Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Asano Terao Interview II
Narrator: Asano Terao
Interviewers: Tomoyo Yamada (primary), Dee Goto (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: May 26, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-tasano-02

[Translated from Japanese]

<Begin Segment 1>

DG: Okay. Today is May 26, and we are here again with Mrs. Terao, and we didn't finish the last time, so this is the second session. And, so, go ahead, Tomo... ko.

TY: May 26, 1998, Dee Goto and Tomoyo Yamada will conduct a Densho interview. We have already interviewed Mrs. Terao last week, but this time, we are interviewing her to hear the continuation of her stories.

AT: Hmm, I am going to talk only about the same things again. Probably there'll be nothing new.

TY: Okay. We are going to ask you mainly about the World War II... you had heard earlier that the war was about to break out, hadn't you? Who did you hear that from?

AT: Who did I hear that from? That was in the newspapers, too. That, the result of the negotiation. It was published.

TY: Was it a Japanese newspaper?

AT: Uh-huh.

TY: Was it the Hokubei Tsuchi? [Ed. note: mistaken for the Hokubei Hochi.]

AT: Yeah, it was Hokubei. And, instead of thinking about it by himself, Terao [Ed. note: Mrs. Terao refers her husband as "Terao."] got together with his friends, and they were comparing the newspapers in English and the Japanese newspapers. And, well, they summarized the information. They were like, "The war will soon break out after all, huh." Once they said it, it occurred to us when the war would start, but you wouldn't know such information unless you were in the military, right? We wouldn't know about it. But, I remember some newspaper article that suggested that we shouldn't waste things as much as possible so that we could take care of things before the evacuation.

TY: Before the war.

AT: Hmm, before the war, before the war started, it was before Japan started the war with the U.S. Such stories were on the newspapers. We were saying things like, "Let's see, I wonder what would happen to Japan if it started the war with the U.S." That was... I had a cousin in Utah. He told me, "Just in case, Oneesan. If the war was to break out, there would be nothing good about going into the camp with three girls, so you should come over here." But, if we went there, there wouldn't be any jobs. We would have problems in living right away. But, I said, "We have some money, and we could use it, so I don't mind going there, but let's talk to our children just in case." We talked to our children, and the big one was called Fusako. The next one was a boy. And, the next one was still small. The next one was still going to grade school and small. So, anyway, with the oldest girl and the boy... and there was an older brother who was managing a hotel called the Tacoma Hotel. We discussed with each of them. He said, "The hotel - and I can't be here - and I want to manage to get out. Well, I will discuss with Mr. Kawakami, and if things worked out for the hotel, I would leave everything in care of hakujin, and I would evacuate." I said, "If that's the case, then, Oniisan, you should do that. We have children, and Terao said that nothing worthwhile would happen if we went into the camp. Luckily, I have a cousin in Los Angeles, I mean, Salt Lake City, and also, there is Terao's good friend from grade school." He also said that we should just come. He said that we shouldn't worry too much about food because we could manage somehow, and that we should come. So, just in case, we discussed with our children. Then, they said, "Let's evacuate to Salt Laki. [Ed. note: "Laki", i.e. Lake, was pronounced as such commonly among Issei. From this point, "Lake" is spelled "Laki" whenever Mrs. Terao pronounces as such.] If we can't eat, we'll work and help you." I wonder if my daughter graduated from high school over there, or if it was before graduation. "In that case, let's evacuate." The house was... a friend of Terao was working at the Frye, and he said that he was going to watch the house since he lived in an apartment then, and he said, "Sam, don't worry. I am going to watch your house." So, we didn't worry about our house. We just left Seattle as it was. When we went to Salt Laki, my cousin was there, and he was farming. He said, "there are three vacant rooms on the second floor, and they should have enough space to sleep," because it was a large house. "There is nothing to worry about, so come here for two months or three months. Going into the camp, entering the camp with girls, just in case something happens, you should come over here." We couldn't go there without talking to our children just in case. Children were eating dinner. When we said that we had something to discuss with them later, they asked what it was. We told them to think about it thoroughly. They said, "To the Uncle Kazuichi's [Ed. note: mistaken for Kazunori] in Salt Laki, let's go stay at the Uncle Kazuichi's. If we couldn't eat, we, soon we'll graduate, so we'll work and manage to help you." That's how it went. "Then, let's evacuate," was the beginning of the story.

TY: It was in the beginning of 1942, wasn't it?

AT: In the beginning.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 2>

TY: When you heard about the attack on Pearl Harbor... It was on December 8, 1941, wasn't it? [Ed. note: In the U.S., it is recorded as December 7. At the time of the bombing, it was already December 8 in Japan.]

AT: Yeah.

TY: How did you know about it?

AT: Oh, hey, as the advertisement of the newspapers, extra was issued. They shouted, "Extra! Extra!" They said that Pearl Harbor was attacked, it was attacked, and everybody was looking through the windows, and those who were staying below went out to the sidewalks. Then, those Kibei, on the car, they attached and it went rattle rattle, rattle rattle. They went around and made noise.

TY: They put empty cans, empty cans on the car.

AT: They rolled thread on empty cans.

DG: It was in Salt Lake, wasn't it?

AT: Yeah, and then...

TY: Was it in Seattle?

AT: No, no, in Salt Lake.

TY: It was in Salt Lake. When you heard about the attack on Pearl Harbor, that was when you were in Seattle, wasn't it? Anxious, what everybody was anxious about finally happened.

AT: Yeah, that's right. And, evacuation, they had to evacuate to the camps. But, we had three girls with us.

TY: That's right.

DG: What did you think about when the war started?

AT: I thought that Japan did such an unreasonable thing. [Laughs] There was no way Japan could win. Why don't you compare the U.S. and Japan? In Japan, they were suffering from this anyway. In this country, quite, this, what, they had quite a few military equipment... they bought them, and Japan had already run out of money then. Because they started under such condition, it was said that Japan was quite stupid, it was said quite a bit. But, Kibei people weren't like that. Kibei people said that we were saying a lot of things about the U.S., but Japanese, Japanese have the soul of Japanese, and they were talking big like that. They said such things, but Terao said, "However much souls they had, if they didn't have this [Ed. note: money], and they actually don't have food, don't you think it is hopeless?" Then, they would say, "No, Ojisan. Don't you worry. We'll win." Kibei people said so, and whenever we talked like that, they got mad right away. "Even so, neither the hakujin's newspapers nor the Japanese newspapers are publishing lies," we said. "Look, Japan has been defeated very badly."

TY: That was soon after the war started, wasn't it?

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 3>

TY: After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the curfew was ordered. Japanese Americans couldn't go outside after 8 p.m. How did you feel when you heard about it?

AT: That, we couldn't help. As a rule... Japanese wouldn't do such bad things anyway. We weren't affected much anyway, but they were afraid of us. I think that was the reason. So, well, we couldn't go out after 8 p.m. Also, the light, we were told that we should keep it from going through the windows. They said such things.

TY: It must have been inconvenient. Until 8 o'clock...

AT: It was inconvenient. But, we entered through this kind of windows. Then, some neighbors warned us by saying, "Light is coming through your place," and there were people who put paper there so that light wouldn't come through. But, we said that we didn't care. We said we didn't care if light came through or not. We had a family back then. Then, we said that we could just leave it. But, there wasn't anybody in my neighborhood who was warning others like that.

TY: Was it when you lived on the Boren Avenue? Or on the Yesler?

AT: Boren Avenue.

TY: It was the Boren Avenue. And, those Issei, those Issei who were leaders in the community were taken to the iminkan by FBI for investigation one after another. I am sure you heard about such things from many people.

AT: There were many people. Well, we didn't go.

TY: Weren't you worried?

AT: Hmm, we weren't worried. Nobody was taken away, nobody did anything wrong. But, that, those unexpected were, those who had positions in Japanese American associations, those were taken away. We couldn't do anything about Japanese American society, we just agreed to whatever they decided. They were saying that we should do more. And, those who were working at such places were all taken away.

TY: Then, you were not worried about your husband being taken away by FBI at all?

AT: Yeah, he didn't go. At home, I mean, he was working at the Frye, he was working for hakujin. So, he didn't go. My friend's mistaa [Ed. note: Mister. Issei commonly refer married man as such.] went. Because he was working somewhere else. He said that he was treated exactly as he was in the jail. I heard about it later, her husband told me about it. He said that food was the only thing he received to his content. They didn't feed him anything decent though. Then, later, everybody went into the camp, right? Back then, everybody was in great fear. Because they didn't know when they were receiving the order that told them which group was entering the camp. So, anytime, they sealed things in boxes. They put things in their suitcases so they would be prepared to leave anytime.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 4>

AT: My house, well, we owned our house. When we talked to our friend, our hakujin friend, he said, "Oh, I live in the apartment now, so I can come, and Sam, I will watch it for you. So don't worry. Anytime." My husband said, "Oh, if you watch the house for us, then we will just leave everything behind." Then, he said, "I just have an apartment, and I will just live in your place and pay the rent for my apartment. I like your place because it's spacious." Well, Terao wasn't planning to receive anything. So, he just asked him to water the garden, and he had him water the garden. He had made a pond on this side, and the carps called gold carps, those, he went to ask him to change water for them, the tap water, once a month like this. He told us that he would call us once to twice a month. We didn't go into the camp. To Salt Laki, my cousin lived there. He told us, "Nothing good will come out if you went into the camp with three girls. I have rooms in my house, so you should come over here." I told him that we would discuss with our children just in case, and if they said all right, then we would accept his offer. They said that they would work if they could find places to work. The oldest one was old enough already. Her name was Fusako, and she had already graduated from high school, graduated from high school, and she went to college just for a little while and worked. She said that she would work and try to manage somehow. So, we said that we should do so. At that time, we just did as our children said instead of insisting our opinions, to Salt Laki, because my cousin was farming there. He said, "Oneesan, nothing good would happen if you took three children, girls, so why don't you bring them over?" We discussed with children then. Then, children said that they wanted to go. They said, "We will help you make living, yes, we want to go," so we went. Five years in Salt Laki.

DG: Did you go by car?

AT: Huh?

DG: Did you go by car?

AT: No, no, not by car...

TY: Was it by train?

AT: We went by train because we had our belongings. Baggage, we had to take casual wear, kimono and everything, right? Since we were a family of five. So...

