Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Arthur Ogami Interview
Narrator: Arthur Ogami
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: March 10, 2004
Densho ID: denshovh-oarthur-01-0025

<Begin Segment 25>

AI: I think I read that it was in February that over six hundred people were sent to Bismarck?

AO: Yes. That's true. I can confirm that. I bought a book of all the camps, all the activity and I was thumbing through it last night and it was mentioned that month of February, in the first week or two, and that there was some six hundred, it did mention six hundred some-odd young boys were transferred to Bismarck, North Dakota.

AI: So, do you think probably you and your brother were a part of that group?

AO: I'm positive.

AI: Tell me about the trip, when you were transported, when you were moved.

AO: The trip was, to me, it was exciting because we were traveling through country, states that were not familiar to us. I remember the train going along the Columbia River and then to the Continental Divide, and then following the Missouri River all the way through, I believe it was from Idaho through Montana into North Dakota. And there was snow. And I looked out the train window along the river and I knew it was impossible, but I was looking to see if I could see the fish in the river. [Laughs] And I'd never seen a river that large. And as we approached Bismarck they came to the bridge across the Missouri River and it was frozen over and there was a wagon, and a horse pulling the wagon with the farmer on the wagon, driving the horse and wagon on the frozen Missouri River.

AI: What a sight.

AO: And it was just before we entered into the city of Bismarck. And then we've gotta, we disembarked from the train. And then they bussed us to the Fort Lincoln and we were assigned rooms. It was a old brick building and, with a large room, so... and the large room was, I don't remember the name of the building, but the room that we stayed in was Room F. And there was a smaller rooms, G and H, and one of those rooms were the boys that came from San Fernando Valley. And I can remember some of the names of the boys, last name, Tanaka, Tamura. And Tamura I knew that George, Barry, and... now, George, in the camp, was a shortstop and a very good baseball player. Barry was the catcher on the San Fernando ace baseball team. And the other one played position of pitcher. I can't recall his name right at this moment, but the three brothers all played baseball. And the Tanaka boys, Shig, he was well-built, more like a wrestler, and most of 'em lifted weights, in the sport league in camp, center. And in Bismarck, they did have a indoor pool so we, we were permitted to swim. And there was one person in our group who was a excellent swimmer and also I believe he was a lifeguard. Either at the beach or some recreational swimming pool. And he would demonstrate how he would, to save people from drowning, rescue them. And we enjoyed it. We had swimming.

<End Segment 25> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.