Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Tetsushi Marvin Uratsu Interview
Narrator: Tetsushi Marvin Uratsu
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Emeryville, California
Date: May 25, 2011
Densho ID: denshovh-utetsushi-01-0017

<Begin Segment 17>

TI: So let's pick up the story there. So from Loomis, which assembly center did you go to?

TU: Arboga.

TI: And what are some memories you have?

TU: Of Arboga?

TI: Arboga.

TU: Well, I remember we got to talking to the cook, the block cook, and he's a nice, talkative guy. And we're hanging around to see if we can get any handouts, boys are always hungry. And he said, "Hey, would you like to do some work for me?" I said, "What?" "Washing pots and pans." "Yeah, okay." [Laughs] We wanted to do something, didn't want to just lay around and mope about things. So we helped with the pots and pans in the dining or mess area. And we used to hear talk about this, we learned that we're going to be sent up to Tule Lake.

TI: And this is from the cook? The cook knew this.

TU: The cook. Yeah, we were friends with the cook. And he said, "Gee, you're going to love the water up there, it's got a lot of mineral content, and the water is going to taste so good." I remember him talking about that. So here we are, very impressionable young kids, teenage kids, "Wow, we get to a place where the water's going to be so super." [Laughs] But he was a friendly guy that gave us a little work to do, do something.

TI: And do you recall where the cook came from? I mean, was he a local person, or how did he get that job?

TU: We're just hanging around the kitchen area.

TI: No, the cook. How did the cook get that job?

TU: Oh, I don't know how they did it. See, these are things that you think about later, I should have found out about, talked more about...

TI: Yeah, I was curious about where he got his training or how he learned to be a cook, where he came from, why he did it. It'd be interesting to hear those things.

TU: Yeah. Well, for that matter, you wonder about the teachers that came into camp to teach.

TI: Yeah, all those things. Now that you've done so many interviews, you have all those questions in your head.

TU: Yeah, there you go.

TI: So I want to keep moving, so after Arborga, you went to Tule Lake. And so how was the water at Tule Lake?

TU: We couldn't tell the difference. [Laughs]

TI: So that must have been almost a running joke amongst your friends about the water at Tule Lake.

TU: Yeah, well, the guy that shared that kind of news is gone, he's passed on.

<End Segment 17> - Copyright © 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.