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-01-0031

<Begin Segment 31>

AI: So I wanted to ask you a little bit about some of the other activities that were going on in camp, and what you remember, or if you were involved in any of the sports, or other community activities.

TI: Well, they had a pretty well-organized sports program. Shortly after people got in there they had well, baseball for one thing -- they had about four different leagues. And I think the small Bellevue community had four teams at different skill levels, and other communities also had teams, and they, they had a regular league set up on baseball. And I don't know about the other sports, I think they had the sandlot basketball but, whether they had an organized league or not, I don't quite remember. 'Course, we didn't have a gym, so more than likely we didn't have a league. You know it was, like a pick-up game. And weekends, they used to have dances. They put all the tables, those tables with those benches, all along the side, they'd push 'em all to one side there, and then leave the middle open, and then they have a sock dance in the mess halls.

AI: What, somebody had brought records, or...

TI: Yeah, yes, I believe that's the way it was, that people brought records and they played music.

JM: I didn't get too much involved in it but, the mimeographed daily paper that they had out would show that there was a lot of activities going on. But I didn't stay there very long, so I didn't get involved in activities so much.

AI: Anything else that kinda sticks out in your mind about life at Tule Lake, anything that you just remember what comes back to you about living there?

JM: I remember when the people used to go out to the farms, why, they wouldn't work that hard, but I remember one fella brought back a big rattlesnake about six feet long, he was dragging it on the... I don't know how he got, killed it, but there's rattlesnakes, and scorpions, and you'd have to watch for the scorpions 'cause they would get into your shoes sometime or in your clothes. But I don't think there was that much in the camp, but out on the farms, there were all kinds of things.

TI: Well, I heard stories that at night, on the farm, you know that was located pretty close to that Klamath Falls bird refuge. And there's lotta geese and ducks there. At nighttime they'd take these jeeps, and with the headlights, they'd kinda blind the geese and run 'em down. And then they'd have a...

AI: Goose dinner?

TI: Goose dinner, yeah. And I'm sure that was true. I don't know how often it happened.

JM: Well, there were a lot of geese, that was a wildlife refuge, so there was thousands and thousands of geese come there in the swamp, lowlands, I guess.

TI: They'd come in to feed on the grain, and the farm produce, you know.

<End Segment 31> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.