Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Hideo Hoshide Interview I
Narrator: Hideo Hoshide
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: January 26 & 27, 2006
Densho ID: denshovh-hhideo-01

<Begin Segment 1>

TI: Today is January 26, 2006, and we are at the Densho offices, and we're interviewing Mr. Hoshide here. And my name is Tom Ikeda and I'm the interviewer, and on camera we have Dana Hoshide, who's running the camera. So I'm just going to start by asking you some, some sort of brief questions about your background. And the first question is: when you were born, what was the full name that was given to you?

HH: My dad named me Hideo Hoshide, but the name means "eiyuu" in Japanese character, which is a "hero." And I thought it was kind of an unusual name, but quite a, have this kind of meaning behind that. So I just kept it to that instead of taking another, no middle name, just Hideo.

TI: Oh, that's interesting. So your name means "hero" in Japanese?

HH: Yes. Eiyuu.

TI: Oh, I didn't know that. That's good. And then when and where were you born?

HH: I was born in Tacoma, Washington, and I was born on September 25, 1917.

TI: Okay, so that would make you how old today? That makes you...

HH: I'll be eighty-eight years old.

TI: So you're eighty-eight years old. While we're talking about your birth, why don't we talk about your brothers and sisters? Can you tell me your brothers and sisters, kind of in the order that they were born?

HH: Yes. I have only a brother, who's the oldest, and then I came in second...

TI: Okay, so you, and your oldest, older brother's name is...

HH: Kiyoshi.

TI: Okay. And he was born in, like, 1915?

HH: 1915.

TI: Okay, and then you were born second.

HH: Yes. And then Yaeko. I think she's about six years younger than me.

TI: Yeah, she was born in 1922.

HH: 1922. And then Mutsumi, who is, I think, about two years or so, two or three years younger.

TI: Right. And she was born in 1925. So there were four of you.

HH: Yes.

TI: Kiyoshi, you, Yaeko and Mutsumi.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 2>

TI: Okay, so let's go to your father now. What was his name?

HH: My father's name was Kikuzo.

TI: And where in Japan was he from?

HH: He's from Yamaguchi-ken, which is the southernmost province or ken in the, on the main island of Honshu, and that's where he was born.

TI: And then in Yamaguchi-ken, he was actually born on, sort of on an island, Oshima?

HH: Oshima, yes.

TI: And do you remember the village on Oshima?

HH: Yes. They used to call it Agenosho, and now they call the whole area, expanded like a metropolitan area, but it's not that big of a city, Tachibana-cho. Cho is a city.

TI: And how big, do you know how big the island was?

HH: Oh, it's not that big, but it's one of the largest islands, just off the Inland Sea, which is what they call... I can't remember now. But anyway, just off of Hiroshima, closer to Hiroshima Bay.

TI: So how was it that your father, from this small village on this island in southern Japan, how was it that he came to the United States?

HH: Well, it goes into quite a long history, but really, he came to, when they were able to start coming, because in those days, Japan was closed, Japanese ports were closed for foreign ships and everything. And so they were able to come to U.S. He came in 1906, and he was sixteen years old, but he came to work when they were able to come to work.

TI: But why, but why did he come to work in the United States? Was it because he was excited about the opportunity, or what were the reasons why he, he came?

HH: Well, Japan has, didn't have much industry or anything else in those days. But he came because United States opened to the workers, they were not immigrants at that time, they came to work first in the Hawaii area, work in the plantations and things like that, and then, then they opened the West Coast to replace the Chinese coolie labor that were already here in the railroads and fishing and all this kind of thing.

TI: So your, your father came in 1906. What I'm hearing is so the plan was to go to the United States, the West Coast, make some money, and then go back to Japan?

HH: Yes, yes. This is the way, they were not immigrating at the time, they were just coming to work on a, under a contract-type system.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 3>

TI: Now, so tell me a little bit about your father's family. Did he have brothers, and what kind of work or, yeah, business did your father's family have?

HH: My father was the youngest of a fairly large family in that there were eight siblings, I guess you'd call it. Six were male and two female, or my father was the youngest of the six of eight in the family.

TI: So was it, so there were six males, and of the boys, did any of the other, or any of the siblings come to the United States to also work to raise money?

HH: Yes. They, I know for sure it was at least three, three with the youngest, younger ones, and my dad was the youngest. And then there was two, my two aunts in between, and then Uncle Shokichi Hoshide who was the fourth up the, from my dad, and then another uncle after, Seijiro. And I understand that there was another one, but I'm not really sure because I... but at one time I thought that I heard somewhere that there were four came, and only two remained here: my uncle Shokichi and my dad.

TI: Okay, so four of the sons came to the United States to work, and of the four, two stayed in the United States for, to live. I'm curious, was it common for families to send so many of their sons to the United States to work?

HH: Well, it was more or less under the Japanese system of inheritance and things like that, the family, there were so many, and so many male sons that it's very hard to have the, well, unless you had like some kind of industry or mostly farming. In Yamaguchi-ken it was more farming area, not much industry. So, and this is, one of the reasons why was that the family had a shipping kind of a business, and that used to carry, haul coal from Yamaguchi-ken or Agenosho to Osaka on the Inland Sea, and it was shipwrecked. And the main reason was that they needed to build another ship, and this was probably the main reason. I don't know how many other families had that many sons coming over, but this was so that they could have... and I can't remember --

TI: So let me, let me sort of make sure I understand this. So your father's family, with the eight siblings, your grandfather had a business where they had ships that would get coal from the local area and bring it up to, I believe, like Kobe you said?

HH: Osaka.

TI: Osaka. And then that ship in a storm was sunk, and so they needed to raise money to replace it. Because if, because I would imagine if that ship were still going, your grandfather would need his sons to help run that business?

HH: Yes.

TI: Without that business, they, they didn't have work to do.

HH: Yes.

TI: Okay, good. Now, it's common when you have so many boys, I've interviewed other people where sometimes a family will let one of the sons be adopted by another family because they have so many boys, and then there might be another family that doesn't have a son. Did that happen in this family also?

HH: Yes, it's very, very common in Japanese system of inheritance, so the families that do not have a son would resort to adoption system. So not only my father's family, one Hadano, he was adopted by a family in Kyoto. And in my mother's family, there was also, one of my uncles was adopted by a Yamamoto family.

TI: Yeah, I always find that interesting that they do that. So going back to your father, so in 1906, he came to Seattle, he was the youngest. So there were, was there any of your uncles or any of his brothers in Seattle at that same time?

HH: Yes, they all came to Seattle, but I don't know whether they came all together or most likely, my, Shokichi, I think, he is the one that came first. And then probably others, but I don't know for sure what, if they all came together.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 4>

TI: Okay, so I just wanted to talk about, so your dad came to Seattle in 1906, and some of his brothers were already in Seattle. I'm curious, what kind of work did your dad's brothers, your uncles, do during that period when your dad came?

HH: Well, my uncle Shokichi, I don't know how he learned watch making, because that was not his work or business that he had, because Japan wasn't, that area that they were living in the southern part of Japan wasn't, or was farming area. But the Agenosho was a maritime school, maritime sailors' school. So that was about the only, only government-type industry or whatever. So rest were mostly Japanese, or mandarin orange producing area, that island of Oshima.

TI: And so, so back in Agenosho, he had no training in watch making, so more maritime or farming or agriculture.

HH: I'm sure they were nothing like that. Mostly --

TI: Well, so I'm curious. At about the time your father came, 1906, I was reading this newspaper article that your, your uncle Shokichi was actually working on a pretty famous watch in Seattle, or clock in Seattle. Can you tell me about that?

HH: Yes. This is a, the clock that's on the King Street Station, I guess, that bears a large clock, four sides, on the tower. And that clock was, I think, installed, made and installed by my uncle. And because he was already in the business of watch making, but not large clocks like that, but he did work on it. I don't know if he designed it or what, but anyway, that's what he's kind of known around this area.

TI: Well, I think that's, that's pretty amazing. Because that's one of the key landmarks in Seattle, the King Street Station watchtower, where the four faces, yeah, the four faces are of a clock. And so when I read that your uncle built that, it was pretty amazing.

HH: Yes. Then I understand that Seijiro, I think I understand that he had a ice cream cone factory or something around Dearborn Avenue, but just more hearsay, I don't know for sure. And also my dad, when he came, he was not a druggist, he was just, he was not a licensed druggist in those days. He didn't even go to school because he was only sixteen years old.

TI: But how did he get into that? Why did he decide to go into running a drugstore?

HH: Oh, I kind of mentioned before that one of my uncles was adopted by a Kyoto doctor's family, so he was kind of dabbling in drugs in those days, so I think he learned a little bit from his brother, and then when he came, there was a drugstore already here, the Main Drug Company on the Main Street. And so he, he kind of worked there for a short while, and then he decided to move to Tacoma.

TI: So you're talking about your father's brother, was his name Tasuku? He was the brother that was adopted by that...

HH: Yes, Hatano.

TI: ...and then, so he worked at the Main Drug in Seattle, and then went to Tacoma to open up a drugstore.

HH: Yes. And when he went to Tacoma, even though the drugstore is on Broadway, main street, he somehow decided to call his drugstore Main Drug Company, but no connection with the Seattle company.

TI: Oh, that's, that's interesting that he used that, because it must have been, it was a successful drugstore in Seattle, so he thought that it might be good luck or good marketing to use the same name.

HH: Well, maybe he didn't know what to call the drugstore, so he decided to use, instead of calling it Broadway Drug Store, he must have used the Main Drug Store.

TI: And so your father sort of worked closely with, with this brother then, down in Tacoma? He went...

HH: Yes, uh-huh.

TI: Tacoma. And what did your father do?

HH: Well, I don't know if my uncle Hadano was practicing there or not, in Main Drug Store. But by that time, maybe he might have already came back to, went back to Japan. I don't know for sure if they were all, all of them were together in Seattle by that time.

TI: Okay. But your, but your father did establish a store in Tacoma, though?

HH: Yes.

TI: During this period. Okay, that's good.

<End Segment 4> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 5>

TI: Let's talk about your mother now. So what was your mother's name and where was she born?

HH: My mother was also born in the same island of Oshima, Oshima-gun. And, but she was living on the other side of the island in a small village, and their family -- my mother's family -- had orchards, Japanese mandarin orange. And one of the industries that they had was that they would can those mandarin oranges that they were shipping to United States. So, but she was the oldest. My mother's name was Tsuta.

TI: And her maiden name? Tsuta...

HH: Okamoto. And anyway, she was the oldest of the fairly large, there was four brothers, and two other, my mother and two other females.

TI: Now, do you remember the village that she grew up in?

HH: Yes, she was living in Doi, D-O-I, Doi, on Oshima.

TI: Okay, good. And so they had the, the mikan orchards.

HH: Yes.

TI: Did your mother and father know each other, because they were on the same island growing up?

HH: I don't think so. I think Japanese system is that they have so-called nakodo, which is a... I can't think of the name now. It's a person that kind of works to get the two families together.

TI: Kind of like a matchmaker?

HH: Matchmaker, yes.

TI: So then at what point did they meet? I mean, how, at what, was your dad still in Japan, or was this after he had gone to the United States? When did they get connected?

HH: Just before, after my dad established himself in Tacoma and had the business going and all that, he was there by himself, he wasn't married yet, and so he decided to go back to Japan to get married. So I don't know, most likely it was matchmaking, matchmaker's way of getting together. I don't know if they knew each other, but maybe the family probably didn't know each other, even though it's not too far away.

TI: Okay. And what, what was your mother like? When you think of your mother, what kind of personality did she have?

HH: Well, being the oldest and my dad being the youngest, I think there was always a little feeling, I guess, that my dad was more or less not as mature maybe as my mother, even though my mother was younger.

TI: So it was like your, your mother took care of your father, even though he was older...

HH: I think so.

TI: ...your mother was used to it because she was the oldest in her family.

HH: Yes, I think so. This is the way I feel, that my mother was more, not domineering, but especially we were usually with my mother because Dad had to always be working. They used to work seven days in about, not just eight hours or whatever, they would work sixteen hours or whatever. [Laughs]

TI: So when you say your, your mom was perhaps more mature, took care of things, what would, can you recall an example of how that would happen? I mean, would it be that your mother would sort of organize things more than your father, or how would you, how would you describe that?

HH: Well, even though my mother was not, all her life she was not able to master the English language, just like any other so-called Issei and their spouses. Some of them came as "picture brides" and everything, so they didn't even know each other until they met off the ship in Tacoma. In those days, ships used to come in from Japan in Tacoma, because the consul office was there originally, and then moved to Seattle later. But I say that I think she was more with us children because my dad was hardly home until nighttime, because he used to stay in the drugstore until about ten o'clock at night. So we didn't hardly see each other, the children were not able to see him unless you'd go down to the shop or the store on Sundays. But even Sundays, he would work shorter hours, but he would always go down to open up his store. One of the reasons for this is that the farmers were in the nearby town of, this farming area in Puyallup or...

TI: Fife?

HH: Fife area, which is only about six miles or so in the valley, the Puyallup valley there. So it's just amazing, so it's hard for us to really, for the father to take care of us, although he was very, very good, and both my uncles were very good in English. But my mother was never able to master the...

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 6>

TI: So you were talking about the farmers in Puyallup and Fife. So was your father's store kind of a nice gathering or meeting place for a lot of them?

HH: Yes, yes.

TI: So that when, if you went to your father's store back then, there'd usually be farmers, especially on maybe weekends or something.

HH: Especially weekends, yes.

TI: And gathering and talking. At this point, was your father's store a drugstore or a grocery store?

HH: No, drugstore.

TI: It was a drugstore. And what kind of things would he sell to the farmers?

HH: Well, just regular off-the-shelf type of cough drops, you know, for colds or whatever like that.

TI: So when you think of your father in this environment, was he a, like a good storyteller? Did the farmers like to come to his place because it was fun, or they were just there, because they would gather and stay there for a while. What was your father like?

HH: Well, my dad was really not too much in talking. But yes, but when they come into town, the farmers come into town, they would just come out for shopping and everything else, or go to the Japanese restaurants and whatever, if they were in town. And there was many shoe stores and watch repair and all that right around the, that Broadway area, which was more like a Little Japantown.

TI: So when you say Little Japantown, how many, can you recall how many Japanese businesses were kind of in that area?

HH: Well, quite a few were barbershops, and then tailors, and so I can't -- and also grocery stores. So that's where they came in to buy meats and anything like that that they need. But then a lot of it, my dad had to... because the farmers do not have enough cash really, during the year, until they harvest it and then they get their money then, it was mostly done on a credit-type system.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 7>

TI: I'm curious, do you ever recall your father having problems getting paid eventually for things? Did he have to, like, just sort of give up on some debts because people couldn't pay? Do you ever recall...

HH: Oh, yes. About the time when it came to Depression time and everything, especially, farmers were not able to pay. But the Japanese system, Japanese way of doing things is that by New Year's, they want to have all the debts paid out, paid back. And so I remember around starting about maybe say September or October, my dad would sometimes say that he'll take all of us and we'll go visiting in the farmers' area. And I didn't know what was the reason for it, but whenever we went to the farmers' area, homes, they would welcome us there, but I didn't know the main reason for that until I found out later. Whenever we go, they would give us all kinds of vegetables, potatoes and carrots and whatever that they have growing there. And I said, gee, that's pretty good that you could get that, but that was so that they would pay whatever they can and then give you all the vegetables on top of it.

TI: So, because they couldn't pay with money, they would pay with produce.

HH: Yes, uh-huh. So over the years, they would have debts, and I know when my dad finally decided to, I think it was about 1938 or so that he decided... by that time, they had a special law that passed that drugstores had to be licensed, and so my dad was not able to get his license as a pharmacist. But he was not doing prescription-type medicines, you know, but anyway, he decided to close up the drugstore and went into the grocery store.

TI: Okay, so after years of running a drugstore in Tacoma, because of the law change, he had to close that down and go into groceries.

HH: Yes.

TI: But I'm curious, I wanted to go back to the farmers giving your dad all this produce. What did the family do with all this, these vegetables and produce? Did you guys eat it or did you do other things with it?

HH: Oh, yes, well, they gave you quite a bit of, like cabbages and whatever, and nappa, which is Chinese, they call it Chinese lettuce. But they would make a year's supply of green, pickled greens, tsukemono they call it.

TI: So your mother would do this with all the vegetables?

HH: Yes, uh-huh.

TI: Okay, that's good. And you mentioned that the farmers, especially during the Depression, had a hard time paying off their debts. How did that affect your father's business? Was that a really hard time for your father during the Depression?

HH: Well, it was a hard time for many, not even the farmers, but in the town, too. And I was surprised at my dad, in those days, I didn't even know that they had a regular promissory note, which is legal tender, more or less. But after the war, and when my father finally passed away, I found many promissory notes that I could have collected, but by that time, most of those, they were already passed away, and I didn't have the heart to ask the children. They were my friends and all that, also. But I did have a promissory note, but I did not exercise to collect from them.

TI: I'm curious, even though you didn't collect them, did you keep those?

HH: No, I did not keep any of it.

TI: So you just threw 'em away?

HH: Yes.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 8>

TI: I want to go back now to when you were younger. When you were about four years old, you went to Japan, and I wanted to find out why you went to Japan when you were four?

HH: Well, my mother was always getting things from Japan from my grandmother, things that, every once in a while she would send us some things. And so my mother wanted to take -- at that time we only had my brother and myself -- but she was already pregnant, I guess. I didn't know that, but my sister Yaeko was born in Japan while we were there, and we were there about two and a half years or so. And at that time, we were always staying at my, my mother's side instead of my dad's side.

TI: So you stayed, so you, when you were about four, you and your older brother went with your mother to Japan for about two and a half years, and it's still not clear to me, so what, why did your mom, your mother want to go back to Japan?

HH: [Laughs] Well, she wanted to show off my brother and myself, I guess. But I do have a little recollection of where the place was and everything like that, which in those, when I was young, I thought it was a much larger place, more, bigger fields, the rice fields and all this, but it wasn't as large as I thought later on when I went after the war.

TI: So when you were in Japan, you lived with your mother's family, so that was your, your grandparents on your mother's side that you lived with?

HH: Yes.

TI: So what was that like? What was their house like?

HH: Well, I don't know for sure what that, my mother's side of the family, except for the immediate family. But I did meet their, her side of the family, but just very briefly, that's all. So I don't, I don't have too much recollection of the Okamoto family except for my uncles and aunts.

TI: Now, when you were at this age, was Japanese your primary language at this point?

HH: No, it wasn't, because we were not born in Japan, and we were only attending the schools. All the Japanese communities had a Japanese language school. I think the primary reason was that -- and we went also to the public school, but after school, about, from about four o'clock to about five-thirty or six, we had to go to Japanese language school.

TI: Yeah, but before we go there, but when you were younger, like at four, this was before you went to school. So in the home, your, you spoke Japanese to your mother and father?

