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-01-0030

<Begin Segment 30>

AI: Well, excuse me. Let's talk a little bit about your -- you were in North Portland at the assembly center for a little over three months, was it?

KK: Yes.

AI: June, July, August.

KK: And September. We left in the middle of September for Heart Mountain, Wyoming.

AI: What were you told about that? Or do you remember being told anything about where you were going next?

KK: Because we... because we were from Yakima valley, they kept the valley people together. But they took, I think, the Portland people went to Minidoka or elsewhere and they kept the Yakima valley people together. But we didn't know until the very end where they would go. Because you know, you'd establish friendships in three months and you're very sorry that you're not going together. But we realized that we were going to Wyoming, which we weren't sure what kind of a place it would be. We, who even thought about Wyoming in those days? [Laughs] But when we got there it was... it was a little bit like Yakima valley in its very early, early years. And, but the wind blew a lot and it was, just getting there, I remember going and stopping somewhere along the way. And the train, the train, it was over two days of riding on the train and it, it just was so tedious. And when it stopped I got up and went out toward, in between the trains. And the stars were so bright and so clear, and I wondered where in the world I was. I think somewhere near Montana somewhere. But when you got there and got to the place, the wind was blowing and the dust was blowing and the barracks were (bad), were not finished. But you had a lot of open space around you. It wasn't even... the fences weren't even up yet, and I remember the first attempt at some kind of resistance was having the fence put up. We said, "Who in the world would want to get out of this place? Where would you go?" Because it was so barren and the sagebrush and rugged, and you could see for miles around, and, and where would you escape to? That was our first protest. But those are the kinds of conversations that often occurred.

AI: Who did you protest to? Who was...

KK: Oh, we protested to the administration. But they, it wasn't -- [laughs] -- they didn't establish policy and so... but there were the older Niseis who were there, but I wasn't there long enough to get into the other controversies that occurred.

<End Segment 30> - Copyright © 2002 Densho. All Rights Reserved.