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

<Begin Segment 1>

LH: You know, you have a very unique point of view because you are from Bainbridge, and you had two kids, and you were pregnant. And, they just told you in a, less than a week.

FH: What a sad day. Scary day.

LH: Scary.

FH: 'Cause I, let's see, I was only twenty-eight, and had two children, third on the way. Don't know where you're going. I mean, you know where you're going but you don't know how long you're gonna stay. And, you wonder what happens to the home that we left. It's quite scary.

LH: Lot of questions. No answers.

FH: No answer. But we went, we have to go follow, trust the government, and, so we went without protest with just what you could carry.

LH: I can imagine though, if you're pregnant, and you're already carrying one child, how much more can you carry?

FH: That's it, diapers. [Laughs]

LH: Diapers. Lots of diapers.

FH: We had suitcase. We never travel, we had to scramble around for suitcase. I know that Saburo, my husband went and bought old tin... I remember that suitcase was kinda tin, you know, it had a steel tin.

LH: And each person, how many suitcases were they allowed to have?

FH: Pardon?

LH: How many suitcases was each person allowed to have?

FH: Yeah, what you can carry is what they said. Some carried more, but you went by. Like my sister said, children had a little rocking chair, so she says, she just thought, well she'll just bring it, you know what I mean, it went by, they got the rocking chair, children's rocking chair, at the camp.

LH: What a surprise.

FH: So, she was smart. We should've did something like that, but we...

LH: Hard to say, hard to know what to pack, I would imagine.

FH: Yeah.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 2>

LH: I was wondering if you could tell me a little bit about your family, and Alice is handing me a picture right here.

FH: Oh, those are my sisters.

LH: Are you in this photo?

FH: Yeah, I'm the youngest.

LH: Okay.

FH: And, this is my sister. My, this is Arima, Fujio, and that's me.

LH: Is Fujio the second daughter?

FH: Huh?

LH: Is she the second daughter?

FH: She's the second daughter. The oldest was sent to Japan when she was only a month old, I hear. She was raised by her aunt in Japan. And so, she thinks she had two mothers. 'Course, one mother lived in Japan, and second mother who she didn't know, 'cause... poor lady. But younger ones, we stayed with them. So all the old pictures, she is not in, 'cause my older sister's not in.

LH: And eventually, did you, were you able to reunite with her? Your oldest sister?

FH: She didn't come back 'til, I don't know, she must've been fifteen or, sometime way later. Three sisters came, and I was left behind 'cause they had a quota those days, how many you could bring back. Or come in, or something. And I came later with my uncle.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 3>

AI: Let's back up a little bit. I wanted to ask you, when were you born?

FH: When?

AI: When?

FH: 1911, Winslow, Washington. Bainbridge Island.

AI: And so, at that time when you were born, your oldest sister was in Japan, with her aunt, and you had these two older sisters?

FH: Uh-huh. But they were in States.

AI: They were in the States, and then you were born. And then, who came after you?

FH: What?

AI: Who came after you? You had another...

FH: We all went back together with my parents.

AI: When was that when you went back to Japan?

FH: Huh?

AI: When was that, that you went back to Japan?

FH: Oh, when? I heard I was a five-year-old, or something like that.

AI: And so that's when, you say you were left behind?

FH: When they were coming back. We all stayed there, oh 'bout four or five years, I guess -- 'cause, I went to school there, until third grade.

LH: Until third grade?

FH: Then came back.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 4>

LH: So when your family returned back to the United States, what was your father's livelihood? How did he make a living here?

FH: He was always a farmer, mainly.

LH: What kind of farming did he do?

FH: Well, he had, oh like radish, he managed to keep us busy all year round. Asparagus, strawberries... 'course we didn't have much to do in wintertime.

LH: Your family settled on Bainbridge Island, and what part of Bainbridge would that be, that your farm was located on?

FH: Oh, that's in nineteen, what, around twenty-two, three, around there. Not many cars, no ferry, it was an island.

LH: Where was your farm located on Bainbridge Island?

FH: Fletcher's Bay.

LH: Fletcher's Bay?

FH: Uh-huh.

LH: Okay.

FH: It's on the west side of the island. Away from Winslow where more Japanese lived.

LH: If you could remember a little bit about that farm, and describe it, what did it look like?

FH: Hilly and rocky. [Laughs]

LH: Hilly and rocky. Sounds like tough land to clear.

FH: Oh, yeah, I know, soil was not so good. I don't see why -- it's not like in a valley. Guess strawberries only thing that grows there.

LH: Well, I heard a story that, actually your father did pretty well growing strawberries, and that there was one occasion when they were thought so highly of that they were requested for a royal banquet up in Canada, for the time when...

FH: So I heard. I think it's because my father was a officer of the strawberry association, so, he got it. I think, I don't know. [Laughs]

LH: Well, it's sounds like quite an honor. Do you recall that time?

FH: Oh, yeah, I remember my dad talkin' about it. 'Course, we had the good berries, I mean the whole island berries were good. They raised Marshalls, you don't hear of it now. They were good eating, but it didn't travel because they were too soft. But if you pick it, next day is good because, spoil faster though, you can't ship it out. It didn't travel.

<End Segment 4> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 5>

LH: So, were many of the Island Japanese involved in strawberry farming?

FH: Most of it.

LH: Most of them?

FH: 'Course, there were barber, Mr. Nakata was a barber. And preacher. Ever since those days, too, Nakata, right now Nakata boys have all kinds of grocery stores, but the parents also, and the oldest brother had store. And Mrs. Nakata was a barber. They had furoba, and...

LH: Furoba?

FH: Uh-huh.

LH: Is that the Japanese bath? Ah. Was that located, in a Japanese community on Bainbridge?

FH: Winslow, Winslow.

LH: On Winslow. What other community centers were there, at the time when you were growing up?

FH: Well, there's no other city on Bainbridge Island, there's only one city, I mean town, whatcha' call.

LH: I've heard of Bainbridge Gardens, and that fact that there was a grocery store, and a filling station.

FH: On Bainbridge Island?

LH: Uh-huh.

FH: Oh, yes, they had a grocery store.

LH: Now is that another area where Japanese congregated?

FH: Not too many. Not too many. In fact, Bainbridge Garden was next land to ours, see. There were, Shibayamas had a home, Shibayamas are related to Haruis, they're brothers. But most of the farmers were in Winslow.

LH: Uh-huh.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 6>

LH: So when there were... were there occasions that the whole Japanese community got together for social events?

FH: We used to always have New Year party. I think a lot of it, just the men though, I don't think the ladies went. They just, New Year's and... these men used to dress up and go New Year, and is it -- the Emperor's Birthday? 29th or was it -- ? April -- or anyway, 29th, they all went to, dressed up, went to celebrate, I guess.

LH: So, and this was only the men that got to go celebrate?

FH: Just the men only, uh-huh.

LH: Now were there times when...

FH: Issei men. I don't think Niseis went.

LH: And were there times when the women got together for special events?

FH: Only time that we all family got together is early picnic. We used to have picnic once a year. Then the whole family goes. All dressed up. They didn't wear, girls didn't wear pants. Those days, we dressed up.

LH: Oh, can you describe what you would wear to a picnic?

FH: Well, I remember had new dress made from a neighbor, hakujin that used to sew. I still remember the dress. We wore dresses and...

LH: And, how did the boys dress?

FH: Huh?

LH: How did the boys dress?

FH: We didn't have any brother. I mean, brother, they just wear knicks, knickers, or something.

LH: So, it was sort of a special occasion to go to a picnic. What kind of foods would you eat?

FH: What?

LH: What kinds of foods would you eat at this picnic?

FH: When I'm pregnant?

LH: Oh, no, at the picnic.

