Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Marian Asao Kurosu Interview
Narrator: Marian Asao Kurosu
Interviewers: Alice Ito (primary), Tomoyo Yamada (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: June 23 & 24, 2000
Densho ID: denshovh-kmarian-01-0056

<Begin Segment 56>

TY: [Jpn.] By the way, how was the climate at Tule Lake? Pinedale was very hot.

MK: [Jpn.] The climate at Tule Lake was much better.

TY: [Jpn.] Is that right?

MK: [Jpn.] Yeah. Pinedale was something. That was. Uh-huh. I think that Tule Lake is a nice place.

TY: [Jpn.] Oh, really?

MK: [Eng.] Uh-huh.

TY: [Jpn.] By the way, I heard that there was a scorpion...

MK: [Jpn.] And also...

TY: [Jpn.] Yes.

MK: [Jpn.] Water...

TY: [Jpn.] Yes.

MK: [Jpn.] We were all supplied with water, but if you want special water, you go way over there, Shosho... Shosho Bay or... Shosho... Shosho something... the children know that kind of place very well. The children play and go everywhere. Some people went there to get water, carrying a one-gallon thing. They drank water from there...

TY: [Jpn.] I see.

MK: [Jpn.] Yeah. If I may say so, the water did not taste good.

TY: [Jpn.] Do you mean the water at Tule Lake?

MK: [Jpn.] Yeah. The drinking water wasn't that bad. But we got water on our own. What kind of water did we drink at that time? The water must have been good enough.

TY: [Jpn.] Yes.

MK: [Jpn.] We can use water, but the water wasn't very clean. Of course even if it was not clean water, the camp was run by the military and the military wouldn't supply undrinkable water. Yeah. Of course, the laundry room was an exception. There it is not good when you add soap.

TY: [Jpn.] I see.

MK: [Jpn.] It doesn't lather at all. So when you wash your hair, as I told you before, the hair stays really flat. It looks like it was glued on.

TY: [Jpn.] Yes.

MK: [Jpn.] So softener. We used water softener. We used water softener. Yeah. Then you use water softener, and then wash...

TY: [Jpn.] Yes.

MK: [Jpn.] You know, we used that to do laundry. Uh-huh. Yeah. Those were the days.

TY: [Jpn.] I see. And I hear there was also a scorpion...

MK: [Jpn.] And then...

TY: [Jpn.] Yes.

MK: [Jpn.] This is, this is really a funny story. When we started living there...

TY: [Jpn.] Yes.

MK: [Jpn.] This is a story about the lavatory. There was a huge hole below you. A big one. Then a two-by-four was placed between that side and this side. As you know, you lower your hips. [Laughs] It was like that at first when we entered the camp.

TY: [Jpn.] I see.

MK: [Jpn.] Yeah.

TY: [Jpn.] At Tule Lake?

MK: [Jpn.] They didn't have time to do that. They built it in a hurry. That's why it was like that. It was the very first time for us to use such a thing.

TY: [Jpn.] I see.

MK: [Jpn.] The first time. But later they built the proper facilities. Because they didn't have time, we had to use such facilities. It was a two-by-four. If you are not careful, you will fall down into it. [Laughs]

TY: [Jpn.] I hope nobody fell off?

MK: [Eng.] Huh?

TY: [Jpn.] Nobody fell off, I hope.

MK: [Jpn.] Into the hole?

TY: [Jpn.] Did anybody fall into the hole?

MK: [Jpn.] No, no.

TY: [Jpn.] Nobody did.

MK: [Jpn.] Of course, we were very careful.

TY: [Jpn.] Didn't you worry about small children?

MK: [Jpn.] No. The small children didn't use it. So we must have had something else, a smaller one. Only the adults used it.

TY: [Jpn.] I see.

MK: [Jpn.] Uh-huh. And some mischievous kids, you know, there is paper...

TY: [Jpn.] Yes.

MK: [Jpn.] A lot of it. Yeah. I heard some kids stuffed toilets with paper for fun. Some kids might have done so, but there were not many of them.

TY: [Jpn.] I see.

MK: [Jpn.] Yeah.

<End Segment 56> - Copyright © 2000 Densho. All Rights Reserved.