Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Yae Aihara Interview
Narrator: Yae Aihara
Interviewer: Megan Asaka
Location: Denver, Colorado
Date: July 4, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-ayae-01-0010

<Begin Segment 10>

MA: Okay, so you went to Minidoka. Was it, maybe September of '42?

YA: Uh-huh.

MA: And you were there for a year, you said?

YA: A year, uh-huh.

MA: Can you talk a little bit about your experience at Minidoka, maybe...

YA: Well, Minidoka, since I had finished high school, I worked as a time keeper. And I would go around to the different posts and check to make sure these people were working there. And a lot of times they weren't there, but then I would just check them off. I'd have to go all around the camp and that camp was not a square camp, it was kind of curved like this. So it was a long walk to go around the camp.

MA: At that point was your whole family living together in the same barracks?

YA: Uh-huh. In the barrack, we had the middle rooms, which were the largest. They went by, the, the end rooms were for couples and the next rooms were for families of three to four and then the two middle rooms were the largest. Every room had one light bulb, no running water, and a pot bellied stove.

MA: At that point, how was your mother holding up? How was she doing?

YA: Oh, she was... she grayed a lot, her hair grayed a lot. And I remember my aunt and uncle who were sent to Tule Lake, they visited us in Idaho because they were granted leave to work on a farm near, in Idaho. So they came to visit us. And I remember my auntie remarking to my mother, "My, you got so gray." And she was only thirty-seven at that time. So, you know, in looking back, it really must have been a big strain on her to get us ready to go to camp, and all that responsibility fell on her. And to think she was only thirty-six, thirty-seven at that time and she didn't speak that well, 'cause she only went to junior high school for a couple years before she got married. So her English wasn't that strong.

<End Segment 10> - Copyright © 2008 Densho. All Rights Reserved.