Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Bill Nishimura Interview
Narrator: Bill Nishimura
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Klamath Falls, Oregon
Date: July 2, 2000
Densho ID: denshovh-nbill-01-0003

<Begin Segment 3>

AI: Now then, after Pearl Harbor was bombed as December continued on, what kind of, did you have any troubles in your community or were you treated in a negative way or did your business suffer at all?

BN: Well, actually, no, not in the business-wise. We had, I believe it was a 5-mile radius that we were able to travel, but beyond that, we had to have a special permit to travel, like peoples taking the produce to the market. They had to have a special permit for that.

AI: And now, your business, were you leasing the farming, the property, or did you own the farm?

BN: No. My dad was subleasing from one of the Japanese person, Nisei. Yes. And he, he never owned the land. Yeah. But the farming equipment and all the other things belonged to him.

AI: Now, some of the Issei who were very active in the community were arrested or picked up by the FBI right away after Pearl Harbor. What happened to your dad?

BN: Do you mean -- oh, he was sent to Tujunga Canyon, at...

AI: Right, right.

BN: ...CC camp.

AI: You mentioned that. Was that right after Pearl Harbor happened?

BN: Oh, right after Pearl Harbor.

AI: Or...

BN: Oh, he was concerned because he was a volunteer worker for the association, yes.

AI: Right.

BN: He had a definite fear that he might be interned, yes.

AI: And when was it that the FBI actually came?

BN: When?

AI: Approximately.

BN: Oh, it was during latter part of January or so, I believe it was. I really don't know.

AI: You weren't there at the time.

BN: Yes, my sister was there. And what she told me was they checked the, inside the house, and then they told her that it'll be a few hours, and he'll be back. And then it was three days later that we received a notice that he was held at the Tujunga Canyon CC Camp.

AI: Were you able to visit him there?

BN: Yes. I used to visit as much as we can, mother and sisters. But I don't know how many times -- about three, three, three or four times a week, I believe we visited him. And then when I did visited him, I'd see many familiar faces inside the fence -- [laughs] -- and I thought, "Oh, they're in the same boat as my dad." And then few weeks later, we received a notice that he was being transferred to Lordsburg, New Mexico. And then he stayed there for a while. And in the meantime, there was the period where "volunteer" evacuation was in progress. (Narr. note: I said "volunteer," but I should not have said it. Because we never volunteered to move anywhere. I moved because I knew I would be forced out of my farm. So this word "volunteer" is very deceiving.) And that, the cutoff line was, date was (March) the 30th, I believe. So...

AI: You mean the end of (March).

BN: Right, end of (March), right.

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