TY: That's six, wasn't it? Including a boy.

AT: The boy said that he didn't care about his clothes. Anyway, the whole family was going, right? Then, we had to put stuff in the suitcases, and futon mattresses, there are sacks like this for futon, aren't there? We put them in those...

TY: You even took futon and all with you?

AT: Not all of them. They said that they had extra there if we didn't have enough. We took them with us.

TY: So, your husband's coworker from the Frye came to watch the house, right? And, you left all the furniture there.

AT: Yeah, we left all the furniture there. We left with nothing but the clothes we were wearing. Later on, we were asked if we wanted something. He said, "Sam, we'll send them to you," so we left things as they were. We didn't lose anything though. They took good care of it. But, it was still five years. The wife said that the curtains were torn, but I said, "All right. I don't care about the tears of the curtains." She washed them and mended those small tears of the curtains. I told her not to worry about the rest. She took good care of them. They watched the house because they didn't have children. We appreciated them for doing that at the time. And, we wrote all the taxes from here by writing, what, tickets. [Ed. note: Mrs. Terao meant "checks."] Our daughter... Terao couldn't do it because he didn't have the citizenship. But my daughter had the citizenship, so we had her write checks, and we all sent them, trying not to show that we did it, and we made payments, and returned. So, we just said, asked them to water the garden because we had made a Japanese garden. But, we didn't particularly think that the things turned bad because we weren't there. Over here, goldfish had grown big, and in the garden, trees had grown big, but you can't help that. We couldn't talk about that, so, well, they just weeded and made it nice.

<End Segment 4> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 5>

TY: When you left for Salt Lake City, did you take the train from the King Station?

AT: Uh-huh.

TY: Did you experience things like discrimination at the station?

AT: No.

TY: You just got on the train safely.

AT: Uh-huh, it was nothing. Instead, they didn't open the windows. They left the windows closed and kept it dark in the train. We couldn't look outside.

TY: Is that so. Were there many Japanese on the train other than your family?

AT: Hmm...

TY: Mostly American?

AT: Yeah. We... For family, there are places for families, aren't there? We rented it. And, only children were in the place for families... it had a bathroom, too. In the train. We boarded, and I slept there. Terao slept in the cot with the boy over there.

TY: How much did it take?

AT: I don't remember about money.

TY: Um, time wise, to Salt Lake City.

AT: I wonder how long it took, I don't know. Everything happened was... Terao bought , and...

DG: Then, when you traveled, travel...

AT: When we were leaving, it was there, hmm, it was called something on the Second Avenue. We had them write there. I had them write that we were evacuating to so and so place. We received it, and they stamped it properly...

TY: You received the stamp from the government, right?

AT: That's right. We received it from the government. All the names of people who were evacuating to Salt Laki were written on it. We took it, and when we got off at depot [Ed. note: Mrs. Terao pronounced it as 'rippu' or 'rippo.'] or when we went to hotels, people said that they were sorry for us whenever we showed it to them. Until then, my cousin had farmed there. His father had become a farmer a long time ago. He had already died though. Farmer, he had a land, about a 12-acre-land of his own. He was farming the land. And, he said that it was better there than farming back in Japan, so he didn't go back to Japan. Before then, he stayed at my house, about two years before, about two years before the war broke out, because I lived in Seattle. He said that he was going to stop by at my place in Seattle, then at California. He visited Japan for about a month, and he came back here again. Since he was hiring one farmer, he said that he had to go back to give orders, and he went back. Then, he lived there. Then, the war broke out. So, then, my cousin said this. He said, "Oneesan, it wouldn't be any good if you entered the camp with three girls. Why don't you evacuate and come over here? We have three rooms open on the second floor now. You don't have to worry about the space to sleep. And, you can manage to make living once you find a job." So he said, and our children said... I said, "Well, we will talk with children in case, and we will call you depending on their answers."

TY: Then, you handled everything over the phone.

AT: Yeah, over the phone. We also wrote the details in letters, and, and when we asked our children, they said, "If Kazunori-san, Uncle said so, let's go to Salt Laki all together." So we accepted his favor.

TY: Which month was it? Which month of what year was it...

AT: Oh, I don't remember such things.

TY: It was in 1942, wasn't it?

AT: Yeah.

TY: Which season was it? Was it winter, or was it spring?

AT: It was around fall.

TY: Around fall.

AT: It was right after the war ended. [Ed. note: Mrs. Terao meant 'after the war started.'] I wonder which month it was when people entered the camp.

TY: It was summer, wasn't it?

AT: Oh, that's right. Before that.

TY: Then, winter or the beginning of spring, it must have been around March or April, then.

AT: Yeah, that's right, that's right. The fields were already, when we arrived Salt Laki, they were still plowing the fields.

TY: Then, it was around the season. And, Seattle...

DG: There, how many people were there in the family there?

AT: The family. Two, three... four people, it was my cousin's family.

TY: Father, mother and two children, then?

AT: Two, yes.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 6>

TY: At that time, those who didn't leave Seattle unlike your family were taken to the internment camps later on, right?

AT: That's right. That's right.

TY: At one's own expense... the West Coast, there was a region in the West Coast where Japanese Americans couldn't stay, wasn't there? Those who evacuated from there at their own expense could receive monetary compensation later on...

AT: We received it.

TY: had said. What procedure was necessary?

AT: Hmm, that was, we received the written document from the government. Then, we took it there, and it wasn't much though. We took it, and I think they exchanged it to the bank smoothly. It was something like, it was okay as long as they knew it was the person himself. If it was the actual person or not. And, they exchanged it. We received some amount, too.

TY: That was after the war, wasn't it?

AT: It was after the war. After the war, at least they wanted us to take their apology because they caused inconvenience to those who had evacuated. I forgot though. I remember going to the bank and exchanging it. I think it was two hundred dollars per person. I think I received some, too.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 7>

AT: My children went to school there for a long time, so...

TY: In Salt Lake City?

AT: Salt Lake City.

TY: You had mentioned that it was when your daughter was about to graduate from high school.

AT: I wonder if it was when she was graduating. She didn't go to college. She said, "Grandma, I was asked to work at a store, so I will work there." She understood both English and Japanese. And, the house there, they made necklaces there. They were running the business. She went there to help because she had been asked earlier. I knew roughly what was going on since I used to work at a place where they made necklaces.

TY: I see. Did your daughter go to parties like Prom at high school in Salt Lake City? Prom, You know Prom. The dance party before the graduation.

AT: Everybody went.

TY: Everybody went? But, were there a lot of Japanese Americans in Salt Lake City?

AT: Not really. There were nobody but farmers. Almost farmers there.

TY: Then, was your daughter's date a Japanese American boy? Or did she go with an American boy?

AT: He was Japanese American.

TY: Japanese American.

AT: He was Kibei.

TY: With Kibei. They went to the dance party.

AT: Yeah. They got married there.

TY: Oh, is that right?

AT: There... well, you call fate the fate. Back in Hiroshima, Terao knew one of his relatives very well. We said that we didn't have to examine his family lineage and it was just fine. He was a little selfish boy, but I started getting angry and said, "You can't do that!" He was the only son. It was good. He is a doctor now.

TY: So, he married your daughter. Did they have a wedding in Salt Lake, then?

AT: Yeah, we had them married, yeah.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 8>

TY: In Salt Lake, did you experience any discrimination toward Japanese?

AT: Not much.

TY: There wasn't much? But, that sort of...

AT: The reason why we weren't treated in a discriminatory way was because the Japanese who had entered the farming there had been very good since a long time ago. I think that was why there wasn't much of such discrimination. We never faced discrimination based on the fact that we were Japanese.

TY: There was discrimination in Seattle, wasn't there?

AT: Yeah, there was. So, if we took a train, if we ran to catch a train, people avoided us to get us on board. [Laughs] It was good. And, then, since we were there, we walked around there. We did good things. We couldn't have gone to those other places if we had stayed here.

<End Segment 8> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 9>

TY: In Salt Lake, what kind of job did your husband work?

AT: In the beginning, he was just hanging out. But, finally, he was told that he should work. He said something like, "Hmm, that's right." There was a newspaper company that wrote. It wasn't really a newspaper company, but he went there to work. It was good that he started, but... When he arrived in the morning, he went, "Good morning! Good morning!" He went around to everybody. He said he hated it. He hated lowering his head to others. [Laughs] Let's see, one month, he didn't work there for two months. He quit.

TY: That was before the war. At the Mitsui Product.

AT: It was during the war. When we were evacuating.

TY: When you were evacuating. That kind of thing happened in Salt Lake City, too?

AT: At Salt, too. Yeah.

TY: You told us that such a thing happened in Seattle, too.

AT: Yeah, yeah, yeah. He hated it. I told him that his head was high since he grew up as a master. I said it shouldn't matter if we couldn't keep eating. Well, at that time, one of our daughters was working. Fusako was old enough. She graduated from high school, and she went half the way in college. She said, "Mama, I'll work." So I said, "Where are you working?" Then she said, "At a doctor's house." At the house of a doctor. She was going to work at the office. I said, "Oh, that'll be nice." She said, "They told me to bring Mama with me, so let's go, Mama," and she took me there. Then, I knew the doctor's wife. She said, "Oh, Mrs. Terao, it's been a long time since I saw you. Thank you for coming all the way." When I said, "Oh, it's you. I was thinking that I had met you somewhere before," then she said that she was from Salt Lake. She said that she went to Seattle just for a while and studied, and she got married here. It happened like that, and he was a good doctor. Whenever we said the hip hurt a little and the legs hurt, he would examine but wouldn't take money. [Laughs] He said he didn't want it.

TY: Was it a Japanese doctor?

AT: Uh-huh. He was a good doctor, and everybody was seeing him. And, finally, my husband said this and that reasons and wouldn't go back to Seattle even after the war was over. He said, "We'll go back when tofu shop opens up," and wouldn't return.

TY: Your husband.

AT: Five years. We were there for five years. In Salt Laki.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 10>

TY: Sal... Your religion is the Nichiren-shuu, right? How did you practice the Nichiren-shuu in Salt Lake City?