HH: Yes, we spoke, but since we had to learn English also, we would kind of make it kind of like a pidgin Japanese-like. We would mix English words, pronounce it more like Japanese words, but that's the way we would talk. Most of the time we would talk Japanese, but more of the colloquialism of Japanese. In Japan, there's, different areas have different dialects.

TI: And then growing up, I'm still thinking of Tacoma when you're younger, before you went to Japan, like with your brother, do you recall whether or not you spoke Japanese or English with your brother, your older brother?

HH: Well, we would also mix, if we did mix, but we tried to use English more with our family.

TI: Because you realized that when you to school you would need to do English and things like that.

HH: Yes.

<End Segment 8> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 9>

TI: Okay, let's go back to Japan. So you're young, you're four or five years old. What memories do you have of Japan? Can you remember anything that, any incidences or just memories of Japan?

HH: Well, there are several, but one is that we were just, didn't know anything about Japan. Many of their homes are thatched roof, and buildings were not concrete buildings or brick buildings. And so we would be playing with some neighborhood kids, and one of the big dangers that they have is fire, because the fire department was not, more of a volunteer-type fire engine. They didn't have any fire engine, so more or less like a bucket-type thing. They didn't have any hose or anything like that. Anyway, we were playing around with little torches, playing around, and that could catch fire on the roof deal, but we didn't know, so we were just running around in the streets. And we were really punished for doing that, because of the danger.

TI: Because you didn't realize that it was such a danger, because of the construction of the houses. If it caught one of those on fire, it would just go up really fast.

HH: Yes, yes.

TI: So what kind of punishment did they give you?

HH: Well, they didn't, but our parents really punished us. [Laughs]

TI: So your mom?

HH: Yeah, my mom or my grandparents.

TI: Now, when you were in Japan, did you attend Japanese school?

HH: No, no, we weren't because we were still young yet. And the reason for coming back was we had to come to school. So that's the reason why we came back. My birthday's in September, so I came back at just about seven years old.

TI: Now, do you recall your mother, when she had to come back to the United States, was that hard for her? Did she want to stay in Japan, or do you remember how difficult it was for her?

HH: No, she, what the problem was, that whenever she gets on a ship, she gets seasick. And coming back, she did have my sister to take care of, and I know she was always in a very bad way, because she gets seasick.

TI: So did you and your brother have to help her on the trip back?

HH: No, we didn't help her. [Laughs] Because we didn't know what to do, but she was lucky to have somebody help her out.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 10>

TI: So you've been away from Tacoma for two and a half years. Describe what it was like when you came back to Tacoma. Did it seem different or the same?

HH: Well, the difference was that we had to start going to school. So we attended Central School, elementary school, which is not too close to the Japanese area.

TI: I'm sorry, you said not too close?

HH: No, not too close.

TI: So how, how far away?

HH: We had to walk. Well, I think that was, in a matter of blocks, I think we were, we were living around Thirteenth or Fifteenth, so it must have been about twelve or so blocks away.

TI: So did you and your brother just walk to school every day?

HH: Yes.

TI: So I'm curious, your brother was in Japan during the same time with you. So when he came back with you, did he start the same grade as you?

HH: Yes, he was older by two years. But we started in grade school together, and when we moved up to junior high school, and also high school. But at the high school, he went to another high school. There were three high schools in Tacoma. I went to Lincoln High School, which was southern, south of Tacoma, south side. And my brother went to more north school, Stadium High School.

TI: So let me make sure I understand. So you entered elementary school at the same time, you were the same grade?

HH: Yes.

TI: And then you went through elementary, junior high, and then at that point, he went to Stadium High School and you went to Lincoln High School?

HH: Yes. The reason for that is that we were on the, kind of like a border line as far as which schools that we can go. There was another one in between, Bellarmine...

TI: Bellarmine?

HH: Yeah, Bellarmine.

TI: Bellarmine, okay.

HH: Yeah, it was a Catholic school, so we didn't go to the Catholic school, and, but he went to Stadium because they had more business-type courses, like office work and all that. And being a south-side school, there was a lot more minorities, blacks. And at the Lincoln High School, they had more of a trade-type. But Lincoln High School was the largest high school in the state of Washington.

TI: So I'm curious, so here you had two different high schools, and Stadium High School, it's still there today. It's a beautiful high school in a...

HH: In the Stadium area.

TI: Yeah, the Stadium area, and it's a relatively higher-income neighborhood.

HH: Yes.

TI: And then you have Lincoln, which was more predominately minority, and it doesn't look like a nice, as nice a school as Stadium. And then, so you and your brother were coming out at the same time, your older brother goes to Stadium, you go to Lincoln. Did he have to, like, take special tests or anything to get into Stadium?

HH: No, no there wasn't.

TI: It was just that he just had to apply and go there.

HH: Yes.

TI: Now, didn't, it seems a little strange to me that they would split the two of you up and not send you to the same high school. It would just be, it seems like, more convenient to go to the same high school?

HH: No, because it was not a matter of transportation, we had to walk both ways. Because if we didn't have... well, we did have a car, a Liberty touring car, they called it. Anyway, we did have one of the few families that had a car, but my mother was not able to drive or anything like that, so it wasn't a means of transportation. We either took a streetcar or a walk.

TI: So was the choice of high schools pretty much up to you and your brother to decide which high school?

HH: Yes, yes.

<End Segment 10> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 11>

TI: So you chose Lincoln. So what kind of things were you interested in in school?

HH: Well, at the time, I was, I thought maybe I'll take shop as some of the minor subjects, so I took woodworking and metalworking and all that type courses, as well as the regular courses.

TI: And what, besides just your coursework, what other activities did you like to get involved in?

HH: Well, I was in wrestling from junior high, but I was really a very skinny person, and so my weight was the lowest, which is, I was only about sixty pounds or so in junior high school. And then in high school, Lincoln High School -- maybe this was one of the reasons why I wanted to go to Lincoln, because they had a very good wrestling team, state champions. And I, but the lowest weight was ninety pounds, ninety-five pounds, and I was only barely in the eighties by that time.

TI: So you were probably one of the few wrestlers that they encouraged to eat more to gain wait?

HH: No, I was real thin, but the other wrestlers would try to, when they have a meet, they try to lose their weight and everything. I didn't have to worry about it, I just, I could eat all I wanted.

TI: So were you the, like, the starting wrestler at that, at that weight?

HH: Yes. Tacoma had wrestling as a major sport just like football and big letters. And so I had a big L letter, and I was a varsity wrestler. And at one time I was a team captain, so that could be one of the reasons why I went to Lincoln High School.

TI: So you said the Lincoln wrestling team was a good team. They were state champions... were they state champions when you were attending at the same time?

HH: No, they were not, but they were, they didn't have... no, they had state championship, but we didn't know whether Spokane would have a team or anything like that, we just were more or less interested in the city championship, Stadium or... Bellarmine did not have a wrestling team. So we had tournaments, meets with the Stadium High School. And even at that time, some of our heavier weight wrestlers were able to match with the University of Washington varsity, and some of the heavier weights used to beat the Husky wrestling team.

TI: So it sounds like Lincoln had a really excellent wrestling program.

HH: Yes.

TI: So you were, you were the captain of the wrestling team, so you must have been a good wrestler also.

HH: Yes. I was, I was really undefeated in my whole year, three years as a Lincoln High wrestler.

TI: I'm curious, if you ever go back to Lincoln High School, do they still keep those old records there? I mean, would they have like an old... 'cause this is back in 19-, what, '36 or so when you graduated. Did they have the old records of the wrestling team and things like that, the old albums?

HH: Yes, well, I do have a school album of my attending there, but they do have the class pictures along the wall, each year. And that year when I graduated from Lincoln High School, it was the largest class, 1936 graduates were highest in, most in the state of Washington.

<End Segment 11> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 12>

TI: So how large was your class in 1936?

HH: I think it's, at the time, I think it was about 400 or so graduates.

TI: And of those 400, how many other Japanese Americans were in your class?

HH: I think at the time we went there, I believe there were only about seven or eight, both boys and girls.

TI: So where did most of the Japanese Americans, which high school did they attend?

HH: They went to Stadium High School.

TI: So like on the wrestling team then, were you the only Japanese American, or were there others?

HH: No, there were several others.

TI: And by having just a few of you at Lincoln, how in general were Japanese Americans accepted at the school?

HH: Well, most of the others did not participate in any of these extra-curricular type, but I was, being on the wrestling team and being team captain, I was very popular in a way. I was in the letterman's club and everything else. So really, I didn't feel discriminated or anything like that. I had several black fellows, they were athletes, football players and in swimming I had a very good swimmer that was also on varsity wrestling. So I was with the more ethnic or minority group anyway in Lincoln High School. But I did not feel any discrimination to really speak of.


TI: So we finished the first tape just talking about your wrestling, and the thing that was interesting to me was how there were few Japanese Americans, so you had to be around other races: whites, blacks. And I just wanted to get a sense of, or other ethnic groups, when you were with the other ethnic groups, did you guys ever talk about the, like, blacks being discriminated against and things like that in Tacoma?

HH: Well, mostly it was Italians, because they were farmers also.

TI: And so were Italians viewed as kind of a minority group?

HH: Well, Italians also had, when they first came from Europe, around the Chicago area and such, coal-mining areas, I think they had... but most of the Italians were farmers in Seattle. And even the Rainier valley, it was Italian farmers, and in Columbia City and all the area, mostly were Italians. But we did not have any connection with the Jewish people until I came to Seattle, because Tacoma didn't have as many. But they do have a Jewish synagogue, but we didn't know if they were Jewish or whatever, they all looked like whites.

TI: But so, I'm thinking, though, like, on the wrestling team, you got to know, say, some of the black football players.

HH: Yes.

TI: And I'm just curious, when you talked with them, did they ever talk about the discrimination they felt?

HH: No, no. In those days, when I was wrestling, it was more a matter of the weight and size, that only kind of contact we have was maybe like boxing or wrestling or some individual type, not the team type. Although wrestling was a team effort, but it was more, meets were individual basis.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 13>

TI: So you did wrestling and you were the team captain, and what were some of the other activities you did besides coursework during high school?

HH: Well, I did meet with the others, not socially, but after school, some of the people, some of the students that were living near my area, Japanese area. Not Japanese town itself, but where we were living. But they were not too near, but I used to visit them or they would come and play with me. But mostly, it was school that I... and this one person who was very, he was a little bit older than myself but he graduated at the same time, Bob Johnson, who was a brilliant student. He was elected, in those days, he was elected to be the (editor of the) school paper, Lincoln News, that was always winning the state award as best in the, best school, high school newspaper. And so he was elected to be the editor in 1935. And I don't know why, but Bob wanted me to be a sports editor.

TI: Now, how did you know Bob? Was it through sports?

HH: Well, I didn't, but, he's the one that originally contacted me, and I used to, one of the first white students that... I don't know why he befriended me, but he's the one that eventually had a lot to do with my life.

TI: So did he, I mean, did you ever take classes with him?

HH: No.

TI: And he wasn't on the wrestling team, so he just came...

HH: No, no, he was not in athletics or anything like that. I don't know how come, but we got to...

TI: So he asked you to be the sports editor for this award-winning newspaper. How much experience did you have with newspaper writing?

HH: I did not, but one of the things that I did recall, that I did take typing. In those days, you had to be a typist to be on the school, I mean, on the newspaper. And I happened to take shorthand in junior high school, and also, that's the only time I took that, typing. But I was able to be a typist.

TI: So did you also have to take a, like, a journalism class in high school?

HH: No, no, I did not.

TI: So how did you learn how to write about articles?

HH: Well, just from writing about the sports.

TI: So it just came natural to you? You just wrote about what you knew about, and...

HH: Uh-huh. I just used more or less certain lingo that they use, sports kind of terms for football and all that. So I just learned on the job, really.

TI: So I'm curious, as you started writing about the different sports, how did that change, or, yeah, how did it change how the other athletes or students treated you?

HH: Well, I think by my contact with them in the letterman's club and such, and they knew that I was also sports editor, I did make a lot of friends with some of the big names of the teams, football, basketball, swimming and such, track.

TI: No, I bet, because yeah, all of a sudden you become an important person, and I imagine in that you're the one talking about the athletes and what they do.

HH: Yes. And also I was wearing a big L, letter and such, so I became fairly well-known in a big school.

TI: That's good.

<End Segment 13> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 14>

TI: Let's go back, let's switch gears a little bit and talk about your, your home life now. Can you tell me, like, whereabouts in Tacoma you lived?

HH: We were living on Fawcett Avenue, which is about part way up the hill. Tacoma's very hilly. In fact, present-day Tacoma campus of the University of Washington is right on the borderline on the upper street of the limits of the campus, present-day campus, Fawcett Avenue. And that's where most of the Japanese were living, on Fawcett Avenue.

TI: And so how close was your home to the store?

HH: Well, the store was on Broadway, which is the main, main street. Tacoma's numbered the First Avenue, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, but they had names associated with it. Pacific Avenue, which is part of the main, well, it was the main business area, and then it was Commerce and then Broadway. And then went up the... so we were about five blocks up the hill on Fawcett Avenue. And my dad's store was on Fifteenth, and we were living, by that time we were living, usually all the time, we were living on Fawcett Avenue, but at one time we were living around Eleventh Avenue area. But we gradually moved closer to the Japanese community, Fifteenth Avenue, which was the same street down my dad's, Fifteenth Broadway.

TI: So it was a pretty short walk for your, your dad to go to work?

HH: Yes, but it's hilly.

TI: Okay. So describe your house. What was your house like when you were on Fifteenth?

HH: Well, Eleventh was a two-story building with, we had our own bedroom, my brother and I. And then, but it was about three bedrooms. And then all the houses were that way. It was always rented, because we weren't able to buy property at the time.

TI: When you say you weren't able to buy property, because you weren't able to afford it, or because you were talking about the alien land laws?

HH: Yes. I think, I know that some were able to buy, but I don't know if it came later. But at the time, I know we, I think we could have, we could have bought, I believe, but none of us were, age-wise, we were not of age. So I don't know, really, an answer for that.

TI: Okay. I'm curious, so you lived pretty much within the Japanese community.

HH: Yes.

TI: And yet, you went to school to a place where there weren't that many Japanese. I'm just curious, did your parents ever talk to you about being Japanese, Nihonjin, and what that meant? Or did you know that you were Japanese, or did they talk about that?

HH: Well, we always knew that we were discriminated. And so, but we never, never did mention to each other or anything like that about discrimination as such, because we were always playing around with each other anyway.

TI: But how about, on the flip side, was, did your parents ever talk about being Japanese in a proud way, that you're Japanese and there's a rich tradition with Japanese, or anything like that? Did they talk about it in those ways?

HH: Well, let's see... how can I answer this? We knew that Japanese were discriminated anyway, but I didn't see that really all through my school years. But one of the reasons was probably our speaking English. It wasn't really hard, but then it was just something that we didn't have a chance to use it too much -- except for at home, except for our friends and such, we would use English or pidgin English.

<End Segment 14> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 15>

TI: Okay. When you were, like, in high school, your dad, your family has a store. What kind of jobs or responsibilities did you have to help the family, if any? Or did you just have to worry about school? What kind of things did you have to do?

HH: Well, one of the things that I had, and I kind of... my dad, although there was a Chinese restaurant right next door, he wanted his meals, lunch and dinner, brought down to his store. So on the weekends like Saturday or Sunday, then I would take his lunch. So I had to walk down two, three, about four blocks down and about... about eight blocks I had to walk, carrying a basket.

TI: And so that was kind of your job. So your mom would make the lunch and package it up, and then you would deliver it to your father.

HH: Yes. And that enabled me to at least have some contact with my dad, and so, and then that's the time that he could take a little break, because I could be at the store, and if a customer comes, I could, if he wanted to take a nap, I could... but most of the time, he used to like to work the crossword puzzles. And so I got in the habit and I still do work on my crossword puzzles.

TI: So your father liked to do crossword puzzles in English?

HH: Yes.

TI: So he was pretty proficient at English for him to do crossword puzzles.

HH: Yes. Both my uncle and my dad. My uncle learned it, and I think my dad, too, at Bible school. See, I'm, my uncle was more or less, along with the Reverend Okazaki, who was the first minister, anyway, he, they and my dad was, I mean, my uncle was more or less a deacon of our church, a lay leader.

TI: This is the Seattle Baptist church?

HH: Yes.

TI: So this is your uncle --

HH: Japanese Baptist Church. So my uncle, being able to speak English, he was more or less like a lay leader.

TI: So you're talking about the uncle that was the watchmaker?

HH: Yes.

TI: And this is in Seattle because he moved to Seattle.

HH: Yes.

TI: That's when your dad was in Tacoma?

HH: Yes. Before that, you see, my uncle must have learned his English by having First Baptist Church lay leaders come and help have English lessons, classes, but the provision was that they have to have Bible study along with it. This is a standard-type thing, that Japanese learn English. So I think that's where, and then I think my dad also, while he was in Seattle, I think that's what he did. But my uncle was baptized along with Reverend Okazaki, the founder of our Japanese Baptist Church, but my dad never did become Christian. I'm the only Christian in my family, the rest are all Buddhists.

TI: So in Tacoma, did your dad, your family attend the Buddhist Church?

HH: Well, they were, except my mother, she was more or less not a regular attender, but she would go and help with dinners or lunch or something like that. But they were not, they were all considered members of the Buddhist Church unless they went to, there was another Methodist Church, Japanese Methodist Church, same as in Seattle, same thing. Seattle Buddhist Church had, they did have membership dues or something. I don't know if my dad ever did kind of officially be a member, but he was considered... so all your services and, funeral services and everything else were in the Buddhist Church with the rest of my family.

<End Segment 15> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 16>

TI: So within the Japanese community in Tacoma, were there festivals and Obon dances and things like that in the community?

HH: Yes, uh-huh. Yes.

TI: So what was that like in Tacoma?

HH: They carried on their regular Obon and festivals, just like any other churches, because it was more of a fundraising at the same time.

TI: And so I'm wondering, when you had your Obon, I imagine the people from, the farmers from Puyallup and Fife also came into town to do that? How many people would be attending these...

HH: Oh, there was a big class. I do have some of the big row picture, it's long, you know, they used to have a camera that used to kind of be able to take a... so it was long. And oh, I would say several hundred people, maybe more than that, attended.

TI: So growing up in Tacoma, what were some of the things with your friends you would play, you would do, I mean, to, for enjoyment?

HH: Well, there wasn't much thing you could do except I did have a basketball hoop that, in the garden area, my mom would always get mad because the backboard is up against the garage and the woodshed, and the ball would bounce all over and get in the garden. [Laughs] And then also, at school, they had several basketball courts.

TI: Now, when you think about the friends that you played basketball with and did things, who were they? Were they other Japanese Americans?

HH: Yes, they were all, yeah.

TI: Okay.

HH: And the church, the Buddhist Church and Methodist Church, they both had baseball team and basketball team in the Courier League, Seattle League.

