Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Atsumi Ozawa Interview
Narrator: Atsumi Ozawa
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Skokie, Illinois
Date: June 17, 2011
Densho ID: denshovh-oatsumi-01-0012

<Begin Segment 12>

TI: So tell me the, kind of the living quarters. Describe the living quarters to me at Crystal City.

AO: Oh, gee. Well, I don't know, I have a little book here. Well, you know, most of the things that Mr. Higashide wrote in this book is almost the same thing that happened to us, you know. But let me see. This lady, something like this, see?

TI: Oh, so this is the layout of...

AO: Yeah.

TI: But what about your apartment? What was your apartment like?

AO: Oh, my apartment? Well, it was nothing fancy. Of course, nothing fancy, and I remember they gave us some kind of material, I don't know. My dad says, "Okay, make some curtains," and the shelves to put all the dishes and things. I remember that. Because there was a place where they had a sewing machine, so anybody could use the sewing machine. So I went there and I made us a curtain.

TI: Because, now, I'm trying to think, there's two, four, five, six, seven, eight of you?

AO: Eight of us, and it was only, let's see, two and a half rooms, all the rooms, I don't know how big it was. Not that big. It was two and a half rooms. Two and a half, even smaller than this.

TI: And so eight of you had to share.

AO: Yeah, uh-huh.

TI: How about, like, a kitchen? Was there a kitchen there?

AO: The kitchen, they built a little bit outside, outdoors they put a little roof and we'd cook outside.

TI: And how about like a bathroom?

AO: The bathroom we had to share with everybody.

TI: So another building?

AO: Yeah, another building.

TI: And your apartment, was it near, was it with all the other Japanese Peruvians?

AO: Yes.

TI: And so tell me about some of the other people in Crystal City. So you had Japanese Peruvians, who else was there?

AO: There were some Germans and Italians, and then, of course, the Japanese from Hawaii, Japanese from Peru, and Japanese from mainland. So three different.

TI: And in terms of the size of the groups, was there one group that was bigger than the others, or were they all about the same size?

AO: I think the United States group was bigger.

TI: The mainland Japanese?

AO: Uh-huh.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright © 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.