AT: There was nobody. They didn't have it. Since it wasn't there, the reverend was coming over from the camp. Then, he recited a sutra at my house, and, well, everybody, there were some people who practiced the Nichiren-shuu, right? Since he was coming, I asked them, then there were quite a few people who said that they actually practiced the Nichiren-shuu. But, there was only Bukkyokai there, so they said that they visited Bukkyokai. Later on, when I said, "Then, when the reverend comes over again, why don't you ask him to stop by at your house to recite a sutra of the Nichiren-shuu?" They said that as long as they could use my place it was enough. But later on, when someone said, "My house is large, and I'll open up two rooms so that we can get together when the reverend comes," then, what, about eighteen people showed up.

TY: In Salt Lake City, then, there must have been many Japanese, Japanese Americans.

AT: There were many. There were many farmers. And, quite a few of those who evacuated.

TY: They must have been the ones who evacuated, relying on their relatives who lived there.

AT: It wasn't just us. There were quite a few people who evacuated from here and there. They said that there were quite a few vacant houses, but all those vacant houses were closed up. They were happy about it. And, country people, farmers had very good nature. When they were farming, they said, "Oh, you must be having a hard time. They are nothing good, but we made them, so please eat," and they brought vegetables over like this. So, we hardly bought any vegetables for a long time. So, I said that I needed to do something, something. Then, I was learning how to grow potatoes. Those potatoes, I made them and took them over, then, "Oh, where did you buy them?" I said, "No, I didn't buy them. I made them." Then, they said, "Oh, these are so rare," and they were happy eating the potatoes. So, we were in Salt Laki for five years. I said, "Papa [Ed. note: husband and wife sometimes used English to call each other "Papa" and "Mama."], Salt Laki is nice, too, huh?" But, it wouldn't be any help if we just hung around forever, we didn't return even when the Frye told him to return, but we finally returned.

TY: When you say that there was Bukkyokai in Salt Lake City, it was the Bukkyokai which was made by the farmers who had lived there earlier?

AT: That's right. That's right. So, the reverend was humble and a very good reverend. And, Bukkyokai wasn't that big either. Christian Church, there, they have quite a different name from Christian.

TY: Mormon, they are Mormons, aren't they?

AT: Mormons, they are Mormons. There were many Mormons. The Mormon Church was fantastically beautiful. We visited there.

TY: Is that right.

AT: I said we lived there for five years, but we walked around quite a lot.

TY: Were there Japanese who were Mormons...

AT: Oh, many had been converted to be Mormons.

<End Segment 10> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 11>

TY: Although Salt Lake City was not a region where Japanese Americans couldn't enter, you needed a pass when you went out more than ten miles, didn't you?

AT: Oh, that was during the war.

TY: During the war.

AT: Yeah.

TY: Until 1945.

AT: Yeah, yeah, during the war...

TY: Even at Salt Lake City, such permits for going out...

AT: Yeah, that's right.

TY: Only for Japanese Americans, right?

AT: Only for Japanese Americans. Then, we went to the consul, and we received a card like this. It showed that we used to live in Seattle, and we had evacuated over here. It was fine if we showed it. You wouldn't really go out more than ten miles unless there was something significantly important anyway. If we were on the river, we could just go out though. But, people were very nice. People in Salt Lake were very good people. They grew up in the country and were really honest. They sympathized with us. They said that they were sorry about our misfortune. When they were making vegetables, they would come and say, "These, they aren't that good, but please eat." I rarely bought vegetables then. The farmers brought them over to us. So, before we returned, we had become good friends. Mr. Hama, a good friend of Terao's since grade school, lived there, managing a dye work [Ed. note: Dry cleaning. Mrs. Terao pronounced it as "dye oak."]. He wasn't married, nor ever did. Since many people came into town, he had to press a mound of clothes, right? All of them. Those washed clothes that came into the store. He was doing it by himself, but since he was such a happy-go-lucky man, he only worked on it when he felt like it. When people came to pick them up, he hurried pulling out the pants and ironed them. I told him that I would mend clothes if there were any in need, then he said, "If you can help me, madam, that'll be a great help." He called me madam. Then, I sewed all those rips, and he was pressing them, so I mended them right.

TY: You mentioned that you used to learn sewing.

AT: Yeah. A sewing machine had already been set up, too. He was originally a tailor. So, if I didn't know how, I asked him, "Ojisan, how do I do this?" What part of pockets, the torn parts in the back, I covered them with cloth and just sewed them back together, then money and other things wouldn't fall any more, right? The customers were happy. And, he paid me, so I said, "No, Mr. Hama. If you give me money, I won't help you." Also, when my children were wearing the pants in bad conditions, he said, "You look shabby. Take off your pants. I'll press them for you," and they went to the back and took off their pants. Then, he pressed them quickly and cooled them off outside, and said, "Here, put them on." The oldest daughter Fusako was... he was saying to her, "Fusako, your skirt is so wrinkly." When she said, "No, never mind. It'll go wrinkly anyway when I go out and sit on it again," then he told her to come inside and take it off. Then, she went to the kitchen and took it off. Then, he pressed it quickly and cooled it in the breeze outside, and said, "Now, put this on." She was wearing a neatly pressed skirt. "Oh, what is going on today, Fusako. Your skirt has neat pleats." "Oh, Uncle Hama pressed it for me." [Laughs] He was remaining single, and he was Terao's friend from grade school. He had done a lot for us.

TY: Permission to go out, the permit that we were talking about. You said that consulate issued it, but does it mean that there was a Japanese Consulate in Salt Lake City?

AT: There was one in Salt Lake City. The consulate, well, I guess we call it a branch office. There.

TY: Was it temporary?

AT: Yeah. It was temporary. We could go out if we got okay from there.

TY: That was...

AT: If we didn't have it, we had to pay fine if we went out more than ten miles.

TY: Ten miles, was it ten miles from where you lived?

AT: That's right.

TY: Who did you show such passes to?

AT: Hmm, we didn't show it. We carried it. When we went through the pass point, we showed it when we were checked.

TY: Was the fine fairly expensive? Or...

AT: I don't know because I never had to pay.

TY: You never had to pay. Oh, then, you got the permit every time. Have you heard about someone who was caught for not carrying permit?

AT: Generally, they overlooked, I think.

TY: Oh, is that right?

<End Segment 11> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 12>

AT: So, from Salt Lake to the camp, I went to visit there twice. From there, because I was going from there, I said that I was going to the camp.

TY: Then, you got the permit again.

AT: They issued it for me. They issued it, and I went to the camp. Then, I showed it on the train, too. Then, the conductor kindly told me that I needed to get off at so and so station in Idaho. Then, from there, they came to pick me up by car, and we drove there. I stayed there for three or four nights and came back.

TY: When you went there twice, you stayed there for a week each. Was it, Terao's, your husband's brother's...

AT: Yeah, he was running a hotel, and it couldn't be helped forever, so he ran it until the end of the month and hurried out right after. To the camp. Then, he was in the camp, the older brother was by himself because his wife had passed away. I suggested that we should stay in his room. The room was large, so we borrowed mattresses as many as we needed.

TY: Then, who was managing the hotel?

AT: The Tacoma Hotel.

TY: Yes.

AT: That was, he asked a hakujin to manage it. That was... for three years, I think. He had him manage it. He was the first one to return as soon as they could go back to Seattle. And, because his wife had passed away, he didn't want to run a hotel any more. He didn't do anything. Because he didn't have children. And, he sold the hotel to Mr. so and so.

TY: That was to a Japanese person.

AT: Yeah, it was Japanese. Then, he said that it would be sho gan ai [Ed. note: same as shikata ga nai; it cannot be helped] if he stayed there, so he said that he was going back to Japan with his wife's bones. He went back to Japan. It was because he didn't have children. He had a lot of money from selling the hotel, though. [Laughs] He took it with him.

TY: Was it right after the war? Or...

AT: Uh-uh. It was after the war ended.

TY: The American person, did he manage the hotel properly?

AT: That was hakujin. It was while he was in the camp. He was, the hakujin was a good hakujin. At the end of every month, he came to show him there was so much income and so much expenses.

TY: All.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 13>

TY: Did you need another permit to enter the internment camp? Or, could you just enter with the same permit that you used to leave Salt Lake City?

AT: Oh, um, when I went to visit?

TY: Yes.

AT: Yeah, that's right.

TY: Just one permit.

AT: I just showed it. Then, there was an office, so I showed it and said, "I want to visit the camp for such and such reason. So I came." I said, "I am going to so and so places, and I am going to the older brother of my husband." They said, "All right." I was asked how long I was staying, so I said, "Oh, probably for three days or so." Then, meals were, for three days, meals were served everyday. It was because I was sitting to eat with the brother and others.

TY: So, how did you find out that you could visit the camp?

AT: It wasn't the matter of how. I said that I was going to visit the camp, and I got this card to go visit the camp. I got it here.

TY: Did you get it at Salt Lake City?

AT: Yeah. At Salt Lake City. In Seattle, that was, where did I get it? Japanese's, Japanese, because I had already evacuated, I went to the City Hall and got it. That's right. I got it from the City Hall. When I said that I wanted to visit the camp for such and such reason, Japanese, and hakujin, and the commit person [Ed. note: Mrs. Terao said the word "commit" in English.] were there, and they said, "All right," and signed it right away.

TY: That was before you evacuated to Salt Lake.

AT: Even after I evacuated to Salt Lake, this time, if I evacuated from Salt Laki, I was leaving from Salt Laki in that case, right? In Salt Laki, there was an office there, too, so I said that I was going to visit the camp, and I had them issue one there. I had them stamp it, instead of stamping, I had them sign it.

TY: At the Japanese Consulate.

AT: There was a Japanese Consulate, but even if I didn't go there, at the end, they just did it at a small office. There were many people who were visiting the camp, so...

<End Segment 13> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 14>

TY: That's right. Those from Seattle, many of them went into Minidoka, didn't they?

AT: Mostly in Minidoka.

TY: Then, you went to see your brother-in-law and stayed in his room, and you also saw your other friends, right?

AT: Yeah, that's right. I stayed at my friends' and at my brother-in-law's.

TY: Yes. Was it nostalgic?

AT: I stayed where it was somewhat larger than others. I didn't stay where it was rather small. And, I stayed where it was close to the dining hall. It was because I wanted to sleep in. [Laughs]

TY: You said that you took some souvenir.

AT: Yeah, I took souvenir. I took candies. They were lacking candies. They were just so happy. They were fighting over them.

TY: Especially, children must have been very happy.

