Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Mits Takahashi Interview
Narrator: Mits Takahashi
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: March 20, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-tmits-01-0013

<Begin Segment 13>

TI: So let's go to the point where you now get the orders that you have to go to Puyallup. Can you remember what that was like, how, like your house and what happened to that?

MT: Well, my dad and mother did not own the house because their neighbor owned the house. So they were renting it, so in that sense, they had no problems with the house. But what they did with what little furniture and things they had, I can't really remember. I think they stored some things that, maybe at the Baptist church or somewhere, but we were one of the later groups to go to, be evacuated. So the first people were really down to really leaving their homes with just a suitcase, where we were one of the last groups, so we were able to take a lot more than the early ones. So when we got into camp, I think we were a little more comfortable than the early evacuees. [Laughs]

TI: So how would you bring more than the others? Were you able to bring your truck and things like that, or how would you bring more?

MT: Instead of one suitcase, it was a suitcase and a duffel bag, and we'd jam in into the bus to go to Puyallup. So we were probably able to carry fifty percent more than the early evacuees. I think early evacuees, it was very strict with them, how much they can carry.

TI: Oh, so that's interesting. So over time, I guess the army kind of relaxed a little bit in terms of what you could or could not bring, so that you could bring more later on?

MT: Yeah.

TI: And how did you know that? How did, do you remember how that kind of played out? Because you probably saw the first groups, one suitcase, and then by the time it got to you, you were able to bring more.

MT: Yeah, we'd get a postcard from one of the early ones, and it said, "You really need an iron," or, "You really need a curling iron," real necessities. "Bring a pot and pan because there's a chance you can do your own little cooking on a stove or something." So we would get letters or postcards from people telling us some of the things that you really need to bring if you can. So in that sense, we were rather lucky.

TI: And so -- before I go there, I wanted to ask, what about your father's equipment, his truck?

MT: I think he stored it at one of my, his customers' place. So when he came back from the war and all, he had immediately at least his tools, he had.

TI: Okay, so that was good. So one of his customers was willing to store all his equipment.

MT: Yeah.

<End Segment 13> - Copyright © 2008 Densho. All Rights Reserved.