Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Robert T. Ohashi Interview
Narrator: Robert T. Ohashi
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: June 29, 2011
Densho ID: denshovh-orobert_2-01-0020

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TI: So let's continue with your life, so you're back in Ketchikan, you're doing some things, you're helping getting the business, but then you mentioned the service. So tell me about that in terms of, what kind of service did you do? Where did you go?

RO: Well, I went into service in '46 and got out in '48, but I was at North Fort Lewis for basic training, but then we were shipped overseas to Okinawa.

TI: So all, was it like during the occupation time?

RO: Occupation after the war.

TI: And what was that like for you? I mean, here you're of Japanese ancestry, you, but you lived in a small town in Alaska, you had the camp experience, now all of a sudden you're in Japan. So what was that like for you? What did you think?

RO: Well Okinawa, it was really hard hit because a lot of action took place there. And I used to run a laundry with about a couple dozen women, and they'd come in to work with maybe some rice balls. That's what they're eating. That's all. And I felt very sorry for them, but some of them were able to work for the officers and they got to eat better and stuff. But people were very nice. I liked them. Course, they had their own dialect if they want to keep something from me. [Laughs] But they were, they were really nice people.

TI: Were you able to travel much in Japan when you were over there?

RO: I didn't travel in Japan at all.

TI: So you just stayed in Okinawa, kind of around that area.

RO: We docked in Yokohama before we went to Okinawa, and here I could see Mount Fuji and such, but I was one of the guys that didn't get off the ship because I was on KP. But I got, that's the closest I got to Japan.

TI: So from there you went then directly to Okinawa.

RO: Okinawa.

TI: And never had, like leave or something, able to go up and see the other, like Shizuoka or places like that, never got a chance.

RO: No place.

TI: So you're in the service for a couple years, 'til '48, discharged, and then what did you do?

RO: Came back to Ketchikan, then decided to go to college. UW.

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