FH: At the picnic. Oh, we made all kinds of gochiso. Sushi, and once-a-year sushi.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 7>

LH: Okay. It's sounds as though Bainbridge Island had a strong Japanese community. Was the Japanese community, in your opinion, any different on Bainbridge than it was in Seattle?

FH: Well, I don't know about Seattle because I didn't live there. But I know Bainbridge is close-knit, everybody's interested, including hakujin. We used to go to PTA meetings, we all went. And when I moved to Seattle, and say they were gonna have a PTA meeting, and I thought, oh it's gonna be crowded. But, no -- hardly anybody at PTA meeting, I don't know they -- I was kinda surprised. Sometimes PTA meetings, we used to go, in fact my husband and I used to go, and others, it was crowded. I think everybody, I don't know, I was surprised 'cause I expect lots of people to go, but, I went to Beacon Hill PTA meeting and was surprised.

LH: Do you feel that the Bainbridge Island parents were very supportive of their kids in school?

FH: I think so. The meeting was evening, of course city meetings were afternoon, so that made a difference too, I guess. And all the teachers were there.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 8>

LH: And when you were growing up and you were going to school yourself, you came from Japan and you entered third grade? Or you, excuse me, you went, you were in Japan until you were in third grade in Japan.

FH: Yes.

LH: And then you came over to the United States?

FH: Start from first grade again.

LH: From first grade.

FH: Uh-huh. 'Course, but they skip you along as you would -- I skipped couple times, but I was still one year behind from rest of the same age.

AI: I was wondering, was that hard for you to come back, when you first came back from Japan, did you have, did you remember your English? Was it hard for you to remember the English?

FH: We didn't speak English.

AI: So when you first came back from Japan you had to...

FH: Oh yeah, it was hard. But it was kinda fun too.

AI: Was there anyone who helped you learn your English?

FH: I remember especially one girl, Signe Tunis was her name. We were writing alphabet, and I couldn't tell the difference between "h" and "n." She told me "h", the, is higher, you know, the first stroke was higher than "n," I, and I realized, oh yeah, it is. She's still good friend of mine. She lives in West Seattle. We visit each other on the phone.

AI: Well, it sounds like it didn't take too long for you to get back to English.

FH: No, but it was a one room. First to eighth grade was only one room, so few students. But we walked about three miles. There was a borderline, we happened to be on that. There was a closer, along center, grade school, but we had to go to Manzanita. We walked, but there's (four) of us, and we just walked. Four of us, lunch everyday. [Laughs] Meet the cows and everything else. The good old days.

<End Segment 8> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 9>

LH: So, if I could bring you up a little later into your education... I was wondering how the particular ethnic groups got along in your high school. Now, did everybody, did it matter to anybody else about ethnic background when you were in high school?

FH: No, I don't remember, I don't -- we, everybody, lot of Japanese were class officer and everything else, they were mixed.

LH: It sounds like -- from what you told me before -- that you were even a class officer at one point. Can you tell me how that happened?

FH: What? What happened?

LH: That you were, you got elected to a school office at one time.

FH: I was secretary of the class in high school to sophomore year and senior year. Well, I don't know how it happened. I think class advisor probably put a plug in at, I don't know. 'Cause small class, only thirty or not many in our class. And, all Japanese had a good handwriting, and I guess she mention, secretary have to have a good handwriting so I guess, very easily influenced. I was surprised because I was sick and I didn't go to school for two, three days, and I came back and found out I was chosen secretary.

LH: You didn't even have to show up for your own election.

FH: I was the shortest and the president was the tallest. [Laughs]

LH: So, your childhood on Bainbridge Island sounds as though it was fairly happy.

FH: Oh yeah. I think it was fun.

LH: You mentioned a time in your high school class where there was discussion by one student of grades, and how, what he thought when he wasn't getting quite as good grades as maybe Japanese students were getting? Do you recall that?

FH: The Japanese students did better than some of the hakujin, yeah.

LH: Can you recall that incident for us?

FH: No. I don't think so. I didn't try, we didn't try study any more than others.

LH: Do you recall what he said to the teacher about his feelings regarding Japanese students?

FH: I don't know. No, we didn't discuss those things.

LH: Okay.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 10>

LH: Now you and your husband, well, your husband to be, you knew him all along from childhood.

FH: Oh yeah, the family were good friends.

LH: That was Saburo. That is, you had nickname, Sab?

FH: Sab. Yes. Most of 'em say, Sab.

LH: Sab. How'd he get that nickname?

FH: Huh?

LH: Do you know what that was for- what Sab was for?

FH: No, he's just Saburo, and I just took the first three letters, I guess. He was a good guy. [Laughs]

LH: Could you -- good in what way?

FH: Huh?

LH: Good in what way?

FH: He helped me a lot. He was good-lookin'. He liked to cook, I didn't. [Laughs]

LH: When you went to, after high school, you graduated, and you, and then what happened? Did you stay in Bainbridge?

FH: I went one year to Japan with my father, 'cause Mother had gone back with my two younger sister, children. And they wanted me to stay in Japan but I didn't like it so, I wanted to come back.

LH: Why did your family decide to go back to Japan?


LH: He was good-looking man, huh? You knew him since the time you were children because your families were good family friends?

FH: Yes, uh-huh.

LH: Did you start dating before you went to Japan?

FH: Where?

LH: Did you start dating Sab before you went to Japan?

FH: I dated... not too much, he's a quiet guy. Oh he wrote me couple times a letter in Japan, came back, and I saw him more. Still, he doesn't call to say, "Let's go movie," or anything -- there's one theater there on the Island, and not many places to go. But when he comes up, not in a farm clothes but dressed up, I know, oh, we're going to a movie. [Laughs]

LH: That was your signal. Now, what year was that that you came back from Japan?

FH: Thirty -- 'bout thirty-five.

LH: Thirty-five.

FH: 1935. Thirty, yeah, guess so. Thirty-four, thirty-five.

LH: How long...

FH: Got married '38.

LH: '38. At the time...

FH: Too long. [Laughs]

LH: You got married to Saburo and a sister of yours got married to --

FH: Ichiro.

LH: Another brother of Sab, the older brother of Saburo.

FH: Ichiro. Older brother, Ichiro. Ichi, ni, san.

LH: So, two brothers married two, the Nishinaka sisters. I see. Okay.

<End Segment 10> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 11>

LH: Okay, so, the two Hayashida brothers married the two Nishinaka sisters. Did you get married the same year?

FH: (No. The oldest was married, had three children.)

LH: Where did you live after you got married?

FH: Oh we lived together awhile, one house.

LH: The two families lived together in one house? Okay, where was that?

FH: Island center, Bainbridge Island. House is still there.

LH: Now, was this Hayashida property that you lived on?

FH: Uh-huh.

LH: Okay.

FH: We had fifty acres other part of the Island, no home there.

LH: Were you also farming strawberries here?

FH: Uh-huh.

LH: Okay. When did the kids come along? Let's see, you had...

FH: I had two. They were small.

LH: The first was Neal?

FH: Uh-huh.

LH: And then, Natalie?

FH: Yeah.

LH: And then your sister and brother-in-law, how many children were in their family?

FH: Let me see, Tommy, five, five.

LH: Five? So, in one household, you had...

FH: Yeah. The youngest, what, she had 'nother child after she (my sister) came back.

LH: It looks like you had seven children in one household.

FH: Uh-huh. Lots of fun.

<End Segment 11> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 12>

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.

<Begin Segment 13>

LH: It sounds like from the time Pearl Harbor happened, if I could back up to right after you heard the news about Pearl Harbor, how were racial relations on Bainbridge Island affected at the time? Was it a little, can you tell me if there was tension between the Japanese community and other people on Bainbridge?