TI: Right, okay.

<End Segment 16> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 17>

TI: So let's go, so you graduated from Lincoln High School in 1936.

HH: Yes.

TI: And then what did you do after you graduated from...

HH: Well, before that, about a year or so before, we were able to go to Alaska to work in the salmon cannery. And so they had a crew, it was a contract-type, and so Seattle company, Japanese company, a contractor wanted to pick up a crew from Tacoma. And so I was able to go to Alaska, which was mostly, all the time we went from Tacoma to Ketchikan.

TI: So describe the crew that went from Tacoma. How old were the crew members and how large a group was it?

HH: Well, it was a pretty big, I think about thirty or so. But they had the two oldest ones that were going were more or less like our, oversee us, how to behave and everything else.

TI: When you say the two oldest, I mean, how old were they?

HH: Oh, they were much older than us. They were, I would say they were at least probably twenty-one or so.

TI: So maybe college students?

HH: No, this was from the community, so they recruited. And so I was one of the younger ones.

TI: And how old, so this was when you were still in high school, so you were, like, sixteen, seventeen years old?

HH: Yes. And I was able to go because my brother was going, too.

TI: Did your parents worry about you, about going all the way to Alaska?

HH: No, I don't think so. We got blessings to go join, because they knew that there's two older persons going to be more or less in charge of us.

TI: And so how did you feel? Was it kind of like an adventure, going to Alaska to work up there?

HH: Oh, yes. Well, then also, it was opportunity for us to get up during the summer, because before that, we'd only go to farms and berry picking or such like that.

TI: So by going to the, to the Alaskan canneries, you could make a lot more money than you could by...

HH: Yes. A lot more money in those days meant that we were able to, Southeast Asia, I mean, Southeast Alaska was the last area for salmon harvesting. Not way up north in Anchorage and such, Nome. So it worked okay during the summer, and that's where I was when, during the summers.

TI: And so what kind of work did you do in the canneries?

HH: I did mostly warehouse work, label, label machines for the cans that, put the labels on. And so I had a crew to take care of, to help me make the, label the cans. And then later on, I started working in the line for canning, butchers and various jobs that they have.

TI: So you'd work all summer, you'd come back to Tacoma. I'm curious, with the money that you made during the summer, was that going to be your money, or was that more the family's money? I mean, what did you do with the money?

HH: Yes, everything went to the family.

TI: So this was a way to help out the family and to do this. Okay.

<End Segment 17> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 18>

TI: So you, you did this, and I think the summer after you graduated, I guess maybe the question that I'm asking is, after you graduated from high school, were you planning to go to college at that time?

HH: No, I was not.

TI: So why don't you talk about how you decided to go to college.

HH: Okay. I was up in Ketchikan, and I got a letter from this friend of mine, Bob Johnson, that he says he's already registered at the University of Washington journalism class and subjects such, so he said, "Why don't you, as soon as you come back, register so that we could, I could help you with the schooling, in journalism?"

TI: So this is amazing to me. So Bob Johnson is the same one that recruited you to be the sports editor at the Lincoln newspaper.

HH: Yes.

TI: And now he's encouraging you to go with him to the University of Washington journalism school, and he offered to help you. I mean, what was it that he... so you had a really close relationship with this man. He really...

HH: Well, from his side, but not from my side. You know, I was just surprised more or less.

TI: So why do you think he did this?

HH: Well, he was more of a, I think, a pacifist in a way. And I think he was in, he also had black friends, people that he, I knew, but not real close friends, but he tolerated. So I think he was that kind of person. He knew probably about the discrimination and such.

TI: So was his family sort of wealthy, or did he have money also?

HH: Yes. Well, they were pretty, fairly wealthy, 'cause Father had a, Roy Johnson, I still remember his father's name, but he had a garage or something like that, but I never saw where it was, but they were in town. So I think they were a fairly well-established family.

TI: So I'm curious, did Bob Johnson ever invite you to his home, did you ever go to his house?

HH: Yes, I did, after school sometime. But see, I had to walk home and everything else, so I think I only went once.

TI: And what was, what was it like, or how was his house --

HH: It was close to the Lincoln High School area.

TI: So I'm curious, how was his house different than your house? When you walked in, what was it like, how was that different?

HH: Well, it was a brick house, and the top of the hill and everything, and it was fairly well-furnished and such. So I'm sure I didn't think of it in that way, but I knew it was different from our homes.

TI: Did you ever talk to Bob about, like, race relations and discrimination with him? Was he curious about things like that?

HH: No. He didn't say anything like that, but I just thought that maybe, maybe he was a little more prone to be, to associate or be in contact with the minorities, I think.

<End Segment 18> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 19>

TI: Okay, so you get this letter, and you come back, and I'm guessing that you were interested in going to the University of Washington.

HH: Well, I did, but, see, but I didn't know how my family would...

TI: Right, that's what I was going to ask you. How did your parents think about this?

HH: Well, when I came back and I told 'em about getting a letter from Bob, and anyway, he, my parents both, especially my dad, said, "Yes, you can." I mean, he didn't make any objection. "But," he says -- and when I mentioned that if I go, I won't be able to help the family. Like all the other people, other students, they, if they worked somewhere, all the money went into the family. So I said, "I won't be able to help." But he said, "No, that's okay, if you can find your way to go to school." So that was one of the reasons why...

TI: When you said "find your way," that means you would have to, it's okay for you to go school as long as you could pay for it.

HH: Yes, uh-huh. So I said, "Well, if I work the summer season in Alaska, I could pay for my school tuition," which was really, it was real cheap for us because 100 dollars was for three quarters, I mean, yeah, three quarters.

TI: So for the whole year of the school, it was 100 dollars.

HH: For a whole year, yes. In the summertime we would go to Alaska, so, but then I had to, I decided to "batch" my way, in other words, I would live away from the campus. So I lived in the Japanese community area, around Jackson Street or Washington Street or Yesler.

TI: I'm sorry, you used this term "batch." And that's like commuting, or what's "batch" mean?

HH: Well, you had to commute by streetcar, so you had to be somewhere close to the streetcar. Then I would cook and live off campus, so that's what I did.

TI: And that's called "batching"?

HH: Yes.

TI: So you're kind of living off campus where it's cheaper, you could find a cheaper place to stay, and you could work or do something, then you would then take the streetcar...

HH: And one of the reasons was that I was working, I was able to work at the Japanese American Courier, that newspaper, that I was able to, I had to be closer to the Japanese community.

<End Segment 19> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 20>

TI: So how did you get the job at the Japanese American Courier?

HH: Well, Japanese American Courier was started by James Sakamoto, who was kind of a, he attended Franklin High School in Seattle. And he was more of an athlete, he was, I think, on the football team. And then after he graduated from Franklin High School, he, I think, went on to be a fighter, boxer, and he even boxed in Madison Square Garden and all that. But he got injured, his eyes, and became blind. So he came back in 1928 and started this Japanese American Courier, which was all-English, for the younger people. We did have two Japanese-language dailies, but the Courier was a weekly, but it was all in English. So they, and then they also had sports, I think one of the, at that time, around that time, even 1936 and such, before that, 1928 when it started, they had, he started the Courier League, both in football, basketball, those were the two main sports. And baseball, three. Baseball was very popular. And so he organized the league, and being the sports editor, I had to be the, more or less a league secretary.

TI: Well, so let me, so the Courier League started when the, it sounds like, when the newspaper started, around '28 or so?

HH: 1928, yes.

TI: How far did the Courier League extend? Like when you were in Tacoma, were you familiar with the Courier League?

HH: Yes. Buddhist Church, Tacoma Buddhist Church had a team, baseball team, and also basketball team, so they had different class age-wise and such, A-League and eventually became AA and League B and C. And C was the youngest.

TI: So you had the Tacoma teams playing the Seattle teams.

HH: Yes.

TI: And were there other communities?

HH: Yes, all the community like Fife, Sumner, Auburn, Kent, Bellevue, even a team from, in those days they had Green River, Green Lake, I mean, area. Green Lake area had a little Japanese community there and they had a team, a baseball team and a basketball team, and then also Winslow. So they had teams from all over, and also even up to Eatonville and... anyway, it was a lumber town like Enumclaw.

TI: So these teams, back then it probably wasn't that easy, but the teams would travel to those different communities and have these games and play.

HH: Yes. So travel was usually the coach who would have a little pickup or truck, and we would sit in the back, all the way from Tacoma to Seattle. And many times we had problems with the flooded areas, even the gyms down in the White River area, in a then place called Thomas, they had a school there, they had a Japanese school there also, and they had a grade school. And sometimes it would be flooded on one corner during the basketball season.

TI: So this league really connected communities together?

HH: Yes, yes.

TI: More than any other thing, I'm thinking especially amongst the Niseis, that you knew other athletes throughout the Puget Sound area.

HH: Yes.

TI: That's interesting. And so when you went to Seattle, you were hired as the sports editor, and one of the jobs was also to coordinate this league.

HH: Yes, schedule-wise and getting the field if it was baseball and such.

<End Segment 20> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 21>

TI: Now, how, how did you get this job? Did you apply for it?

HH: Well, I was kind of fortunate in a way because Bill Hosokawa was the sports editor. That's how he started his journalism, or his, in the newspaper.

TI: And Bill Hosokawa is a well-known, I think he worked for the Denver newspaper...

HH: Denver Post.

TI: Denver Post. Wrote a book called Nisei.

HH: Nisei, yes. So I was very privileged, really, to work, because he had to work for the Japanese consul's office as a English, in the English portion secretary, and eventually he went to Singapore as a, to work in Singapore when the war started up, and then eventually went to Denver. But I was, the position was open at the time. And the Sakamotos, they were also Yamaguchi-ken people so my parents knew them. And so I just applied and I got the job, which really started my, really my contact with the Seattle people, especially the athletes, baseball players and basketball players.

TI: So were you somewhat intimidated? I was thinking that here you are, following Bill Hosokawa, who not only was the sports editor, but helped set all these things up, who was probably pretty well-known. And here you were from Tacoma, coming in and taking his place. Was that kind of intimidating to you?

HH: No, in a sense, my problem was I didn't know all these athletes from all over. I knew a few people around Auburn and Sumner, Fife, but not in the Seattle area. But I did have contact with some of the people, especially Buddhist Church, Seattle Buddhist Church, they had an, also, team, and so I knew some of those people.

TI: So you were doing it, so this was your, like, your part-time, or your job, to help you raise enough money, earn enough money so that you can go to the University of Washington.

HH: Yes. That was, salary was not that good, you know, because he was just getting started also, so really, it wasn't a very lucrative kind of salary, but at least it did help me make part of it. And then also, I worked in the NRA program, the National Recovery Act, I think, at the university. I was able to work in the library.

TI: Say that again, the National Recovery... what was it?

HH: Act. That was where they, after the Depression, after that, the national program that I was able to work under that program at the University of Washington library.

TI: And what, and what kind of things did you do under the NRA?

HH: Well, I was just working on the Northwest section of the Suzzallo library at the University.

<End Segment 21> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 22>

TI: So you weren't making very much money, so where, where did you live during this period?

HH: Well, I was living in a, originally, my uncle had me stay with my cousin. He had an apartment, the Star Apartment up on Spruce Street. Then he asked, he got a chance for me to stay in one of the church members', Mr. Hara's, shoe repair shop, and I was able to use his for free, in the back room. I could cook myself and cook my meals and everything, and it was close to Jefferson Avenue, so I could take the streetcar there. And then, but the streetcar went downtown and then, sort of, kind of roundabout way, but I used to, close to. And then sometimes I did stay on Yesler, Fourteenth and Yesler, and also had to take a bus, I mean, the streetcar was right there, Yesler cable car that I could take downtown and then go to university. And so those are places, but just before and after that, though, I was able to get a place up on Boren Avenue, Matsuzakis' house where I had four other people, three other people from Tacoma, Fife area, wanted to stay with me. And so I did all the cooking and they did the washing the dishes for me, and I did...

TI: So you shared, like a house, and then...

HH: Yes, it was very cheap.

TI: did the cooking, someone else did the other chores, and you just kind of shared?

HH: Yes.

TI: Well, that must have been, that must have been fun.

HH: Oh, yes. [Laughs]

TI: So who, do you remember who you did that with?

HH: Yes. A fellow from Tacoma, two fellows.

TI: And were they all going to the University of Washington, also?

HH: Yes. They were already, they were a little bit older than me, so we had the guy, Yoneo Yokobe, and Fukura, they were from Seattle, I mean, Tacoma. And then the other person was Mas Omoto from Fife area, and he had a car. And so it was after we got... and then we were living in the Matsuzakis' home on Boren Avenue, so solved the... we can go, but he was, Mas Omoto was in the medical, he was in the medical department. And so we had to take a streetcar home from the university because he had to stay longer.

TI: Okay, so he had to stay longer.

<End Segment 22> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 23>

TI: So now that we're talking about school, why don't you tell me what the University of Washington was like for you. What, you said you started as a journalism student, and why don't you just talk about what you thought of the UW.

HH: Oh, well, first two years I took journalism, like what Bob... and so we would be in contact because we had the same course and everything else, but I didn't have chance to live close to him, 'cause he had a, he was living up in, not in the dorm area but he was up around the university campus area. So I just saw him during the class time or after if I ever had... but not too much contact with him otherwise. But they, at the time I registered, UW was very, they had ROTC, Reserve Officers' Training Corps. And all the males had to take the course. And Bob, naturally, he had to take the course, but he didn't want to, he didn't like to wear his uniform. And so one time he got in trouble by the school, and he was going to almost be dismissed until his mother came and finally coaxed him to wear his uniform. But after classes he would go right home to the place where he was staying and he would change. [Laughs] He was that kind of person, more of a peaceful, I mean, yeah. Anyway, but when I registered, they gave me an option in the ROTC. I didn't have to take the course.

TI: And why did they give you an option?

HH: It was discrimination. So I have a school transcript that has a little note in there, I'm exempt from taking...

TI: So was this same option given to other Japanese Americans on campus?

HH: I think so, but some of those people from Spokane and out of town, they insisted on taking the course. And if it were, they couldn't say no to them, I guess, but I think they all were given the option also. But I just took the option because, and then I took wrestling or swimming as an optional course. But UW at the time was kind of like a football... Harry Yanagimachi, he was a football one, he could only be on the frosh team and he could not become varsity.

TI: Even though he was a good football player...

HH: Yes, oh yes.

TI: ...they didn't let, because he was a Japanese. And the same thing, did they allow blacks on the football team or anything like that?

HH: No, no, it wasn't. One of the big name person was Homer Harris, black fellow, he became All-American back east, one of the schools. Because UW did not accept him.

TI: So during this period, so before the war and around the late' 30s, they discriminated against Japanese and other minorities like blacks and didn't let them join the sports teams.

HH: Yeah, like in football --

TI: Like even wrestling, did you --

HH: No, wrestling wasn't, because UW had about three or four wrestlers. And Heater Heyamoto was also a baseball, he was a good second baseman.

TI: His nickname was Heater?

HH: Heater.

TI: So did he have a fastball, was he a pretty good pitcher?

HH: I don't know what, what it is.

TI: What that means, okay. [Laughs]

HH: And then also they had a coxswain, I think, for the crew.

TI: So did, were you ever, did you ever consider going out for the wrestling team?

HH: I did, but my weight was so low, I mean, I was only just maybe 120, I don't think, I was 110 pounds or so. And the lowest weight was 135. So I just wasn't able to compete, and it happened to be that one Nisei was also on the varsity at the same, at the lowest weight, and I wasn't able to because of weight. So I could never join the wrestling team, but they did have a AAU, Amateur Athletic Union meet, for the national. And so they had an unattached University of Washington team composed of regular, and the lowest weight was 120, 130... no, 115 or whatever it was, and I wrestled in there. But the only meet that I was able to, but they didn't have anybody that weight, so I just automatically got the little belt buckle.

TI: Oh, because you, so you didn't have to wrestle anyone, but you won because...

HH: No, I had to wrestle as an exhibition somebody 135 pounds, and I couldn't pin him because I, you know, I could bring him down but I could never hold him down. But that was just an exhibition, but I... but, you see, this was for the Northwest area, and then winners were supposed to go down to L.A. area for the regional, Pacific Coast, but I was never asked to go down there.

TI: Now, why was that?

HH: I don't know, either discrimination or what, I don't know, but I was not... but our heavyweight at UW, he was able to -- not the Japanese -- but he was able to and then he eventually won the national, he had to go to, I think it was Chicago, Illinois, somewhere around that area, they had a national championship one. And I had possibly a chance if I were able to go down...

TI: To L.A. and then to Chicago...

HH: Yeah, because they had that weight. [Laughs] So I think maybe it was discrimination.

<End Segment 23> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 24>

TI: So earlier you mentioned that the first two years you were in journalism classes, but then after two years you decided to switch majors.

HH: Yes.

TI: And why don't you talk about that.

HH: Well, about 1937 or '38, possibly around there, somewhere around that time, there were some problems, troubles, around Manchuria and everything else, which the Japanese soldiers... well, in those days, I think they had the separate, it was not China, it was Manchuria. They call it Manchuria, and they had a Japanese, at the time, it's closer to Korea, Japan did have as a colony, I guess, Korea and Taiwan area. Japan held those two countries for fifty years, and they had Japanese language and everything else in both places. So Manchuria was next to China, so they had, I think they were Japanese former soldiers or whatever, they were able to get the farming, farm area in Manchuria. And so when, this is the reason why Japan was able to go into China very easily.

TI: Is this what was called the "Manchurian Incident"?

HH: Incident, yes.

TI: Okay, so this happened, yeah, in '37, around then, '38, I think.

HH: Yes.

TI: And so you were a journalism student, you heard about this, was this the reason why you switched majors?

HH: Yes. I decided that even if I got my major in journalism, I would probably be asked, "Do you know anything about the Far East?" Japan, China and all that, and so I wasn't too versed in Japanese history and all that, politics and such. And so that's the reason why I decided to switch to Far Eastern Studies under George Taylor. I think George Taylor, Dr. George Taylor was, just happened to come out and he established a Far Eastern institute at the University of Washington, so I switched to political science and a minor in journalism.

<End Segment 24> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 25>

TI: So right now we've been talking about being at the University of Washington. During this time, you met your future wife, Shizuko. Can you tell me when you first saw her, or when you first met her?

HH: Well, she was, the one that I kind of knew before that, along with her, but she was friends with Dr. Inouye's family, because they were all going to school together. But I met, like, Shig or Mas Watanabe's family also, because they lived close to my wife's, close to the church, Japanese Baptist Church. So anyway, there were so many of those, especially like Reverend Andrews' daughter, they were all going to the University of Washington at the time. So that's how I met my wife.

TI: So you had this circle of friends that you sort of knew, and your future wife also was part of this group.

HH: Yes.

TI: But then explain the first time you really saw her, or you remember seeing her.

