Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Marian Shingu Sata Interview
Narrator: Marian Shingu Sata
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: September 23, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-smarian-01-0009

<Begin Segment 9>

TI: So tell me about Stockton. What was Stockton like for you?

MS: The assembly center? Well, the one thing that I remember vividly was the heat, and there was no shade unless you went to grandstands and stood in the shade of that. And it was the heat of summer, and the San Joachin valley, a hundred and ten and hundred twenty degrees, and then chicken pox broke out, and we all, all the kids, got chicken pox. It was the most miserable few weeks, I'll never forget that.

TI: Oh, I just, I mean, you have probably fevers, it's hot, you're probably itchy.

MS: There's, you know, no medication to help relieve the itch. It was terrible. So that's the one vivid thing that I remember about Stockton assembly center.

TI: When you had chicken pox, did you just stay in your family, sort of, living quarters?

MS: Uh-huh.

TI: Describe the living quarters. You spent a lot of time there, probably. What was it like?

MS: Well, I don't really remember a whole lot about the place, but I think I told you that maybe my grandparents and my dad and I were all in one unit. But you know, the more I think about it, I think maybe we were in two separate units right adjacent to each other. Because we were in one of the horse stalls, and it was very small, just enough for a couple of cots. And then my cousins, who were like my siblings, were kind of across the way. So we still could play together.

TI: I'm curious, you said there was sort of an outbreak of chicken pox. Did your cousins also get the chicken pox?

MS: Oh, yes. My cousin Rose got it first, and then the rest of us all got it one after the other. [Laughs]

TI: And other than just staying in bed for a lot, I mean, was there any other medical kind of attention?

MS: I don't ever recall going to a doctor.

TI: At Stockton, did your father have any jobs? Did he have a job in...

MS: I don't remember, and I don't know. Probably not.

TI: And so during this time, this was a pretty big transition. Because prior to the war, your father lived in a different place, and now all of a sudden it's the two of you spending lots of time. How was that for you?

MS: Oh, I loved it, I think. I remember walking in the evenings with him around, around the camp. And he would pick up a piece of coal, and he says, "If you have enough of this and enough heat, it's something that burns and gives warmth." So he was always teaching me things.

TI: That must have been a good time for you, then, just to become reacquainted with your father.

MS: Right, uh-huh.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright © 2009 Densho. All Rights Reserved.