Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Emi Somekawa Interview
Narrator: Emi Somekawa
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: November 21, 2011
Densho ID: denshovh-semi-01-

[Correct spelling of certain names, words and terms used in this interview have not been verified.]

<Begin Segment 1>

TI: And Emi, the way I start these is just to mention the date and where we are, then I'll get going, so today is November 21, 2011. It's Monday. We're in Seattle, in the Densho studio, and this morning we have Emi Somekawa. So Emi, I'm gonna ask, the first question is just tell me where and when you were born.

ES: I was born in Portland, Oregon, May 10, 1918.

TI: So that would make you, I guess today, ninety-three years old?

ES: Yes.

TI: And when you were born in Portland were you born in a medical facility or a home? Can you...

ES: It was a midwife that my mother had at home.

TI: And what was the name given to you at birth?

ES: Emiko.

TI: And your, your maiden name is?

ES: Emi, Emiko Yada.

TI: Yada. Good. So you mentioned your mother, so let's start with her. What was your mother's name?

ES: Hatsuno.

TI: And where was she from in, from Japan?

ES: She was from Okayama, Japan.

TI: And do you know anything more in terms of, like, where in Okayama?

ES: It was a farming area where her parents farmed, and they still have that farm. They, my aunt still lives there. That's the only relative that I have who lives in Japan on the homestead.

TI: Interesting. So how many generations does that, do you know in terms of how long the land has been in the family?

ES: Well, I don't know too much more about my grandparents. They lived there and farmed, but some, something that made my grandfather want to come to America to raise his family, and of course at that time they thought that America was a place where they have lots of money and easy to get some money, and so come to America, get some money and come back. They did come back a couple of times, so the family is split.

TI: Yeah, so let me ask a little bit more about your, this is your mother's father, your grandfather.

ES: Yes.

TI: So he came to the United States to make money. Do you know about when he came to the United States and where he went?

ES: Let's see, he came to America in, well, it was, my father was born, my father was born in 1888 and I don't know too much about my grandparents.

TI: But on your mother's side, so she's a little bit younger than your father.

ES: Yes.

TI: So she was probably born about 1995?

ES: '97.

TI: '97? Or 1897. And so did your mother's father, your grandfather on your mother's side, did he come to the United States before your mother was born or after your mother?

ES: No, after. There were two children born to the family in Japan, and that's when my mother was left with her aunt in Japan and brought only the one son. And then so there were, as far as I know, two children who were born in America before they came back to Japan again.

TI: But your mother was in Japan when this was happening.

ES: Yes. But my mother did not come to America until she was fourteen, and at that time my grandparents were more settled in America and so they thought that she should come to America to learn English. And she had been through the grade school in Japan.

TI: And where were your grandparents living when they, you said settled in America, where did they settle?

ES: Well, they settled in Parkrose area in, there's a little community outside of Portland and they farmed there.

TI: Okay. And so they lived in this area, they had your, I guess he'd be your uncle who was born in Japan, he came with them, then two more...

ES: Children were born here in America.

TI: Kids. Good, and then your mother at fourteen then came and joined them. So they have a family of four children and two adults.

ES: Well there, actually my mother is, has eight children in her siblings. There are eight of them, so half of them are born in America and half of 'em are born in Japan.

TI: Okay, so big family.

ES: Yes.

TI: And they're, and so she's fourteen so I'm curious, how does she meet your father?

ES: Baishakunin. They --

TI: Okay, before we even talk about that, let's talk about your father first, so what was your father's name?

ES: Misao. M-I-S-A-O.

TI: And where was, where was he from in Japan?

ES: Okayama.

TI: Okay, so close by your mother's...

ES: Yes.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright &copy; 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 2>

TI: And before we talk about how they met, can you tell me a little bit about your father's family? Like what did they do in Japan?

ES: I know very little about my father's family. However, we did go visit the community when we visited Japan. I visited Japan in 1969, first time I visited Japan, and I, at that time I took a group of JACL members on a tour of Japan, not knowing Japan myself. But I decided I could get a group from Portland together and we went to Tokyo, went all the way down to Kyushu and back. I think it was a two week tour, but when we got to Japan then I asked, I think it was the Fuji Travel Bureau, I took, got that group of people to help us through all of Japan on the tour, and we did very well. We, surprisingly, we got to Hiroshima and there was a man that I had met in camp, in internment camp here in America, who had been repatriated to Japan on this repatriation program the government had. He was on that first ship.

TI: So he must've been surprised to see you.

ES: Very. Yes, it was very unusual. I can't even remember his name now.

TI: Now did he have, I'm curious about that meeting with this man, but what did you guys talk about?

ES: We just happened to be on a train, and he said he'd been in Portland so I said, "What is your name?" And you know, it's just, I can't even remember what his name was, but anyway, it was, he had a job because he was bilingual and he really took us through Hiroshima and Kyushu.

TI: So he helped you, then?

ES: Yes. Very helpful.

TI: But that was almost like happenstance? You just met him on the train and he started helping you.

ES: Yes.

TI: Did he ever talk about how his life was in Japan? So here he grew up in the United States, in Portland, and then during the war went to Japan.

ES: Well see, he was still a minor, so a lot of these people, Niseis, were minors, so they had to come back to Japan even though they -- well, they didn't have too much to say. They had to follow their parents. And so he got a job with Fuji -- I think, what is it? There was another name for that travel bureau.