HH: Well, I... let's see. I got to know her because another friend of mine, who was living close to the church, he was... the name will come to me, but I can't think of his name right away. He was living with his uncle on Yesler and Broadway. He had shoe repair. Anyway, he wanted to sing proper songs, and my wife was his accompanist on the piano. Anyway, he is the one that asked me, can I play for him, jazz music, although I played by ear. And my wife always comments to me that I don't know regular chords and such, but I used to do that, and harmonica, I used to, Buddhist Church had a harmonica band organized, and I used to play piano for them. Anyway, he wanted me to play for him on a Buddhist conference that they had here, in Tacoma, and also Portland. And this one he wanted me to play for him, 'cause he wanted to go to Portland. My wife, naturally, he said she won't go. So he wanted to know if I could play for him. So I said, "Okay," so that's what I did. And that's, I think, when I formally met her, more or less. [Laughs]

TI: Okay, so it was through your friend, who was a singer, so before, he had your wife as sort of the one who accompanied the music, but because he wanted to do this Portland competition, he didn't think that your, that Shizuko would go to Portland with him.

HH: Uh-huh. She's a Baptist.

TI: Okay, she's a Baptist, and going to a Buddhist convention.

HH: Yeah. [Laughs]

TI: And so he asked you and then you played, and then it was through that connection that you first met, met her. So, I mean -- or were formally introduced. So what was it about her that attracted you to her?

HH: Well, it's really... well, what would you say? After I got to know her, I met the family, and the family was a very Christian family. And I wasn't used to a Christian family, really, because I was not a Buddhist in a sense, but I was attending Buddhist Church, Tacoma Buddhist Church because they had a baseball team and a basketball team and everything else. So, and most of my friends were going to Buddhist Church. But it's the family that really impressed me, 'cause they were so, a very loving family and such, and then they were also involved with Reverend Andrews, the minister. And then she was friends with Andrews' family, Melverna, the oldest one, and Reverend Andrews. So anyway, that's how I met her, really, in that kind of...

TI: So you were really impressed with her family and her upbringing, her values.

HH: Yes.

TI: Anything in particular about her that really stood out for you?

HH: Well, I know she was, she was a pianist for the Japanese-language congregation at the Japanese Baptist Church. I think she said she started playing for them even at sixteen years old or whatever, and then she was taking music at the University of Washington. So it kind of... I don't know. It might have been just music...

TI: So after the two of you were sort of introduced and got to know each other, so did you then start asking her out on dates and things?

HH: Yes.

TI: And that's how, and then she became your girlfriend.

HH: And then the other thing is she did play, they had a Nisei, they called it the Nisei Melodians, a band that played in the community, dances and such, she was a pianist. So she also played jazz. [Laughs]

TI: And so you liked that? You liked that she could play jazz?

HH: Well, 'cause I thought that was a good pianist, jazz music.

TI: And she always reminded you that she was a better piano player than you were, too, right?

HH: Oh, yes.

TI: [Laughs] Okay.

HH: Maybe I thought maybe I could learn from her. [Laughs]

<End Segment 25> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 26>

TI: Yeah, I wanted to now go to when you graduated from the University of Washington. So this is 1940 that you graduated from the University of Washington.

HH: Yes.

TI: And at the end of the year, after the graduation, the Japanese Society would host a graduation dinner.

HH: Not the Japanese community, but Japan Society that they had, which was a separate organization from the Japanese Association.

TI: So would they host it for all the graduates, all the Nisei graduates?

HH: All the Nisei graduates.

TI: Why don't you just describe to me sort of what that event was like, and then in particular, you met someone at that event that I want to talk about also. But first tell me about the event. What was that like?

HH: Well, it was a dinner, and always held at the Chamber of Commerce building. And I remember that that was an annual thing because the Japan Society and this Japanese Association were in very close ties. In fact, I think Mayor... one of the mayors...

TI: The Seattle mayor?

HH: Seattle mayor was also president of the Japan Society. So it was kind of about the only organization, community organization or city organization that was in contact with the Japanese community.

TI: So let me understand this. So this society, was it made up mostly of Caucasians?

HH: Yes.

TI: Okay, and a lot of the leaders of the community were part of this.

HH: Yes, uh-huh.

TI: And they would once a year have this banquet for the Nisei graduates.

HH: Yes.

TI: Okay. In that year, who was the president of the Japan Society?

HH: Well, the president, I didn't know the name, but at the time -- this comes later -- but this Collins, who was a lawyer, was president. But I didn't know this until -- this is going ahead to my being recruited by the OSS -- that he was my commanding officer as a colonel. I didn't know at the time.

TI: Yeah, so during this banquet, did you have, did you have a conversation with Collins or anything? Did you get to know him?

HH: No, no it wasn't. It's just that it was a round table, and I think we had four students and two members from the... and it happened to be after I got introduced to, I had to meet the colonel of the OSS group that I was assigned to, that he's the one that mentioned to me about that dinner. And he said, "Do you remember who were the other students?" And I said, "No, sir. I don't think I can name any of the students, but I know there were four students and I was one of 'em." And he says, "You know, do you know who the host, hostesses were?" And I said, "No, sir." He says, "Well, I was, and my wife were the host and hostess along with another couple, and I was sitting next to you." And so I said, "Oh, is that right, sir?" [Laughs]

TI: So, so during this banquet, you were sitting next to...

HH: The president of the...

TI: Who was this lawyer named Collins.

HH: Yes.

TI: And you didn't remember that, but apparently, and we'll find out later, he remembered you.

HH: Yes.

TI: And probably even talked to you during the dinner, you probably don't remember.

HH: And I have a feeling that maybe he's the one that probably knew that I graduated from the University of Washington, and also I was able to speak Japanese, something like that. Maybe he had something to do with my recruiting, they sent a recruiter.

TI: And in addition to not only being a graduate of the University of Washington and speaking Japanese, but your major was political science.

HH: Yes.

TI: Sort of Far Eastern studies, which then you had knowledge about what was happening in Asia.

HH: Yes, and the language. I think language was very important because everything was done in Japanese language.

TI: So also during this time, so you graduated from the University of Washington, this is before the war started. But as a Far Eastern sort of major, did you have any sense or warning that war might be possible between the United States and Japan?

HH: No, I don't think anybody, any Nisei or Issei. We said, "No, no possibility." Because by that time, things were going very good with Japan. Japan became one of the nations that, after the Russo-Japanese war and all that, and also Communism was quite... that the U.S. was concerned about the Communism and Russia and also China because of the Mao Tse-Tung and all this.

TI: So Japan wasn't as... yeah, wasn't the concern as much.

HH: Yes.

<End Segment 26> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 27>

TI: So I wanted to then ask, so here you are, graduating with a degree in political science with a minor in journalism. What, what did you think your career was going to be at this point? What did you want to do?

HH: Well, that's what I figured, that if I wanted to stay in journalism, be a newspaper editor or such, maybe it would be better for me to change my major into political science so that I could... and also stay with the journalism so that... I thought at the time, when there were some conflicts going on, and even in China and Korea, that, and Bill Hosokawa being in Singapore, that I thought that maybe I might be able to be employed by the AP and the national media in Japan. I mean, not in Japan itself, but Japanese, Asian area, that I better learn more about the politics and all that.

TI: So it sounds like what you were interested in is being like an international correspondent or a national wire service, something like that.

HH: Yes, possibility.

TI: And that would be a good match. Okay. Going from this larger international, national, I kind of wanted to go right before the war started. I'm curious about, in terms of the community, in terms of other community newspapers, you're still working for the Courier.

HH: Yes.

TI: What other community newspapers were there right before the war? Like the North American Post was one...

HH: Yes, and then the Great Northern, I think, but they were both Japanese-language. North American Post, or whatever it was, anyway, the two newspaper daily, but just about one page on the back page was English. And, but the main English-only paper was the Courier.

TI: And so I just wanted to get a sense, so you had the, the two Japanese ones and the Courier. Did, were you viewed as competitors, did you guys all fight for the same advertising dollars, or was it like different, different markets? I'm just curious how that worked.

HH: No, I think it went to the same advertisers in the community. So in a sense, there was competition in a way, but really, I don't think it was a case of each one fighting each other, but they must have been, because they were all going to the same firms for advertising.

TI: Yeah, I was always kind of curious, because that was kind of the main media for the community, was these newspapers. And so that's why I'm always kind of surprised by how many there were and how thriving... to have a daily, or two daily Japanese-language publications and then one English, but it was weekly, so it kind of says to me that in terms of the population of... and it makes sense; the Isseis were spending more money, so those Japanese dailies were probably more lucrative or more business...

HH: Yes, and besides that, they were already established when Jimmy came into the market in 1928.

<End Segment 27> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 28>

TI: Today is January 27, 2006, and we're in the second day of our interview with Mr. Hoshide. And yesterday we pretty much talked about that time period before the war, got to, I think, after you graduated in 1940. Before we go to Pearl Harbor, I wanted to actually talk about something that happened a few years earlier, in, like, 1938, having to do with your citizenship. And, because as an older Nisei, I believe you had dual citizenship; you had both citizenship, U.S. citizenship by the fact that you were born in the United States, but also you had Japanese citizenship. And can you, can you talk about what your father did?

HH: Well, in those days, anyone born of a Japanese or from a foreign country, especially Japan, China, whatever, I guess, but for Japanese, my father had to register me with the consul in Tacoma at the time, consul. And the idea was that because the Japanese government had, I guess, claim on anybody born in the United States, but the United States had, anyone born in the United States or whatever, that they are American citizens. So that's where dual citizenship came in.

TI: So let me, let me see if I understand this. So you, when you were born, you were registered with the Japanese consul, and that was probably something that happened because many Japanese were here to perhaps work, but then some thought they might go back to Japan, so they wanted to make sure that the children had Japanese citizenship in case they went back. And so that was happening, and so that was a way for, to be registered. But now in 1938, your father, after registering for Japanese, for Japanese citizenship, then did what? He renounced your citizenship, didn't he?

HH: That's about 1938, he did tell me that I have a kind of a Japanese citizenship also, because he had to register with the consul. But the reason was that when my parents or immigrants came from Japan, they only came to work, and they didn't intend to, or they weren't even thinking about staying there.

TI: Right, but in 1938, your father registered you, or he --

HH: No, no. I was already registered.

TI: You were already registered, but you took...

HH: And so he told me that he had cancelled my citizenship, my brother's and my citizenship.

TI: Got it.

HH: So that means that I did not have any dual, I was not a dual citizen.

TI: So what did that mean to you when he did that?

HH: Well, I was kind of surprised, but it didn't register with me, anything. That's okay, you know, because by that time, my father had already decided that their life is better here than going back, being the youngest in a Japanese family, he had no claim to the property and everything else under the Japanese system, heirs and such.

TI: So it was really a statement by your father in some ways, saying that, "We're going to stay here. This is our country."

HH: Yes.

TI: Okay. And was that a hard thing for him to do, to unregister you as a, as a citizen?

HH: I don't think so, because it was, whether they went through officially or not, I don't know whether the consul did, but my father told me that he did have me not become, not a Japanese citizen, so I don't have the dual citizenship.

TI: And he did this for his children, not for himself. Because he couldn't do that because he wasn't able to become a U.S. citizen, so he kept his Japanese citizenship, it was more for his children.

HH: Yes.

TI: Okay, good. The other thing you mentioned, so he did this for you and your brother.

<End Segment 28> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 29>

TI: You, after you went to Lincoln High School in Tacoma, decided to go to the University of Washington to get a journalism and political science background. What was your brother doing after he graduated from Stadium? What did he do?

HH: Well, he stayed in Tacoma, I mean, he stayed at home. And then I made arrangements to go to Seattle to attend the University of Washington. But I didn't know what his plans were because both of us did not have any idea of going to higher... so what he did -- for a short while, not all the way through -- but he did attend the, at the time, there was a college, College of Puget Sound in Tacoma. And so he did attend there for a short while.

TI: So College of Puget Sound, and later on they changed it to University of Puget Sound, UPS. Do you know what he was planning or what he was studying when he was there?

HH: No, I didn't, but you see, I had a feeling that being the oldest, older than I am, he's the oldest, that he may assume the, take up pharmacy or something like that; this is what I thought. So I was free to leave, because I didn't know whether I'd be, have any job in the Tacoma area or not. But anyway, that's why I decided to follow Bob Johnson's plan for me to attend the University of Washington.

TI: So did your older brother end up working with your father in the business at the...

HH: No, he didn't, because by that time, the war started, and so he would just head home and helping at the grocery store.

<End Segment 29> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 30>

TI: Okay. So let's jump to December 7th, 1941, and why don't you tell me where were you when you first heard the news that Japan bombed Pearl Harbor?

HH: Well, I was in Seattle, and then I think it was Sunday morning, I think I, after I heard on the radio that the war, Japan attacked Hawaii.

TI: So what was your reaction? Here you were a political science, Far Eastern studies, and so you probably understood right away the implications of this. What were you thinking?

HH: Well, there was no, we never thought that there would be war. But when I heard that some of the leaders or so-called leaders of the Japanese community were being picked up by the FBI and everything, that I thought I better go back to Tacoma. At the time there was no restriction about movement or anything like that.

TI: Now, why did you think you should go back to Tacoma when you heard these leaders were...

HH: Because I didn't know what my father... and everything like that, so I decided to drive back by myself. And at that time, they were surprised, too, that war started.

TI: But I'm curious, now you're in Seattle, you hear about what's going on, you drive back to Tacoma.

HH: Yes.

TI: Do you remember driving back to Tacoma? It takes, it takes probably, what, forty-five minutes or so to drive, or maybe longer. Do you recall what you were thinking as you were going back to Tacoma? Was it, were you afraid, or what kind of things were you thinking?

HH: Well, I think I must have had the radio on in the car, and hearing different things, especially the declaration of war. And then after I'd been in Tacoma, I did drive around town just to see what's happening, but there was nothing going on with the police or anything like that, they didn't stop you or anything. Just, everything was as normal as possible, except the fact that everybody in Tacoma, I think, must have heard about the war starting.

TI: So did you see anybody, whether it was Japanese or non-Japanese, and can you recall any interaction with people about talking about it or anything?

HH: No, but of course, my dad had a grocery store, so that's one of the things I was worried about, whether there might be some problems or something like that, people reacting to the war.

TI: And were there any reactions, any of the customers?

HH: No, there was nothing. And then shortly after that, they, we were asked to kind of wear a little button that we're Japanese American.

TI: Explain this to me, I don't understand. So who gave you this button to wear?

HH: I think JACL or some group wanted to have a little button to wear that we're Japanese American, we're citizens.

TI: Oh, so that, so that you were citizens and that you were, I guess, a loyal American, essentially.

HH: Yes, we're American citizens.

TI: Oh, that's interesting. I never heard about this button. I've heard of the buttons that the Chinese wore that says, "I'm Chinese."

HH: This is what happened after the war, and the Chinese started wearing buttons because of the civil war in China and everything. So that's what they did after the war.

TI: I'm curious, when you wore this button, "I am Japanese American," did you ever get a reaction from anyone when they saw that button?

HH: No, I think there was some reaction, I heard, later after that, even in Tacoma in Seattle, that some people resented or something, but nothing serious happened.

TI: Now, how about your parents? After the bombing by Japan, did you ever hear them talk about what happened, or did they ever talk to you about what happened?

HH: No, the thing was that where our grocery store was, across the street was a USO. And so I kind of worried about the fact that the grocery store -- this is not right at that time, but after -- because of the fact that there might be soldiers going to the USO and everything else, and see a Japanese grocery store. Although the name of the grocery store didn't have any indication that this is a Japanese grocery store.

TI: So that is interesting. So you were concerned, because at some point, a USO office was right across the street, so this is where soldiers would go to relax and drink, I suppose, and do things like that.

HH: Uh-huh. Because Fort Lewis at that time was Camp Lewis, Fort Lewis was not too far away, and soldiers would be coming into Tacoma.

TI: So were there any incidents of soldiers coming into the store or did anything happen?

HH: No, we didn't have any troubles, breaking windows or anything like that.

<End Segment 30> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 31>

TI: So how long did you stay in Tacoma before you returned to Seattle?

HH: No, I just stayed that one day and then came back.

TI: So when you came back to Seattle, and at this time you were working at the Japanese American Courier with James Sakamoto, what was it like at the office? Did people talk about what was going on?

HH: Of course, and Jimmy was getting very active with the press and whatever, to try to... especially when they talked about maybe evacuation and things like that, that Jimmy was more or less a spokesman for the community.

TI: So you have this kind of interesting place, where you would see Jimmy in a more informal setting like in the office.

HH: Yes.

TI: Because we can go through the papers, and he has all these more formal statements of how, what he thought. I'm curious, when he was just in the office and you guys are sitting around and he's talking about this, what was he saying? What was he thinking that he needed to do to help the community?

HH: Well, I was really never in the office all the time, except the, just to bring the, write an article or something like that. But I had a typewriter so I would be writing in my own home where I was staying, batching. Because I had to bring the articles down to set it up on the linotype machine.

TI: But at this point, did you continue writing stories about sports, or did Jimmy want you to start writing other things?

HH: No, I just continued, because I had some problems with getting the facilities and whatever, I had to continue doing, but we were trying to keep the sports program going.

TI: So you were trying to keep some normalcy, some normal things happening in the community. But you said you had problems with getting facilities? Was it because of the war that that was getting harder, or what happened?

HH: Well, this was before the war. You see, we were using Parks Department, especially across from here, Buddhist Church.

TI: So the Collins Playfield?

HH: Collins Playfield, and I had to deal with Mr. Evans, I think, was the Parks Department head, the department that I had to request for facility use like basketball, Collins Playfield, and baseball, maybe like Columbia field, which is on Rainier Avenue, but south part of Seattle.

TI: And so after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, did your relationship change at all with the Parks Department, or did it stay the same? I mean, was it easier or harder to get facilities for...

HH: No, I think by that time, we kind of had to cancel the program as far as, because it was December, and then the next year it was only, basketball season would be just about over and baseball won't be started yet. So I think we did disband the Courier League as a sports program.

TI: So you had to deal with a lot of the organizational issues, sort of stopping lots of the programs, and people were probably unsure what was going on, are there going to be basketball games and everything. When this was all happening, what do you think the -- because you had an opportunity probably to see and talk to other people -- what was the mood of people sort of in this December/January timeframe?

HH: Well, right after the beginning, it was more the, some of the leaders, families that had their father taken away and everything else. And so I think by that time, the JACL would more or less be the center part of the... and a lot of information would be coming from the JACL office.

TI: Now, I'm curious, so Jimmy Sakamoto was involved with the JACL as well as running the Japanese American Courier. Was there like an overlap? Did a lot of the JACL sort of people come over to the Courier a lot to talk to Jimmy, and was there a lot of sort of overlap there?

