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-01-0009

<Begin Segment 9>

MA: So at this point, when you were still in Puyallup, you were telling me your father made the decision that he wanted to go back to Japan.

YA: Yes.

MA: Can you talk a little bit about that?

YA: Well, our family and another family -- the fathers were friends -- and I think that was the exchange during 1943 that he... wait a minute. '42, 1942, that he signed us up for. But, and we were the last families to leave Puyallup. We were there three months. And we got rid of a lot of our things. Since we didn't have to go, we went back, we went to Idaho and I think we, we asked for something back. Because I remember my sister kept the iron because she had... no, we asked for an iron back because my sister was still eighteen at that time. And so, with all four children and my mother, we all stayed back in Puyallup with the other, Kawaguchi family.

MA: So anticipating that you would be, go on the ship back to Japan.

YA: Uh-huh, ship to Japan, yeah.

MA: So why didn't you go at that point?

YA: I think that either didn't materialize or they didn't use us.

MA: Somehow that didn't work out.

YA: Yeah, it didn't work out. So, our two families were the last to arrive in Minidoka.

MA: So how are, how did you feel about the possibility of, of going back to Japan and living there?

YA: Well, in those days the father was the absolute boss. We obeyed our father; he was the, the king. We had to obey. And most Issei men were like that, they really ruled the roost. And so anything my father said, we did. Even when we went to Idaho and we were there one year, and then the 1943 exchange ship. And by then, my sister had a boyfriend, she was going to marry him, and she refused at that time to go to Japan. So it was just me and my two brothers.

MA: And your mother.

YA: Yeah, and my mother.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright © 2008 Densho. All Rights Reserved.