FH: Well, out in the country, you live a half a mile away from your neighbor, anyway. They all said they were sorry to see us go. But being the Island, they were, Mr., like Mr. Woodward were working for us, but there was some people that don't know the Japanese, they didn't have any of us. I never met them but, there were some people that were glad to see us go. But, as average, I (had good) like, school friends. I heard some of the football players cried when they saw their friends go.

LH: So you mentioned the Woodwards. And that would be Walt and Millie Woodward, that published the Bainbridge Review?

FH: Yes, Mr. Woodward.

LH: And, can you tell me about them? Can you tell me what you remember about them?

FH: Real kind man. I did see him, this last teriyaki dinner I saw him. Mrs. Woodward, her name is Millie, Mrs. Woodward died, but Mr. Woodward still living. He got school named after him.

LH: During the time of your evacuation, were they very supportive of the Japanese?

FH: Graduation?

LH: Of the time when the evacuation happened?

FH: Oh, evacuation.

LH: How did the Woodwards support the Japanese?

FH: Well, he was a writer so, newspaper article, support but... I guess it's a support, sure. He was against the evacuation. But, don't know... it's a war, he had to say what the government say. I think, like, we were worried because our house was insured for home insurance. He said that, it was my husband's friend Mr. Tyskol, he was... I forget the insurance company but, I guess he came from headquarters to cancel Japanese house insurance because there may be fire or something damaged. So we weren't insured for a while. That kinda scared us.

LH: Now, did you hear any rumors that there might be threats of fire or damage to your property?

FH: Some damage. The insurance company didn't, kinda risk I guess.

LH: Do you know of any actual incidents of damage?

FH: Nothing actual, no, no.

<End Segment 13> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 14>

LH: Did you and your family feel fairly safe from that kind of a threat?

FH: Oh yes, we didn't experience anything. In fact, friends will come and see him and he says, "Don't worry, you're a citizen, they can't take you!" And next day there's this rumor that we all have to go, it just kept going. And there was a policeman that my husband knew. He says, "Oh, no way you, Sab, you gotta, you can't go, they can't take you." He worked out in the field 'til the, because flowers were already blooming for the berries, just before the crop. It's too bad, I mean folks worked so hard.

LH: So, the strawberry crop, your family continued to work on, out in the fields?

FH: Oh, sure.

LH: Just like normal? And your crop was just about to come in?

FH: Yeah.

LH: And that's when you got word.

FH: They were starting to bloom, flowers.

<End Segment 14> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 15>

LH: And so then you got word that you would have to evacuate?

FH: We had to, yeah. So we left everything. We had a lot of Filipino men working for us. One of the oldest that worked, we gave power of attorney to him and took care of it.

LH: What did you think of the amount of time that they gave you to leave? About one week.

FH: That's when we really have to start thinking and packing. And they had places -- Japanese community hall. You could bring your washing, washing machine, and, you know those big item. They promised they'll store it there for duration. So we brought our, everything over there.

LH: Now, I've heard of other Japanese having to sell a lot of belongings at a loss. Was that the situation with you and your family?

FH: I don't know like in... country. I heard that was happening in Seattle. We didn't sell anything. We stored it.

LH: When you were packing up your household, you were taking the bigger items down to the storage facility. Then, you were pregnant at the time, and how did you decide, amongst everything in your house, what you would take with you?

FH: We left most of the things except those big items. I guess we store the good dishes that - there was a (Smith) family, we left it there. Uh-huh.

LH: When you were deciding what to take and what to carry, how did you choose what to take?

FH: Well, we... dressed the best we can because you... can't pack 'em. I don't know, we didn't have much anyway. I know we bought a lot of sheets and beddings (to bring to camp). But old thing, we didn't bother. (Good dishes to Mr. Smith.)

AI: I was just wondering... now, this would be, this was early 1942, wasn't it?

FH: Uh-huh.

AI: Do you recall what month it was that you were gonna have to leave?

FH: Oh yes, I guess we had about a month.

LH: Was that, what month was that that you were leaving?

FH: What?

AI: What month was it that you left?

FH: Oh, we left end of... March. We landed, we went on a train. (Reached Manzanar April 15th.)

<End Segment 15> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 16>

AI: Oh, excuse me. Before you tell us about, about when you actually left, tell me about your kids. How old were they, then? In early '42?

FH: My kids were...

AI: How old was Neal?

FH: Neal was only... three? And Nat was eleven months.

AI: And, when was your next child due? When were you expecting your next child?

FH: August, uh-huh, I just found out that I was. They were all young, and all in diapers. Maybe it was good that they were small.

LH: And why do you say that?

FH: Huh?

LH: Why do you say that?

FH: Well, easier to handle. [Laughs]

AI: And how did you decide, what did you decide to take for them? Here you have a three-year-old...

FH: We decided, like my sisters, they were older so they were allowed to take just one toy that they liked most. But my kids were smaller but, they just took one toy. They couldn't take anymore.

LH: Now, when you decided to... excuse me. When you came to that last day of evacuation, the day of the evacuation and you had to leave the farmhouse, do you recall any feelings that you would think of when you think of that time? Do you recall the feeling of leaving the farm...

FH: I think the army truck came and picked us up. I just don't, I think they -- must've took us to the dock. But it was a sad day. You had the dog, and the horses, and, you didn't know -- we just left it up to the Filipino mens to take care.

LH: Was it worrisome not knowing if you'd ever see the place again?

FH: You wonders, yeah. 'Cause we don't know how long we's gonna be there.

LH: And how did you feel about being pregnant and not knowing where your son, where your child would be born?

FH: Sad, worry more than anything else. We had to keep the family together, so, uh-huh.

<End Segment 16> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 17>

LH: So your two households packed up in the army truck and headed down towards the ferry dock. Can you recall that, the scene at the ferry dock for me?

FH: Oh yes. We see all our friends. Everybody looking sad and, oh, they're all bunched up in family.

LH: When did they issue the tags that were attached to the clothes? Was that at the ferry dock?

FH: No, no, no. My friend, you know they go to the meetings, and guess they got it then. That was there.

LH: Did you feel like it was an organized group at the ferry dock?

FH: I think so. Yes, uh-huh.

LH: Do you feel that it was under control because -- or, the people organizing this evacuation had it well under control?

FH: Uh-huh, I think so. Maybe now, I think those days Niseis, and, I mean Isseis especially, they were real orderly, we didn't, we weren't allowed to go... I know, like my husband, the menfolks I guess were more hurt than we were because we just tagged along, I think.

LH: In what way were they, the men hurt?

FH: Well, they had more responsibility. Feel sorry for them.

LH: And do you recall seeing the military police, the MPs at the dock?

FH: What?

LH: Do you recall seeing the military police at the dock?

FH: Oh yeah.

LH: The soldiers?

FH: They had guns with the spears. Uh-huh. Some like, we were busy with children, but some of those older children they would talk to them. They were polite. Then they all went on the train with us and all the way to Manzanar.

<End Segment 17> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 18>

LH: And before we get to that, there's a very well-known photo that was taken of you and your daughter Natalie, at the ferry dock as you're preparing to get on the ferry and leave Bainbridge Island.

FH: I think that's when we were waiting to be, go on the boat, I guess. But I didn't know it was taken. I didn't know there was newsmen over there.

LH: What I notice about the photo though, is that you have a look on your face as though you're thinking about something.

FH: Oh sure. Lot to think about, pregnant and don't know where you're going. I mean, you don't know Manzanar. We say Manzanar, but we heard it was a Death Valley with scorpions and rattlesnake, and oh... and they say -- now if your baby that's born in Manzanar can't get a citizenship -- all kinds of rumor you hear. It scares you. You don't know your future.

LH: So even before you were at the ferry, you had some idea that you might be going to California?

FH: Oh yeah, we knew we were going.

LH: You had heard, you knew. I see

FH: We knew it was California. We should've went to Seattle.

