Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Bernadette Suda Horiuchi Interview
Narrator: Bernadette Suda Horiuchi
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: May 19, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-hbernadette-01-0028

<Begin Segment 28>

TI: So eventually the war ended, and then what happened next?

BH: We were in Spokane by that time. Well, he was getting kind of tired of that same kind of work every day, and a lot of the Seattle people had, went to Spokane to work, and they said, "There's lots of jobs here." So that's when we decided to go to Spokane.

TI: And what did you do in Spokane?

BH: Oh, that job... what did they do first? I forgot what he did the very first... but anyway, he worked into a -- oh, I know, he was following Roy Sakamoto. He had a, he was already there working, so he says, "Come to Spokane, there's lots of jobs. I think he went to join them doing, I think he had a contract to do all the taxicabs or something, so Paul joined them, and he worked there, and he was doing real good. But then he said, "I can't do this all the rest of my life." And we heard that people were really going back to Seattle so he stayed there about two years, I think.

TI: So as you were making your way back to Seattle, was it, had he pretty much decided he would never go back to the railroads?

BH: Oh, yeah. He had enough of the railroad. That's heavy work, lifting those rails. They're not very, they're not like rails that you see around here. They're about that high, and so the kids used to have to crawl over. They had to crawl over, they couldn't just step over. And that's what worried me most about the railroad. That's why I had to tie John up. [Laughs]

TI: And so you make your way back to Seattle. And for you, how had Seattle changed? I mean, it's been a while.

BH: Oh, it's so nice to get back to. Didn't see any change. [Laughs] Except that there were signs all over some places, "No Japs Allowed," or this and that. So we couldn't go into, on the highway, we couldn't stop to get any groceries or anything to eat. So we were, we sent the kids to go. Maybe they won't harm the kids, so he and John used to go and get whatever we wanted, like popcorn or pop or whatever.

TI: So during the war years or right after, you lived or visited lots of different places. Ogden, Spokane...

BH: That's the only place. Spokane was our last place.

TI: Okay. But then how would -- and then as you got to Seattle, it sounded like there was more, kind of, discrimination against Japanese, or was it about the same?

BH: We didn't feel that like we did in Wyoming.

TI: So Wyoming was worse?

BH: After the war.

TI: That's what I was trying to get a sense is...

BH: People from eastern part come from Omaha and Kansas. All the Kansas people came, and they were not very refined, the way they talk. It was pretty bad. Then they'd join the other people and say, "No Japs allowed," things like that to us.

TI: And so how did you and Paul feel about that? I mean, here, in some ways, you were well-educated. And when people, who perhaps didn't have as much education would say those things, I mean, how did you guys deal with that?

BH: It was hard because the language was different from ours, the way they talked.

<End Segment 28> - Copyright © 2009 Densho. All Rights Reserved.