Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Roy H. Matsumoto Interview
Narrator: Roy H. Matsumoto
Interviewers: Alice Ito (primary), Tom Ikeda (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: December 17 & 18, 2003
Densho ID: denshovh-mroy-01-0043

<Begin Segment 43>

AI: You know, I wanted to ask another thing about Santa Anita. I read that at Santa Anita there was a big project to make camouflage nets.

RM: Uh-huh.

AI: Do you happen to remember that?

RM: Yeah, I remember that. In the grandstand all the girls come out there and make a net and insert the clothes strip to make different color, you know, that's gray or brown, black and they make camouflage net.

AI: Well --

RM: But I had my job. I didn't do it myself, but supervisory. But go down there then have hand truck deliver potato and then machine do it and let someone, I just supervise. In other words, I'm just a supervisor in the vegetable, in other words, just head title but it's not a big deal because to me it's routine. I know what the turnips look like. [Laughs]

AI: Well, the reason I'm curious about the camouflage net project is I read that some of the Nisei who were working on the camouflage netting were very angry because they had to work long hours in the sun and they complained that the food was very bad and so one day they had a strike. Do you remember anything about that? I'm just curious about it.

RM: I don't know whether after I left or not. But I know they're working, but I didn't go there so I don't know complaint, but the food, that was the mess people, not the food, kitchen helper.

AI: Oh, yeah, that wasn't your responsibility.

RM: Yeah, that's the cook was poor or I didn't know what the ingredients were good or not, but to me, it was just a regular ration there. But there was one instance that the hakujin people working in the butcher shop carrying the steak out and caught 'em and almost riot there, almost big riot there.

AI: Oh, I think that you mentioned --

RM: Somebody else mentioned that?

AI: Was that, I think maybe in Jerome? But in fact, let me --

RM: No, Jerome I didn't hear. Maybe after I left.

AI: Oh, so this was in Santa Anita?

RM: Santa Anita.

AI: Ah, I see.

RM: Almost riot. Then almost, everybody angry because stealing, this guy got almost killed, so, of course, he be fired, but... carrying out the big steak, chunk of meat.

<End Segment 43> - Copyright © 2003 Densho. All Rights Reserved.