Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Kenge Kobayashi Interview
Narrator: Kenge Kobayashi
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Klamath Falls, Oregon
Date: July 4, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-kkenge-01-0012

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AI: And what happened next?

KK: Well, one of the thing that they found out was the WRA was stealing some food like meat and selling on the black market, which we were supposed to get. So I, as a kid, I said, "Well, we're going to go in there and steal the meat back." So we went in the cold storage, and we lug out all these meat and took it back to our mess hall, and we had steaks for a whole week. [Laughs] But in the meantime they were throwing tear gas at us and everything and pretty soon there was martial law. And then the army came in with their tanks and started shooting the guns and everything.

AI: Were you there during the shooting?

KK: Yeah. But they didn't shoot at anything, they were shooting at people's, up high, so they didn't shoot anybody, but they were scaring the hell out of everybody. And they were coming between our barracks, the tanks, and shake. Our whole barrack was shaking.

AI: What did you do?

KK: We were hiding under the bed scared. [Laughs] Anyway, we didn't know what was gonna happen. We thought they're going to start killing everybody. Who knows?

AI: So people were really afraid for their lives?

KK: Yeah. So everybody stayed in and they wouldn't come out, but then the military start -- the other thing was the military start delivering the food to the mess hall. And we were watching 'em and they just drive up and threw the -- all the food down from the truck and a lot of the things broke, eggs broke and everything. They didn't care. They just drop everything and they just went. That's how they were delivering the food. And I thought at that time, "Well, what is this anyway."

AI: So during martial law lots of the normal operations were stopped and operations that were normally carried out by the internees, internees were not allowed to do that so the Army had taken over some of these, such as delivering and so forth.

KK: Yeah, and they closed the school and all that stuff and we were under curfew. But it was kind of a bad time for us.

AI: And do you recall what else happened during that time of martial law?

KK: Well, I heard -- this is from hearing -- that they arrested a lot of people through the FBI, and they arrested a lot of people and they put them in the stockade.

AI: Did you know anyone who was put in there?

KK: No, uh-uh. No, but then that kind of subsided.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.