LH: Can you tell me a little bit about the items -- excuse me for backtracking a little bit but, could you tell me a little bit about the items that you had your daughter carry? I see that there's a teddy bear in that photo, and you had mentioned to me earlier about the coat that she was wearing.

FH: I remember that coat. It was (maroon). Hat was (maroon).

LH: You're dressed in your very best. You have an overcoat, and a very nice hat, and a purse...

FH: (Gray coat and hat, black purse) I suppose I might have came home with the same clothes, I don't know. I could remember when I -- the dresses and jacket I had when I was going to grade school. 'Cause we only had one, and one and orders to Sears Roebuck, catalogue. It's not us alone, it was... hakujin, everybody was like that. Except there's, I know there's one, when we were going to grade school, there were one hakujin girl that, his father was a dentist, a doctor anyway. Every dress she had she had panty to match. Used to... amazed at. We didn't even have things like that. Nobody wore pants, though see, but girls wear dress, the boys wear... knickers I guess, the kind that has the buckles on the bottom. We didn't wear jeans either.

LH: So, when you decided to take, to pack up the kids, did you have them dressing for Seattle weather, or Bainbridge weather in March? I imagine it would be a little bit cool.

FH: I guess you just wear sweater if your top was cold.

<End Segment 18> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 19>

LH: Let's see. When you're leaving and getting on the ferry boat, from Bainbridge, and you're on the ferry, and not knowing exactly where you're going, can you recall that ferry boat ride, what it felt like at the time?

FH: It was a little boat. It wasn't a ferry boat; it was a passenger boat that ran special for us from different dock, to Seattle dock. And there was train waiting for us there all ready, so we just go on the ferry, and after we got off we had marching onto the train, right at the -- right near the terminal.


LH: Fumi, I'd like to back up a little bit and ask you about your thoughts as you were on the ferry, and the ferry was leaving the Bainbridge dock. If you had, did you have any thoughts at that time, in particular about leaving?

FH: Well, I guess, no time. Just worried, that's all. At least we were all together.

LH: Were you able to be together with your sisters' families?

FH: Yes, they was all on the same boat.

LH: I see.

FH: Except, I have a sister in Seattle. And she was married and living in Seattle so she was still...

LH: So when you arrived in Seattle, and your Bainbridge group was supposed to go onto some trains, your sister in Seattle didn't have to go at that time.

FH: No.

LH: They, the Seattle group left later, is that correct? The Seattle group left at a different time.

FH: Oh, there was lots of Seattle people on the viaduct. Watching us.

LH: Is that right?

FH: Well I didn't think it's all Japanese but, lots of people there. The boat, the train came right near the ferry terminal. We went directly to the train and we were put in according to our numbers.

<End Segment 19> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 20>

LH: Now, you told me an interesting story about your nephew. As you were getting on the train, and you told me that the nephew was given something by the MPs? What did the MPs give to your nephew?

FH: What was that?

LH: Oh, can you recall the time when you were getting on the train, and, you told me an interesting story about your nephew. There's a photo I've seen of him, and he's waving outside the window.

FH: Oh, waving the flag? Yeah, I think it must have been a newspaperman, or somebody gave him a flag to wave. We didn't bring it with us. We didn't have those things. And we didn't know the picture was taken until we saw it printed. Well, children thought it was kinda exciting riding a train for the first time. But after we start going we had to put the shade down so we couldn't see anything -- on the train.

LH: You pulled the window shades down so it was just dark inside.

FH: To Manzanar.

LH: I see.

FH: We were really careful. I don't know, we were prisoners.

LH: How long was that train ride to Manzanar?

FH: We reached there about noon, next day, April first.

LH: April first, April Fool's Day.

FH: April Fool's Day. We wanted to see that -- that year I think it was that -- Tacoma bridge swayed and fell. We see in the newspaper but we didn't see it. I heard someone saying, he gonna try and to peek out and see the bridge, but the shade was supposed to be down. I don't remember seeing it.

LH: How did you manage to keep your children entertained on this train ride?

FH: Well, they were too young. You could still handle them. I don't know what I did with the diapers. That's always, still wonder how I did it. [Laughs]

<End Segment 20> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 21>

LH: So you arrived at Manzanar on April first. Were you taken straight away to your quarters? To your barracks?

FH: Oh yes, uh-huh. I don't know if you walked or... I'm sure we must have walked to our barrack. I'm not sure. There were a lot of Japanese there all ready, working on the, volunteers working on the barracks. But they were still building them.

LH: Was the section that was set aside for Bainbridge Island people all ready? Was that done?

FH: Well, for that, far as the roof goes. But after we moved they, we move into empty barrack, I think they had give us straw and cots, there're cots there. Gee, I don't know.

LH: Now, what was the straw for?

FH: Hmm?

LH: What was the straw for?

FH: For the mattress. We didn't have no mattress until...

LH: Can you describe for me the inside of your barracks?

FH: We brought, I think we brought sheets. They sure didn't give it to us.

LH: So there was no bedding that they...

FH: Cot.

LH: I see. Okay. And, what were the other furnishings in the room?

FH: Then they got a mattress, thin mattress later, I guess. I don't know. Just, I can't remember, I guess I just can't say.

LH: Because you were pregnant at the time, were there any special considerations given to you because you were a pregnant woman?

FH: Yes, they said I could stay until the baby comes, if I want to stay in Seattle.

LH: Oh, really?

FH: But I wanted to be with the family. So I refused.

LH: Do you mean that only you could have stayed, and not your husband or your children?

FH: Just me. So I chose to go with the family.

LH: I see. It's quite an undertaking while you're pregnant.

FH: Yeah, I don't know. I wasn't scared. Just more concerned about the family than, I think. They asked me if I want to stay.

<End Segment 21> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 22>

LH: Now, so you decided to go to Manzanar with your family. What was your typical day like at Manzanar, from the time you get up in the morning...

FH: Just taking care of the kids, nothing much. My husband helped me a lot. He did all the washing. So made it nice.

LH: Now, when you were -- there must have been a lot of wash, with all the kids.

FH: Oh yeah. Lot of wash. Nice weather, it dries right away. Nice and hot.

AI: Speaking of the laundry, can you remember what the laundry room looked like?

FH: Oh yeah, there were lot of laundry trays on both end.

AI: No washing machines.

FH: No washing machine. No.

AI: Were Neal and Natalie both still in diapers?

FH: Oh yes.

AI: Both of 'em still in diapers.

FH: They issued a bucket, and soap and everything. The heavy bucket, the bucket alone was heavy. Wish we had plastic, those days. [Laughs]

LH: So if you had to have your kids wash hands, there was no running water in your own barracks?

FH: No, no. No water.

AI: No water, no toilet.

FH: You had to go to the latrine, yeah.

LH: Well I imagine that's a lot of trips to the latrine in one day.

FH: Well, you know ham, five-pound ham can? My husband made a little toilet seat for the kids. Used the ham can for the...

AI: To keep in your room?

FH: Yeah, then we had it in room.

AI: Is that what you used to, for toilet training for Neal?

FH: Uh-huh, yeah, for the kids.

AI: So you taught Neal how to do toilet training in the ham can.

FH: Yeah, we had to go to the latrine to empty it out.

LH: It's quite inventive.

FH: We had to make all the chairs, if you want chair, go get a box, empty box. There was only cot in the room, nothing else.

LH: Where did the materials come from to make these things? Where did you get, where did you find materials for those?

FH: Oh, there were... lumberyard. Some work at the, we must've had a place to get the, lumber, I don't know.

LH: Your family was trying to make do and make the best of the situation.

FH: Uh-huh.

LH: I see.

<End Segment 22> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 23>

LH: You know, since you were pregnant at the time, how did the camp care for you? Were there facilities for your health care while you were pregnant?