AT: Yeah. Even adults were happy. They were hungry for sweets. So, I, there, at Salt Lake, there is a store called the Saikaen. They had country style candies, and they were all the same and weren't good. They were nothing like the good bean-jam cakes at the stores like the Sagami-ya. I bought candies from there and took them to the camp, then they were just so happy. They couldn't eat sweets there. They were happy.

TY: When you say candies, you mean bean-jam cakes besides rice cakes?

AT: They must have been bean-jam cakes. Because I was taking them into the camp there. They were like bean-jam buns. There are many kinds, right? They were something like those. I asked them to pack them into the boxes. The first time, I took ten boxes. I asked them not to make them too big. I said that I wanted to give them to the neighbors on both sides and to friends. And, the brother loved them. He didn't drink sake, but he loved sweets. To the brother, I gave him one, a big one, like this. He said, "Wow, you brought a big one," so I said, "Oniisan, eat this. You must be having a hard time without sweets." He said that he had been licking sugar. [Laughs] He was happy. Even so, he was running an apartment, the Tacoma Hotel until the very end, he worked hard and left it under someone's care and came in later. He lost his wife in the middle. It was hard. So, what he said was...

TY: Um, his wife had passed away.

AT: They didn't have children.

TY: Was it... Had his wife already passed away before the war started?

AT: Yeah, she had passed away. But, sho ga nai, right? He was running it with Mr. Kawakami as his partner. Mr. Kawakami evacuated a step ahead of him, and he found a good hakujin. Every month, he, the hakujin came to the camp every month to tell him how much income and expense there were. So, he was paying for his salary, and before he left, it seemed like he gave him a lot for appreciation. Assist, assist, he received great assistance, and their hotel was alive, so he said that he appreciated it. The Tacoma Hotel is no longer there today since the bridge was constructed. It is gone now.

TY: Also, you said that you took kamaboko besides candies.

AT: Yeah, anybody would be happy with kamaboko.

TY: Did you take them at the first visit, too?

AT: Uh-huh. At the first visit, they made quite a few kamaboko. But, you can't find good candies there because it's country. So, here, I went to a place like Sagami-ya and ordered them. For such and such occasion. There, Sagami-ya, and over here, it is called something. The one still there today.

DG: That was Salt Lake, and here...

AT: From here.

DG: From here.

AT: If I didn't take from here, it wasn't good. There wasn't any. The ones in Salt Laki were, there were country, the country style bean-jam buns. Those were the only things you could get.

TY: The ones with plain flavor, right?

AT: If we took from here, I had heard they tasted differently. So, I didn't know if Sagami-ya was still there, so I said how about that store. Well, this time, over here, today, there was another one, wasn't there? I ordered from there, and five, put five boxes over here, and I took about ten boxes. Then, when I went, they were happy, everybody was. Then, they asked me to have meals together, so I took them there and opened one box. And, I gave one box to those who were close friends. They were happy. They were hungry for sweets back then. So, they were just so happy, so happy at that time.

<End Segment 14> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 15>

AT: But, I was thinking that I didn't like taking train from the depot there, but I went with my friends for the first time. Well, they came to pick us up from the depot. "How many more hours are we riding the train?" "We don't get there unless we ride two and a half more hours, to Idaho." "I don't like this. I am bored." So I said and laughed with friends. I never went by myself. I often went with my friends. We went. Then, they came there by car to pick us up. When we went there, there was nothing but sage brush. We were driving like this through the places where dust was rising enormously.

TY: You had heard about it, hadn't you?

AT: Yeah, already. They were tires of this size, they were there, and they were always going through the sand. It was a sandy place. It was sandy soil and green dirt. Brush. There was so much. But, during the two, three years they lived there, Japanese turned it into a beautiful garden.

TY: If I remember correctly, they made a Japanese garden, didn't they?

AT: Yeah. We drove by there a long time ago, it was written that there used to be a camp and Japanese used to live here. This big sign was out. It was out. And, during the nighttime, if wind blew, dust. This much. There was this much dust. Even if we closed the windows, dust blew in. When I said, "Oniisan, this dust on the floor is all garbage," I was told that it was all sand. There was just so much of it.

TY: Even if you kept sweeping every day, it piled up, right?

AT: It didn't work. Sand, you couldn't tell if it was sand or other stuff. And, in the morning... toilet [Ed. note: Mrs. Terao used the term "benjo", which was used commonly among Japanese American, both men and women.] wasn't attached to the house. I had to go outside. So, in the morning, I said, "Good morning," and went to toilet. Then, I couldn't go straight, straight like this. Toilet was where I had to go a little to the side. Toilet was outside. And, on the way back, I took the wrong way, and I walked back straight and walked into someone's house. [Laughs]

TY: But, they were all the same buildings, right?

AT: Yeah, yeah.

TY: I am sure it was easy to get lost.

AT: When I said, "Oh, I am sorry. Here, toilet, I came here after I went to toilet." Then, they said, "It's all right. Mr. Terao's is one row behind." [Laughs] I said, "That's right." Because the buildings looked the same. And, toilet was outside.

TY: Was the line long as I assume?

AT: Huh?

TY: You had to wait for your turn, right?

AT: Toilet?

TY: Yes.

AT: No, those who could wait, wait was standing.

TY: Oh, is that right? I mean, there are time periods when it gets crowded, like early in the morning.

AT: No, well, when it is crowded, sho ga nai, right? But, I thought America did such a stupid thing. Spending such a huge amount of money. Among Japanese, there wasn't even one person who did bad things. They were scared, I bet. There is nothing there today. Instead, Japanese evacuated, and just, what, a paper is posted. A while ago, we went to visit there.

TY: You returned there once?

AT: Yeah. We went around the places we thought we had passed before. We passed there. There was a notice board standing there. It was written that it was the original site where Japanese were held.

TY: What did you think about the camp after living there for a week?

AT: I thought it was not a place to live. But, sho ga nai, right? Since we evacuated to other place, to Salt Laki, we didn't experience it. But, at other place, our children went to school right after we evacuated to Salt Laki. It was because my cousin was there.

TY: Those who went into the camp were there at least two to three years, weren't they?

AT: Yeah.

TY: Did you participate in any activities like dance party at the camp?

AT: I didn't go into the camp.

TY: Yes. While you were staying there for a week.

AT: Oh, no, no.

TY: They didn't have things like that?

AT: I was busy visiting everybody.

TY: I see.

AT: The twenty, high, the furthest one in the highest number lived in the twenty-two, one in the eighteen, and somebody lived in the five. Also, there were people in the one and the two. It was a quite distance to walk. It was especially hard because I had to walk in the cloud of dust.

TY: Do you remember that your friends lost weight and such things?

AT: Huh?

TY: That your friends lost weight.

AT: No, no, I didn't sense that.

TY: So you didn't think of such things. Nothing like they were worn out or anything?

AT: But, among them, there were some people who said it was carefree and they liked it.

DG: Uh-huh.

AT: And, they said that it was very good because the buses were going out of the camp. Many people went in, though. They took turns to cook rice. And, then, the water jar, they were still leaving them there to take out. With that, it seemed that it was hard to draw water in the beginning. But, those Issei suffered a lot. Those who were called in, those who entered the camp. We were okay because we just went to visit.

TY: That's right. They came all the way from Japan...

AT: They said even if they tried to farm, they couldn't. Because of this sagebrush.

<End Segment 15> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 16>

DG: Did you help farming?

AT: No, because I wasn't a farmer.

DG: Your children? Even a little bit?

AT: They didn't. My children never farmed before because they always lived here.

DG: You lived at your cousin's, didn't you?

AT: No, because I didn't know how [to farm]. To begin with, because the set-up was okay. At my cousin's, three rooms were available on the second floor, so he said, "Oneesan, nothing good would happen if you took your kids and entered the camp, so you should come over here. You can manage to make living somehow," so we discussed with our children, then they said that we should go live at the Uncle Kazunori's. So we went, and three rooms were vacant on the second floor.

DG: Did you live at the cousin's for the whole five years?

AT: Hmm. Almost in Salt Laki, we went to Salt Laki.

DG: You went.

AT: Yeah.

TY: But, during the five years, didn't you live upstairs of the house of your cousin throughout the time?

AT: Uh-umm.

TY: Or, you rented a house in the middle...

AT: Because our children had schooling. There was a school from there, but it was far. And, in Salt Laki, there was one close by. Even if it was a little far, there was public transportation.

DG: When was it that you went to Salt Lake.

AT: We left for Salt Laki soon after we evacuated.

DG: So you didn't stay at your cousin's that long.

AT: Yeah, we didn't live there.

DG: A week, was it about a week?

AT: Because my cousin's family was farmer. We really didn't farm too much. There was a man called Mr. Hama who was running a dye work in Salt Laki. He was a friend of Terao since they were little. In the neighborhood. We had asked him to help us. Then, he was running a dye work shop underneath a big hotel, an apartment.

TY: Dye work? What's dye work?

AT: Cleaning.

TY: Cleaning.

AT: He was doing it. He was piling up this much. Because a good person started working there, so he didn't work so much. The man was. He was single. So, Terao went there to ask him a favor and said, "Well, if an apartment opens up, I want to come over here. If we stayed in the country, since we are not really helping farming, we will just be a burden instead. If we move in here, I think we can manage somehow." He asked him like this, then Mr. Hama said, "Oh, I'll go ahead and ask the apartment upstairs, then." He was running a cleaning shop downstairs. They were leasing some apartments upstairs. The owner was Japanese. We were told, "Well, it is the bottom floor and a little dim, but just move in here. If something better opens up, you can ask them to change the apartments." We said, "Oh, that sounds good." We also felt uneasy about staying at my cousin's. So we moved in there, and I think we stayed there for a month and a half. Then, a big room opened up upstairs, so we got the bedroom, and it came with a dining room and a bedroom. That place was open. That was the front side. We were told that the price would be a little higher, but we said, "Well, it's not the matter of price. We can manage somehow." So we moved in there.

TY: Did you pay the rent from your savings?

AT: From the bank here to the bank there.

TY: You transferred.

AT: We had changed it. And, during the five years, he wouldn't move to make even a penny. He wouldn't work. He was just playing around. So finally, I said, "Papa, the money won't stay big any more," then he just said, "Is that right?" So easy-going. [Laughs] And...