HH: I don't know whether they came directly to, but it's hard to say what happened in the office, 'cause I was, now I was already graduated, so I wasn't in school. And so I would go every day down there and many of the things that, we had to keep the business going, so I had to assume some of the business portion of, like, keeping the advertising and all that, I had to help out. Jimmy asked me to do certain things and I'll do other things besides just writing.

TI: Now, I'm thinking that after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, you were still able to publish information.

HH: Yes.

TI: The other Japanese community newspapers, they were shut down, though, at this point, weren't they? The Japanese dailies?

HH: I have no idea about that. I just can't...

TI: I think they were. I'd have to go back and check, but so I'm thinking that the Japanese American Courier probably became an important source of information.

HH: I think the editors or publisher, I think Mr. Arima might have been one of the ones, because they naturally, I think those are the people who were more or less considered as the leaders of the community.

TI: So within the, especially the Nisei community, in terms of getting information about what was happening within the Japanese American community, the Japanese American Courier must have been an important source of information.

HH: Yes, it was, because Jimmy has contacts with the downtown newspapers, the Times and P-I, and Tribune, I think it was at the time, or Star or something. There was another small, three newspapers.

<End Segment 31> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 32>

TI: During this period, so after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and before the Japanese were removed from Seattle, Jimmy Sakamoto was a pretty visible, vocal person. I think he was, wrote articles for the large daily newspapers talking about the loyalty of Japanese Americans and things like that. Did you ever talk to him about this? Did he ever talk to you about his beliefs and what he was thinking?

HH: Well, he never did talk to me directly because I was still young and they were older. But he did have contacts with some of the early leaders of the Progressive League, is what JACL eventually became. But Seattle had a Progressive League, and people like Jimmy Sakamoto and Clarence Arai and Takeo Nogaki, some of, about four or five people, Nisei, they were more or less active as, in the Progressive League.

TI: And when he got together with these other men, what did they do? What did they talk about or what did they, what happened?

HH: Well, I think they were more concerned about the articles coming on the newspapers, the public newspapers, Times, P-I.

TI: Well, which brings up kind of another story that you mentioned earlier, how... Jimmy Sakamoto was blind.

HH: Yes.

TI: So for him to get around, he needed someone to help him, drive him places and bring him to different places. And, and periodically Jimmy Sakamoto would get together with some of the other newspaper people in the city. Not Japanese or Japanese Americans, but from the major newspapers, the Caucasians. Can you tell that story about Jimmy meeting these people?

HH: Yes. Every week, I don't know if it was Friday or, I think it was Friday, they would have a Washington State Press Club would be meeting around where, I think it was the Eagles building or whatever it was, where the convention center is now. They would have a meeting and Jimmy would always attend. And the publishers of the Times, P-I and such, they would all be meeting, but they had a separate room, the back room, where only those publishers will be meeting.

TI: And before you get to that part, what was your role in getting Jimmy to this meeting?

HH: Oh, I was more or less, since I had the car, and on the way home from the office on Fridays, because Friday is the day we had to take the paper to get it printed and also distributed so that the carriers, boys would distribute it around the Jackson Street and downtown area, Japantown area. And then we also had to mail out the ones that we had to mail. So then by that time, Jimmy would be through, and so I would, I had a car and so he would leave to go to the Press Club.

TI: So you had the car, so you would be the one who would drive him to the Press Club?

HH: Yes.

TI: So explain, was this a common thing? Every week you would do this?

HH: Yes. And before we leave, Jimmy would always show me his wallet and he wanted to be sure that whatever money that he was gonna take with him will be in a certain order. So he'll tell me, "This is, first one is a dollar bill," or a five dollar bill or a ten dollar bill, whatever, so I verified that, "Yes, that's it," and then he'll get in the car and I'll drive him to downtown area.

<End Segment 32> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 33>

TI: Now, tell me about Jimmy. When you were doing this with him, like looking in his wallet and verifying the bills, was he, what kind of person was he? Was he kind of a friendly person or was he a serious person? I don't know what he was like. What was Jimmy Sakamoto like?

HH: No, he's just... being a boxer and an athlete and everything else, he was quite talkative, and along the way, sometimes he might just say something. But never on serious political talks or anything like that. But I do remember him saying to me that when he goes to the Press Club meeting and meeting with the publishers of Times and P-I and such, that he would say after the war started, he would say that those publishers says, don't believe what's in -- that's their bread and butter -- articles written about the war and about the Japanese or Japs or whatever. He says between the publishers and Jimmy, this is the kind of information he was telling me, that they are saying, "Don't worry about what's written," because that's their bread and butter.

TI: So, that's interesting. So the weeks after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, you had publications like the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Seattle Times, writing all these articles about Japanese spies or saboteurs and things like this, which weren't really true, but they were writing these. And they were telling Jimmy, "Don't worry about what we're writing, because we're just trying to, like, sell newspapers, and this isn't, this won't be a problem, or don't worry about it," because why? Why shouldn't Jimmy worry about this? Because wasn't it just whipping the public into a sort of frenzy?

HH: Well, this is just after the war, and all the information about all the places around, close to the Boeing plant, down East Marginal Way and everything, there were farmers just south of that Boeing field, and people -- Japanese farmers -- and they were trying to say we should be aware of the fact that this may be one of the sabotage areas. So those kind of information that the newspaper would be putting, whether they're considering or something like that, the city was considering, or the government, these are the information that I think they talked about, assuring Jimmy, don't worry about the paper, because especially the P-I was a Hearst paper.

TI: So they were very anti-Japanese.

HH: Yes, at the time. So it's kind of interesting, I don't know exactly what happened there, but they were in there and usually they have drinks in the Press Club. So, and then they play cards.

TI: But I want to go back just a little bit, because I read some of those articles during those weeks, and yeah, there were articles in, I think, both the Times and P-I talking about how you mentioned like Boeing field, which was a critical airstrip, and how Japanese lived on the hill, on Beacon Hill, overlooking Beacon Hill, as well as how some Japanese lived by this bridge, or they lived by this plant. And these were just people who were in the neighborhoods. [Interruption] [The newspapers] made it sound like that the Japanese were potentially spying or doing bad things, or they could be potentially dangerous. So again, the newspaper people are saying, "We're just writing this to just kind of sell newspapers, and don't worry, that nothing's going to happen because of this." Is that kind of what they were doing? And then they would go off and drink and...

HH: Yes.

TI: And so how did Jimmy feel? Did he believe and trust what he was hearing?

HH: Well, the publishers, you know, you don't have a chance to meet and talk to, but Jimmy was in constant contact with them. So I think it was a very friendly type of deal, and this is the time that they could relax and talk about everything else. But during the time after the war started, I think a lot of conversation might have gone through. So I think that maybe they might have been, the other publishers, might have felt that maybe to ease Jimmy's... because he was the only -- I don't know whether the other Japanese editors or publishers attended that on a regular basis, I don't know. But I know Jimmy was, because I had to take him in the car on the way home.

TI: This is interesting; I didn't realize Jimmy did this. Because Jimmy is pretty prominent in the main newspaper dailies, I mean, stories about him or letters from him. And I imagine, because of his connection with these publishers, it was easier for him to get his story into these newspapers. So that's interesting.

<End Segment 33> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 34>

TI: Okay, so what I next want to do is, so during these weeks before people were removed, this was a time when you decided to get married. And I wanted to understand how that all happened, because prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, were you planning to get married right away? Is this kind of your thinking?

HH: Yes, when the evacuation was already announced, then we did get, Shizuko, she did have an engagement party announcing engagement among her own friends in Seattle.

TI: Well, before you even get there, how did the two of you decide to get married? Did you ask her to get married, or how did that happen?

HH: No, we did have idea before, but with the evacuation being announced and everything, we thought, well, it's better, on her birthday. And then on my birthday, September, see, hers is March, she announced the engagement and also then we can get married in September on my birthday. This is about the, or in September. So this is just before...

TI: So the original plan was to sort of announce the engagement on her birthday, but to get married later on in September on your birthday.

HH: Yes.

TI: That was the original plan.

HH: Yes.

TI: Okay, then what happened?

HH: Well, then as they went into March or after that, they started announcing the Western military command, General DeWitt, commander, he announced the evacuation. But before the evacuation, they had a travel restriction imposed that you could only go five miles. So that meant that it would be hard for us to keep in touch with each other after that.

TI: Because at this point, you were in Tacoma, is that why?

HH: Yes, I did go back eventually, I left working for Jimmy, and then I went back to help my dad because my dad, being an alien, he was having difficulty getting supplies for the grocery store. So I went back even though my brother was there, but I did go back to help him.

TI: So let me make, so this, I want to make sure I understand this. So at the time you made your original plans to get married, this was before DeWitt had issued the orders that people would be removed from the West Coast. At that point, so when you were making plans and you were helping your dad with the store, did you think that the Japanese Americans would be removed from places like Tacoma, or did you think that you would stay there throughout the war?

HH: I think most everybody thought that there would not be mass movement of all. In fact, maybe if there were a possibility of evacuation, in fact, we thought that, well, it'll just be just maybe a month or so and then we'll be all coming back. But if not, at least the Nisei, we have citizenship, that it will split the family, but we thought that maybe just for the Japanese nationals or our parents, Issei, might be detained for a short while, but things won't change. We just didn't believe that evacuation would actually happen.

TI: So it made sense for you to go back to Tacoma, start helping your dad with the store, worst case, maybe he might be taken away, but you could probably take care of the store. But you had to go back there and help get more supplies into the store. So you thought that it was going to be an ongoing concern, that it was going to keep going on.

HH: Yes, because being a small grocery store, he couldn't get credit because the Japanese nationals, their funds, I think some of the businesses were frozen, I think. So I think it was hard for them to get credit, so everything had to be done by cash.

TI: And then the orders started coming out, and in fact, I think Bainbridge Island was the first one, and when you heard about that, what did you and the others think at that point?

HH: We were surprised that why are they, were the first ones to be taken out? Maybe because... oh, I got no idea there, but to be evacuated to California, Manzanar.

TI: Right.

<End Segment 34> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 35>

TI: Okay, so let's go. So now you're back in Tacoma, the government puts not only travel restrictions but curfews are in effect for Japanese and Japanese Americans, Shizuko's living in Seattle and you're living in Tacoma, and now you realize that people are going to be removed from both Seattle and Tacoma. So then what happens?

HH: Well, what happened was that she somehow, I don't know whether, who brought her out to Tacoma, but... that's right. She did come on the bus.

TI: So she got a pass or something to go from Seattle...

HH: Just before the five miles was imposed, but then I brought her back.

TI: Well, wait a second. So she came to Tacoma from Seattle on the bus, and what, why did she come to Tacoma?

HH: Because she thought that maybe if we're -- by that time, you see, Puyallup, "Camp Harmony," Puyallup, they were already, I think some of the Seattle people had moved in there, but before that, the Fife people were already occupying that area. And so, but it wasn't all complete yet, but when they announced that there's going to be a camp for the, established in Puyallup there, that there would be possibly, we might not be going to the same camp. But we thought that surely Tacoma would be in there, because they were building in the parking area some additional barracks. But she decided that maybe it would be better for her to be in Tacoma with me, but I did bring her back because I was still able to drive her over.

TI: But why did you bring her back? Why didn't you...

HH: Because, well, we weren't married yet, and, you know, I said, "No, no. Don't worry, we'll all go to the same place as Seattle."

TI: Okay, so I understand. So she came because she was worried that the two of you might be split up, but you said, "Well, the Seattle and Tacoma people will all probably go to 'Camp Harmony,' in Puyallup, so we'll just meet there," is what you said. So you decided to bring her back to Seattle.

HH: Yes.

TI: And then what happened?

HH: Well, she went back into the house after I parked there, and I was waiting for her because I figured, well, I brought her back, but she was in there a short while, so I thought maybe I better go in and find out what's happening.

TI: No, I'm sorry. So why were you waiting for her?

HH: Because I said I'm going to bring her back, and so I didn't go in, I just figured that, I just said, well, okay, I'm going to leave, but she didn't come out.

TI: So she didn't really come back to say goodbye yet, so you were kind of waiting for her or something.

HH: Yes. But all these years, I didn't know why, or how she made the decision to not stay in Seattle, and she told me, "My father," just not too long ago, finally she said, "My father told me to go to Tacoma."

TI: Because when she went back --

HH: Go with me back. So I brought her back. [Laughs]

TI: Because she came out of the door with her suitcase?

HH: Yes. So she was packing up a few things.

TI: And so she came out with her suitcase, and what was your reaction when you saw that?

HH: Well, I was... but nobody else came out, father, nobody. She just came out by herself and said, "I'm going back with you."

TI: Well, so were you a little surprised?

HH: Yes, I was surprised, but I said, "Okay," so I drove her back with me.

TI: And so she decided that she was going to be with you. That she wasn't going to trust that you would sort of connect...

HH: Until we do get evacuated. As it happened, that's what happened. And so by April, which is the date that, April 4, 1942, is that we decided to get married because we found out, we didn't know exactly where we were going. But we were not sure yet, even at that time, that we'll be going into...

TI: Oh, so that's a good story. So it's kind of interesting, so behind all this was your father-in-law. Her father said it was, that she needed to go and be with you, and so she first came down, took a bus, you convinced her and took her back, and then she got her --

HH: Not the bus, but my car.

TI: Your car, you drove her back, and then she got her suitcase and just came back out and said she was going to go with you. And then you went back to Tacoma...

HH: Stayed with me until...

<End Segment 35> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 36>

TI: You got married on April 4, 1942.

HH: Yes. By that time, the five-mile curfew was on, so we got word to Reverend Andrews, and my sister arranged the wedding to be held in the chapel, First Baptist Church in Tacoma. So my sister, Yaeko, was one, she was still not, I think she wasn't even eighteen yet. But she arranged everything. She just arranged everything because we had, to get the place, somehow she knew there was a Baptist mission on Fawcett Avenue, just close to our Buddhist Church. And I don't think she attended that, because she was more or less attending the Buddhist Church, but she knew, and that lady, missionary, Wyse, W-Y-S-E, she arranged to have the chapel, and Andy, Reverend Andrews came and we just walked from the grocery store, which is not too, I think about two blocks or so from the First Baptist Church in Tacoma. Anyway, that's where we had our wedding.

TI: Do you remember that day and who was there and what kind of day it was?

HH: Yes. Because of the fact that Shiz's family was not able to come anyway with Andy, so it was only Reverend Andrews and my family, and on the way, I met a friend of mine, Yoneo, that he was already in the service. He was a private PFC, I think it was. And he was walking around the street there, and we said, "Hey, I'm getting married," so he was the only guest. [Laughs]

TI: Oh, that's funny. So you just happened to see him on the street, and so you said, "Come along, I'm getting married, come and join us."

HH: We're on the way to getting married, so he came and he was in uniform and everything.

TI: So it probably, in your original mind when you first thought you were going to get married in September, you probably were thinking probably of a larger wedding, at least both families there and everything. So was this wedding ceremony a little bittersweet? You're happy to get married probably, but just not having your friends and family there.

HH: Yes. Well, especially Shiz's family. I mean, they couldn't come out, or any of her friends from Seattle.

TI: Do you recall how she felt about that? Was she sad about that?

HH: No, I didn't see any reaction, although she was very concerned, I guess, about the fact that her family couldn't be at our wedding.

TI: Well, her father probably was pretty wise, because, so as the weeks went on, Tacoma got their notice that they needed to be removed.

<End Segment 36> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 37>

TI: And why don't you talk about that day and what that was like when you were getting ready to leave Tacoma.

HH: Well, by that time, we had all that notices and everything else that we should pack only whatever we can carry and all that kind of instructions given to everybody. And that was, notice was posted on the streets, especially around the area of the Japanese community for all the Japanese.

TI: And then so you had to, so what happened to the store?

HH: Well, so we had to eventually lease the store, and then also I had my car, the same car that I had in Seattle, that we had to dispose of our furnitures and whatever and rental home that we had. And at that time, the junk... or not the junk but more of a, there was a widespread effort, I guess, on the part of the people that, firms that wanted to buy whatever furnitures and everything else that's left, and they were almost sold for practically nothing.

TI: So you'd have these sort of people, companies or whatever, coming by the Japanese community trying to buy furniture and things at essentially pennies on the dollar, kind of, just really cheap. And then, and so did they approach your family to buy things?

HH: Yes, and so we actually, my father, we didn't have that good of furniture anyway, but after the war, we found out they were sold as antiques.

TI: Oh, so what you thought was just old furniture, actually, after the war, those were all sold at a much higher price because they were antique.

HH: Yes. But we did have piano and things like that, but we just didn't, because they just offered so much for the whole lot, and we thought it was, why, so we just left it in the rented place.

TI: And so what were you able to take with you?

HH: Just what you could carry, and so we had to pack whatever clothes, but you can't carry too much big things, but my car was left with my, this was a lawyer's office, Mr. Johnson, that he was able to take care of the lease part and dispose of all our stock and everything else. And then his wife was kind of a friend of my mother, although they couldn't speak to each other, but she was interested in a flower and garden club, especially growing chrysanthemums. And my mother used to grow real good chrysanthemums that she would put into Puyallup Fair, and she would get the top awards. Anyway, she knew the wife of the lawyer also, and so she put some of her bonsai, left it with her, and then also I left my car there.

TI: So your family in this respect was fortunate having friends who would help take care of some things for you, like your car.

HH: Yes. And he also was able to, we decided to just sell the stock and then he would try to dispose of when that person finally decided not to run the grocery store after we were in evacuation camp. He took care of all the storing of fixtures and things like that that he couldn't sell.

<End Segment 37> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 38>

TI: Okay, so describe, so here you could only take what you could carry, so you have your stuff, did you, were you picked up at the front of your house or did you have to walk someplace, what was that, what happened then?

HH: Well, we knew that we were not going to... we didn't know, but they said that, "You should all assemble down at the foot of the Nineteenth Avenue," because that's where we had to take the train, Union Station. Well, that's when we kind of starting worrying, how come, to go to Puyallup, why are we taking a train? But anyway, we were all prepared with whatever we can carry and suitcase and everything, so we just left the front door and just didn't lock it or anything, just left. And we walked down the hill, it's about four blocks or so, kind of a fairly steep hill, but we walked straight down, and right into Union Station, train station.

TI: Can you recall that walk down, anything that happened or anything?

HH: Oh, yes, one thing that I could remember, well, I did take a look back once, about halfway down. I just took one final look, nobody else did. And then my dad, I remember him saying, "You know, when I came from Japan, I had only one suitcase." He says, "I have two now." And like he wasn't worried about whatever else he couldn't take with him, but he just mentioned the fact that he now has two suitcases instead of one, so he had an extra suitcase. And it was kind of a surprise for me, how he took the evacuation and leaving everything behind and just two suitcases that he was carrying out.

TI: So when you heard that, when you heard your father say, "I came with one suitcase, I'm leaving now with two suitcases," you said you were surprised. I mean, what were you thinking when you heard that?