FH: No, yeah, we managed. We had to do our own business. We never had a housekeeper, anyway. I think children... we just -- day at a time. I don't regret it, somehow we survived. We survived, children survived. I wish nothing like this would happen to anybody, though. And Densho, and others that working I think it's good to bring it up so the other Americans don't have to ever, ever, ever evacuate.


AI: Just before the break, we were talking a little bit about how little the kids were, and how you were expecting. Just wondering, what kind of, if there was any kinda health clinic for you and for other mothers, and other women who were expecting?

FH: When I went to the clinic for the first time, I thought I might be -- there was another lady that was pregnant, Bainbridge girl. I thought us, not too many but we were in a long line there when we went to the clinic. I thought, Whew! They have a certain day for mother-to-be, so you could... it was a, clinic was in tent their first time.

AI: It was a tent?

FH: It was a tent, yeah.

LH: Was that sort of an army tent? An army tent?

FH: Yeah, army. It's a big tent, uh-huh. By the time they had hospital half built - it was not big but, something like barrack only it was white.

LH: When the time came for you to give birth to your child, was that the building that you went to?

FH: Uh-huh.

LH: Was that anywhere near your barracks?

FH: Still a cot.

LH: Was it very close to get to there?

FH: It was cleaner, yeah. White.

AI: So the hospital was, they called it a hospital but really it was like another barrack. A little cleaner.

FH: Really another clean barrack, clean barrack.

LH: What, did it have a doctor, and a nursing staff?

FH: Yes. They had doctor, and a lot of volunteers for nurses aide. Evacuees. I know some girls that helped. I think a few nurses. You didn't see too many hakujin. I think head doctor wasn't hakujin, anyway. Mostly...

AI: Were you sick at all while you were expecting? Did you have any kind of morning sickness, or have any kinda problem like that?

FH: No, they had ambulance if you need 'em they...

AI: But you never did.

FH: I was pretty healthy I guess.

<End Segment 23> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 24>

AI: And you were saying that you were expecting in August, that you were due in August. Is that when your baby came?

FH: Uh-huh. August fifteenth.

AI: Tell me, what was that was like? When did you go into the hospital?

FH: Well, I had a false alarm couple of days before. And rushed there, they brought me back again, 'cause it's midnight, I had to go back, middle of the night. Then, got stopped by sentry for once.

AI: In the middle of the night? You were walking?

FH: No, no we called the ambulance. Well, I don't know how we did that. I guess you go to block manager and have them report it to them. Every block had manager. In case of emergency.

LH: Were you saying that on your way to the hospital you got stopped by a sentry?

FH: Uh-huh. We were on the ambulance too, or was it army truck or something.

LH: This was the time you were in labor? Oh boy.

FH: We made it. [Laughs]

LH: So your baby was born safely in the hospital?

FH: Oh yeah.

LH: That would have been Leonard?

FH: Yeah.

LH: Son Leonard? Okay.

FH: I don't know how many days I stayed there, I was anxious to come home 'cause I wanted to see the rest of the kids.

AI: Yeah, at that time Natalie was still only, what, maybe a year and a half?

FH: Yeah, yeah. My children are just one year apart. Just about. Yeah, I thought, God, when am I gonna stop? But, I had a hysterectomy -- I think it was in Manzanar.

AI: Oh really?

FH: Uh-huh.

AI: Well, how did that happen?

FH: Yeah, I think so. Huh?

AI: How did that happen? Were you feeling sick?

FH: Tumor.

LH: And, how did it go? Did you have a good, a safe recovery?

FH: Yes. I forget the doctor's name. He was from California. Spoke so loud.

AI: That must have been scary.

FH: I stayed about a week. Had operation there.

LH: Was that just after you gave birth, or was it a little later?

FH: Yeah.

LH: Was it later?

FH: Yeah. Checkup.

<End Segment 24> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 25>

LH: So you had, your family must have been happy to have Leonard join the family?

FH: Oh yeah. Little boy.

LH: Little boy. You've shown me a picture of his hundredth-day photo. And that's sort of a Japanese tradition, where...

FH: Yeah, we used. I think they usually take the baby picture when they're hundred day old.

LH: But how can you take a hundredth day picture, how could you?

FH: Well, not exactly hundred. But, you know.

LH: Yeah, I, I thought that cameras weren't allowed in the camps, so -- how could you take a picture?

FH: Because my, a girl that lived in -- Nishimoris, the next barrack -- she got married to a California boy who was volunteering to build the barrack when we first came. Became friend right away and she was married to him, and was allowed to bring, have the photographer, from Lone Pine, (to) take the wedding picture. She offered to save one picture for us, to take Leonard, 'cause he never had his picture taken. So, lucky. Just had one picture taken.

LH: It was a nice photo.

FH: Uh-huh. And it turned out nice, too. We went to canteen to buy his shoes, I remember. The outfit he got for, as a baby gift from someone.

LH: That was a nice memory.

FH: Yeah, I was real happy.

<End Segment 25> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 26>

AI: Now, I remember you were saying something at another time, about how with your other babies you were breast feeding them for a long time. Is that what you were planning to do with Leonard?

FH: Oh yes, but I dried up right away.

AI: And so then what did you do?

FH: So, we went to a doctor in clinic and asked for baby's milk. See, we didn't have any icebox or anything. They suggested giving him powdered milk, or SMA, that has vitamin in it or already mixed so we just had to mix it with hot water. He grew up on that. That was better than fresh milk. They didn't have these, nothing but raw milk those days. And with no icebox, we couldn't bring it home. So it was a powder SMA milk.

LH: So, where did you get all the baby equipment? The bottles, and everything you needed?

FH: Oh, they issued it.

AI: Were you able to sterilize the bottles? Because you didn't have any kitchen in your, you didn't have any sink for...

FH: No, we didn't. But we weren't so particular, I guess. We just washed it with the hot water. That we had to bring to the laundry room to do that.

AI: Oh, so you had these bottles and you had to, then the diapers, and you had to go the laundry room...

FH: Same laundry room.

AI: Did you ever have any problems with Leonard or the other kids being sick while you were there?

FH: Huh?

AI: Did you have problems with Leonard or the other kids getting sick while you were there?

FH: Yeah, luckily we survived. I don't remember. Only my daughter used to get high fever every time she get a new tooth. With the tooth, we found out that that was the cause of it. I remember one time, a sandstorm we had to, my husband carry her to the doctor because she has high temperature. But it was only, she was getting a new teeth. Other than that, as a whole they were quite healthy. Luckily.

LH: This would have been, Leonard was born in August of 1942, and you were in Manzanar for a few months after that, excuse me, half a year after that, perhaps. During that time, there seemed to be some trouble brewing down at Manzanar, and did, were you aware of any problems at the time? Of tension between the residents of the camp and the administration? Did you know anything about that?

FH: No, I don't. We got along. Yes.

LH: Did you hear anything about problems, or rumors?

FH: No, probably, some may have, but -- when you're raising children, you stay within your own block. No time for visiting, I didn't. I think young people had good time. Made more new friends.

LH: So your time was pretty full.

FH: Too busy.

<End Segment 26> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 27>

LH: Okay. In February, of the next year, the group from Bainbridge Island was transferred from Manzanar up to Minidoka, Idaho. Do you know a reason behind that?

FH: That was just a volunteer you know, you don't have to. We went to Minidoka 'cause my sister was in Minidoka. She had, her husband was detained and she was all by herself with, well she had about five children. So we figured we'd better be together with her, help her. So we decided to move to Minidoka. There was some friends there too, Seattleites. Manzanar was all California people. Although they're nice people too -- camp was nicer because it was established, I understand, they were putting running water in the garden, everything like that.

AI: Now I understand that, this was about a year later and still some of the husbands were, had been, who had been taken away, they were still separated? Is that right?

FH: Most of 'em came back.

AI: Some of them didn't?