<End Segment 16> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 17>

DG: What was it, Obasan. You mentioned that there were meetings, didn't you? Those Kibei people got together about something like against the war.

AT: Yeah, yeah.

DG: Could you talk about that?

AT: Let's see, at that time, our opinions clashed. Those of the Kibei people and those of the people who were born in this country. [Ed. note: Mrs. Terao meant that the latter ones were "raised" in this country. Kibei were born in the U.S. as well.] But, Kibei were, Kibei people were saying that Japan would win, it would win, win, win, win. American people said, "No, Japan is losing." We saw that in the newspapers. He fought with his brother. And then, for reconciliation, my husband got in the middle and said, "You two, if young people like you fight, sho ga nai, don't you think?" When he said, "Put your hearts into one. You must be prepared to be the back-up support so that we wouldn't be embarrassed in either case Japan wins or loses." Then, I forgot if it was the Kibei person or the one who grew up in this country, but he said, "We can't do such a sophisticated thing!" and started getting mad.

TY: About how old were they, those Kibei people?

AT: Who?

TY: Those Kibei people.

AT: The age old enough about to be taken or not by Army.

TY: About...

AT: Twenty-two, three. Twenty-two, three...

TY: When you say "taken" you mean to be drafted to the military service?

AT: Yeah. From twenty-two, three, those who were older were already about thirty. But, those who were around thirty were thinking. They said that Japan was in the war with the U.S., and there was no way Japan could win. Then, they did not like that. [Laughs]

DG: How many people got together?

AT: Let's see. Quite a few people showed up. We went there to listen, too. I said quite a few, but there weren't that many. Around twenty, or there were thirty or so in total, I think. They rented a big hall and did it there. I went to most of them with friends at that time. We said, "Let's go. Let's go listen to their discussion." If I had something to do, I couldn't go listen. After all, the Kibei and what, those who were born in this country were always like this. [Ed. note: Mrs. Terao meant that Kibei and Nisei were always arguing.]

TY: Nisei were born in this country...

AT: Yeah. They were born in this country, and Terao arbitrated once. The Japanese force was doing badly. So, he said, "I hope Japan will surrender soon. It is their fault for starting the war with such a big country like the U.S." Then, my husband got scolded. [Laughs] They said, "What are you saying, Ojisan!" They said so. Then, again, Kibei were...The newspapers, the Japanese newspapers sometimes showed that Japan won even if it was losing. The hakujin's newspapers were showing the truth. Then, Terao said, "It is bad for you to read the newspapers here and take it seriously. The hakujin's newspapers are the ones showing the truth, so you have to read them. You have to read that Japan is being attacked this way and such places are being attacked." They said, "About that, ojisan is wrong. Japan has never been attacked. They are not losing." Terao said, "Oh, that Kibei is no match for me." So, at the end, he didn't pay attention.

DG: In the beginning, you said that Kibei were saying, "Japan won, Japan won," from the car.

AT: They did.

DG: What was it like?

AT: What was it like? We were... they attached thread to cans, and they were pulling the cans, and they went rattle, rattle, rattle, rattle. We said, "Oh, I wish they wouldn't have done such an embarrassing thing." We said so. That was done by what, Kibei people. Those who were born in this country never did such a thing.

DG: Was it in the middle of town?

AT: They were going through the middle of town. They put those on the car and went rattle, rattle, rattle, rattle.

DG: What did hakujin say?

AT: Well, there were not too many hakujin there. They said something like, "What are they doing? Are they crazy?"

<End Segment 17> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 18>

DG: Did Japanese all got together to live in the town?

AT: Almost, yes. Those who worked lived in the hotel apartment in the city rather than living outside of the city. There were many people who were singles. They were eating at the restaurants and working. At that time, Terao said, "You guys are reading the newspapers, but the newspapers are telling opposite. Japan is losing, not winning." Then, my husband was scolded. [Laughs] They said, "Now, even ojisan started saying things like that." He said, "Of course, they would say they won when they win. But, at this time, Japan is doing terribly. You can see it if you read the newspapers." They said, "Those newspapers are publishing lies." So, he said sho ga nai. He said so. And, this is the last story, but when he said, "Japan surrendered, didn't it?" Then, three Kibei men were, yes, they were young men. They were shedding tears like this, and they were sitting on the sidewalk and said, "Oh, that's regretful, regretful." Three men were shedding tears like this. That was because Japan had never lost the war before. But, my husband said, "It is no wonder because Japan brought the war to the U.S. and started even though they didn't have money or soldiers, or enough guns and bullets." "No, we can win with our spirit." So he said, "We can't win just with spirit. Nowadays, there are things called machine guns that go crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch. Even with the machine guns, Japan took one and wondered what it was. Then, they brought it to Kyushu and opened it, then they went, "Oh, so this is what is called the machine gun," and made them, and for the first time the machine guns were made, then they started going crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch." Then, they became silent. Well, after that, when many of Kibei went home...see, Japan had never lost before. So, they had this idea that "Japan never loses. Japan will always win," which was stuck in their heads. They were receiving such education in Japan.

<End Segment 18> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 19>

TY: Once again, we are going back to the stories of Salt Lake... you said that Ni...Kibei people were saying, "We won. We won," but when they finally lost the war, they sat on the sidewalk and cried. Could you tell us a little bit about the time?

AT: Oh, that would be the only thing I can talk about. Everyone shed tears. And, they took out handkerchiefs and did like this. I saw it from upstairs. From the second floor of the apartment building that we were staying. With those guys, we even had quarreled before. We said, "Well, you say that Japan won, Japan won, but if you read the hakujin's newspapers, it says that they are losing." Terao was reading it, see. He said, "Oh, what those Kibei are saying are lies." I said, "Papa, why don't you tell them, then." "Even if I tell them, they wouldn't listen. Sho ga nai." [Laughs] But, if we didn't tell him, even more sho ga nai, right? [Laughs] So, finally I said, "You guys are reading the newspaper published here that report that Japan won, Japan won. But, isn't it upside down?" "Obasan, what do you mean by upside down?" So I said, "Japan is losing, can't you see?" "No, that's not right." See, it grew into a fight like this, and I, too, become loud, right? "You see, to begin with, Japan hardly have any more bullets. They used up their guns, so they don't have any more. But, you are still saying that Japan won, Japan won. If people back from the time of the Russo-Japanese War had told me that, I would take it seriously. But, when you compare the U.S. and Japan, the difference is that of heaven and earth, don't you think?" I said things like this. And, my husband also talked to them. Then, they said, "No, that's not true. Japan won't keel over for such little things." We said, "No, they are pretty much wearing out." But, it didn't work for Kibei people.

The pure Nisei people said, "Obachan, Japan lost. They are occupied there, too. They were occupied here, and they were pulled out from the cave, and they were treated like this and like that," and shed tears. I felt sorry for them. They said, "Also, when you read the newspapers, it shows that Japan occupied here and occupied there. So, we have to criticize the newspaper company. But, if the newspapers that Japanese were subscribing published such news, everybody would stop subscribing. So, the newspaper company was doing it in order to make money. Yes, this is the story of Salt Laki. You see, Japan had already been suffering quite a bit by then. So, we had once said that it might be impossible for Japan to do well. Then, this time, Japan surrendered, Japan surrendered.

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

<Begin Segment 20>

AT: They put thread on cans, on the empty cans, and put a couple of them on the car to go rattle, rattle, rattle, rattle. In about three cars, they went around shouting, "Japan surrendered. They surrendered." They were going through the town of Salt Laki. Where I was staying. At that time, just by hearing it, our tears started shedding, and we even cried loud. "Oh, we finally lost as we expected." Because those people had been saying that Japan would win after all, we were in the bigger shock in this way because we were Japanese. They were announcing that Japan had lost. I think there were three cars. They put empty cans on their cars and made loud rattling sound. They went all around the town shouting, "Japan surrendered! Japan surrendered!"

The only that time... Japanese, those Kibei people had been saying, "Japan will win. Japan will win." Three, four people, and they sat on the sidewalk like this. They took out their handkerchiefs and did like this. I saw it from upstairs. I saw it from the second floor of the apartment building. I thought, "Oh, they are crying there. They are crying here, too," and I myself started crying, too. "Oh, after all, Japan couldn't make it." Terao said, "To begin with, I said that it was a mistake to bring the war to the U.S. What I said was right after all." Then, it was either the same evening or the evening of the next day. Terao used to talk with Kibei because they got along. And, after we had dinner, they came and said, "Is ojisan home?" I said, "Oh, he is here." They said, "We came to talk." I said, "Oh, sure, go talk to him." Then, they said, "Ojisan, what you said was the truth." [Laughs] They said, "We were the stupid ones. We came to apologize." I said, "You don't need to apologize. I appreciate that you were thinking so much of Japan. I grew up in Japan, too." When I said so, they said, "We were crazy. We thought Japan would win this time, too, because Japan had never lost the war before. We wanted them to win."

But, first of all, I heard that they didn't have any more bullets. Making bullets...The U.S. had enough money, but Japan even didn't have money. We also said that Japan was probably suffering. Because they had done it before. We said, "Japan only has this much. The U.S. is the country of this much resources. Japan made a big mistake by starting the war." "Once we start, God will help because it is the nation of God. Don't worry, we can win." So, Terao said, "God won't help a place like that," then, they said, "Even ojisan started saying things like that!" There was someone who yelled at him loud. [Laughs] But, later on, even he came to apologize by saying, "Ojisan, I am sorry. It was my fault." The Kibei people. Kibei thought of Japan more than anybody else. They had come to the U.S., and when they were taken by the Army, they said, "It is bad there. It is bad here," and didn't go out. There was a person who went out. He went out. Um, he went to near Chicago. He came back... Terao was consulting with young people, and he liked stuff like that, and since he was talking over matters, they came to visit him often. He came saying, "Ojisan, this time for sure I got to know that Japan is weak." When he asked how he found out, he said, "Well, when I went there, a huge amount of materials was piled up." He said that he had never seen as huge an amount of materials piled up in Japan. He said, "If this is the situation, it is no wonder that Japan was losing. Even if they kept their spirits high and bodies tough, they can't shoot if they don't have any bullets." We said, "That's right." Although that person was favoring Japan, at the end, he said, "Japan, I can't do any more. It's good that I am not going back to such a place, but the U.S. is such a big country, and it takes care of the people in the world. Japan, Japan can not afford to take care of others now." So he said. And, he was shedding tears.

