Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Tsuguo "Ike" Ikeda Interview II
Narrator: Tsuguo "Ike" Ikeda
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: October 6, 2000
Densho ID: denshovh-itsuguo-02-0002

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AI: Well, speaking of camp, another activity of yours that I wanted to ask a little more about was the development or the establishment of your high school at Minidoka camp. And if you could tell us a little bit about that because usually a person, student, child who's going to school, you just go to a school that's already established.

TI: Right.

AI: Now, in this case, what happened?

TI: Well, we had to really construct the school, in a sense, organize it completely. There was nothing. So we had contests on name, nickname -- Wolver, Wolverines. And purple and gold were our colors. And then had to have a song, which I don't remember. But then it meant we had a need to organize clubs too, like the "Hi-Y" and then organize dances, which I loved to do. And so, because -- a similar sort of thing happened with church. It was a recreational barracks. And this area is noted for sand all over the place, continuous, continuously in the floors. And so we had the privilege, in a way, of cleaning that room out (each Sunday) and then set up the chairs for our church. So everything had to be done by us. And you felt a part of it because of our level of participation. So that experience was like I had a horse blinders, you just shut out the fences. And used to be my theme song, "Don't Fence Me In." At that time, that really had a special meaning to me. But, just concentrate on helping to organize the school in all aspects, and how to elect officers and all that involvement. I had the good fortune to be involved. I ended up really enjoying the school life, church life as well. And it's just been a positive experience for me.

AI: Well, in fact, I was looking back at some of your records, and it showed that you were quite active, that you were a representative to the student council, that, in fact, you had to form that student council from scratch, didn't you?

TI: Yeah. That's right. Yeah.

AI: And also I think you were very active also in the federated church...

TI: Yes.

AI: camp?

TI: The thing that I really enjoyed was, just prior to the war, in November, YPCC or Young People's Christian Conference was held in Seattle. So this is where I first met Seattleites from variety of churches. And when we came to Minidoka, lot of folks from other churches were put together as one, the Federated Christian Church, which I felt was really great. And the tragedy was, once we got out, came back to Portland or Seattle, we segregated ourselves again by denominations.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2000 Densho. All Rights Reserved.