Mary Higake Hasegawa: My name is Mary Hasegawa. I was born May 12, 1921 at home, I think. I had a midwife. I went to [inaudible] school, Porter school, and Alameda High. I went to Japanese school every day after coming home from regular American schools. It was only for one hour behind the Alameda Buddhist Temple. My father came to United States first. He had an uncle that was here. My mother came, I think it was a picture marriage. After I was born, my grandma, my father's mother, came, too. And she took care of me while my parents worked. My mother worked for Southern Pacific, and my mother did domestic work. They were planning to go back to Japan because they didn't have any relatives in the States. So they sent me first. After I finished high school, which was 1939, my grandma went with me. It took us two weeks to get to Japan. And I was married in Japan, and I was there in Japan for fifteen years. My husband was a Japanese national, but he spoke a little English so we got along. And then war broke out. That meant my family, they couldn't come back to Japan, and I've heard that they had to leave their house, and they were put in camps.

When I first got married, we were living in Tokyo, but it was dangerous because of the bombs at night. When we'd go to sleep, we didn't take our clothes off. We left our clothes on just in case we had to evacuate. We were attached a couple of times, I remember, and we would run out. And since I had my grandma with me, she was very old, we left her in the house. And we just, the young people, we just ran. We ran into the shelter, and we were evacuated to Fukushima. During the war, we were rationed food. We didn't have very much to eat. It was hard, it was very difficult, because our ration, mostly we got sweet potatoes. They would give us a lot of sweet potatoes, but you get tired of it. So we wanted to eat rice, we wanted rice. So I remember going to farmers asking for rice, but we didn't get much. I had a son and a daughter that were born in Japan. I had two others, but one I lost because of malnutrition. The other one, he was sick from the beginning, he was weak. I had midwives for all of them. I had them at home.

And when we evacuated to Fukushima, I remember my husband was sort of an interpreter, because he spoke a little English. And I remember some American soldiers came to where we lived. One of the soldiers happened to be from Alameda. Uncle George, my brother-in-law, he came to visit us. He was an American soldier, he came in his uniform. I bet he was surprised at this little house that we lived in, but he brought us rations that the soldiers get.

And when the atomic bomb fell, I was in Japan, but I was in Tokyo, I guess. We were sent back to Tokyo again. But I have cousins that were affected by the atomic bomb, and they have since passed away.

I came back from Japan with my husband and my two children. And we came back to Alameda, we came back on the boat, and we stayed with my parents. My husband looked for work, and he was lucky he got employed at a Japanese bank in San Francisco. I worked too, babysitting, doing domestic. I've been here in Alameda since 1956. This is my story, my experience.