HH: Well, it did strike me kind of a feeling that, well, this is how Issei, and not only my dad, but they had several things that they didn't tell me about various things. One of 'em was that the determination and all this, how we should live our lives, and like if you can't, don't resist anything, but yield like a bamboo and things like that. But this is something that you can't help, shikata ga nai. It just means, well, just leave it that way, can't be helped, so just don't worry about it, just take it in that kind of way. It was amazing how Issei, with just the education that they had, just at an early age, that's all he had, because he came when he was sixteen years old. So it's just amazing to me how Issei were able to persevere and things like that.

<End Segment 38> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 39>

TI: Okay, so we're starting up again, so we had just finished that really nice story of your dad talking as you're walking down the hill, where he talked about how he came in with one suitcase and was leaving with two. But you're going down to the train station, and so this is kind of interesting because by this time, the Seattle people had already been sent to Puyallup, and so you knew you were there. You were going on a train, so that didn't make sense if you were going to Puyallup, because if you were going to Puyallup, you would just take a bus. It wasn't that far away.

HH: Yes, army bus or something like that.

TI: Right, so you're going down to the train station, and so trains are waiting. So what was that like down at the train station?

HH: Well, by the time we reached the train depot, and then we had to go down into the platform area, which is down, carrying whatever we had. We saw quite a few people already there, Japanese, and they were standing outside with the military police standing there also. But they were not boarding yet because they had, my sister, Yaeko, was one of the persons that she had a certain group to board certain areas in the train.

TI: Oh, so your sister was helping to kind of get people organized?

HH: Yes, she was, yes. So we had to find her, and then she said, "Just stand right here," she was checking off all the ones that are supposed to be in her group. So that's what we did, and then all the time I just saw other people coming, walking down.

TI: So while you were there waiting, what was the mood of the people?

HH: Well, they weren't, looked like, kids, especially, they were running around, and everybody just talking to each other, because some of them probably hadn't seen each other recently. But it was just like normal kind of train ride in a sense, but children especially... but the parents, I know, they were concerned, but I think everybody who were in charge, I think they were worried that they're going to be sure to get everybody on the list so that they'll know that everybody's down there.

TI: In terms of when you visualize what it looked like, what were people wearing as they were getting, waiting for the train to leave?

HH: Well, when we were wearing, actually, people, some of them were wearing suits and whatever because we didn't know where we were going. But then some people were in casual, but we were wearing -- just because it was still cold around April -- but I think it was just the fact that we didn't know where we were going, and just wondering, why are we getting on a train? Because we thought we would go to Puyallup.

TI: Now, while you were waiting on the platform, were there, like, other non-Japanese, Japanese Americans, sort of watching?

HH: Oh, yes. Some of the friends that probably brought the families down, yes, there were some others. They didn't restrict the people, but they weren't together right there, but there were others.

TI: So did you have an opportunity to talk to anyone like that who just came down?

HH: No, because we stayed closer to the train and the area where my sister was, so she had a group of about, I think about ten or twenty, around there, group of people that will go in a certain car.

TI: Okay, so you then get on the train, and the train sort of starts moving. So where did the train go? What do you remember about the train ride?

HH: Well, just before we left, as they started loading up people, especially kids, they would open the window and kind of wave around and talking to people as they're loading up. But the MPs who were standing right next to the cars, trains, so they were, I saw some pictures later in the Tacoma Tribune, I guess, with the MP standing and some of the children would be waving from the windows. But not the Issei or the parents, mostly kids.

TI: And when you mentioned MPs, what did the MPs have? Were they armed, did they have guns or anything?

HH: I can't remember for sure, but they may have had at least maybe a pistol or something. Could be, but I can't, I don't think I saw a bayonet or mounted like that, or anything. But the ones that were closer to the train, especially, but I don't know about the perimeter area.

<End Segment 39> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 40>

TI: Okay, so let's go to the train ride. What was that like?

HH: Well, finally after we boarded the train and everything, found our seats and everything, then the train started moving. And the Tacoma area, any trains that leave the station or come in, has to go north to Point Defiance park area, because the tracks were along the shores north. So it wasn't surprising for us to see that it was going north, especially myself, but others knew, too, if you were going to Portland area or something, you have to go that way, up north and then around Point Defiance and then head south. And then you go by the Narrows Bridge, and this is the bridge that in a big wind, it collapsed and everything, and we saw what was left of the "Galloping Gertie," I guess they called it.

TI: Right, so it's a famous bridge that in a windstorm just broke apart.

HH: Yes, I saw a little videotape of that, in the papers and also in the radio.

TI: Okay, so you're, so the train goes by, so at that point you know you're going south, you're going towards Portland.

HH: Yes, by that time, we knew that we must be going south, not to Puyallup, because of the train station. It does leave from there, because we had Interurban going through, near Puyallup and such, but we knew that the people from Seattle were all bussed. And those who were from the Fife area, they were able to drive, some people could drive their trucks and everything else. But we knew that by going north, that we were not going to the Interurban to go north. So it wasn't surprising, but we didn't know what the destination will be. And so I think it took us maybe two full days, or maybe two-thirds, anyway, that night, they asked us to pull our shades down and keep it down. And then sometime along the way, they would have to go into side rail, and then we'll wonder why, and then stopped. And we wondered why, and then all of a sudden we see that a cattle train, freighter would come with cattle. And says, "My, they have, cattle has a preference, priority over us." [Laughs]

TI: Because usually on the train rails, the train with the higher priority would go through, the lower priority would have to go on the side rails.

HH: Yes. Well, the passenger type of trains over the freight. But this is one of the things that I think many people kind of made some comments about it in our car.

TI: And so as the train went further and further south, I mean, you went past Portland...

HH: Yes. Well, it was gradually getting warmer and warmer, and well, gee, we must be getting into... but we didn't know, but we knew we were going south and it got warmer and warmer. And then finally, I think it maybe took us two days. Anyway, we finally stopped on the side of the railroad, and then we found out that we were parked on the outskirts of I think it was grapes, vineyard, and we found out it was near Fresno. And we found out that that place was called Pinedale, which was, the barracks were built, and it was very hot. And we were kind of held there for a while until they could get the train closer to the Pinedale Assembly Center.

<End Segment 40> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 41>

TI: And so when you got to Pinedale Assembly Center, what was that like?

HH: It was, as I say, it used to be an old sawmill, and we could see that the barracks were the same as any army barracks, in a row. So when we got off, we had to walk to that entrance, and they had a crew waiting for us as we came in to register and then at that time, when I got to get our blankets or straw or whatever you needed, you pick up your blankets, army blankets, and then assigned a barrack. They call it a room, but then it was a barrack sectioned off into... the two end rooms were the large rooms because they had a big double door, just like the army barracks. And then in between, they sectioned off I believe about four buildings, four rooms, sectioned off with the doors on one side. Anyway, by the time we got there to register, George (Watanabe). Anyway, the editor of the Pinedale Irrigator --

TI: Pinedale Logger.

HH: Pinedale Logger, excuse me, because it was named after the sawmill. Anyway, he met me and said, "We're going to be, put out a paper, camp paper from tomorrow, so I want you to report to the office." And so we had a paper put out.

TI: So that's interesting. So you went there, so it was this old sawmill that they put barracks in, you walk in, and as you're registering, you come across someone you know named George, who's going to be the editor of this. Now, how did you know George? What was the connection?

HH: I didn't know him, really, until I met him there.

TI: So how did he know about you, that you were a journalist?

HH: I don't remember if he also attended University of Washington, I don't know. And I don't know too much about him really, but he's the one that was waiting for me at the entrance as I came in.

TI: Oh, so was he waiting for you? So he knew that you were coming.

HH: Yes, yes.

TI: So he knew that you were coming, so he wanted to recruit you to work for the Logger.

HH: Yes, he wanted to let me know that when I got settled down, to show up at, before we got the barrack, my wife and everything, settled down, he says, if I would come because we had a paper to put out.

TI: Now, at this time, were there quite a few people at Pinedale already, before you got there?

HH: Yes.

TI: So where were these people from?

HH: Actually, all of Tacoma and Auburn area, and Kent, and Bellevue, and Sumner, but not Fife. And Seattle was only Seattle, and outlying areas, like Enumclaw and all that, and Eatonville and up north also, they all came into Pinedale.

TI: So that's kind of interesting. So in the Northwest, you had Seattle, and then some outlying communities of Tacoma like Fife, they ended up going to Puyallup and then later on to Minidoka, whereas Tacoma and places like Bellevue, Kent, and the other outlying areas around Seattle, all went down to Pinedale.

HH: Yes, except Bainbridge Island.

TI: Which went to Manzanar.

HH: Uh-huh, they already left.

TI: So even though it was geographically close when you started off, you went to these three separate areas.

HH: Yes.

TI: Okay, so you're there, and so you have other Northwest people, and who else was at Pinedale besides the Northwest people?

HH: And then from the Bay Area, San Francisco, Alameda.

TI: Alameda, Sacramento...

HH: Sacramento...

TI: ...was there.

HH: Yes.

TI: Okay, so there were other people.

<End Segment 41> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 42>

TI: And so talk about it. So the next day, you right away start working. You're at the Pinedale Logger.

HH: Yes, and at the beginning, we didn't have any kind of a program, so I was helping as kind of an assistant editor, general articles. And then...

TI: Now, can you recall what type of articles were needed at this point, what you guys were writing?

HH: Well, this is for instructions, because it wasn't like we had reporters to go out, even at the beginning. Because this was an assembly center set up by the military, not the War Relocation Authority. All your assembly centers were set up by the military so that down in California, they had mostly fairgrounds like Alameda and especially Puyallup, they had a stables area that they had to set up as part of their room. Very small area, but this is the way the assembly center was. Not partitioned off, except for the barracks that was in Puyallup in the parking areas, and that's where we thought that we would be going.

TI: Okay, but so originally -- going back to the Pinedale Logger, so you started writing more general information, notices and things like that.

HH: Yes.

TI: And, but eventually you started, because your expertise or what your experience was was more sports. Now, so did you start doing some more sports type of organizing and writing?

HH: Well, they wanted to have some kind of -- this is just before Fourth of July. Anyway, I think it was May that we left, and by the time we were not organized yet as far as different departments, but the kids, children especially, they had nothing to do, and there was no field or baseball field or anything like that, basketball, so they just decided to have a baseball league. And so I was able to find help from various California team and then also from Tacoma area and Auburn and such, that were in the Courier League.

TI: So how did you find all these people? How did you go about identifying and knowing who to contact?

HH: Well, when we organized, we did announce that we wanted teams made up from certain areas, where they came from, and that way they can make up the team easier.

TI: So this was almost similar to what you used to do with the Courier League. That you had these different communities, and you in the same way said, "Okay, let's do the same thing. Every community put together like a baseball team, and then we'll start a league and start doing this."

HH: Yes. And especially California teams, I had previous contact with them, and I met some of the leaders of, coaches of San Francisco and Oakland and San Jose group, teams that came up on basketball. And so it was not hard for me to ask them to help me get the team organized in their area, California area.

TI: And so as you were organizing this, what kind of reaction or support did you get from the military? Since they were running the camp, you must have had to get permission from them to create baseball fields and things like that, get equipment.

HH: No, the military had nothing to do with the camp itself. It was left for the group to take care of the needs of, because it was a temporary place.

TI: So the military just didn't really care, you guys just went out there, found an appropriate place for a baseball field, and just made that the baseball field.

HH: Yes, well, it was kind of like a sandlot, the area that we were able to get it cleared up and start the league.

TI: So how about equipment and uniforms and things like that?

HH: Well, they furnished it, the administration.

TI: The administration did. So you made a request that you needed baseballs, bats, mitts, things like that, and they got it for you.

HH: Yes. But we didn't organize a basketball, because it was such a short time, because by the time Fourth of July, we had a big celebration for Fourth of July in the camp.

TI: Tell me about that. So on the Fourth of July, Independence Day, you guys had a big celebration?

HH: Yes, well, the whole camp.

TI: It seems a little ironic. [Laughs]

HH: Yes, the whole camp, and in a big area, assembly area.

TI: So did the administration give you guys special treats and things for the Fourth of July?

HH: I don't remember getting anything, special treats or anything, but the menu at the time was all cooked for us in the mess hall. Each block had a mess hall, and so I don't know if they made a special, maybe hotdog, maybe. [Laughs]

<End Segment 42> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 43>

TI: So it's getting to be about the Fourth of July, you're down in Fresno, which in the summertime gets, it's really hot, and I'm curious how the people from the Northwest dealt with the heat. I mean, how was it for you and the others who were used to a cooler climate, going to Fresno?

HH: Well, as I said, we thought we were going to Puyallup, but they told us, "Hey, you better bring boots and heavy clothing because it's muddy and it's cold." So we were more or less not prepared for the hot weather, and it was hot. And to tell you how hot it was, in our barracks, and it's the same in all the other ones, they had tar on the floor. And then also there's no insulation or anything, because the roof and the sides were only covered with tarpaper and wood to kind of hold it down, just like a regular army, but this was more on a temporary basis. Anyway, we were assigned one room, and the military miscalculated the more rooms that they need for family, because the military only goes by number of heads, two hundred, well, then two hundred people could fit in a barrack or whatever. They found out as they started filling it by families, that there was not enough barracks for the families. So right from the very beginning, first day, after we had our room set up, then we had to share with another young married couple.

TI: I see. So the army, when they calculate, it's usually just for men, and they would just like put 'em in barracks one after the other, and really pack them in. But in this situation, they had to deal with family units, and so a family would want to take one room, but they, there might be room for a couple more, but it's hard because they just wanted to keep a family unit together. So in your case, you had a room, you started off with just the two of you...

HH: Yes.

TI: ...but they realized, well, they could fit two more in there, so that's what happened.

HH: Well, they had to, so they assigned another young -- I can't remember meeting them or talking to them and everything else, because I was working at the paper after that anyway. Anyway, what we could do -- and I was fortunate to have a long enough cord, and I stretched it in the middle of the room. I took the room, part of the room where the door was. So they got the other side, but that other side had one small window. Anyway, so to partition our side, I had to string the cord across and then hang blankets, because we don't need blankets because it's so hot. And to tell you how hot it was, I had a thermos that I had brought with me, and I found some ice in the dining mess hall area. So I filled it up with ice in there, and I capped it. Then when I thought maybe I'll use some of that ice, when I opened it, it went pop and the thing shattered inside.

TI: Just so the heat difference between the hot and cold caused it.

HH: Yes. And then also the cots were iron cots, army spring cots. Anyway, it was so hot that from the very beginning, I decided to go on the floor underneath and just put the blanket underneath, and then just, it was just easier for us to avoid the heat coming directly down on us being underneath the cot. So I thought that would be better for my wife, because she's going to be around in the barracks. Because if you go outside, there's no shade. So it was very hot. Well, we found out that during the night, the four legs of the cot were sinking in, into the tar. And then by that time, it started making a four-by-four pieces with a little hole for the legs, and two of 'em front to back. And that's what they put underneath the cots.

TI: Wow, so these rooms, so one, it was a room that you had to share, that you had to have, like, a blanket partition, but the rooms were poorly insulated.

HH: No ceiling.

TI: No ceiling, and so during the day it would just get hot, so it would be cooler to be underneath the bed, because there was, I mean, just a little cooler.

HH: For me, but I don't know how many others did it.

TI: No, I've heard this from other people, too, that it was a little bit cooler. But furthermore, that it was so hot in those rooms, that the tar would just soften up. So these beds would just like start sinking into the tar, until later on you had these two-by-fours. So people, some people must have been pretty miserable.

HH: Oh, it was miserable, especially when it came time for the mess hall, for meals. We had to go walk and wait until they were able to... so we had to stand outside in the mess hall area with no cover. Some people had umbrellas, sunshades or something, but I know several of the Issei, they kind of fainted because of the hot.

TI: Yeah, it must have been such a difference, for especially people from the Northwest, because they're not used to the heat and the sun.

HH: Yes.

TI: And then having to wait out in line, because I imagine people had to wait in line, because I've heard oftentimes the mess halls didn't have enough food. So if you didn't get in line early enough, then they would run out of food, so you had to get in line to get fed.

HH: So, and then facilities were not too good, like laundry room, everybody had to bring their wash and wash outside, because they didn't have the facility, toilets and such.

TI: I'm curious how the people from the Northwest sort of got along and mixed with the people from California. Was there sort of differences in how their, kind of just socially and culturally difference between the Northwesterners and the Californians?

HH: Well, I think in the assembly center period of time when we stayed in the assembly centers, I don't think there was too much occasion to mingle, especially from the California people. But I'm sure Tacoma people, they probably visited each other and such. But the only time that we could really meet was a place like mess hall, with a cover, but it wasn't, there was no air conditioner or nothing, so it was pretty hot, even in the mess hall, which was a bigger building.

TI: Okay, good.

<End Segment 43> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 44>

TI: So Pinedale was an assembly center, so these were temporary detention facilities. These were a place to hold people until they built more permanent facilities. So eventually you left Pinedale. Can you talk about leaving Pinedale and where you went next?

HH: I think we had to take a train again, and it was shortly after the Fourth of July that we didn't know where we were going, but we found out that it was in Tule Lake, and we didn't know where Tule Lake was until we got there. But we found out that it was on the border, on the northern border of California and eastern Oregon, near Klamath Falls.

TI: And what was, what was Tule Lake like when you first got there?

HH: Tule Lake was no different as far as the barracks, because they were still building barracks. And especially Tule Lake, it was, they were all behind schedule. That's why they had to take 'em to assembly center. Manzanar, I think, was already inhabited by the California people. I think they were there already, before Winslow and Bainbridge Island people were evacuated. But all the others were not even finished completely.

TI: So when you got to Tule Lake, at Pinedale, you worked on the newspaper, the Pinedale Logger. At Tule Lake, they had the Tulean Dispatch, another newspaper. Did you work on --

HH: Tulean Dispatch, yes.

TI: Did you work on that?

HH: I also worked as a sports editor there.

TI: Now, was it kind of the same crew from Pinedale that worked on the Tulean, or was it a different group?

HH: I think... I can't really remember too much, but I think everybody left, and some of those people might have gone to other facilities instead, because I think Tule Lake was the largest. It was supposed to be able to hold 20,000.

TI: So as sports editor of the Tulean Dispatch, what did that mean? What kind of things did you do as sports editor?

HH: Well, same type of thing. By that time, they had a recreation department, and we were, our office was on the end of the barrack, which rest of the barrack was the recreation department. So they started having, like, piano lessons and things like that as they got, and in fact, I think we had a few Hawaiians. I don't know, I think they came from Puyallup, I think. Anyway, they had weights, in fact, the guy who was a lightweight, he broke some of the...

TI: Oh, so one of the weightlifters, I can't remember, I think was like Kono or somebody...

HH: Yes, I think so.

TI: He was a weightlifting champion.

