Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Fumiko Hayashida Interview
Narrator: Fumiko Hayashida
Interviewers: Lori Hoshino (primary), Alice Ito (secondary)
Location: Bainbridge Island, Washington
Date: March 16, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-hfumiko-01-0012

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LH: And so, the situation at the time of Pearl Harbor is that you're married and living in the farm house together with your sister's family. And you have seven kids amongst you, and one on the way, you have one on the way, and you hear of Pearl Harbor. What did your family think about the news?

FH: Well, since, we had, they said we could move out to Moses Lake, or other side of mountain, but my husband said, "Just trust the government, children are too small, no use if we do move." And it worked out all right. Besides, my oldest brother-in-law was interned at Montana, see. He was taken like lot of other fathers. So my husband had to take care of all the kids, see.

LH: So, the FBI came to your house, and collected the oldest brother? Saburo's oldest brother?

FH: Yeah, Saburo's brother. He was Issei; he was born in Japan.

LH: Can you recall that scene for me? What happened when the FBI came to your house and...?

FH: We were all scared. And I didn't know what's going on. And I heard my sister said, "Don't take him, don't take him."

LH: Can you recall what the children were doing when the FBI were there?

FH: I don't know what we did, really. And children were young too; they didn't know what was going on. (I remember gathering the children to another room so they will not see their mother and auntie crying and resisting.)

LH: Did you have any idea where they were taking him?

FH: What?

LH: Did you have any idea where the FBI men were taking your brother-in-law?

FH: No, nobody knew.

LH: Did you have any idea of how long he would be away?

FH: No.

LH: Oh boy.

FH: We didn't know.

LH: So, your husband's there to be the head of the household for two families.

FH: Yes, so when we first went to Manzanar, there was a rumor that there's big family coming in, 'cause they're all under my husband's name. We only had one number. But then they found out, so they divided us up. We had our own barrack, and, I mean room, we were all in the same barrack but they were in separate room, just next door.

LH: I see, I see. So when you say that you had the same number, does that mean...

FH: Yeah, we all had family number, family tag.

LH: Now, were those the tags that I see attached to your clothing in the photo...

FH: Oh yeah, everything, luggage and everything had tag on them, house, home, you know, family number. I think ours was 014 or something. Was it 004, something? 'Cause Bainbridge went out first, so, I think everybody had their family number.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.