Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Takashi Hoshizaki Interview
Narrator: Takashi Hoshizaki
Interviewers: Tom Ikeda, Jim Gatewood
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: July 28, 2010
Densho ID: denshovh-htakashi_2-01-0021

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TI: Right, so before we go there, I just want to touch on a few things. So when you were at Heart Mountain you were, what, about seventeen?

TH: Sixteen.

TI: Sixteen? So you still were going to school then?

TH: Yeah.

TI: And so talk about the school at Heart Mountain.

TH: They, they announced that there was a school (opening), and I looked at, I guess my records and then in order to graduate out of high school I just had to take two courses. So I signed up for those two courses and also, in doing that, it set my work schedule for the mess hall. So then I went into the morning -- oh, they had two shifts. We didn't work all day on that Heart Mountain, so I had the morning shift and so after lunch then I would go, go to the high school, or actually we were having classes in some of the barracks and I don't remember much more about that, whether it was in, in one of the mess halls or what. So I took my two courses and so in one semester I was ready to graduate.

TI: So you, you graduated quite young then? You were, like, sixteen, two courses. Most people graduate when they're about eighteen, so you --

TH: Yeah, well, it goes back earlier when I was at, originally started out at the Maryknoll school and so when I transferred out and came into Hollywood they were going to assign me to a class, and one of the teachers had a book and, and I looked at it and says, "Oh, I read that book already." Then suddenly realized that oops, the assigned classes they're gonna assign me to was using that book, so then they bumped me up. And so I, in a way, by default I skipped a grade, and so I was, like say, sixteen, thinking back, maybe I was just turning seventeen or was sixteen that, that I had graduated out of high school. So I was ahead, got ahead again.

TI: So you graduated, I mean, so you took those two courses and you graduated. I'm just curious, you, if you could explain, what was a high school graduation like at Heart Mountain?

TH: Well, by that time they had finished the high school building, and so there was a large room which was really a basketball court, convertible also into an auditorium.

TI: So they finished the high school building, so there's a high school, actual high school that they built?

TH: Yeah, it was an actual high school that they built, and with, I don't remember much of the other classroom because I think my classes were in the barracks, and so when my graduation time came, the school, the building itself, was finished. So I was in the first graduating class out of Heart Mountain in, I think, 1943, but now officially they have eliminated the class of '43 and put it together with '44. I don't know if that's official or not or whether they, it was the Heart Mountain reunion group put it together that way.

<End Segment 21> - Copyright © 2010 Densho. All Rights Reserved.