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-01-0018

<Begin Segment 18>

AI: So what kinds of discussion had you had with your parents as far as your wanting to leave or plans for the future?

LK: Well, this, again, it was my mother that had all these plans for me and she felt that I had already graduated and spent one year without doing anything except just working as a waitress. So she wanted me to get out and start my career or my education. And she would have wanted me to go to college, but I, with the uncertainty we had, I couldn't see going to a four-year college. And at that time had my, they had no, they didn't want me to be working if I'm going to go to school. So I think it was the same $2,000 that they got for the grocery store that they gave me, they must have withdrawn out of the bank. And I remember my mother had gotten a check and she pinned it onto my bra -- [laughs] -- and that's how I went out of camp.

AI: Oh. How did you actually leave, by train?

LK: Train.

AI: And where were you going?

LK: Chicago. And since I was, by then I had turned seventeen, so I was still underage and I needed to name a guardian, so my sister was engaged to, and her future brother-in-law was already in Chicago and had a job, so he was named as my guardian. And then there were two, a nurse and a medical student who were gonna go. They were boyfriend and girlfriend. But they were going to go out. She was going to St. Louis and he was gonna go to Philadelphia. So my mother, being that she was working in the hospital, she heard that they were going about the same time that she was going to have me go out, so she said, "Could Louise go with you," you know. So that way it gave me someone to be with on the train trip. So we, it's about a three-day train trip.

AI: What was that like? What were you feeling as you were leaving on a train?

LK: Well, gee, that was a big change for me. And, but just something you gotta do, so then you do it. And that was what my mother wanted me to do so I was very obedient and went. And we stopped in Kansas City overnight because the, the future doctor, he knew a friend in Kansas City, so we stopped overnight there. So we had a break in our trip. And then we went on to St. Louis and then in St. Louis, that's where the three of us parted. She stayed on for nursing school and then he went on to Philadelphia and I went up to Chicago. So that part I went all by myself.

AI: Wow. Was that the first time you had been on your own?

LK: Oh, yes.

AI: And when you got into the train station at Chicago, what, what was your first impression, what was that like?

LK: Well, being wartime and all the soldiers that, that were riding the trains and everything, it was a huge station to me. I was a country bumpkin, so then it seemed like it was just a huge place and thousands of people it looked like to me. So then I thought, "Oh, I wonder if I'm gonna find Eddie," and just... I was really worried and I thought, "What am I going to do if he doesn't, can't find me?" So I couldn't see him for a while and then luckily, pretty soon he found me.

AI: So there you were standing in a mass of people in the station and...

LK: Yes. It was scary. So I remember he took us. He took -- we got a cab -- and went to the American Hostel, American Friends Hostel. The Quakers sponsored it. And they had made arrangements with the War Relocation and they... that gave you, you had to have a place to go to. So I was sponsored to, by them.

AI: So that was arranged ahead for you.

LK: Yes.

AI: So you knew you had a place at the hostel.

LK: Yeah. I think my mother took care of all that.

<End Segment 18> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.