But, even us, we wanted Japan to win at that time. We chanted sutras very hard and said all these things. But, we couldn't beat the real ability. So, Terao said, "After all, Japan needed money this much, and the U.S. had this much. Japan had had a war before, and they had already been suffering. So, don't say that they are going to win. Also, other countries are not favoring Japan much any more, and they are praising the U.S." Then, Kibei people started getting angry again and said, "Ojisan, there is no way that that's happening!" But, later on, Those Kibei, those who cried said, "Ojisan, um, sorry. We were wrong. We were misunderstanding. We are sorry." They came to apologize when the war was over and said, "Um, please talk with us again."

<End Segment 20> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 21>

DG: Please put it in the tape what Kibei people were like. Please explain what Kibei is.

AT: Kibei are those who received education in Japan, and this country, they graduated from high school and came to this country. They had a physical examination for conscription, right? They were dual citizens.

TY: They were born here, weren't they?

AT: In general, Kibei were dual citizens. They had the citizenship in the U.S. They were born in the U.S., and they were sent to Japan and received Japanese education because the parents thought they should receive Japanese education, and when they become certain age, they would be taken if they were in Japan. They escaped to the U.S. There were many people like that. Those people like both Japan and the U.S. But, if there was a war that they were likely to lose, they wouldn't want to go to Japan to enter the Army, right? So, they entered the Army here. Three of my friends all went into the Army here. But, there was a war in Europe, and one was killed in action. I felt sorry for him. I said, "Well, he devoted himself to this country. He devoted himself to Amerika, and you still have one boy, so try to give up, Mrs. Okazaki. It must be impossible to give up, though." He was a very good boy. So, she cried and cried. But, I said, "Cry as much as you can. But, you still have one good boy left, and he will take care of you." But, both parents passed away. After they came back from the camp. So, it was like that. They became soldiers for the U.S., and went to Europe and died in battle. Also, they didn't send Japanese to Japan as much as possible. The U.S. did it that way. They sent them to Europe. But, Japan, back then, Japan was saying good things about there. The hakujin's newspapers and the Japanese newspapers were different.

<End Segment 21> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 22>

AT: We evacuated to Salt Laki and stayed there for five years. During the war, a friend of Terao's said that he would watch the house. He lived in an apartment. We said, "You don't have to pay the rent. Then, just watch the house, water the garden, and change the water for gold fish." He said, "Oh, I will do those for sure." Thanks to him, for five years, we lived in Salt Laki. During the time, we had him watch the house. But, at that time, he was hakujin. He would cut out the hakujin newspapers like when Japan was doing like this, losing, and trying. He was sending them to us in Salt Laki. He had done a lot for us. And then, Terao wrote to him and told him, "Even if you don't send us newspapers, we are subscribing one here, and we know what's going on well, and I used to think Japan would win, but they are not winning. In the newspapers, it shows that they have been attacked everywhere and always receding. Thank you, but we know all that here, at this place. Well, just watch the house sometime." Then, he replied, "Well, when you come back, I want to talk to you again." Then, the war started.

And, if there were some occasions to go somewhere, there was a company... I forgot what it was called. We got the permit that allowed us to go out more than ten miles. We went there and told them that we were going back to Seattle and had them sign there. I always had the card in my purse. And, if we wanted to go back, it was okay to go back. We wanted to go back. We had our children check the schedule by telling them to go check what time trains were coming. We didn't want to arrive in the middle of daytime. So, we had them look at the time that would let us arrive in the evening. Because a hakujin said that he was going to watch the house, we wrote to him saying, "This is how we are coming back." Then, he said, "I will vacate the place anytime before you come back."

When we arrived the depot there, it was around four, four, five o'clock. It was around four or a little bit past four. Then, the hakujin who lived in our house, and from before, three other people were there to pick us up. "Welcome back!" and they were happy and hugged us. Because we had been away from our neighbors for five years. The house had been watched properly, and we also peeked in the house sometimes. We saw it again. We said, "Yes, it is good that you really watched the house." We said, "Thank you very much for all your support." There, we started shedding tears. We were happy to be back home, and we were also told that the house had been cleaned. And, when we entered the house, they had even washed the curtains and kept them clean. I said, "Oh, you even washed the curtains." "Yeah. Well, they were a little bit dirty." I thought they would be dirty after someone lived there for five years, so I bought materials and trimmed them to take home. Then, I said, "Thank you." Then, he said, "No, no, don't mention it. Don't say anything. I'll come visit again, okay?" He was Greeki. [Ed. note: Greek. As in 'Laki,' she pronounces 'k' as 'ki.'] He was a very kind person. He used to work with Terao for Mr. Frye originally. He said, "Sam, what are you going to do with the house?" So, my husband said, "Yeah. Someone needs to watch it. I am troubled as I am evacuating." "If you are fine with me, I can watch the house. I live in an apartment, now." "Oh, so, you, Sam..." Sam... They were saying all these, then he said, "Oh, all right." I wonder what his name was. He said he would watch the house, so my husband said, "Well, Mama. Let's ask him to watch the house. Let's evacuate to Salt Laki with children." Then, we decided and made a long distance call to my cousin and said, "We decided to stay with you for this reason. Please be our support from now on." He said, "We vacated the whole second floor, so don't worry and just come." We ended up staying in Salt Laki for five years.

<End Segment 22> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 23>

TY: Right before Japan lost the war, an atomic bomb was dropped to Hiroshima.

AT: Uh-huh.

TY: What did you think about that?

AT: We were surprised at that time. That they dropped an atomic bomb. But, [Laughs] my husband Terao said this, "It was because they were dragging on the war for so long even though they didn't have a chance to win. That's why the U.S. surprised everybody by dropping such a big atomic bomb to push them down on the top of the head. That was bad." See, they surrendered after that.

DG: Did you worry about the relatives? They were in Hiroshima, weren't they?

AT: No, there weren't too many. Most of our relatives had evacuated, they had most of them evacuated, there, around in Hiroshima. But, those who were still running the business, and those who were doing things remained there. But, Obachan, there were people who were killed. There were also those who survived and escaped. Around Koi, Koi is a little outside of the city of Hiroshima. Even on that side, those children who were going to school, to school, they were going, then, some were killed by the influence of the atomic bomb. I read in the newspapers. The city was destroyed. It was written so. To the divisional headquarters, they took it to the divisional headquarters and dropped the bomb. But, it avoided them a little by the wind condition. It avoided them, and there was a plain field in front of the division where they held training. There are big streets and a museum, and that was destroyed. I wonder how many people were killed, of course, many people died. Luckily, the time was early, so there were not too many students who were killed.

TY: It was eight fifteen in the morning, wasn't it? In such an early time.

AT: I heard about the story of someone who was commuting on the train. Then, someone said, "Something just flashed." In the train, see, the glass windows, those flashed brightly. They said, "Hmm, this is strange." The conductor must have thought it was strange, too. The train stopped in the middle. Then, everybody stepped outside, and they were wondering what the flash was. Then, this time, there was an announcement in the loud voice. They said it was a bomb. That it was dropped. And, even if they wanted to keep the train going, they couldn't go further because the railroads were messed up, so they stopped the train there. Then, those who wanted to go to the city had to go back, so they started walking back from there. It was hard at that time. Also, the division was... It was dropped on the division, but because of the wind condition, the bomb avoided it a little bit. It was good that it was avoided. If not so, if the divisional headquarters received it, many people had died. Later on, I went to see the site. I went back from here. But, they hadn't taken care of it that much. They were showing it as it was.

<End Segment 23> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 24>

TY: You lived in Salt Lake City for five years, didn't you?

AT: Huh? Oh, yeah. For five years.

TY: Why didn't you go back to Seattle right after the war?

AT: Huh?

TY: After the war, you remained in Salt Lake for another one or two years.

AT: Yeah, we stayed there.

TY: Why not right after? Why didn't you return?

AT: No, it wasn't convenient for our children's schooling.

TY: Oh, yes. It was right before graduating from high school...

AT: Yes, grammar school. We had to consider such circumstances. Terao had quit work before he came. He said that he could play around anywhere. And, there was a man called Mr. Hama. The grade school friend was running a dye work in Salt Laki. He was an easy-going, and he lived there, not being married. At my house, my husband often told me to invite him for dinner, so I invited him for dinner. Then, our children's, then, we had children. He said, "Hey, Fusako. You look shabby in a skirt like that. Go take it off." He washed it right away and cleaned it. Back then, the skirt with tucks was in fashion. So, he made the tucks neatly and pressed the skirt. He made neat tucks, and said, "Here, Fusako. Put this on." "Ojisan, thank you." And, when my boy's pants were missing some parts, he said, "New pants, if you have other ones, go buy new pants." "No, Ojisan. These are still fine." "No, they are not fine. A young fellow like you shouldn't look shabby." Then, children were happy and took other pants, and then, they put on the pants they had taken off. So, Mr. Hama was a cleaner, so he kept us looking neatly. He wasn't married. At our house... He and Terao were grade school friends and used to hang out together, they were neighbors. They went to school together. So, they were eating meals together. Then, that made him happy. "Mr. Hama, why don't you get married?" "Oh, there was someone I was going to marry to, but if I had married such a prodigal, I wouldn't have been able to feed myself." He said, "It is easier to stay alone." So, he missed the timing after all. He was a good person, though. He didn't charge us for cleaning at all, not even a penny. Our children were happy. Boys were always wearing pants like this to the bottom. They did so. And, even us. He called me Madam. He said, "Madam. Don't wear a skirt like that. Take it off." If I said, "No, this is fine," then, he said, "No, you look shabby." So, I had him wash it. Back then, the skirts with tucks were in fashion. Tucks were in like this in all the skirts. We kept them neat. Then, when I went to worship at the temple, my friends would say, "Mrs. Terao. You are keeping the tucks neat. What did you do?" "Well, Mr. Hama told me this and that, so I had him clean it." [Laughs] When I said it, they said, "How lucky." "Good to know such a person." We were doing like that. Finally, we lived there for two or three years. We were there for five years. We lived there for five years.

TY: The pleated skirts at that time... See, you mentioned that you learned sewing at the girls' school, and also went to a sewing class later on. You sewed the jacket that you are wearing today.

AT: This? I sewed it by myself.

