Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Tsuguo "Ike" Ikeda Interview I
Narrator: Tsuguo "Ike" Ikeda
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: September 27, 2000
Densho ID: denshovh-itsuguo-01-0012

<Begin Segment 12>

AI: Well now at some point it, I think your diary mentioned in -- yes, in August of 1942, you mentioned in your diary that the newspaper, Evacuzette, said that some people would be going on to a permanent camp in Wyoming, and some would be going on to Idaho. What kind of information did you get about where you and your family would be heading?

TI: We didn't know. There were rumors of either we might go to Wyoming, we might go to Idaho. So that, I felt very uncomfortable. And then many of the people from Washington who I got to know were definitely going to Wyoming. We had to split our short-term friendship that we developed, it was just before the war, November, there was a Young People's Christian Conference in Seattle, the first time I traveled that distance with this Christian conference for Japanese. And so we had Saint Peter's (Episcopal) Church or (Japanese) Baptist church, Congregational church, Methodist church, which were all Japanese-centered churches, get together and had a great time. So in Portland, I met some of the people from Washington, and later, in Idaho, I met others. One thing that camp (experience) forced us to do is to have one federated Christian church, rather than (divided) by denominations. And that felt good, so like going to that conference in Seattle, that we were all one. Tragically, after the war, we split up again like all other churches and have the artificial (denominational) barriers.

AI: I'd like to go back a little bit in time to that November and the Young People's Conference in Seattle. Can you tell me a little bit about that? I heard that it was quite a large gathering.

TI: Yes, it was quite large. And like conferences are, lot of fun, you build short-term friendships. So, because church life experience was so dominant in my life, it was very meaningful for me to come to the big city of Seattle, and make more friends and planning for future conferences. So it was great.

AI: Let's see, that was called YPPC?

TI: Yeah. Young People's Christian Conference.

AI: YP...


AI: ...CC. I'm sorry.

TI: Yeah.

AI: And had you traveled outside of Portland before going to that conference?

TI: No. No, that was my first big experience. And that made it all the more special, (and) exciting. My parents didn't have a car because they were working all the time. So it was public transportation primarily, and once in a while riding in a car. But, that was quite seldom that we (did) that.

AI: So that was a really special trip.

TI: Oh, yes. Just riding on a bus that long.

AI: And then, taking you back to the assembly center, the North Portland Assembly Center, then that's where you mentioned that you were reunited with some of the friends...

TI: Yes.

AI: had made at that conference.

TI: So I built, renewed, new friendships. And then in camp, a lot of us young people had a barrack that was used for movies and set up everything. So we had to do everything. And so we felt a part of a church that way. So I, I felt, well based on my past Portland experience and the church life experience, it just made it much larger in the camp.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright © 2000 Densho. All Rights Reserved.