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-01-0005

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AI: And as Gail mentioned earlier, that was also the time when the anti-,Washington State anti-alien land law was first passed in 1921. And the amendment in '23. So there was, it sounds like there was quite a bit of activity.

KK: Yes, I'm sure there was. And we felt that because we, after the, soon after the anti-alien land law we had to move from our property, you know. We had 160 acres and at the middle of the, in late spring we moved in with my uncle who lived several miles away and continued to farm with him in a vegetable farm. But we had to give up that property, I remember. But, you know, as a child you don't, I'm sure you're aware that there was something wrong but weren't quite sure --

GN: The law didn't exactly... it was a state law, didn't apply to the reservation lands.

KK: No, it did not.

GN: But, but the government went along with that and --

KK: Yes.

GN: -- did not lease directly to the Japanese farmers.

KK: No, and so it, well, no, they did not. And you had to have either a older member of your family who was of age to secure, or a friend who was older, or someone who was a friend who were, who were Caucasian. And I remember that my parents had gotten the name of a Johnson Shimizu, who was the older, one of the older Japanese, and later my sister, Amy, who was older than I, who had the legal responsibility of signing for mortgages and leases and all those kinds of things.

AI: Because they were American citizens.

KK: Yes. They were citizens and of age.

GN: What is "of age," though? Is that twenty-one?

KK: Twenty-one, I think, though -- no.

GN: But many of the, but your sister wouldn't be twenty-one until '35.

KK: Well, I believe that the early, it was in the early '30s, I think, when she began to... but prior to that time it was somebody older who was twenty-one and who signed for the legal papers.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 2002 Densho. All Rights Reserved.