TY: Then, did you make pants and skirts back then, I mean, your children's pants and skirts, too?

AT: Yes. I made them all. So, I bought a sewing machine over there. When I said that I wanted to buy a sewing machine... the man downstairs was a tailor. He had his own sewing machine. He told me to use it downstairs, then I could watch the store at the same time. He was married at one time, but it didn't work out. After that, he didn't get married and remained single. He said, "You can just use the sewing machine here, can't you?" So, I said, "That's true. I guess I can use your sewing machine. Instead, the pocket is, the pants, this pocket is what, it's ripped," then he said, "Oh, can you just sew it up then?" I said, "All right," and sewed it up. Then, that made those who put their clothes in the cleaning happy. They said, "Oh, my pants, I thought it was ripped, but you put a cloth and mended it." Like that, it was like learning after all. His business was going well. He was running a cleaning shop.

<End Segment 24> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 25>

DG: Obasan, let's go back to the war, about the soldiers. Nisei went to volunteer to become soldiers while their parents were in the camp. What did you think about that?

AT: At that time, we were... it was that they became of the age, and it was sho ga nai once they got the announcement saying that they had to come to the physical exam for conscription for such and such reason. But, at that time, there were quite a few volunteers, quite a few of them. They didn't have too many young people coming to serve. Their parents stopped them. Then, there were some people who flew at their parents. They said that it was appropriate for them to help the country where they were born, then the parents said, "It is good to help this country, but what is going to happen to us parents? What is going to happen to us when something wrong happens to Japan?" Then, they said that their son remained silent. [Laughs] But, the situations differed per person. But, all of those who grew up there, Japan, were taken. They were taken, but they were sent to Europe. They weren't sent to Japan. America was thinking. It would have been sho ga nai if they had sent those to Japan. Among them, some went to Japan. There were some people who were drafted and went to Japan. They said they didn't know what to do. They said that they were only thinking about escaping. They said that they have once dug a cave with the soldiers from there and hid themselves in it. Then, one person, he was Japanese, and he wondered what could happen to those who changed their hearts and double-crossed to Japan, and I heard there were some people who were taken out from the group. But, they, three or four, I think, they were Japanese and they didn't grow up in Japan, and they grew up in the U.S. and received American education. Then, they were taken to the Army, right? They said, "I don't think anything about Japan at all. We grew up in the U.S., and we were nourished in the U.S. and were sent to American schools, so it is right to devote ourselves to America." "That's right," I said, "That's a good idea." They didn't send those to Japan. And, they took over Japanese ships, right? They had them watch the ships.

TY: Because they could speak Japanese.

AT: Uh-huh. America was clever at that time. America is great. If we treated America poorly, we would be punished, I think. Even though Japan was insulted that much and talked bad about the U.S., and they even started such a war, but when they lost, they didn't have anything. They didn't have rice, but they ate. They said, "Let's see, what don't they have," and they ate something came from the U.S. Even in the Washington State and the Oregon State were helped quite a bit. So, when Japanese, Japanese rice came, America bought a big one like this. They were no match. After all, Japan was being unreasonable.

DG: Obasan, did you hear a story about Tokyo Rose?

AT: Tokyo Rose? What was Tokyo Rose?

DG: That was, something like, she was a Nisei from here, and Japanese, in Japanese she did various... How should I say? She, she [inaudible] a propaganda, and she talked over the radio.

TY: Issei, Nisei.

DG: Uh-huh.

TY: How... was it that she was the person who passed on messages over the radio?

DG: Well, such...

TY: So, in Japan, you'd never heard of her?

AT: I remember hearing the name Tokyo Rose.

TY: But, you don't remember what it was?

AT: Hmm, I don't remember what she was doing.

<End Segment 25> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 26>

TY: When you returned to Seattle after the war, what did your husband... did your husband go back to the Frye company?

AT: Um, he didn't go back. We came back to Seattle, but he didn't go work again.

TY: He just retired, then.

AT: Huh?

TY: Did he just retire?

AT: Hmm, well, it was something like retirement. They asked him to come work for them even two days or so when they were busy. Because he was working as a foreman. He went. But, he said he didn't want to go any more. And, his own...

DG: How old was he at that time?

AT: I wonder how old he was. He was ten years older than I, so...

TY: About near sixty?

AT: If he could smoke, if he smoked, if he had money enough for his cigarettes, he didn't need allowance. So, when you work, it comes, right? He received what comes after you work for so many years. That was his allowance. I was working, right? So, I was just hanging out with my friends. If there was a baseball game, if someone said that there was a baseball game around noon, then I went to see the baseball game with my friends. Um, also, sometimes I asked him to buy so and so if he was going towards the Main. When I returned from shopping, he was sleeping. He didn't even cook rice or anything. I said, "Who are you, a master?" but it didn't work. Our children said this, too, "Papa, you are staying home but being totally useless." Well, he took very good care of the garden, though. The garden was the only thing I never had to take care of. If a tree grew, he grafted it, and when weeds, grass came out, he weeded. He was growing moss. He made a Japanese garden, a Japanese garden, and he placed a big stone like this and planted trees. He placed a stone lantern over here. And, over here, he put the Kasuga lantern, the shorter one. On the side, we had gold carps, gold carps. This was the pass, the pass. All of this side. Once, three hakujin came to take pictures. They said, "I heard you made a Japanese garden. Do you mind if we take pictures?" On this side, he placed a stone lantern. Then, this side was low, well, there was a low one. He put it there. And, there was a pond over here. They said, "We've never seen a garden like this." Of course they had never seen it. That was because Terao made it soon after the war ended. They made a garden just like Terao's garden. [Laughs] So, hmm, He did it all by himself, he dug a pond with his friends and made the shape into a style like this. For the water, he had a plumber to draw a pipe to the drainage. On this side, he only needed to turn on the faucet of clean water to change the water. That's how he did it. It was good. But, the house is no longer there. They were all torn down.

TY: Then, the Japanese garden is also gone now?

AT: Yes, it's gone. Because they tore down all the houses there. The government bought the area and new buildings were built.

<End Segment 26> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 27>

TY: Mrs. Terao, Asano-san, you worked, didn't you?

AT: I worked at the place where they made necklaces.

TY: So, you went back to the same place?

AT: Uh-huh. I didn't go anywhere else. They asked me to come back to work for them, at the necklace place. Well, they said, "Why don't you come to earn some allowance?" so, I went to earn some extra cash. Sometimes I worked until noon, and sometimes I worked from noon until four o'clock. They let me do pretty much of whatever I wanted to do. Well, with my friends, even if I didn't earn from being there for eight hours, four hours of work did make a difference. Also, when I had worked there before, the boss gave us extra presents secretly. He said, "Don't talk nothing. Don't talk nothing." He said, "I put extra amount on your checks, so don't tell anybody," and he gave us extra.

<End Segment 27> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 28>

TY: Could you talk about the reconstruction of the Nikkei community?

AT: What?

TY: After the war, it was reconstructed. Everybody worked to reestablish Japanese, Nihonmachi, I mean, the Nikkei community.

AT: Yeah... At that time, not much of... Let's see. I, everybody, Terao said this. Because he said, "We are going back when tofu shops are back," we stayed in Salt Laki as long as five years. [Laughs] Nobody really stayed for that long. We were there for five years, well, that was because a good person was watching the house. That's why we lived in an apartment for five years. We also made friends in Salt Laki. It was good. From Salt Lake, from Salt Laki, we went to a place called something. There, to Mexico.

TY: Oh, you went there?

AT: And, we already had a permit. I said that we should go to the iminkan and get a permit in case we might go some places because we didn't know where and how. So, we got it. At that time, he took us by car. Three, four of us went. There are nice places. Amerika is a large country as I expected. I knew people in quite a long range. And, the goddess. There is some woman thing. We went close by on the ship to see it. [Ed. note: Mrs. Terao is talking about the time she went to New York and saw the Statue of Liberty.]

TY: You went to various places.

DG: Wherever you go, did you face discrimination? Where...

AT: It happened sometimes. But, there were places it didn't happen. They wouldn't tell you in the face. But, about discrimination, we were like, "Oh, they do it here." "Yeah." We didn't really get mad. We were all absent-minded. [Laughs] When we went there, to Alaska, there were bean-jam buns, and we were speaking in Japanese with friends, "Oh, those are good. There are the names of candies from Japan here." When we said, "Let's buy them to take home," then, a clerk at the store said, "Oh, where are you from?" We said, "Oh, oh, we are visiting from Seattle." She said, "No, I am asking where in Japan you are from." "In Japan, we are from Hiroshima." Then, she said, "Oh, I am from Okayama!" Encountering us made her miss Japan so much. When we asked her, "Where did you make these bean-jam cakes?" she said, "We have artisans here." She said, "We have these made there every day." We said, "Then, can we have ten of these and ten of those, please?" She wrapped them up. We said, "These are for souvenirs." When we went home, there were twenty-two in the box. There were two extra pieces in the box. Even though we told her that we wanted twenty. She only charged us for twenty pieces.

TY: She gave you those for free.

AT: She gave us those for free. But, she didn't say anything about it. We appreciated her kindness. At my place, we bought at the Sagami-ya, and there was another place called something. In Japan. The place wasn't good. So, we said, "These are better than the ones from the Sagami-ya," a friend and I, two of us said so, and we took them to the church. We said, "Well, please try even half a piece." [Laughs] When they saw it, we were sometimes told, "These are really good." It is a story from many decades ago. We have been to Alaska. We went to Alaska and spent one night there, and we came back. Oh, the reverend guided us. It was good that the reverend guided us. Because the reverend had been there before. He took us there by ship. And, the ship, in the ship, we had to buy the tickets for the third class. And, we ordered the meals from the second class. We ordered the meals from the second class, and we were served on the deck. It was nice.

<End Segment 28> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 29>

TY: And, you got the citizenship, didn't you? Issei couldn't get the citizenship until 1952, could they? But, you had been thinking about getting citizenship, hadn't you?

AT: Well, I went to school just a little while. I went to night school at a high school. And, these things, these things that would be asked were, usually like, who the president was, who the mayor was, in the beginning.

DG: In Japanese?

AT: Japanese, I was asked in Japanese. Toru Sakahara did it for me.

TY: The study at the night school, in your class...

AT: The night school.

TY: Were there only Japanese?

AT: I went to the night school.

