Tomiyo Hashimoto Yoshiwara: My name is Tomiyo Hashimoto and I came to Alameda in 1924. My parents came from Japan, and I had two sisters and two brothers. A brother and sister were in Japan, so I was the oldest in America. When I was three months old, my mother took me to Japan and left my older brother and sister there, and we came back to San Francisco. We moved to Alameda, and that's where I started kindergarten at the Buddhist church. When we had a pastor in front of the Buddhist church, we had to bow in the front of the church before we could go by. When I turned five, I went to a public school, it was called Everett School. My best friend was Masako Takeda. We grew up together, we did everything together, and she was very smart. She became a valedictorian at Alameda High School. I graduated Porter School in 1934 and went to Alameda High and graduated there in 1938. After graduation from high school, I went to Armstrong Business College in Berkeley. I took a civil service test in Alameda but was never offered a job. My father had a shoe repair shop on Santa Clara Avenue and my mother did housework for American families. Our address was 2143 Pacific Avenue. Next door was a bowling alley which made a lot of noise, and we couldn't go to sleep. We couldn't buy a house in Alameda at first because the owner would say, "We're not selling to Japanese." Before the Pacific Avenue house, we put a deposit in for a house in the Fernside district. But the realtor came back that night and gave us our money back and said, "The owner does not want to sell to Japanese."

[Radio footage]: We interrupt this program to bring you a special news bulletin. The Japanese have attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, by air, President Roosevelt has just announced. The attack also was made on all naval and military activities on the principal island of Oahu.

Tomiyo Hashimoto Yoshiwara: When the war started, we had to evacuate from Alameda. We moved to Hayward, and then from Hayward we went into Tanforan Assembly Center. That was in May 1942. We stayed there for five months, and then we were all moved to Topaz, Utah. We were there for three years. I lived in Block 28, apartment C and D. Having a big family, we had two units. We didn't do too much in the barracks, there's nothing much to do. We read a book or write letters, we had to just talk to each other. Of course, we didn't have any television to look at. But in Topaz we had a lot of activities going on. I played baseball, I was a pitcher, I was a teacher, I taught shorthand at night school. We had entertainment, we had singers who sung Japanese and American songs. And we had that about once a week. Winter was terrible and the summer was hot, very hot. In summer we had the sandstorm, and we got sand in our hair, we had sand all over. It was terrible. Some of the boys objected to being in a camp, and I guess they made a riot. And they were taken away if they made a riot. People were taken out of camp and you couldn't go under the fence because there were guards watching us. So we were very quiet. We were the quiet ones, and we stayed in.

I came back to Alameda in 1944. They threatened us when we came home. It was terrible, and we were afraid to come home, but in our block, there must have been about six or eight families, but only two of us came home right after the war. The Tawadas came home. When we came back from camp, the people that were living in our house, I said, "You got to move out of our house." They got mad and said, "Try and make me," or something. But the rental was taken care of by the real estate people and they threw them out so we could come home. But that's what happened. And I worked in San Francisco for the War Relocation agency, and so I didn't have any trouble getting a job. But right after the war, we were still discriminated. That was terrible. Before the war, Japanese were discriminated in Alameda. And we couldn't associate with the white people because they discriminated against the Japanese. We didn't have any American friends, and so Japanese all stuck together. But after the war, I think it got a little better, and we could start talking to the American people. But still there was discrimination. I guess it's a little different now. So in conclusion, I think Alameda got a little better, but not to the full extent. It's still being discriminated, and I think I hope it gets better as the years go by for the younger people. And that is my story from Alameda.