HH: Yes, he was there, so they thought maybe they can get that kind of thing as part of the recreation department. And then we had to get a baseball field and basketball, things set up, tennis court. But the ground is very sandy there, and in the wintertime, it's really very cold. In fact, we didn't have any running water, we had to go to the toilets and such, showers, was in one smaller building, then the laundry facility in each block. So you had to go from your barrack and to get any water and everything like that, you had to get it. So they gave us a bucket, and so we would bring water in from there.

TI: So you'd get your water from these more central facilities, and then bring it to your room.

HH: Yes, outside of these facilities, they had a little faucet that you could fill your bucket, and then you bring it back in. And then in wintertime, I remember, at Tule Lake, had ice form on the...

TI: So the rooms were so cold that you had ice form?

HH: Yes.

TI: So that was below freezing.

HH: Yes. First year especially was bad because there were no inside walls, the exterior side was not, wasn't even plasterboard or anything like that. There's no ceiling installed yet, so really, it was very hard the first year. Because it was the second year that they were finally able to start putting up ceiling, walls, and the sides.

TI: So, I mean, from your perspective, because you had a really insider view of this, how important were sports in places like Pinedale and Tule Lake? Because you, that was something you really focused on. When you look at kind of the bigger picture of the camps and just how things were going, how important do you think sports were to the camps?

HH: Well, this is, in assembly centers, they didn't have schools anyway, they didn't have a building even large enough, and so they didn't have school there. But now it became a more permanent place, they didn't know how long you'd go, it was more duration of the war. But then they didn't get the schools built, but they were using these recreation hall, which is one barrack, same as the barrack building, that they started having classes for not only school, but also for crafts and little things that the adults could use to take some... unless they're working. So first deal is man all these people, workers, so that the camp could operate. Because they didn't have any civilian people manning as cooks and everything else.

<End Segment 44> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 45>

TI: I want to move on to, after several months, the government came out and had adults fill out what we call the "loyalty questionnaire."

HH: Yes.

TI: And in this questionnaire there were two questions in particular, I think they were number 27 and 28, which people were asked to kind of indicate their loyalty to the United States. And this was administered to all the camps. But I wanted to find out what it was like in Tule Lake when they handed out this questionnaire, and what the discussions were and how did people feel about that.

HH: The newspapers, camp newspapers, were actually not independent as far as editors, editorial and everything else had to be screened by the administration. But we had a prior kind of information that this questionnaire is going to be, loyalty-type questionnaire would be coming, but we didn't know how it was going to be worded. But we did have, being in the newspaper, that we did have a prior information. So it wasn't quite a surprise for us, but we had to be the one to, paper, both for Minidoka and all the camps had a camp paper.

TI: So at Tule Lake, the Tulean --

HH: Tulean Dispatch.

TI: So did you have to write about it, or did you just...

HH: No, no, we had to print whatever the administration...

TI: And so do you recall what the administration had you print about the questionnaire?

HH: I can't really remember too much of wording and such, but we did have to emphasize the fact that everybody has to appear to answer the question. And I think the questionnaire, I think we had to go to the certain area, I don't know if it was the project administration area which was fenced off, right adjoining, but anybody just couldn't go into the project administration area.

TI: Oh, so people, so they had to go into this sort of fenced-off area, to go there to read the questionnaire, fill it out, and sign it?

HH: Yes.

TI: Oh, so they didn't have the opportunity to really just read it and think about it for a while? They had to go there and do it right then?

HH: Yes. Well, before we get to there, they had an internal security man by the evacuees, and then also some sort of rule, like each block had block manager. And the block manager administered, points for the block managers were able to meet together in the administration area and everything, get instructions and whatever. So they were the ones that had to be... so some of the block managers had a hard job, really, because they looked like they were siding with the administration in a way.

TI: I see. So every block had a block manager, all the block managers would meet with the administration, the administration would pretty much tell them what to do and what to say, and so some people may have viewed them as just being very pro-administration, or just like the lackeys of the administration, which made it hard for them.

HH: Yes. So whatever newspaper articles come from the administration, really, we had to stress the fact that block managers would be the more central group that would be involved with any kind of instructions or ruling or whatever, internal security.

<End Segment 45> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 46>

TI: So when the questionnaires did start being answered, people started filling them out, was it pretty controversial in Tule Lake, the questionnaire?

HH: Yes, because by the time that there was lots of rumors going in, and I know some of the Issei would be talking about, like even in different areas, especially maybe not too much Tacoma area, which took up most of the area in Tule Lake, but we had California, Sacramento people and all that. I think they were more pro-Japan or something, rumors were coming out that they saw the Fresno newspaper or San Francisco newspaper article that somebody might have sent to them, that this is the kind of articles that they're talking about, was in these papers.

TI: Do you recall any of the rumors that were coming out of the sort of more pro-Japan viewpoints?

HH: Well, it all had the big question about, as far as the two answers that we had to give, especially the part for the allegiance to the Emperor. Well, for me, it wasn't, that wasn't a problem for me because my dad said that, whether it was officially registered or not, but he did say that I do not have dual citizenship. But that article that everybody had to sign, that created a problem in the immediate family, Nisei parents, Issei. See, most of the Nisei were not even, some were just grade school. Most of them were younger than like myself, I was already out of college. But even some of the athletes were still high school in the Courier League. So it did create a problem, especially in a family that maybe the father was more pro-Japan, Japanese or something.

TI: Oh, I see. So what you're saying is the ones who were underage pretty much had to go along with their parents.

HH: Yes, because they were not even legal age.

TI: Versus you, who, you were of age, so you would be able to make your own decision.

HH: Yes.

TI: And furthermore, your father had already sort of renounced your Japanese citizenship, so you felt no, necessarily a reason that you had to be loyal to the emperor.

HH: Well, I did talk to him about it, about the allegiance and things like that, and I said, "Gee, I can't answer that as 'yes' or whatever. I don't owe any allegiance to the emperor."

TI: And your father agreed with you?

HH: Yes.

TI: So in your case, you answered those two questions, those two controversial questions "yes-yes"? That you, I mean, 'yes'...

HH: No.

TI: Well, I mean, like the way... I don't have the exact questions, but if you answered "no-no," you were saying that you still had allegiance to the emperor. But you answered in a way that said that you had no allegiance to the emperor, and that you would, like, serve in the armed forces of the United States?

HH: Yes, that's why some of those that were incarcerated, they were called "no-nos."

TI: Right, because when they said --

HH: Both questions "no" and "no."

TI: Right. But you answered "yes-yes" to those two questions?

HH: Yes.

TI: Okay.

HH: And my brother did the same thing.

<End Segment 46> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 47>

TI: And in general, do you have a sense of what percentage of the men answered "yes-yes" versus "no-no" at Tule Lake?

HH: Well, I don't think we announced it especially, but it was only after the segregation went into effect, and people were starting to, ones that were going to be leaving to other relocation centers, that this problem came up. Especially the "yes" people that were leaving, were being singled out by the other camps, that sent their "no-no" people.

TI: Yeah, so I want to ask about this. So here we have a case where, I mentioned earlier how this questionnaire was being administered to all ten camps. And what happened was the ones who answered "no-no," they were being asked or they were being sent to Tule Lake, which was being designated at that point as a segregation camp. So they were going to segregate, in theory they were going to segregate the ones who said "no-no" or who said they were more loyal to Japan than the United States. And so during this process, you had people from the other nine camps, the ones who went "no-no" being sent to Tule Lake. And then there was an opportunity for the ones in Tule Lake who said "yes-yes" to be sent to one of the other camps.

HH: Yes.

TI: And so that way in theory, Tule Lake would just have the ones who said "no-no," and the other camps would just have the ones saying "yes-yes." And it's during this period that you said that things changed at Tule Lake.

HH: Yes, because especially ones from the California area, segregation was made up of all the other nine camps, but the people who were already in Tule Lake, they did not have to leave even though they were "no-no."

TI: And so was it clear, like in your case, so you were "yes-yes," and did the ones who were more pro-Japan, they were giving people like you a more difficult time? Do you recall anything like that?

HH: Well, there was some incidents where some people were beat up in the same block, because those who came from the other areas, other camps, were housed in the vacated... not in one section or anything like that, because there were some vacancies of people that left the camp and others that stayed. So as it got more and more of the segregee people came, they started getting incidents.

TI: So it became more and more, as more and more of the segregees or "no-nos" came in Tule Lake, they got...

HH: They know that they were going to be leaving or whatever, and so...

TI: And in particular, if you were identified as either a JACL leader or pro-JACL, possibly as someone who is going to volunteer for the military, it was those individuals that were perhaps given the hardest time? Is that the way it was?

HH: Well, at the time, there was no combat team or anything like that, the military did not designate that you would be going into the military.

TI: So maybe not the veterans, but the JACL, though.

HH: Yes. They knew who the leaders were in California especially, and I remember one incident -- which was not put in the paper, incidentally -- I just hear things like that, being on the paper, that there was an incident when the trucks came to pick up their boxed crates that they had put their, to load the train I guess, when they leave. I heard several incidents where they said that the truck came to pick up, and then just happened to kind of slip out of the hands, which was done purposely, but, "Oh, gee, sorry." [Laughs] Dropped the crate from the, had to load up the truck and it fell down and broke the crate and things like that.

TI: So these were like the belongings of...

HH: Yes, individuals, because it had names on it.

TI: Okay, so when people were, so the crew that was transporting belongings from the train to the camp, if it belonged to a known JACL leader...

HH: Yes, especially, yes.

TI: ...especially, then sort of "by accident" they would say, these crates would be dropped.

HH: Yes. Just "accidentally dropped."

TI: "Accidentally dropped." But a strong correlation if it's with a JACL leader.

<End Segment 47> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 48>

TI: Okay, so where we ended the last tape was we're still talking about the, perhaps the, how some people felt about the JACL leaders, and that you had just finished the story about how it just so happened that some of the belongings of JACL leaders happened to sometimes be dropped, these crates and things.

HH: And not only that, sometimes I did hear about the fact that at night, a group of young, most likely ones that were "no-nos" and came from other camps, they would knock on the door at nighttime and when you go out, they beat them up. So I did hear several incidents, but I'm sure there were other incidents like that.

TI: Well, so I'm curious, from your perspective, you personally, because you had a close association with Jimmy Sakamoto in Seattle, and Jimmy Sakamoto was known as a JACL leader. Because you worked with him, did you ever feel any tension towards you as a possible sort of pro-JACL person? Were you ever concerned about that?

HH: No, no.

TI: Now, why was that? Why, is it because people didn't know that you knew Jimmy Sakamoto, or it just, I'm curious why you weren't worried.

HH: Well, I think that didn't come from my mind at any time, until I went to Minidoka and found out that he was kind of ostracized. But I didn't know during the Puyallup camp time, because he, the JACL members or officers, they took a more prominent part of the administration of "Camp Harmony" at that time.

TI: Oh, so it's kind of interesting. Do you think it would have been a lot different if you had instead, if Tacoma people instead went to Puyallup, and here was a place where someone you knew, Jimmy Sakamoto, became sort of one of the people who kind of took charge at Puyallup. Do you think that it would have been a little different for you? Because he probably would have asked you to help him in that situation, because he knew you already.

HH: Yes, there is that possibility.

TI: That you would, at that point, if you had been to Puyallup...

HH: Most likely, yes.

TI: ...might have been more, perhaps, perceived as more of a JACL person because of your connection. But by going to Tule Lake and being separated from Jimmy Sakamoto, I guess what I'm hearing is that you weren't really perceived as a JACL person.

HH: No.

TI: And so you weren't, there was no sort of animosity shown towards you because of that, because you weren't JACL.

HH: Because the Tacoma people only knew me as Tacoma, not associated with Seattle too much.

TI: Okay, so that makes sense. While we're on the topic of Jimmy Sakamoto, I just wanted to kind of end a few things. So you said that in Puyallup, he was one of the people who helped lead things or organize things, but then by the time he was at Minidoka, you said that he was pretty much ostracized?

HH: I think so. I didn't know until I went to Minidoka, because the only thing I could have contact with Minidoka was we were getting camp papers from all the camps, and sometimes we would use articles, especially during that time of segregation. We would get some articles from other camps that was published in their papers. So we had a pretty good idea of what's going on in the other camps.

TI: That's interesting. Staying with Jimmy Sakamoto, so when you did see him at Minidoka later on, what was your sense about where, how he was feeling about everything?

HH: Well, by the time I went to Minidoka, and then I found out that he was there. I didn't really know if he was there or not until I actually visited him, which was not too far from my barrack. And he met me and everything else, but there was nothing said anything about being ostracized or anything like that. But I almost felt that he could be, being involved with the JACL, and also being the Courier publisher and editor. So we just kind of exchanged ideas and whatever.

TI: And your sense of Jimmy being ostracized, you mentioned the JACL and the Japanese American Courier, and so some people have felt, well, Jimmy Sakamoto was too trusting of the government, he felt that everything was going to be okay, and always sort of struck a note of let's cooperate with the government. And so there was some resentment towards Jimmy saying that probably wasn't the thing that the Japanese Americans should have done. So there's that side, there's also some stories that Jimmy Sakamoto secretly sort of helped or gave information to people like the FBI. What's your sense about that? Do you have any sense of what the truth is about Jimmy Sakamoto?

HH: No, I don't think I heard anybody say anything or even I didn't hear from the Courier office or anything like that. I think the idea about cooperation is better is more central at that time since Jimmy was not president of the national JACL.

TI: So at that point it was more --

HH: It was in California.

TI: -- Mike Masaoka.

HH: Mike Masaoka or others, and there was also a Northwest person, Hito Okada, I think. Anyway, that was more active, because he was down in California area. So no, and not only that, Jimmy showed me -- he was very proud of it -- a poem that he wrote about the 442nd.

TI: And this was a poem he wrote during, when he was in camp?

HH: Yes. And I even published it in my, in the Nisei Vet paper after, when I was involved with the NVC newsletter, that I did publish his article hoping that maybe after the war, Jimmy was back in Seattle and working at St. Vincent de Paul. So I thought maybe, and knowing the position that he was in, but I always considered him a real American.

TI: Okay, so this poem that he wrote about the 442, you published in the NVC newsletter later on, this is after the war, in the hopes that when people read the poem, they would better able to kind of see him as who he is.

HH: Yes. Especially in a Nisei vet paper. But I didn't get any reaction from the Nisei Vets members or anything. It was just published and that was it.

TI: Okay, good. I just wanted to kind of bring closure to Jimmy's story.

<End Segment 48> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 49>

TI: Let's go back to Tule Lake. So at this point, it's become a segregation camp, and you were "yes-yes," and so you were, you had the option of leaving Tule Lake. And so what were you thinking? Did you want to leave Tule Lake, or did you want to stay there?

HH: Well, this goes back to my being recruited by the Office of Strategic Services, OSS.

TI: Okay, so yeah, let's talk about this.

HH: After the loyalty questionnaire, then I knew that I would have to leave, I can leave Tule Lake, but when I got summoned by the project that I should meet somebody, they wanted me to meet somebody. And I didn't know who it was or anything because I didn't request it or anything like that. And I found out that this was Bruce Rogers, I think it was Bruce Rogers, that came all the way from Washington, D.C. from the OSS, and he wanted me to volunteer to work for the OSS.

TI: Now at this point, did you know what the OSS was?

HH: No, I did not know. All I knew was that it was the OSS, Office of Strategic Services, which was organized by President Roosevelt.

TI: So did Bruce Rogers explain to you what the OSS was?

HH: Yes, he outlined what the, this is a new organization for central intelligence, combining all the intelligence like FBI and the CIA and all this. The CIA was after, but they had more of a central intelligence patterned after the British kind of organization.

TI: So this was an intelligence organization, some have told me like the precursor to the CIA, that this was kind of the beginnings of the CIA. And so you had this recruiter, Bruce Rogers coming from Washington, D.C. to talk to you. Did he try to recruit other people from Tule Lake?

HH: No, he came just for me.

TI: So he came all the way from Washington, D.C. just for you. Why you? What was the connection? How did he come all the way knowing that you're the one that he wanted?

HH: Well, this is kind of a mystery to me, too, because I couldn't figure out how come he found me in Tule Lake. But apparently this goes back to my decision to change my major at the University of Washington in 1938, that getting into political science and such, and I was taking more Japanese language and Far Eastern studies division of political science. And at the same time, another theory I have is that every year, the Japan Society organization...

TI: Right, we talked about it yesterday, where you had that dinner when you talked about sitting next to Collins, Colonel Collins.

HH: Yes.

TI: So you told that story already, so it was this connection that we'll find out a little bit later, that Colonel Collins worked in the OSS.

HH: Yes, I had to report to him after -- I went as a, this was a civilian organization, but the personnel were all former lawyers because President Roosevelt appointed "Wild Bill" Donovan, I think he was a retired general. Anyway, he had him head up the organization. So even though it was a civilian organization organized by the Department of War, whatever it is...

TI: Department of War?

HH: Yes, it was because of the officers and such, but the organization itself was civilian.

TI: But what you think, though, is although you're not sure, you think it was Collins who was at that Japan Society dinner who knew that you graduated in political science, Far Eastern studies, studied Japanese, and who later on joined the OSS. It was probably that connection that he probably said, "Go talk to this man," and they found you at Tule Lake.

HH: That's what I believe, but I never -- I met Mr. Collins later in something else I had to do with him. But we never did discuss my meeting him, as I had to report to him by myself to say that I'm So-and-so, and I'm reporting to you for assignment. After I got drafted when I went to Washington, D.C.

<End Segment 49> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 50>

TI: So Bruce Rogers the recruiter comes to Tule Lake and talks to you about the OSS. What was your reaction when Bruce asked you to join them?

HH: Well, when Bruce gave me some information about what kind of work we'll be doing, it involved intelligence and it'd be mostly Japanese-language, because of the personnel that they had. But not too much about what kind of work I'll be doing, but this was only going to be, at the time I thought it was only going to be in the Washington, D.C. area, so not in the army or anything like that. And so I think that that's... but I did mention that if I go to Washington, D.C., my draft board... see, while you were in relocation camp, we were all classified 4-C, which is like an alien classification. But if we left, like after a while, all the people in these relocation camps, especially younger people, they wanted to go to college or school and everything, or find employment. If they could find employment outside of the western area, western states, California, Oregon and Washington, that they could leave. But then if you left, then you were subject to a draft, the men. And so I did raise the question to him, "What happens in case I get drafted?" He said, "Oh, you know, you have a daughter, and you're not one of the younger." But he said, "No, there would be no problem about that because you're working for the War Department and you'd get a deferment," because I'm working for OSS. But he says, "Just in case you did get drafted," he says, "well, we can get you commissioned as an officer." Well, I thought that's pretty good.

TI: So these were all --

HH: But it was never written down.

TI: Yeah, so these were just verbal promises that he gave you to get you to essentially agree to join the OSS as a civilian.

HH: Yes.

TI: Thinking that, well, if you joined, that one, you probably won't be drafted because you have a daughter, and furthermore, if you are, we'll commission you as an officer, which would be better than just coming in as a private.

