Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Betty Tanakatsubo Interview
Narrator: Betty Tanakatsubo
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Skokie, Illinois
Date: June 15, 2011
Densho ID: denshovh-tbetty-01-0011

<Begin Segment 11>

TI: You know, as part of that uncertainty you mentioned this earlier about the leave clearance form with the questionnaire and question twenty-seven, twenty-eight about the loyalty. Tell me about that process, did that cause a lot of tension at Tule Lake?

BT: Well, in terms of a lot of my friends, I know of only one that where her family had said signed, "no-no" right and then the rest of us, there were say ten, out of the ten good friends, only one gal's family had answered "no." The rest of them we said "yes," we'll be loyal and that's when you get released after the FBI in Washington D.C. clear you, you were able to relocate to another camp.

TI: Now going back, so of your ten close friends, one, her family said "no-no." So what did you think when a family said "no-no"? I mean what --

BT: Well, we used to correspond and Tomi would write and said there was so much restriction, you couldn't leave you had to be in the barrack by certain time. You couldn't have any parties and what else... you had to go to a Japanese school, and there was a group from Tanforan who was considered pro-Japanese.

TI: Well, Tanforan is an assembly center, so it's either Manzanar or one of the... Topaz.

BT: No, this one here... originally I think these people must have been in Tanforan and eventually they, when they got out, but they came to Tule Lake and they sort of ruled the camp. You can't do this, you can't do that.

TI: And this group was more pro-Japan?

BT: Yes, from what Tomi used to write to me about it, she says, "We're so confined to what we can do and what we cannot."

TI: And when you corresponded with Tomi, was there a sense that Tomi had wished she or her family had done "yes-yes" and not gone to Tule Lake?

BT: Definitely, because they didn't realize another group was going to come over and started to run the camp. And she said, "I wish I was able to leave the camp," but they couldn't release them.

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