Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Masao Watanabe Interview
Narrator: Masao Watanabe
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: June 19, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-wmasao-01-0019

<Begin Segment 19>

TI: How about your older brother and older sister? What did they, what did they think?

MW: Nobody gave me any criticism or anything, 'cause there was a bunch of us that used to play ball together and stuff, and we kind of talked it over and quite of few of us volunteered. I don't know if you're -- well, from your interviews you are kind of familiar with the parts of Minidoka, Block 17 and Block 19 and stuff. I was in Block 17, so there were quite a few of us from Block 17 that used to play ball together. And, gee, I would say without exception just about all of us volunteered. Not because we were sheep, but we just talked it over and thought, "Gee, why not?"

TI: Was that kind of the case where certain groups volunteered and certain groups didn't volunteer?

MW: I would say that's correct, in a way, but it's kind of difficult to say because we had the so-called "no-no" boys, but they weren't in my block, and they were congregated down in the lower side. And, well, you know like Bako and John Kawaguchi and Augie Aratani and there was a bunch of us that played ball together. And without exception, we all volunteered. So I don't think I was any different than anybody else. Or the ones that I played with.

TI: Did the decision to volunteer change the sort of the relationships that you had with people who didn't volunteer? Was there a, sort of a...?

MW: No, because at that time I don't recall where we were brought together as groups. I mean, there were a few of the -- gee, I hate to use the word "no-nos" -- but the ones who didn't volunteer. I guess there were a few in some of the leagues or the teams that we played with or against. So by and large, most of the fellows that I played with, gee, I guess the vast majority volunteered who were of age.

<End Segment 19> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.