Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: May Y. Namba Interview
Narrator: May Y. Namba
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: October 21, 2004
Densho ID: denshovh-nmay-01-0018

<Begin Segment 18>

AI: So that first winter of 1942 in Minidoka, tell me about that. You were saying that it was really cold. Were you also working at that time in camp?

MN: Yes. I was working in... oh, I know, when I first got into camp, I was working as a teacher's assistant, and that was not a good fit for me, 'cause I'm not used to little kids. And one day, one of the little girls dropped her mittens in the toilet. At that time, they only had outhouses, 'cause the camp (bathroom) wasn't finished. And so she dropped her mittens, and the teacher ordered me to go in there and pull that mitten out of the hole. [Laughs] Well, I got it out, and I don't know what I did, I must have had to wash it and everything, and I quit soon after that. That was enough of that job. [Laughs]

AI: Well, then after that, what did you find as far as work?

MN: I worked in the administration building, but I still don't know what we did there. Probably just shuffled some papers, but I reported every day. It was something to do.

AI: What about the rest of your family?

MN: My mother, it took a while. She didn't work, do anything for a long time, and then we were located in Block 6, and that was close to the hospital, so she worked as a nurse's aide, which is something she'd never done before.

AI: How was your mother's English? Was she able to communicate fairly well?

MN: Yeah, hers was much better than my father's. My father's was hopeless, but my mother was able to communicate with half-English, half-Japanese.

<End Segment 18> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.