Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Jun Dairiki Interview
Narrator: Jun Dairiki
Interviewer: Martha Nakagawa
Location: Emeryville, California
Date: March 15, 2011
Densho ID: denshovh-djun-01-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

[Description of photographs]

JD: These two pictures are really identical, but it was during, when the San Francisco Bay area had the Treasure Island International Fair, otherwise known as Hakurankai. And at times my mom and dad would take all of the families, or we would go separately. In this particular case my dad took me, and this little cone shaped thing that you see in my left hand is really a cone of French fries, my favorite food, and it still is today, but I always had to have French fries when we got there.

This is a picture of the three of us. I had two much older sisters, so this is my sister Margaret, my sister Rey, and that's me, and we were at an outing on the beach, at San Francisco beach on this particular day. Yeah, both of my sisters are now gone.

MN: Was that a kenjinkai picnic?

JD: No, I don't think so. I think this is just something that my mom and dad took us to, yeah.

Okay, this is a picture of my oldest sister, 'cause my mom had us take, had each of us take something, and so with my oldest sister it was a usual classical Japanese dancing, and so that's what Maggie was taking and this is part of her performance. This picture's in here are just as a fill in, but this was, this was before the war. This is after the war because we didn't come back to San Francisco after the war. I mean, we lived here before then and we went to Weiser, Idaho, afterwards, and this is, and that's where this picture was taken.

MN: How about the other side?

JD: Oh, that's my oldest sister again with her Japanese classical dancing. Yeah.

TI: Can you hold it up for the camera?

MN: Now we're getting into the war years. This is Topaz. You're in Utah now.

JD: Right. This picture is of my oldest sister. When we came into camp, because my sister was a junior at Cal at the time we had to go to Tanforan, and so when we got into Topaz I guess all these young adults were asked, well, "What you like to do in camp to make yourself a productive member of society here?" My sister's response to that question was, "Well, I want to get out of here," and so a couple of, three weeks later -- I don't think she was in camp even a month -- anyway, she got hired on by this family in a town called Hinckley, and she became their nanny as well as being a housekeeper for the family, and the family's name was also Hinckley. It was a small farming community.

MN: And this appeared in a newspaper?

JD: It was, yeah, it was in the Millard County Chronicle, which was a newspaper that was published in Delta, Utah, which was close by to camp as well, and Jane Beckwith's father was the owner and editor of this newspaper. And then, of course, later on it was taken over by the daughter, Jane's sister, because Jane herself became a teacher. But her sister took on the newspaper, but this was at a time when her father was still the editor, and so I guess when they found out that she was, my sister was working for this family, they went and took a picture and just did a little caption on her. And this was back in October 22, 1942, so it was the year that we went into camp, 'cause we got into camp around, I think, late August or something, and so she was, and by October she was already hired, so it must've been, like, maybe, probably late September when she got hired on. Yeah, so anyway, so that's what that picture represents.

This picture is of my father. He and a group of his contemporaries decided they wanted something, and so they thought, well, maybe a fishpond would be kind of nice, and so he and a group of his guys decided, okay, that's what we're gonna do. And so this is not quite finished; it's almost finished, but it is the fishpond that they constructed. And they filled it with catfish, 'cause my dad was like a supervisor for a irrigation crew, helping out the farmers that's outside of camp, and so there were all these catfish, I guess, that were in the canals, and so he brought them home and stocked it, stocked our fishpond with that. [Laughs] So that's what that picture's all about.

This is in Topaz as well. And I took Japanese dancing when I was in camp, and so this is, these two are, this was a part of our recital from the teacher. She had a, I think, an annual recital or something, and so I'm... I forget where I'm at, but anyway, I'm in here somewhere. I don't have my glasses on, so, but anyway, so this is the group that I was dancing with.

This was at a mess hall that was outside of camp, and my mother worked there. And this outside mess hall was to feed those people who worked outside of camp and who wouldn't have time to come back into camp to have lunch to go back outside again, so they had this outside mess camp and my mother was one of the workers. And of course, my father ate there because he was working outside of camp at this irrigation crew, so my mom decided that maybe we should perform for these people, and so that's how come we're here and not on a stage.

This is, again, of the same recital as the other picture, and I'm right there, and then these others are, were in my class. And this happens, this is before the war. That's me over here, and this was a neighbor of ours who lived across the street. She and I went to Raphael Weill Grammar School at the time, which is now called Rosa Parks. It was renamed a few years ago. But she and I would go to school together, and so, but I've never seen her after the war, so I don't even know where she is.

This was a photo that, I don't know who took it, but I'm right here at the end. There's my girlfriend. We all lived in the same block, and actually Vi Suto was her name. She is now, has, is now died. She died many years ago, but she was one of my bridesmaids. And she and I also went to Raphael Weill, and her family came back to San Francisco whereas ours didn't, but I connected with her after I came back from my overseas job with Uncle Sam.

MN: This is after the war.

JD: Yeah, this of course is, I think, before the war. That's my sister. But yeah, my oldest sister, when she, she worked for this family for about a year, I guess, and then she decided she would go to BYU to finish her college, 'cause she was a junior at Cal, as I mentioned earlier, and, but she didn't finish at BYU. She had a friend who was living in Chicago already, and her friend said, "You know, Maggie, there's a lot of jobs to be had. Why don't you come out?" And so my sister took her up on that, and so Maggie left, I guess, maybe '43, '44, something like that, and lived there ever since. Now she is also gone. And so that's the Michigan, that's Lake Michigan in Chicago.

And this is my sister and our dog. We had a dog in camp. Her name was Fudgesicle, but we called her Fudge, and when the war ended a lot of the families left their pets behind to be on their own, but my mother said no, that's too cruel, we can't just leave her here, so we took her with us and she died in Weiser, Idaho, which is where we ended up in. And that's my other sister. This is like the side yard of the house in Weiser, Idaho.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.