Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Kara Kondo Interview
Narrator: Kara Kondo
Interviewers: Alice Ito (primary), Gail Nomura (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: December 7 & 8, 2002
Densho ID: denshovh-kkara-01-0014

<Begin Segment 14>

GN: Did your family move from lease to lease? Or did they have a permanent --

KK: We did. We did. We did move from lease to lease until evacuation. And I think most of the (Japanese did), except for about three families who had purchased land. And they were able to do so because they had children who were older and were able to purchase land.

GN: And those families were?

KK: The Matsumuras and my parents-in-law, the Kondos, and the Hatas. And they were the three on the reservation that owned their land and all returned following evacuation.

AI: Well, also, I'm not, wasn't sure about how long the leases went. Were they about three years, or...?

KK: It, it sometimes... it depended. And sometimes they were at least, perhaps two years. Or you could extend it if you wished to do so. And for a while you leased them. I know that in our experience we didn't, although it was by, to a family, a Native American family, a Yakama family. And it was gradually broken up between brother and sister or whoever. And the tendency, now, is for the Yakama Nation, themselves, to buy up these private lands owned by the Indian families because they would like to have more reservation. Their own land now. The tendency was for the Indian families to sell, and they were often sold under some questionable circumstances. I know, like the Brown brothers had acres of land, just hundreds of acres of land. And it's right in the heart of the reservation. And you often wonder how it was possible for them to acquire that much land, you know. And you hear all kinds of rumors.

GN: Did your father lease directly from the Yakama or through the Indian agency?

KK: Probably through the Indian agency. Yes, through the agency. And even if there were private land -- Indian-owned land -- you did it through the agency.

GN: But of course he could not do it.

KK: No, but it was either somebody older or my older sister after --

GN: As you got older, did you become a, take out any leases for people?

KK: I don't think so. I don't remember that we did -- I did. I don't recall that I ever did. Isn't it strange that I, I think that I would have remembered that if I was a lessee. But I'm not sure who leased, I think in the last property it was under my name because, in taking care of the evacuation, and it was my responsibility to, to do that and made arrangements for, for the sale of, of various items that we owned. So, I'm sure it was my responsibility, but it probably wasn't as tedious as it seems now.

<End Segment 14> - Copyright © 2002 Densho. All Rights Reserved.