Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Louise Kashino Interview
Narrator: Louise Kashino
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: March 15, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-klouise-01-0015

<Begin Segment 15>

AI: -- bit about Puyallup and how you had some activities there and... but you were actually only there a few months and then you found out that you were going to be going to another camp, and where was that?

LK: Minidoka, Idaho.

AI: How did you get there?

LK: By train and it was about a two-day trip for, you know, us.

AI: What was that like?

LK: It was horrible. It was hot and we had to keep the blinds down when we came into a town and then we could put, put it up after we left. But we just had to just sit there more or less and I remember that the toilet facilities were very bad. Half the time the toilet wasn't working and things like that. And it was pretty tough. Tough ride.

AI: So you were sitting in these train seats day and night for two days.

LK: Yes. And when we got over there, we were just sooty. I mean, we were just so dirty and, and we didn't really have any place to wash up and it was, being on that train, that type of a train, I guess we got all the soot from the fuel.

AI: Oh, and when was this that you went?

LK: Latter part of August, I think.

AI: When you got to Minidoka, what did you see? What was your first impression?

LK: Oh, well, the barracks were much nicer, it looked like. But it was very hot and windy and sandy. I mean, sandstorms. So being out in the desert, it really kicked up the sand and that was something that was always with us, you know, throughout the winter or summer. They'd have windstorms and the sand would come through and... come through your windows. And your apartment would just be covered with sand and at that time I was working in the mess hall and we'd wipe up the tables after everybody got through with breakfast. Well, if there had been a windstorm, we'd come back and the whole place would be all full of dust and sand. Gritty sand so we'd have to wash all the tables again. But that was with us all the time.

AI: Well, now you mentioned "apartment." What was your actual living conditions like?

LK: Because we had eight people in our family -- by then my sister had come back, so then there was eight of us, they gave us two rooms. And each barrack had six rooms and one was, the end one was the smaller room and then there was a bigger room. And then the two middle ones were similar size rooms and then the end two were, small one on the end and then the bigger one in the middle. So that some families got two units on the end, some got two in the middle and then that was us. And then like if it were just a couple, they would get the smaller unit on the end. And it was just two barren rooms with potbelly stove. And so I think my dad made us benches or a table with odds and ends of wood that he'd find when they were, they were constructing more barracks, so he'd go out and find some wood and they'd use their ingenuity. Made some shelves for us.

<End Segment 15> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.