Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Tokio Hirotaka - Toshio Ito - Joe Matsuzawa Interview
Narrators: Tokio Hirotaka, Toshio Ito, Joe Matsuzawa
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Bellevue, Washington
Date: May 21, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-htokio_g-01-0023

<Begin Segment 23>

JM: We ended up in Pinedale, California, that's right out of Fresno. And to go from a moderate climate like we had here, and go down there, why that was, that was a 180 degrees different.

AI: Yeah. Well, and --

JM: But then down there, it gets to be 100 or so, and dry and hot, and dusty and dirty. [Laughs]

TI: Oh boy. I remember those barracks, they had these single bed cots with the straw tick mattresses, and then they had these four posts for the bed. And they had this asphalt flooring, and it got so hot that all four of those posts when you got on the bed, it would sink all the way down to the hard, hard surface of the ground underneath.

JM: There was tarpaper on the roof outside, so that attracted the heat, and it made it like an oven in there. You couldn't sleep at nights, hardly. And then...

TI: Didn't do any good to open up the doors, that's for sure. [Laughs]

TH: Yeah, and gets up over a 100 degrees in that tarpaper shack, it's pretty hard to take.

JM: And then, around the mess halls, they had open pits to run their water -- waste water for washing dishes, so forth. Well it all went in these open pits and that thing got so hot, and start to smell, and it was really unhealthy.

AI: Sounds like the conditions were terrible.

JM: Well, it was supposed to have been an assembly area.

TI: So it was just a temporary thing, but it really was temporary. All of it was just makeshift.

<End Segment 23> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.