Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Marshall M. Sumida Interview
Narrator: Marshall M. Sumida
Interviewer: Martha Nakagawa
Location: San Francisco, California
Date: April 8, 2011
Densho ID: denshovh-smarshall-01-0011

<Begin Segment 11>

MN: Now, other than this working at the hobby shop, what did you do in your free time at Santa Anita?

MS: What?

MN: What did you do on your free time at Santa Anita?

MS: We went to the dances, Saturday dances.

MN: Where were the dances held?

MS: In front of the grandstands, so a little slant.

MN: There's a slant on the floor?

MS: Yeah. But managed to enjoy ourselves. [Laughs]

MN: Did you ever get into a fight over a girl?

MS: Huh?

MN: Did you ever get into a fight over a girl?

MS: When I was in Rohwer?

MN: At Santa Anita.

MS: No. I don't remember. I remember a fight in terms of boxing, but not to fight with any of the other Japanese.

MN: What about the food at Santa Anita?

MS: Huh?

MN: The food.

MS: I don't remember the common food, but I remember one vegetable called rutabagas, and we had that. You know it is?

MN: That was at Rohwer, though, right?

MS: What?

MN: That was at Rohwer, not at Santa Anita.

MS: No, that was in Santa Anita.

MN: Santa Anita?

MS: Rutabagas, but I don't know, the food wasn't that good in Santa Anita.

MN: Did you ever eat a rutabaga before?

MS: I'd never heard of it. You know what it is? What is it?

MN: Is it, it's like a radish, huh?

MS: Huh?

MN: Like a radish. Like a radish.

MS: No, a turnip.

MN: Turnip. Did you have visitors at Santa Anita?

MS: Only one, my high school teacher, but I was already in college then. I was, it's the Japanese advisor, Japanese club advisor in high school.

MN: What did you two talk about?

MS: Huh?

MN: What did you two talk about?

MS: I don't remember what we talked about, but he was, encouraged us not to lose hope and to, he wanted us to continue our education. But I was, it was not a good decision anyway, but why he would remember what we were, there were not too many boys that were in the Japanese club, so I guess a couple of us, one friend of mine in college, well, were one of the few boys that were in the Japanese club.

MN: Now, before the war, the Japanese club at Roosevelt High created the Japanese garden.

MS: Yeah.

MN: Were you involved in that?

MS: No, my older sisters were involved. We used to go there as part of the project of the Japanese club, but we ourselves did, not involved in construction or raising the money.

MN: Now, why did you join the Japanese club in high school?

MS: Well, my sisters were helping and I just followed in my sisters' footsteps. Japanese club was not that popular among the boys, mostly women.

MN: But because your sister was involved, you became involved?

MS: Well, that what it amounts to now, 'cause I had no special reason to be.

MN: Did you hear that the Japanese garden was destroyed after Pearl Harbor?

MS: No. That was too big. They spent a lot of money bringing in a big, large stones. Have you visited it?

MN: No, but it was destroyed. Did you know that?

MS: No.

MN: Right after Pearl Harbor, some of the students destroyed the garden.

MS: They did?

MN: Yes.

MS: I didn't know that.

<End Segment 11> - Copyright © 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.