HH: Yes. But at that same time when I told him I was already 1-A, even in Tule Lake. But with a 4-C classification, I was worried about that if I left the camp area.

TI: Well, besides just the draft issue of doing this, what did you think about the job? I mean, was this something that you wanted to do?

HH: Well, it involved language and all that kind of thing, so he did tell me it was going to be mostly done, because of the personnel, we're going to be dealing with maybe leaflets or things like that.

TI: Now, did you talk with anyone else about the job offer, and did you ask anyone else in terms of their opinions on whether or not you should do this or not?

HH: No. The only one, I think I probably told the editor of the paper that I'm going to be leaving maybe for Minidoka, that I've been summoned by the OSS. Because they knew that I did go meet somebody.

<End Segment 50> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 51>

TI: Okay, so now I want to talk a little bit about your wife. During this period, you were working on the newspaper. What was she doing?

HH: She was working as a teacher in kindergarten. By that time, they started having classes in a recreation hall that they had, which was close to our area. We were on the far southern edge of the camp, and then there's a big moat separating our area. And we used to call our area, four blocks that was on the south side of the moat, we called it "Alaska."

TI: Why'd you call it Alaska?

HH: [Laughs] Because it's like Alaska. It wasn't because we had Alaskans, we were all from Tacoma.

TI: Because you thought you guys were so isolated from everyone else?

HH: Yes, I think so. Anyways, it was just on the other side of the moat, and she was working. And then shortly after, she became ill and she had to go to the base hospital. And at that time, the doctor found out that she was pregnant and they questioned about her health. So my wife said this is what she found out, that she'll have to stay in the hospital for the duration of the pregnancy until the baby's born.

TI: Well, in general, what was the health care like in camp? I mean...

HH: Well, the base camp was manned, all the doctors were from, civilians who were former doctors in San Francisco or Seattle or wherever. All the camps were that way. None of the people, workers, were... only the heads of the certain departments like recreation and our newspaper and everything, was headed by personnel from the administration. But everything else was like internal security and all that, patrol, and recreation department, they were all evacuees.

TI: Okay, so in the case of the healthcare, so I think what you're saying is there were a few positions that were administration or Caucasians who had those positions, but in the case of most other ones, they were Japanese Americans, from within camp. And that is also the, the health care staff was also Japanese American?

HH: Yes.

TI: Okay, got it.

HH: And the nurses, they all were from, evacuees.

TI: And these were all not only Japanese Americans, but they were trained to be doctors and nurses. That's what they were doing in their previous, before they were in the camps, they were doctors and nurses?

HH: Well, doctors. See, they had three classifications as far as the pay. There was a professional and then skilled, and then unskilled. So like doctors, they were all professional, nineteen dollars a month. And sixteen dollars for the skilled, and unskilled like working in the mess halls and such were twelve dollars. Newspaper editor and such was nineteen dollars. We're professionals. [Laughs] So in that way, the doctors were, fortunately for us, we had very good doctors from San Francisco. So that's, I knew one of the doctors that my wife was under care, he's the one that mentioned that, "You could continue, but for your health, that it would be better if you maybe consider abortion," so he left the decision to us. And so when I heard about it, I said, "No way." I'm worried about her health. I thought maybe pregnancy will be hard on her. So to this day, I still every once in a while think about that time, when I see my daughter, the oldest one, Janet Sachi, that I did make that decision. But my wife insisted, "No, I want to go through with it."

TI: So that must have been a very scary time for you to hear that your wife was so ill that with the pregnancy, one of the doctors said that it might be better for her to have an abortion. And you were concerned about your wife's health, so you really felt that perhaps you should go through with the abortion. But it was your wife who decided, no, that --

HH: Yes, we had a choice. I mean, he just said, "You can, but you have to stay in the base hospital all through the..." because I think some of it was that the food, I think the hospitals had better food than the mess hall. I think that was one of the things, because you couldn't get milk and things like that freely, and orange, fresh orange and things like that. So I think that that played a part, too, about better food in the hospital, base.

TI: So what's interesting to me, so when it comes to decisions that you as a couple have to make, you and your wife, how do you guys make decisions? I mean, if you think one thing and your wife thinks something else, how do you guys decide which way to go on decisions?

HH: Well, I was all for her health, really. So my decision, but I didn't say, "This is what I want you to do." We talked about it in the base hospital, but she said, "I want to go through, and I'll stay." And I thought about it, this may be six months or so, six months or seven months. And I just couldn't see her in a hospital. But it was more her health. So it wasn't hard for me, but it must have been hard for her, but she was willing to go through with staying. And later, after we came back to Seattle, she said, "Hey, I had a good time." [Laughs]

TI: Because she was in the hospital, in a bed all this time?

HH: Yes, the people that she had... in fact, when she left, they had a little autograph booklet that somebody carved on the, they made the little thing, some of the patients there that wrote something on it and gave it to my wife. And we still have that. And it sounded like she was really very popular and had a good time.

TI: She was there for a long time, so she really got to know everyone.

<End Segment 51> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 52>

TI: Well, then, so she stayed in the hospital, and she delivered your first daughter.

HH: Yes.

TI: And her name is...

HH: Sachi. Janet Sachi.

TI: Okay, Janet Sachi, and everything was fine. And so she came out, so you're now the proud father of a daughter and you have a family. And about this time, you've also been recruited by the OSS and you want to take this job. So then what happened?

HH: Well, and so I applied to say, "I would like to go to Minidoka." And the administration said, "No, we want to send you to a choice of two camps," in New Mexico or somewhere around that area. And I said, "No, I want to go because I can leave my wife with the family," the family she hasn't seen ever since they couldn't come to my wedding even. And then we didn't get a chance to go to Puyallup to see them, either. So that was my wish, and then they finally okayed it, and so we made arrangements to leave. But at that time, then there was a big question about my parents, so I had to ask them, I'm going to be leaving for Minidoka, but I'm going to be leaving the camp because I have a job with the OSS in Washington, D.C. and I want to have her be there. So I had to ask her, "Would you want to come with me?" And finally they said yes, they'll -- my father and mother -- said they'll come with me. But the day that we were supposed to leave, then we couldn't find my two sisters.

TI: Because your two sisters were planning to go with you also?

HH: No, I didn't know, I assumed they'll go. But they did have, I think, their clothing and everything else, they were packed, but we couldn't find them. And found out later that they, since we couldn't find them, I had to leave them. And later I found out that they had already married their respective spouses.

TI: That's interesting. So here you, your wife and your daughter with your two parents were going to Minidoka, and you were thinking that your two sisters would also go with you. But in this window of time, they apparently had boyfriends and had gotten married at Tule Lake and wanted to stay at Tule Lake.

HH: Uh-huh. They're both from Tacoma. They were Kibei.

TI: How did your parents feel about that?

HH: Oh, they were surprised, too, but I was frantically trying to seek some information from their husbands', now, friend that I knew that they should know, but they wouldn't tell me.

TI: Now, so let me understand. Why didn't they tell you and your parents? I mean, do you think they were afraid of something? What was...

HH: Well, we didn't know that they were already married, and so actually, I didn't know because they were in hiding. But I think they were all packed, ready to leave, vacate our apartment or room.

TI: To go live with their husbands, or to go to Minidoka?

HH: No, to leave.

TI: Okay, but then you said they were then in hiding. Were they in hiding because they were kind of afraid?

HH: They didn't want for me to find them, because they were not going to be leaving with us.

TI: Right, okay.

HH: So the parents didn't know where they were, either.

TI: So your sisters were, they decided they wanted to stay at Tule Lake, and they knew that if you found them, you would probably want them to go to Minidoka, and so it would be better for them just to hide from you at that point.

HH: Yes. I think they probably, you know, if they explained everything, I'll understand. But they were still young yet...

TI: Well, see, that's what I would think. That if they just explained to you and your parents that they were married, that you would agree that they should stay with their husband.

HH: Yes, well, it's their decision, you see. But I thought that they were already packed and my parents also.

TI: So that must have been a very sort of, you said frantic time.

HH: Yes, because they were already going to pick us up on a car, and we had to send our boxes to the trucks. They already came to pick up the trucks, trucks came to pick up the crates.

TI: So you had already sent their things on the truck, too.

HH: No.

TI: Oh, you didn't?

HH: No.

TI: You kept them. How about your older brother Kiyoshi?

HH: Kiyoshi had already left Tule Lake to work in the farm area, and he was up in Montana working for a big farm which had a relationship to the Matsuoka, older brother of James Matsuoka, who had a real estate office on Jackson Street. We didn't know him, but I guess he had the chance to work up there. So not being a farmer or anything else, we thought that that's a good place to be working because he was not, I don't think he was 1-A yet, but he would be subject to draft also if he left.

TI: Okay, so he was up in Montana working.

HH: Yes. But if you were going outside to work on a farm or something like that, most likely you'd get a deferment.

<End Segment 52> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 53>

TI: Okay, so here we are, your two sisters decided to stay at Tule Lake, your brother's working in Montana, so you, your wife, your daughter and your two parents go to Minidoka.

HH: Yes.

TI: So explain how you got to Minidoka.

HH: Well, of course, our crates were taken by the truck, so we just had our own suitcases, everybody, and they sent a car and loaded up the car and told us to ride with them. And we didn't know where we were going, but we found out that a place close by, there's a little town called Tulelake, and that's where the train stops on the way to Klamath Falls. That railroad line runs through the little town of Tulelake, and also it's one of the main highways to Reno, that the Tule Lake camp was located. But it was already dark so we didn't know where we were going. But all of a sudden they stopped and said, "This is where you're going to take the train," and the train was already there. And so we took all our luggage out and no escort or anybody, we had to get on the train. And being dark outside, we could see that the door was open, we could see soldiers and civilians in there, and we were just told to get on, but we didn't know where the seat was. Because for four of us, we needed one that faced each other or whatever. And there was four soldiers right close to the door as we went in, and they didn't show any discrimination or anything, they just got up and said, "Why don't you people sit here?" Because they knew that we had four adults and one baby. So I felt a little, you know, it's the first time I'm going outside of the camp area and everything, and it wasn't, the only train that was going to Minidoka.

TI: So how did that make you feel when these four soldiers got up and gave you, gave their seats up?

HH: Well, it's really... but all around was all white people, no blacks around there. But I felt a little uneasy, because we're by ourselves, not with any escort from the camp, so we were on our own. And I had to get hot water for my daughter's milk, SMA is one of the powdered-type...

TI: So baby formula.

HH: Baby formula. And so I had to find a diner or somewhere where I can get some. And so I went down into the dining area, and I was able to get, nothing saying, "How come you're on the train," or anything, it was so easy for us. But all the time I'm kind of worried, gee, I don't see any friendly faces. But you know, some nearby did mention to us, but I think they probably knew. Well, maybe they didn't know that there was a concentration camp nearby, that we came from there. I don't know.

TI: That's a good story. So you were uneasy, you just didn't know what to expect, and you were kind of hesitating or just not sure what was going to happen at every step, but everything went really well?

HH: Well, see, I don't think it was an overnight trip or whatever, but I know that... I cannot remember what happened after we got on and I got the hot water and everything. I can't to this day, until we came to not the camp itself, but the Twin Falls area, where we had to get off. And then they sent a truck to pick us up to Minidoka.

<End Segment 53> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 54>

TI: So I want to ask, when you got to Minidoka, what was it like for your wife when she saw her family?

HH: Well, we were in a, there was a road dividing, and we were assigned to Block 7 and they were Block 4. And then the hospital, base hospital, was in that Block 4. So the apartment that was open was Block 7, but it was right close. So it was easy for us to get together with them.

TI: But what was it like the first time? Because here you and particularly your wife have not seen her family...

HH: Oh, yes.

TI: ...ever since she left, ever since that time you picked her up in Seattle and drove her down. So months and months and months have passed, and you talked about how close she was to her family. And here she was coming back with a baby daughter, and I'm just curious what the reunion was like.

HH: Oh, really, it was something. But by that time, we had already wrote that we'll be going to Minidoka, so they knew that we were coming out.

TI: So they were waiting for you probably when you got there.

HH: Yes.

TI: And so what was that like? Who was there to, when the families met, who was there?

HH: Well, the whole family, her sisters.

TI: And so was there lots of screaming and joy or crying?

HH: [Laughs] I can't remember all that, and then we did have to carry my daughter. And then they were not outside, because they didn't know when we came into Block 7, but we did go and walk over to say that we're now in Block 7, right across the street.

TI: So was your wife happy to be at Minidoka?

HH: Oh, yes, yes. But then by that time she didn't have to stay in the hospital, but the hospital was nearby so that's why it was very good that they weren't too far away from the base hospital.

TI: Plus, I imagine her family was there to help her also.

HH: Oh yes, because taking care of the baby and everything else. And then also they did have, my sister-in-law, she did have another son who was born also in camp.

TI: Okay, so she had someone else to raise a child...

HH: Yes, so they were, by that time, they were able to walk around a little bit. So they would play outside the barracks.

TI: Good.

<End Segment 54> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 55>

TI: So here you are now at Minidoka. How was Minidoka different than Tule Lake?

HH: Well, Tule Lake, for one, it was not a segregated camp, and also I believe that they had the largest number of volunteers for the 442nd, camp.

TI: So just in terms of that, I imagine, so here you came from a segregation camp which, especially as people who answered "no-no" came to Tule Lake, became more and more pro-Japanese.

HH: Yes.

TI: And in fact, you mentioned how it made it harder for the people who were, say, more "yes-yes" over time, for those people. Then you went to Minidoka, which you just said had the highest number of people who volunteered for the, say, the army, the armed forces. So it was a very, I'm guessing it was a very different feeling when you went from Tule Lake to Minidoka?

HH: Yes. And then also, we knew -- I did, too -- all the people from the Seattle area.

TI: So was it kind of like a reunion for you, seeing lots of people?

HH: Well, yes, yes. And that's where I saw Jimmy Sakamoto. But there's also, my wife's friends were there, too, so it was like a homecoming for us, if you want to call it home. [Laughs]

TI: Well, so you went there, but you still had this job that you were going to get to, the OSS. So how long were you planning to stay at Minidoka?

HH: Well, I had to wait until they told me that they were ready for us, because they were just organizing, and I don't know if you had that facility which was in Virginia, no, Maryland, close by, but away from Washington, D.C.

TI: So while you were at Minidoka waiting, what did you do at Minidoka?

HH: Well, I started working for the community analysis department, which was right on one end of the, again, the newspaper, the Minidoka Irrigator. So there was a door that connected between the two in the barracks.

TI: But before you go there, explain a little bit what a community analyst, what your job as community analyst was. What did you do?

HH: Community analysis was kind of like an organization headed by a sociologist. And mine happened to be Elmer Smith, who was a sociology professor at that time I think from one of the, I think a Mormon college.

TI: Like a Brigham Young or something? Not that one.

HH: I don't know if it was... but anyway, he was a professor of sociology.

TI: So when you worked for a sociologist as a community analyst, what kind of things did you do?

HH: Well, we were kind of like a scene, or eyewitness kind of, about the conditions, and if there was any gripes or something like that that people had, we would kind of try to say what the problem is.

TI: So you'd write these sort of reports up and submit them?

HH: Yes. If there is any, like especially when there's a riot or something like that, or a disturbance, and they want us to check out to see what was the cause, so they can remedy it.

<End Segment 55> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 56>

TI: So I'm curious because here, all the way through up to this point, you had always worked on sort of the camp newspapers.

HH: Yes.

TI: And so what was your connection with the Minidoka Irrigator?

HH: Well, the Minidoka Irrigator, being next-door to us, and they knew that I came. And by that time, like Dick Takeuchi... no, I think it was Dick. Anyway, some of the editors were already relocated, and they were looking for someone to take over. And I happened to know Jack...

TI: Yamashita?

HH: Yamashita, who was a business manager for the paper. And he was able to leave camp, and he had also a camera that he could use for the newspaper. The paper was printed in Jerome, Idaho, which is some miles away from Twin Falls.

TI: But before you go there, so here you were working as a community analyst, which was one job, and your office was actually in the same building as the Irrigator.

HH: Yes.

TI: And so they asked you to help run it, to actually be editor-in-chief. How could you do both jobs at the same time?

HH: Well, it wasn't that hard to take over, because I believe Jack was having trouble with the three girls that were now editors. But I think one was more or less considered for editorials or something like that, which happened to be a person by the name of Kimi Tanbara from Portland. And we had people in Tule Lake that came from Portland and that area, Oregon. And then two others from Seattle, three girls were having a little, I guess, difficulty among them, I guess, being editor. So Jack asked me would I be an editor-in-chief, in other words, I'm over all the three. So I said, "Okay," but I didn't have to do any writing or anything, running the editorial or anything like that. I was only a figurehead editor-in-chief. But my experience that I had in getting like a newspaper, just like at the time it was linotype machine, and typed and format and everything else was just like a regular newspaper, and I had experience with the Courier and putting out the paper like that. So we had to, this was weekly, so every Friday we had to go to Jerome and make up the paper out of the articles that we sent in, and they would have us make up the paper like a regular newspaper.

TI: So you and your staff were able to leave the camp, go to Jerome, and do this work.

HH: Yes. They took us out on a truck, and they stayed with us until we came back.

TI: So were you a little surprised? I mean, so they were using a fairly sophisticated printing process for the Minidoka Irrigator compared to, at the Tulean Dispatch, that was a much simpler process.

HH: Well, that was mimeograph. We had to crank the machine and everything else.

TI: So in terms of print quality, the Irrigator was a higher printing process.

HH: Oh, yes, just like a regular newspaper, like the Courier.

TI: Now, why do you think that was? Why was there such a difference between Tule Lake and Minidoka?

HH: Well, I don't know why they were able to have like advertisement from Twin Falls and the surrounding areas, there weren't so many towns or anything like that, but mostly from Twin Falls. Because some of the residents of Minidoka were able to leave the camp and if they had a job, like my brother-in-law, Jack Yoshikawa, he was driving a big semi truck, which I don't think he had any experience before, but he would sometimes bring that big semi into the camp, he was able to bring it into camp. But he was living outside in Twin Falls.

TI: Okay, so the Minidoka had a better printing process than the Tulean. I actually wanted to ask another question about the Tulean. After Tule Lake became a segregation camp, what happened to the Tulean Dispatch?

HH: Tulean Dispatch, Otani, I can't remember his first name now, anyway, he's formerly from Seattle. He was not on... he was on staff, but he was not in the editorial side, but anyway, he took over after all of us left.

TI: So it kept going on after that?

HH: And then the Japanese editor, he stayed. And then some of the others that ran the mimeograph machine or something like that, they also stayed. But they were not Seattle or Tacoma personnel.

TI: But a lot of the people who started the paper, when it became a segregation camp, they all left.

HH: They left.

TI: But a few people were still there.

HH: Uh-huh.

<End Segment 56> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.