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Title: Tsuguo "Ike" Ikeda Interview I
Narrator: Tsuguo "Ike" Ikeda
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: September 27, 2000
Densho ID: denshovh-itsuguo-01-0017

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AI: Well, then that fall, or toward the end of that year of 1942, you also, that's when you mentioned that school started up again...

TI: Yeah.

AI: ...for you. And you were in your senior year, and you had many activities going on, it sounds like, in setting up that school in camp.

TI: Yes, I loved it. You know, apart from being in a concentration camp, just within it, we were able to find great joy because we were working together to create a school. And we were part of that because we had that opportunity to participate in developing school. And so, and I just loved socializing and organizing dances. Every block had a dance, and we were very competitive, decorating the dining room, very competitive with the decorating, trying to outperform each other. So it was very fascinating, creative ideas came with very little material. And so it was within the confines of the camp, we were able to make it livable.

AI: And also it sounds like you were very active. You mentioned earlier, in the church activities that developed at Minidoka.

TI: Yes.

AI: You mentioned that it was, there was a federated church?

TI: Yes.

AI: Can you tell me a more about that?

TI: Yeah. This was a federated Christian church, which meant that all the Protestant denomination churches had to be one, which I thought was better because I had friends who were Baptist or Presbyterians, Congregationalists. So this made it possible for us to worship together, fellowship together. And the church in each (region) they set aside one barrack, which was our social hall, recreation center. And so that meant Sunday morning, we'd go and sweep the floors and we -- because there'd be so much dust in it -- and set up the chairs and worship area. And so that pretty much, with fellowship later, pretty much covered the Sunday experience.

AI: Excuse me. Who served as your ministers? Were they Japanese or Japanese American , or were they visiting ministers?

TI: These were all Japanese Methodist ministers. There was Reverend Andrews from the Baptist Church in Seattle. He used to come out regularly to assist. But the core ministers that moved from Portland, Seattle, were the ministers in the camps.

AI: Well, I also wanted to ask you about some of your other activities there in camp because I know that you were so active. You mentioned the dances and then the fellowship activities. Didn't you do some singing also?

TI: Yes. I love to sing in a choir where my voice would be smothered. [Laughs] I wasn't really a singer, but I liked the experience of doing things together in choir. So I joined that. And I've continued that in churches through, where the standard of singing was low -- [laughs] -- so I was readily accepted.

<End Segment 17> - Copyright © 2000 Densho. All Rights Reserved.