FH: But, like Arima -- that's my sister -- soon as we moved then, (he) was the editor of newspaper. You know Arima? Seattle newspaper -- Hokubei?

AI: Hokubei?

FH: Yeah. He was detained out in Crystal City, Texas. I guess that was really a prisoner for the, I heard some people from Peru, South America was there, and it was just like Japan. They learn Japanese.

LH: Was he allowed, was that particular person allowed to join families at the relocation camps?

FH: Yes, my sister took her family to join him, Crystal City.

LH: I see.

FH: That's where James Arima was born.

LH: I see.

FH: Uh-huh. James, yeah, he was born. We used to call him "Texan."

LH: In your opinion you thought that Minidoka had a little bit better facilities -- it was already 'established'?

FH: Uh-huh. Manzanar was.

LH: Manzanar was?

FH: Uh-huh. But Minidoka was -- I guess Manzanar was too hot, but Minidoka was too cold. [Laughs]

LH: Were you prepared for that?

FH: We knew it but not that bad.

<End Segment 27> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 28>

LH: And at this time, what was your husband doing when, when you finally arrived at Minidoka? What was your husband doing?

FH: He went out to pick apples. 'Cause he was at the borderline, whether be drafted or -- is that thirty-three? Until you're thirty-three, or something? Oh, anyway -- they didn't go to pick potatoes but, I don't know, the menfolks went out to work, somewhere. Picking potato, or sugar beets, or...

LH: When you say that they went out the work, does that mean that they came home the same day?

FH; No, no, no, they had to stay at -- oh, I guess. My husband did stay out.

LH: So there was a separation?

FH: He'd come home once a week or so.

LH: I see. How did you keep in touch?

FH: When he went to Idaho to work sawmill, he wrote letters.

LH: Was there ever a time when you and your husband talked about the loyalty question that was, that people had to sign? And it was a questionnaire where, there was a particular question, 27 and 28, that people termed the "loyalty question"?

FH: Oh yes, I remember that.

LH: Do you remember, do you recall talking to your husband about that?

FH: That's "yes-no," huh?

LH: Right.

FH: I was surprised some of 'em did say "no." You're in prison already.

LH: What did your husband, do you recall anything that your husband said about that?

FH: I don't know what he wrote but, he must have said "yes" or otherwise, he'd be gone. [Laughs]

LH: Did you also have to sign the "loyalty question"?

FH: I remember seeing them. I think so... I remember seeing the form.

LH: In any case, how would you have answered? How did you, or how would you answer the questions, then?

FH: I think I'd answer for U.S. What can you say?

LH: Do you have any opinion about people that answered "no-no"?

FH; No. That's their business. I didn't think there was too many. I was surprised, so and so. I don't, nobody that I know of. But not too many, I don't think.

<End Segment 28> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<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.

<Begin Segment 30>

LH: You told me that, while you were at camp that your high school teacher paid you a visit.

FH: Oh yes, Miss Biggs.

LH: Miss Biggs.

FH: Uh-huh.

LH: So she came all the way out by herself?

FH: All by herself. Uh-huh.

LH: And where did she stay?

FH: She stayed in the same barrack, same room with us.

LH: That was allowed by the administration? If visitors could come there, then you could stay...

FH: I think so, uh-huh.

LH: I see.

FH: That's what she wanted. She could've gone out to -- I guess she, I don't know if she came on a car, or how she traveled. But she came to see my baby, Leonard, brought the baby gift. And see the rest of the school kids. She only taught, I think geometry, just for the beginners so, I don't know if she knew too many upperclassmen, but sophomore class. I think she was, sophomore we took geometry under her. It was about geometry, she was a math teacher. Very strict teacher, too.

LH: Do you know why she came out to see you?

FH: Uh-huh.

LH: Was it because of, was she making a social call because you'd had a baby?

FH: Oh yeah, we used to write to each other. And before we came she, oh, after we went back, she had invited us to dinner. She was nice. And there were other girls that... [Inaudible] She was nice teacher. She never got married and... so, can't do anything for her. She had to eat mess meal too, because no party or anything, she went to the same mess hall, just like Reverend Andrews did that too, when he came to visit.

<End Segment 30> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 31>

LH: And, what can you recall about Reverend Andrews' visits?

FH: We just tell him that, "Report to them that there's one more mouth to feed." [Laughs]

LH: And Reverend Andrews, can you tell me a little bit about him?

FH: Yeah, he came, and there was a Felex Narte, that was a Filipino that was running the farm for my sister, he came too to see. And we had company from Idaho coming to see us, too.

LH: You had a lot of visitors.

FH: Pocatello.

LH: Did they all stay with you?

FH: Like from Idaho, they went home that day. They didn't stay. They bring us something to eat. [Laughs] We liked that.

LH: Now, what was the reason that Reverend Andrews came to visit you?

FH: Well, there was, there were lotta Baptist people. Come visit the Baptist Church (members).

LH: And when Reverend Andrews would visit, would he conduct a service for all the Baptist people?

FH: Oh yeah, kids all went.

<End Segment 31> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 32>

LH: Let's see... now, your husband was able to come back from time to time?

FH: Yes.

LH: So, how long were you saying -- perhaps once a week he would come back?

FH: Oh yes, sometime not that often.

LH: Okay. When the time came for you to leave the camps, was he there, was he at the camp or was he away?

FH: No, we knew just when we were leaving. So, by that time he was back.

LH: I see. And, when was that that you found out you could leave the camps?

FH: Well, they want it closed, they have deadline for it, camp to be... so we, my brother-in-law went back first to Bainbridge and clean up the house because; and then when he was ready, we, we just went back.

LH: Was there any reluctance to leave the camp?

FH: No. No.

LH: Were you anxious to get back?

FH: Glad to get back. And they were worried too, how things were, but I know, we weren't worried because my brother in law went back first and cleaned the house and burnt everything that wasn't ours and... fact, we wondered -- the house is a mess but everything was there.

LH: Now, when you were leaving the camp, were you given any sort of compensation by the administration? Did they give you any travel money?

FH: Yeah, travel. They must've got a travel money, yeah.

LH: What were you allowed to take with you from camp?

FH: Oh, anything you want to. But there's a limit, of course. I don't know. We didn't bring the crib back... when Leonard was born, Bainbridge boys got together and made a crib for him, and brought it to us with a ribbon. (Sorry we've part with it.)

LH: How nice.

FH: And we used that in the barrack. I wanted... we kinda wanted to bring it home but, it was all wood and I don't know. My husband said, Oh we could always buy another one. Too much trouble packing and, we left it.

LH: Do you recall about when this was?

FH: Huh?

LH: Do you recall about when you left camp?

FH: Yeah we, we left, we didn't leave, I think my other sister went home before we did.

LH: Do you recall what month and year?

FH: Well just a few days difference, I think. We came back Leonard's, we left the camp on Leonard's birthday, August, August 15th, that's about time the war ended too, in't?

LH: Do you recall the year that you left?

FH: I think so.

LH: Was that 1940...

FH: '45?

LH: '45? And so you returned to Bainbridge by train again?

FH: Yes.

LH: So, you came from Idaho to Seattle, and boarded a ferry?

FH: Uh-huh.

LH: Now, what kind of feelings does that give you when you think of that time?

FH: Well, anxious to be home.

LH: Yeah. When the ferry is approaching Bainbridge Island, the Bainbridge Island dock, what kind of feelings did you have about that?

FH: Glad to be home. And, seem like time went fast. We didn't, feels like we didn't stay there that long. You know. Everything was same except, 'course everything was outgrown, and my gardens were all... used to like flowers and we had garden but, not only that, strawberry fields was full of weed and...

LH: What happened to the animals? The horses and the hunting dog?

