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-01-0029

<Begin Segment 29>

LH: If I could back up just a little bit... your husband was going to work and a lot of other men were going to work. And some men were drafted, and so it sounds like a lot of men were just gone from the camp...

FH: A lot of young people, too. Even girls, they all went out. It's just mother with children or something, older ladies and men.

LH: How did the older people in camp fare?

FH: Oh, they had their own good time, I think. By that time you get used to it, make new friends. Like... like us, we watch the children and knit or crochet all day long, 'cause you don't have to cook. When the dinner bell rings we just go. Kinda sad but kinda good, too.

LH: So, when you say dinner bell rang, where did you go?

FH: What?

LH: When you say the dinner bell rang, where did you go?

FH: Oh, we go to the mess hall.

LH: Okay, what did the mess hall look like?

FH: You get that tin can plate, go around the line just like you going into restaurant that you go down the line, put your rice on, and, smelt... nothing good. But, you eat. You can't cook in house, in a barrack. Just like having buffet dinner every night.

LH: What did the kids eat? Did they have...

FH: Kids had special, but not any smaller portion or they had, milk on the table.

LH: Was your whole family able to sit together?

FH: No. Well we did, more or less, because children were small. But others, some of 'em go to next block to eat. I think teenagers were scattered all over. At first, they were more or less a family but, as you make friends they start scattering. Older people, they ate in their own block.

LH: You mentioned that the young mothers would get together and knit, or... was that sort of the social activity, is that what young mothers in camp did?

FH: Oh yeah, we used to do things together.

LH: What sorts of things would you do?

FH: Not much. We, lot of 'em took lessons on the thing. They had hanaike and odori. I know my children took odori for little while.

LH: That would be Japanese dancing?

FH: Dancing, uh-huh.

LH: Flower arranging?

FH: Flower arranging. Uh-huh.

LH: Would you say that there was some positive things about camp? Were there some good things that you could remember about camp?

FH: I think it was a good thing for young people. They had time to leave the family and go to college, or do whatever they want. Go to school, see the country. Lot of 'em went out to even do housework.

LH: How about for you? For you personally, were there any positive effects of being in camp?

FH: I didn't even think about it, 'cause with children...

<End Segment 29> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.