Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Tom Akashi Interview
Narrator: Tom Akashi
Interviewers: Tom Ikeda (primary); Chizu Omori (secondary)
Location: Klamath Falls, Oregon
Date: July 3, 2004
Densho ID: denshovh-atom-01-0026

<Begin Segment 26>

TI: So you, you go to Tule Lake. And what was Tule Lake, now, what were your first impressions of Tule Lake?

TA: Huge. Huge, lot of people, lot of confusion. People, they were, we were coming in, and the Tule Lake people were going out. I mean...

TI: So the Tule Lake people that were going out, these are ones who were classified as loyal, and they were going to a different camp?

TA: Different camp, yes.

TI: Or probably back to, possibly even back to Topaz, or go to Topaz, or...?

TA: Topaz, probably Topaz, because it was Topaz train. But for what, whatever it is, is that they were being processed, and the guards treated them with welcome, and helping them out and all that, and on this side, the guards were treating us rough, fingerprinting us, and looking at us, making weird comments and things like that. But it was a switch of people. Because, like the, the whole thing had to be done in about twenty-five days.

TI: So we're talking, every day, like, hundreds of people?

TA: Hundreds of people.

CO: Thousands.

TA: In and out.

TI: Thousands of people just going...

TA: And eventually, there was nine thousand, about nine thousand people moved out, about nine thousand moved in, and about six thousand remained.

TI: Okay, so it was about fifteen, sixteen --

TA: Fifteen, sixteen thousand people.

TI: -- thousand. For a camp that was designed to be, hold...

TA: A little smaller than that.

TI: Yeah, probably about, I think, twelve thousand or so, is probably what it was designed for.

TA: So, it --

CO: Yeah. It was very crowded, yeah.

TA: It was very, very crowded, and very, very confusing. And as far as I was concerned, all I felt was there's a lot of, lot of people.

TI: So probably lots of chaos, confusion...

TA: Yeah, not, not during that processing, but later on, yeah.

TI: Okay.

TA: Later on.

<End Segment 26> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.