FH: Oh, the barn horse, we only had one left, one left. We, it's funny by that time, oh we had tractor before, but he, when my husband they bought one more, new one, my sister and I said, we got tired of chasing the horse. 'Cause she was a smart horse, you know, used to run around, get loose and we had to go catch him. And we had to bring the water to her every day, we decided, well we end up doing, the menfolk said we could sell the horse if we want to. So we decide we were going to sell it, so we sold it, and bought a drape for the house. [Laughs]

<End Segment 32> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 33>

LH: Well, what was the atmosphere like on Bainbridge when you returned?

FH: Well we were kind of leery, it was September when the school just start. My sister and I went to the high school, see the principal. We walked there, because, and asked if it was, how things were. They welcomed us, and just told the kids to come, and send them out, they were glad to see us, so, we were glad. Children went back to school, went to school, and no problem. They made friends right away, and, uh-huh. The bus stopped for us, right by the door, not door, but near the road, you know. Yeah, everything went well.

LH: Did things go so well for, as well for your neighbors, your other Japanese neighbors?

FH: Oh yeah. But gee, lot of neighbors like Japanese, they didn't own the house, they just renting it, so some of 'em couldn't come back. We had the land and house so it was easy for us to come back.

LH: Did, how do you think the Japanese community did as far as rebuilding right after the war? Did they do okay?

FH: It changed. Uh-huh.

LH: It changed?

FH: It changed, 'cause, not very many farmers and older people, they figure it's too late to start all over again.

LH: So how did the community change?

FH: There were lot of new people. And... not many farmers. It changed.


<End Segment 33> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 34>

LH: Okay. You and your family moved back to Bainbridge Island and tried to work the land again. That was at your farm.

FH: Uh-huh.

LH: And, the farm was in a, not in the condition that you left it. What did your family do?

FH: Well they rented a place out in Mount Vernon, Conway, and start a farm there. But, the strawberry you could only pick in the second year, you can't pick berries second year. Plant was good, real nice plants, but it didn't bear enough fruits. Whether they put too much fertilizer -- the ground is different from Bainbridge, you know -- or they planted the wrong kind of strawberry. It was not a very good crop. All that work was, they lost, lost the crop, and they just stayed there and moved back to Island, then quit.

LH: If I could ask you about what happened right before that. So, your family tried to move back to Bainbridge and farm that land. And how long did they stay there before they moved to Mount Vernon?

FH: Oh I think they must have, we stayed two years I think.

LH: Two years on Bainbridge?

FH: Uh-huh. We tried...

LH: And then you, and then you tried...

FH: And we moved.

LH: Did your whole family move to Mount Vernon?

FH: No. No, we still, us women, we stayed at the house. Just the menfolks went.

LH: Okay. So how did you communicate with your husband in Mount Vernon?

FH: We wrote letter, or telephone, that's all. 'Cause we were busy with children.

LH: I see.

<End Segment 34> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 35>

LH: So, if I remember correctly, earlier in this interview you were saying that, back, right before the evacuation happened that you were busy getting the crops in. And and it was just getting ready to, the crop was just getting ready to come in, and then you were taken away to the internment camp.

FH: Uh-huh.

LH: And then when you returned, you were working on that same farm, trying to get it back to producing, and that's another two years. And, and so your family moved on to Mount Vernon and worked that land, even another two years.

FH: So, it was sad. Feel sorry for the menfolks.

LH: How did they, how did the men in your family cope with that?

FH: Oh, tough for him, I guess. First time we saw him crying.

LH: It was, would you say that that was sort of the final straw?

FH: So, so he applied at work at the Boeings. And he got job at the Boeings, and commuted from Bainbridge to Seattle one year. But he decided, by that time my children were getting older so, too many in the house so we had to, so we came here, stay here. And he commuted to, and he worked at Boeing for twenty-one years. He never worked for anyone else so, he was afraid he might get fired or, that Boeing was going on strike off and on, too.

LH: The Mount Vernon farming experience was, after that he just decided to give up strawberry farming altogether and move to Boeing?

FH: Just as well, he was getting older, too. It was quite a loss. Had to buy trucks, and tractors, and there's lot of equipments.

LH: What happened to that farm land on Bainbridge?

FH: We're selling it now. I mean we, we got fifty acres, we cut it into one acre lot, and almost, goes faster than we thought. I thought, "Gee I won't see it." But, thanks to them we had land so, it selling, it going pretty fast. I think we have about one or two lots left.

LH: So, is this, are you selling them as housing lots?

FH: Huh?

LH: Is it for housing? You're selling these lots?

FH: Yeah, probably homes.

LH: I see.

FH: There's a lot of homes up there now.

LH: So, how many strawberry farms are left on Bainbridge?

FH: I think there's only, Japanese, there's only one left... Suyematsu, Akio. I think he's the only one left now. Not many acres there but -- I don't know what kind of berries he plants but he still have the farm. There's some small farmers and Filipino left, but, I don't know. Not enough to open a cannery or anything.

<End Segment 35> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 36>

LH: So, your husband decided to change careers and you moved your whole household over to Seattle, kids and all. And then, in the meantime, what happened to your family members in Japan? You know, after the war, you were able to re-establish contact with your relatives in Japan? And your parents?

FH: Uh-huh.

LH: And how did they do during the war?

FH: My folks?

LH: Uh-huh.

FH: Well they went to Japan to retire so, it must be doing all right, I don't know. They had some, I don't know if it was acreage or some lot, and my brother's son and my sister got the land. So my brother's son built the big house, and using the other space for the parking lot. He's making good money.

LH: So, they're still there.

FH: They're still there. My sister lives in the house right next, it's one lot. She has, she's living with her oldest son's family. But, I think they're doing all right. But when we signed the paper, we thought they were gonna half-half the land you know, but my brother's son got lot more than my sister. I guess that's the way it goes in Japan. 'Cause we asked her, "Why didn't you contest it?" you know, she said, "Well, that's the way it goes." Oldest son gets most of it. But she says, she's got more than other Japanese so, she's happy. Got the house, and...

LH: So you still, you continue to stay in contact with your sisters?

FH: Oh sure.

LH: Your sister, and your brother doesn't, what happened to your brother?

FH: Oh my brother died, but brother's son... still living.

LH: I see.

FH: He was over last, last summer. He came by himself, but he works for Sharp. I hope he's, he'll bring his family sometimes.

<End Segment 36> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 37>

AI: I wanted to ask a little bit about your kids, as they were growing up. As they were getting to be teenagers.

FH: Oh yeah.

AI: Did you ever talk to them about what happened during the war and going to camp?

FH: They're the ones that started talking.

AI: They did? They asked you? What did they ask?

FH: They says, "Why didn't you tell me when we were there, too?" We didn't talk about it.

AI: What kinds of things did they want to know about?

FH: Well, lot more, they still wanna know! But, I don't know why we didn't talk about it. It never came up, I guess.

AI: Did Leonard ever ask you any questions about where he was born?

FH: Oh, Leonard knows, yeah.

AI: Do you remember how old he was when, when you told him he was born in this camp?

FH: No, no, not until, not until one they start to ask. Then, "How come you didn't tell me?" Oh, maybe it was the picture, when the picture came out. She didn't even know.

LH: Well, when did you become aware that your picture had become well-known?

FH: Well, until, I heard it was in the Smithsonian, I got a call from them saying, "Is that you for sure?" They want to make sure it was me. They thought it was my sister, we look, kinda look alike. In fact, when we went to San Francisco for interview, she thought it was her, so she called, wanted, made contact with her, and she didn't know what they were talking about. But, she said, "Okay", then they found out it was me so, they called me too, and so we both went.

<End Segment 37> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 38>

AI: When was the first time you saw that picture of yourself? Do you remember?

FH: Well, it was in a magazine. My nephew was interested in photography, and it was in a photography magazine.

AI: And he saw it?