TY: Were there only Japanese at the night school?

AT: Yeah, only Japanese.

TY: Then, did the teacher speak in Japanese?

AT: The teacher was Japanese, too.

TY: Oh, then, in Japanese.

AT: The teacher was Japanese, but she was Nisei.

TY: Oh, yes.

AT: So, she understood Japanese, too.

TY: Were you supposed to take the test in English? Or, were you supposed to take it in Japanese?

AT: In English at the iminkan.

TY: In English.

AT: It was Toru Sakahara, and he was related to me. [Laughs] He said, "Oh, Obasan, you are here," so I said, "Yeah. Easy on me," then, he said, "Oh, I will take good care of it." Three of us were there, and for all three of us, he hardly asked anything. He asked me who the president was then, who the mayor was, the total of three, four questions. He asked those questions, and he wrote the answers on the paper. [Laughs] He asked questions, but he just said the names right away. And, he wrote them down. When I was about to answer the questions, he just wrote all the answers down. For all three of us. He said, "I will just turn them in, and everything will be fine." And, we received the citizenship.

TY: But, you had been prepared, hadn't you? You had studied enough for that, right?

AT: I had to study for it. I studied at night school. So, I knew the answers. And, Toru was related to me. He said, "Oh, Obasan, you are here," so I said, "Just be easy on me," then he said, "Oh, I will let you get the citizenship." And, he answered questions and wrote them down on the paper by himself, so there was no mistake. [Laughs] All three of us passed it.

TY: Since it was in 1952, it was about forty-five years ago.

AT: Oh, it was quite a long time ago.

TY: That means that you got the citizenship after you were fifty-five years old.

AT: That's right. I think I put the certificate of the citizenship somewhere. I don't know what happened to it now. And, they gave me a small card like this. There was also a night school for people to get the citizenship. It was at Broadway High School. And, at that time, there was Mrs. Kanzaki. Oh, I asked Mrs. Kanzaki if she wanted to go with us. I said, "Let's go." She said, "No, I don't want the citizenship. I don't need it." Later on, where was it that we were going to visit. She came to want one. Then...

TY: When you went out of the U.S., right?

AT: The U.S.... It was when we went to visit somewhere. Then, I said, "You kept saying that you wouldn't get the citizenship, but if you had the citizenship card, you could go anywhere by just showing it." Oh, that's when we went to Canada. Then, she said, "That's right. I was scolded by my grandchildren, children, so I went to get it." "Who helped you? Did Toru help you?" "Oh, yeah, if Toru was there, everything goes all right." He is related to me. When I said, "Oh, Toru-san, you work here," he said, "You came to take the test?" "Yeah, that's right." He said, "I will take good care of it." He answered, the answers, he wrote down all the answers, on the paper. Like this. When I looked at it, he was writing who the president was. And, all three of us got the citizenship easily.

<End Segment 29> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 30>

DG: Were you happy to receive it?

AT: Huh?

DG: The citizenship.

AT: Yeah, I was happy, but it was also useful. It was useful wherever I went, I just needed to carry it. In the beginning, they gave me a paper like this. Then, they switched it to a card.

TY: Then, you had been thinking about settling down in the U.S. permanently?

AT: Uh-huh. Oh, I can't go back to Japan any more. Even if I went back, I wouldn't be able to stay there. Everything is too meticulous. I wouldn't be able to stand it. Also, I have visited Alaska just for a little while.

TY: Your husband also got the citizenship, didn't he? Both of you.

AT: Uh-huh. He got it.

TY: Mrs. Kanzaki who you have talked about finally became a hundred years old the other day, and she finally received the citizenship.

AT: Yeah, yeah. She got it alone. [Laughs] I said that we should go together, but she said, "Oh, I don't need such a thing," and didn't go. And, once we all got it, she came to want one. You can just get it now. Nowadays, if you reach hundred years old, but it doesn't really matter if you submit it. Nowadays, she can't hear well.

TY: And...

AT: She is coming, Mrs. Kanzaki. To this apartment building.

TY: Yes.

AT: Yes. So, I said, "Do me a favor again." "All right." It was like, "Oh, if I am asked, then I ask. Asking and being asked, it just works out fine."

TY: When you went to Canada, Mrs. Terao, you just showed your citizenship card, right? Then, did Mrs. Kanzaki had to take the paper works and so on...

AT: No, she took... what was it? She took her passport. [Laughs] Her passport. When I said, "See, I've told you to get one," she said, "That's right," and she got it after she went back. Even if she went to the iminkan, she is too old. They weren't too hard on her. When I took the test, luckily, Toru Sakahara was there. He is my relative. I said, "Oh, Toru, you work here. I heard you can help me, so here I am." He asked me and answered who the president was at that time by himself, and he just wrote it down. "Who is the Mayor?" He wrote down the answer before I answered. He asked me three or four questions, I don't remember what they were, though. But, when they were answered, he said, "Oh, all right, all right, Obachan. I will turn it in," and he turned it in. And, I received something about the citizenship.

<End Segment 30> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 31>

TY: Today, do you think it was good that you immigrated to the U.S.?

AT: It was good. It is better than Japan. First of all, if we were in Japan, when we went to the store early in the morning, we had to go, "Good morning. Good morning!" What a nuisance. In this country, everybody goes, "Hi, good morning," and that's it. That's it. In Japan, in Japan, in my hometown, they were precise about maintaining a good relationship with their neighbors. It was done courteously. So, when I went back to Japan last time, the houses that I went to say hello to, the houses that I didn't visit were complaining. Three across the street and both sides of neighbors. My mother told me to visit at least those neighbors, so I took some stuff I took from here, like candies, and I said, "For so and so reason, I am back home," then this time, they brought out something big. They said, "Well, Oneesan, I had heard about your returning, but you returned earlier than I had expected. Well, please tell us the stories about Amerika." The neighbors had been friends over decades already. So, they were always asking my mother, "When is oneesan coming back?" My mother said, "I don't know since I haven't received a letter, and I had received a letter saying that she was going to visit around Tokyo or Yokohama on the way for a couple of days with the reverend, but I don't know until she actually gets here." [Laughs]

TY: Nowadays, we can exchange letters in a week, from the U.S. to Japan, and from Japan to the U.S.

AT: Yeah. It took about a week.

TY: A long time ago, around the time you just came here, it must have taken for a long time.

AT: It took quite a long time back then.

TY: Then, it gradually became shorter.

AT: Nowadays, we can just make phone calls.

<End Segment 31> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 32>

TY: Yes. You were close to your mother, weren't you?

AT: To begin with, that was because my father died early. Don't you think? It would have been a problem if I didn't get along with my mother. [Laughs]

TY: After you immigrated to the U.S., eighty years ago, did you and your mother write the letters to each other frequently?

AT: No, we didn't correspond frequently. Mother also told me that she couldn't really see any more. But, when I sent pictures, she was happy. I also told her not to worry about me since I was doing fine. And, my family, they adopted a son of my uncle, and we had his name entered in the register so that he could become an heir in my family. That's how we did. So, today, his child is taking care of things in the family. He is doing great. So, I had written to him, "My share of the estate, since I am not coming back from the U.S., please give him all of my share of the estate, and instead, please just protect our family grave." He said in the letter that he had sent me, "Oneesan, there is no need to worry. To the grave, I visit with incense sticks every month." I am thinking, "Oh, thank you, thank you." If they keep doing it, then his children would also continue later on. They won't sell the land where the land was added. Only the grave is sho ga nai. I am just hoping that they will protect the family grave. Finally, it was last year, I think... Last year, when was it in the last year, I think it was either the beginning of the last year or the end of the year before last. They bought a gravestone at the temple and moved the family grave there. Then, the temple would burn incense sticks every month. So, I sent 1,000 yen to the temple. I am not sending any more. I am just leaving it as it is. It is at the temple, so they burn incense sticks. There are the anniversaries of my ancestors' deaths. At such times, they visit the grave for us. But, again, I reported to my brother-in-law. He said, "Oneesan, don't worry. I have already told my children, and I, too, visit there every month. The priest of the temple also visits there every anniversaries of our ancestors' deaths." So, I said, "Well, if I have a chance, I will send you money, so please give the money to the temple as an offertory. I haven't sent the money yet. It's because I am not working any more. That's why I haven't sent it yet. Well, I am thinking about sending a little sometime.

<End Segment 32> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 33>

TY: We have generations to come. Now, there are Sansei and the great grandchildren, Yonsei. What kind of Japanese values do you want to leave for them? To those children.

AT: Let's see. Not particularly... they don't know too much about Japan.

TY: Yes.

AT: So...

TY: Little by little, they pass on the traditions at home. Through life, through their daily life.

AT: That's right. But, those children who went to Japan say Japan was like this, like that. Those who have never been there say, "Oh, I don't care." In Japan, they were troubled with greeting. [Laughs] When they raised their heads, the others' heads were still down, so they lowered their heads again, and they did such things. They made them laugh and came back, and they made us laugh here. But, they were saying, "I will never live in a place where it's so narrow and meticulous like in Japan."

DG: But, do you want to pass on giri and on?

AT: Huh?

DG: Giri and On...

AT: Hmm, that is, I have already told my children about that. I said, "When you depend on someone's kindness, do not forget the on throughout your life." I teach them things like that, but the child's, each child is born with what, different qualities. There are children who do things fine even if we didn't tell them. On the other hand, there are children who say, "Oh, I forgot about that," even if we have told them. Oh, there are various types. Well, we don't trouble ourselves with the difference.

TY: Also, the Nikkei community has become stable, and there are facilities where people like you can live normal life by themselves.

AT: Yeah.

TY: There was no facility like this long time ago, was there?

AT: Yeah. Overall, yeah... In short, they went into to Keiro [Ed. note: Seattle Keiro; a nursing home run by Nikkei Concerns]. There are people who still go into Keiro, today. We also say that we want to go to Keiro. In the morning, they wake you up. Here, they wake me up. She [Ed. note: Mrs. Terao's friend was with her at the time of interview.] says, "Why don't you get up?" [Laughs]

TY: By your friend.

AT: She woke me up. She is an early-riser. [Laughs] Mrs. Kimura gets up early in the morning. I call myself "a morning cat awake at night." I would get up whenever I am called, but I fall asleep. I want to sleep in. Such a troublesome, aren't I?

<End Segment 33> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.