Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga Interview II
Narrator: Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Torrance, California
Date: July 7, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-haiko-03-0015

<Begin Segment 15>

TI: I was going to ask, in terms of comparisons between Manzanar and Jerome, what were some of the differences between the two camps?

AH: Well, first, it was the weather. Jerome did not have the storm, the dust storms that Manzanar had. And it was sweaty, it was muggy -- Jerome. But I think, I felt pretty comfortable because it was my own family. And by the time I got there, things had pretty much settled down. Whereas when we first went to Manzanar, everything was in a state of flux, we're trying to get used to our own environment, jobs were not available for people who just had nothing to do. By the time we got to Jerome, things were pretty much (like) the experience of Manzanar and other camps that were opened earlier, (which) taught the Jerome administration what to do, what not to do. So I think it was working pretty smoothly. And there were the regular Buddhist or church services, so that the residents of the camps felt more at ease than the first group of people like in Manzanar when I first went there. It was such a new environment, and the people in Jerome had come from other assembly centers like my parents were in Santa Anita first. So they already had a feeling of what it's like to live communally, lack of privacy. Anyway, it was a transfer for me just from one camp to another.

TI: And do you have a sense in terms of just the... what's the right word? In terms of the tension -- I know Manzanar, especially in those early days, there was some unrest, I mean, there was some, they call them the "Manzanar riots" for instance, and things like that. And I didn't hear as much about Jerome in terms of unrest, and I was just wondering in terms of just the community attitudes, if you had a sense of any difference between Manzanar and Jerome.

AH: Yeah. I never got involved very much with the so-called politics of either of the camps, but I did sense a better feeling of less unrest in Jerome. And, of course, I was still there when the so-called "riot" in Manzanar happened. And, of course, many, many years later, I became very friendly with Harry Ueno, who was supposed to be the catalyst for that particular disturbance. But in Jerome, I think, to show the difference, Jerome had only one dissident camp resister, Joe Yamakido, whereas Manzanar had more, and, of course, Heart Mountain had a lot, and Granada had more. But I think the fact that you had just one draft resisters shows sort of the tenor of the atmosphere and environment of Jerome as compared to, say, Heart Mountain. So I guess it was a little quieter.

TI: Okay.

<End Segment 15> - Copyright © 2009 Densho. All Rights Reserved.