FH: He saw it, and he said, "Auntie, your picture's in there." What picture? And he says, "It's a evacuation picture." I didn't know what he was talking about. So he brought the magazine to show it to me. And, I guess that's me all right. But, still I thought, because in a photography book I thought maybe, you know, light effect and something, must have been just right or something, or some, but. It was black and white, too. But, I guess... found out it was a good picture I guess for, I don't know why.

AI: Well, maybe we should take a little break so we can get that picture and bring it over. Take a closer look at it.


FH: Oh yeah.

LH: There you go.

FH: She was asleep, naturally.

LH: And, about how old was she at the time?

FH: She was about eleven month... she had a birthday, I think, she was just walking, starting to walk. From furniture to furniture. But she quit completely after we went to the camp because, floor was all wood, and she, she was scared. And knot holes, that's when I had to carry her all over. Uh-huh. Yeah.

LH: And, was that her toy?

FH: Huh?

LH: Was that her toy, down there?

FH: A little bear. This was a maroon jack -- suit coat. Maroon coat had a hat to match, I don't know where the hat is.

LH: Did you sew her outfit?

FH: No, didn't sew anything. Still have the, they wanted to -- this purse -- in Las Vegas, to re-mail it out.

LH: Well, this picture is now, this is a poster for the Smithsonian's traveling exhibit, isn't it? And you were mentioning that you got the call from the Smithsonian, and this is, they asked you, "Is this you for sure?"

FH: Yeah. It was scary day. I could see, so afraid. This, this was first at Bend Oregon, they had a show. That, they were calling me "mystery lady," until then. Sign for me too, in the back.

LH: That's right. Now, on that day, what were you most afraid of?

FH: Afraid what would happen to us. Uh-huh. How long we have to stay away. What would happen to the house when we come back. You know. Lot of rumors going on. We thought maybe we all have to be sent to Japan. There was all kinds of rumors in the camp. And, one who was born, don't get citizen, and all that. Just, we didn't believe it, but, still, there is a rumor.

LH: So, when you see this photo now, what does it make you think of?

FH: I remember the time. How scared we were.

LH: In that time when you were afraid, what kept you going? Were there people in your family that supported you?

FH: Oh sure. You realize you're not the only one on the boat. Everybody is in same trouble. And, it's a war. You have to, it was a duty, I guess. We didn't like it but can't help it.

LH: You know, there was an interesting quote from some of the correspondence you had with James Omura, and, who was the publisher of The Rocky Mountain Shinpo.

FH: Oh yeah.

LH: Yeah. And, in some of your writing, you said, to him, "Best to trust the government to take charge and be patriotic." And, James took a little exception with that...

FH: Yeah, he didn't like it.

LH: But could you explain your thinking?

FH: Well, he, I think he was a smart guy. He stood for what he wants to. I said, "Well, it's a war, we gotta follow it, do that." He thought, he shook his head, "Okay, Miko, you're wrong."

LH: So, you and your husband, and your relatives just felt this was the best approach? To trust your government and to be patriotic?

FH: Oh yeah. No use arguing, huh?

<End Segment 38> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 39>

LH: Now, many people might wonder, now what's -- the little girl in the photo is your daughter Natalie, who was eleven months old at the time -- a lot of people might wonder well what's happened to Natalie? And, what's she doing these days?

FH: Well, she, she graduated from Franklin. She did well in school all the time. She was graduated as one of the ten, top ten. Franklin. And, we... she went to UW, and graduated in business. But, when she, ever since, when he was, she was going to Franklin, she was going to be medical technician. So, she all she did was take the science subject. And most all, she didn't take any business. She had typing, and that's all. She went to night school, took the shorthand. Later, then she was going to be a science teacher. Then she went as a [Inaudible] then she says she went to the class and said, "My name is Miss Hayashida." She saw all these heads, and she said, "Oh no, this is not me." So she went... meanwhile she worked one year at the Japanese firm, Alaska Lumber Pulp, and she liked -- as a receptionist. And she liked it because you could meet lots of people, and she liked people, she liked to meet new friends. So, she decided well, she's gonna go, she was determined to get a degree, so she went back to university. Meanwhile she took, she didn't have shorthand to enter UW, so she went night class, took shorthand, then she went back to U and so she got a degree in business. Alaska Pulp didn't want her to leave, see, promised her raise so she'll stay but, no, she said she's gonna get a degree. So, then after she graduated, meanwhile she was working at UW too. And then, she worked at graduate's enrollment for UW. She just work one year. She got married and she was, he was from Texas. He's an A&M graduate. And, after he worked, he worked at Boeing for awhile, but, he wanted a federal job so, applied for Johnson Space. Got a job right away so, they moved to Texas. She lived in Houston for little while, but they, commuting into Houston was a half-hour commute. So, they bought a house, she's still living in that house.

LH: Now, but didn't you recently visit your daughter in Texas?

FH: She never did work, after that. Right now, she's one of the councilwomen, in a small city, anyway. She's having fun.

LH: So, she's the, she's the councilwoman in the city where's she's living?

FH: Uh-huh.

LH: I see. I see.

<End Segment 39> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 40>

LH: Now, does she have, does she have a daughter?

FH: She have, they adopted boy and a girl.

LH: I see, about how old would they be?

FH; The boy's just turned thirty, and the girl is twenty-eight or nine or some. They both live in an apartment now.

LH: And, do they ever have questions about your internment experience?

FH: Well, not too much, but... that's when my granddaughter learned in civil, civics book, she saw auntie's picture, and... we're the ones that found it, it was towards the end of the book. She had brought the book home to study. And we were just turning this book, and surprised to see my sister, and at the end of book they had about evacuation. And then so, she said, "Oh, that's auntie." She recognized it too. She went took the book back the next day, and show her teacher the book and told her that was her auntie, and the teacher didn't believe it. And, couple days later, again, she says -- oh, my daughter asked her what the teacher say -- and she said, "Oh, she didn't know anything, she didn't believe me, I don't think she believed me."

LH: Is that, do you mean to say that she didn't believe that the internment ever happened?

FH: Yeah. And then couple of days later, I guess she studied or something, she found out, and told Paula to come for me, and to come and talk about it in civics class. But, I didn't want to go, and my daughter said, "I'll go with you and help you." She's really outspoken, yeah. But, I think it must have been Thanksgiving or, it wasn't Christmas, holiday came along then school was out, so, I lucked out, I didn't have to go. [Laughs] Top of that, they said there was five or six civic class in a day, wanted me to come for every...

LH: It would have been a full schedule. If you were to speak to a class...

FH: Yeah, if my daughter help me I would have gone.

LH: So, so if you were to speak to a class, now, and, and these kids were asking you about what you have learned from the whole internment experience, what would you tell them?

FH: What would I tell them? Don't do that no more. [Laughs] Yeah, it's, I can't say too much against it either. We didn't like it. We were worried. But, that's part of the, I guess, the country have to protect themself, too. They were protecting us too, I think. 'Cause you hear of different incidents, you know, oh that never happened to us.

LH: Okay. My last question is, how do you think the Bainbridge Island Japanese community survived the whole internment experience?

FH: Oh yes, Bainbridge Island survived, sure. We all survived. But, not many farmers left. The young people went to school, higher school, lot of 'em professor, graduate. I think it was good for 'em, children to get away from, see the country. I think if we lived on the Island, I wouldn't be surprised if there were, you never know but, be still farming. They got education, and lot of 'em doing well.

LH: Okay. Is there anything else that you'd like to add?

FH: What?

LH: Is there anything else that you would like to add? Anything you would like to say?

FH: Thank you!

LH: We thank you. Today we've been interviewing Fumi Hayashida. The videographer is Matt Emery. The interviewer is Lori Hoshino. The second interviewer is Alice Ito. Thank you very much.

AI: Thanks very much.

FH: Thank you.

<End Segment 40> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.