Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: John Kanda Interview
Narrator: John Kanda
Interviewer: Ronald Magden
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: May 12, 2000
Densho ID: denshovh-kjohn-01-0003

<Begin Segment 3>

RM: And you went where for the assembly camp?

JK: We were sent down to Pinedale (Assembly Center), California, on a one-week notice. And we left the farm to our three Filipino farm boys that were living there and working on the farm, with the agreement that we would turn everything over to them. And when they came back, I mean if we got back, we would like to purchase it at the same price.

RM: Did that agreement hold?

JK: No, it didn't work out, because when we came back, the farm was deserted, there's nothing there, nothing in the house, either, all the furnitures. And what happened, I understand, (as) the owners that lived in the nice house up front, (stated), well, the first year they, everything was ready to harvest and all, so they did very well. And the second year, they (stated), "It was so-so year." By the third year, they were just bickering and fighting, and one day they decided to put up a sign, "Everything for Sale." And they...

RM: So you were cleaned out.

JK: Cleaned out, (yes). We didn't have a list that could of been... the claim. They had a claim, shall we say, session that allowed the people -- if you had a written, what you sold and what you sold it for, you got, I don't remember, 20 percent or whatever.

RM: Yes.

JK: (Yes). But my brother was the head of the family, so, but I was still a teenager, so I don't know too much about the (agreement).

RM: Did you lose the land? Did the family lose...?

JK: We (did), we had it under lease purchase agreement, yes, at that time. I mean, when we left the place, and it was still intact. They wanted us to come back, but there was nothing there to work with, so we just became non-farmers.

RM: You went from Pinedale to what relocation center?

JK: Yes. There (in Pinedale) for five months, then we're sent up to Tule Lake center in northern California, to, not as dissenters, but it was just our permanent camp.

RM: Did you, did it, was your family impacted by going the camps? Did it destroy the family unity? What was the response of your family?

JK: Well, I think it's pretty much the same with most people, but at first, my brother... well, we had a, there were four of us in real sense, because my middle sister was married, and she was separated, I mean went to a separate camp. But there were all four of us in that room all the time, five of us really, in the small room. But my brother was the head of the family, so shortly after that, they had (bachelor quarters) -- not a bachelor, but one person group that they assigned him to. And so we had, four of us had the 20 x 20 room to ourselves, you might say.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 2000 Densho. All Rights Reserved.