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-01-0021

<Begin Segment 21>

AI: Well, let's see. I guess there were a couple of years in between there where you moved back -- before World War II started -- you moved back to Wapato.

KK: Yes. Back to... and at that time, I think I stayed with my parents and worked for a while at the, the grocery, the fruit grocery store in the winter there. And I think it was during that time when -- 1941, and why I stayed there instead of coming back to Seattle, it's not that clear for me. But when Pearl Harbor happened it was... and I can remember that changed everything.

AI: Can you recall that day for us? What you were doing and how you found out?

KK: We had gone to church that day, and whether we heard it at church or whether we... I'm sure we heard it at church. And I remember coming home and telling my father, who had not heard about it. And he was just shocked. And then, from there on, it was, it was a different climate because you were so unsure of what would be happening. And events happened very quickly. The various orders came down and for a long time, because we were located 150 miles or so from Seattle and the Pacific, the ocean, that we thought that there would not be, we would not have to be evacuated. And some of the families from Seattle, who had businesses, relocated their businesses to Yakima, thinking it would be permanent. My older sister and husband came back to live with us because they had, they realized that Seattle would be evacuated.

And, but the orders came quite late. But we, but the farmers were told to continue farming as if they were not going to be evacuated, although we knew we were going to be evacuated. And they did, they did... they kept up their farms and tended their crops as if they would not be leaving, meanwhile, going through the process of getting, making arrangements for their, their possessions or their leases or their farms depending on what business they were in.

GN: Did you have any premonition that these, something might happen? Were you aware of tensions between --

KK: I think that we did, I did, because the orders came in establishing boundaries. But we weren't aware. And we were aware that there was some activity going on in the Hanford area and probably that triggered the move, except that the boundary was the Columbia River and those who lived on the east side of Columbia and those who lived on the other side, it was a boundary. But it took from the Canadian border to Columbia River on the south side. And that area left in June, they were entrained in June.

<End Segment 21> - Copyright © 2002 Densho. All Rights Reserved.