost ten minutes from here, less than ten minutes by car, actually. He now in university position there.

EU: What is his name?

YM: His name is Ken. We decided Ken not Kenneth because "Ken" in Japanese mean "sane - healthy and sane." That you can us here and Japan both way so it is easy. So we just named him.


EU: Do you have grandchildren?

YM: Just one. He, Ken's wife, is Maria and she is also a doctor; she is originally from El Salvador. Their son's name is Alejandro. His name is Alejandro Sōseki (sp?) McClain [laughs]. All my friends, all my Japanese friends always can him Sōseki-Ken (sp?).

{EU] Do you see him often?

YM: Maybe once or twice a week, I suppose.

EU: Could you talk a little but about your husband and his interest in the Japanese art?

YM: That's right. It is interesting that must be I always think it is innate because some of my students I ask in olden days. Now so many people just taking 01:40:00Chinese, Japanese, and Chinese. But in olden days it such a special language so I ask the students why are you taking Japanese? They said most of them, some of them had been in Japan, that's why they interested or something; they have some innate interest. My husband is like that. My in-laws where such nice people but they were never particularly interested in Japan. He said ever since he was a child he was always interested in Japan. Isn't that interesting? So he was always interested in printmaking. High school and when he was child he always tried to so he took a class from a Japanese printmaker. That was his hobby. Then 01:41:00he starting selling all the Japanese printing tools to the different universities and art schools that was after he based away that was sold. Now that they have a new owner they still have McClain's print making supplies or something like that. They are doing very well actually.

EU: So your husband imported the tools from Japan?

YM: That's right. We were the only ones that could import because we had good friends in the printmaking in Japan; they said they didn't want to deal with anyone else but they said they would do that. Century old tool company, a small 01:42:00one, but excellent tools they have. That is reason they can sell so well.

EU: Did he also collected Japanese prints?

YM: That's right.

EU: So what kind of prints was he interested in?

YM: Japanese woodblock.

EU: Contemporary, 20th century?

YM: Contemporary more. What they call "sôsaku hanga." That means "creative hanga" -- "hanga" means "print." Creative that means; olden days like Hiroshige (sp?) - he just draw and then cut, then print it. They do whole process all by himself, themselves. That is what he was interested in.


EU: So he collected the hanga, the prints for himself or did he also sell them?

YM: Yeah. He sold he was selling.

EU: I notice when we go to the art museum you've donated many of the prints to the university?

YM: I don't know where you found that.

EU: On some of the prints hanging on the wall it will say "Gift of Yoko"

YM: That's right. And so when he died, I had this one contemporary, he died too, this modern Japanese print maker, was a top Japanese print maker, who was here in Oregon, he took class from him and we became very good friend. We bought his whole city, so Tokaido 53 stations; gradually we collected. When he died, I 01:44:00thought, I don't want to sell and so I in memory of him give to the museum. So that is what I did.

EU: Do you continue to collect prints yourself?

YM: No more, no more collecting anything; I try to get rid of it. Look at all those that I had to get rid of. That is one thing, so rest, lots of the prints are now in museum. I haven't really given yet but I did not want to keep them here to be theft and those kind of thing too. So they having it in their basement. One day I will give all the things. No more collecting. Just one second.


EU: Yoko, we just stopped so you could put some more wood on the fire. So, is there anything else, other questions I should have asked you or other things you'd like to talk about? YM: I think you covered quite a bit.

EU: When you look back at your career at the university and your life here in the United States, what gives you the most satisfaction? What's your legacy?

YM: Well, [laughs] that's kind of hard question. But no, I really feel so lucky that I enjoyed teaching so much, right? And so that's something. If you do the 01:46:00work when you're not happy, I think that's kind of awful thing, right? I did enjoy everyday -- I was lucky. I'm not a rich person but I at least I don't have to worry about too much, you know, where the money come for food, right? That itself is lucky, you know, I think. I do have good friends, which is lucky. I just don't have any complaint actually. For my age, you know, of course you can get older, you have all sorts of health problems, but so far I have been lucky 01:47:00that I can still travel, I can do want I want to, right? [laughs]

EU: And you're still in contact with so many of your students.

YM: That's right, that's right. That's what's been nice about that too. That's been nice actually. My first year student, now grandmother, so I said "You couldn't be grandmother! You're my student!" I always laugh about that [laughs]. But if you think about, it my first student started '64 -- they are all retired [laughs]. Hard to believe isn't it? Time just goes.

EU: All right. Well, thank you very much.


YM: Oh, you're welcome.