Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Cherry Kinoshita Interview
Narrator: Cherry Kinoshita
Interviewers: Becky Fukuda (primary), Tracy Lai (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: September 26, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-kcherry-01-0008

<Begin Segment 8>

BF: Do you remember that scene very well, at Union Station?

CK: I'm trying, you know a lot of it is fuzzy. I do remember the days before, when we had to go down and register and sign certain things, and I know that was right down on Main Street, that we went there. I, for some reason that sticks in my mind. But the actual going and gathering there... and then we were put on buses because we were sent then to Puyallup. I remember, though, getting there and seeing the barbed wire around there and then we looked and saw the guard towers and you know, someone manning that guard tower. That was sort of a shock. And then to see the barracks that we were supposed to make our home. That was... yeah, those are fairly vivid. Another thing was our first meal in Puyallup. Here we were supposed to go to the mess hall. Nobody knew what to do. And our first meal there, beets, cold canned beets with raw onions. I remember that dish. [Laughs] I had never seen a dish, you know, beets with raw onions in it. And of course, then we got used to the Vienna sausages and the food was pretty bad. And then, of course, there, the latrines were very primitive. They had one barrack-like structure and then just a slab with very indelicate, but just holes and then a gush of water every once in a while coming through to clear it. And no privacy. I can't remember the showers there. They're more vivid at Minidoka, how there were no partitions at first and how it was very, I mean, you're not used to, to this communal kind of living and so that was really hard to take.

BF: Did you know very many people at the assembly center and then later on at Minidoka? 'Cause you hadn't really...

CK: Mixed?

BF: Yeah.

CK: In Puyallup, we knew some, like our family friends, because in the old days there would be picnics. Like the cleaning shops would all get together and have picnics. I did go to a so-called Tip School, in Green Lake there was one there. And so I knew that group. We were sort of called the Green Lake bunch. And so... and then, we, even in Puyallup we had jobs. We had certain responsibilities that we were assigned to and so then you gradually got to know people.

BF: 'Cause, I was wondering who you would talk to, because this would be a difficult thing you're going through.

CK: I guess I had gone to the Blaine Methodist Church a few times, even being out in Green Lake, and made some acquaintances. Then as I say, this Japanese language school, we knew those people. So it wasn't as if it was total strangers. There were people we knew. Then, of course, gradually at Minidoka you got to know all, a wide spectrum of people.

<End Segment 8> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.