TI: I don't know.

ES: There were several groups, I know, and we picked out this...

TI: But did this man work for the travel agency?

ES: Yes.

TI: Okay, so he worked, so it was his job. He was supposed to take you around.

ES: Yes.

TI: I see.

ES: Yes, because he knew Japanese and had learned Japanese. And so it was a very pleasant trip.

TI: Now, did you ever get a sense that he felt, maybe awkward about being first in the United States and then going to Japan and living? Did he ever talk about that?

ES: No, I really don't think so. I don't, I think he felt pretty much at home. But it was, it was quite a change, I'm sure, but he's still a child, maybe early teenage, when he went to Japan.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright &copy; 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 3>

TI: So let's go back to your story because, I think we started this because you were gonna say something about Okayama, your, on your dad's side. You said you didn't know much about the family?

ES: No. He was the youngest son of four, and he evidently came to America on, in a very illegal kind of way. He jumped the ship or something and decided to go someplace, because his father, we know, was a politician and he was running for some office and he didn't make it. So this son was quite disappointed, and he was only fourteen.

TI: This is your father you're talking about?

ES: Yes. And he came illegally to America, so he, and he really wanted to be on a farm and wanted to be sort of like a veterinarian. I think he had that in mind.

TI: But let's go back. When you say illegal kind of, he entered the country illegally, how did he do that? You said he jumped ship, so --

ES: I think he did.

TI: And do you know --

ES: We don't know too much about it, but the only reason we know is that when they were trying to get these two people together, my mother and my father, they found that he came at this early age and didn't have any papers with him at all, so finally found out that this man who was the baishakunin for my father, found out that he was not legally in this country. So her father, my grandfather, he said, "Well, we're not gonna have you marry this man if you're here illegally. So we want you to go back to Japan again and come into America legally." So that took a few months for it to happen, but this was very unusual too, that my grandfather would ask him. He approved of this man, but wasn't too sure that he wanted his daughter to marry someone who's come to America without any legal papers.

TI: Interesting. Interesting story. So let's go back to your father when he was younger, though. He's like fourteen, jumped ship, what does he do? You mentioned he wanted to be a veterinarian.

ES: Yeah, and he gave somebody that idea so then he must've met, gotten some information about this farmer who lived in St. Helens, Oregon, and he took him in and really raised him until he was old enough to be around by himself. And so my father and my mother were married in 1915.

TI: And you mentioned a baishakunin, so it was someone who was familiar with, I guess, the families back in Okayama that sort of brought them together?

ES: Yeah. They knew of the family.

TI: Okay. And so what did your, where did your parents go? Where did they settle, the two of them?

ES: They settled in Parkrose.

TI: So nearby your mother's family.

ES: Yes.

TI: And was it farming that they did or what?

ES: That's what they did, until 1920. And they were told that there was a farming community in Oregon that could be cultivated and would be a good place to grow crops, so somehow they got word that, to my father, that it might be a good place, and to my grandfather also. So actually they both moved from Parkrose to Salem, Oregon, to, actually it's Brooks, Oregon. It's, and Brooks is still there. That's the, that was the mailing address. But I don't know, my sister-in-law just moved from there a couple of years ago, sold the farm. My father bought the farm through my brother, who became eighteen so he could buy...

TI: So let's back up a little bit, so this, so they're starting a new farming community. Was it, was it designed to be with Japanese farmers?

ES: No, it wasn't really designed for it, but there, they had this man by the name of Ronald Jones who actually was quite a politician in the area and seemed to know Japanese some way -- and I'm not too familiar with what happened that they were allowed to take over this, lease the land -- and they started out with about ten acres at a time. And at about 1938... I think my brother... anyway, it was about the time that my father could buy land with my brother's name and so that's where my father started his farming, and as time went on he had forty acres.

TI: Okay. So it sounds like this, this start up with ten acres grew to something much larger.

ES: Yes. But, and my grandparents were there on the farm too.

TI: And this is on your mother's side.

ES: Yes.

TI: Okay.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright &copy; 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 4>

TI: You mentioned your brother so this might be a good time, let's talk about your siblings. I thought we would talk about them in order, so you had an older brother?

ES: Yes.

TI: And what was his name?

ES: Tatsuro.

TI: And do you know about when he was born?

ES: He was born June 8, 1916.

TI: Okay, so he's like two years older than you.

ES: Yes.

TI: 'Cause you were born 1918 in May. And then after you came?

ES: Kimi. Kimiko. And she was born on April 3, 1920.

TI: That's amazing that you can remember their birthdays after all these, all these years.

ES: I still do. I do.

TI: And after Kimiko?

ES: Kimiko, there was Kosaku, but he was given the name Ed by somebody, hakujin friend, I'm sure. Kosaku was a little bit too much for everybody. But he was born on the 2nd of October, 1922.

TI: It's like clockwork, every two years there's another one. And then after Kosako, or Ed, who was...

ES: Then Joe, Josaku. He was born on February 5, 1925. That's three years later.

TI: I'm amazed you can remember those, all those birthdays. I don't think... I can't remember my siblings', or all of them.

ES: Really? Well, it's...

<End Segment 4> - Copyright &copy; 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 5>

TI: So you're all in, so you're, you're born in Portland, but as a young girl you go to Brooks, Oregon, for this farming.

ES: Yes.

TI: So tell me a little bit about Brooks. What was that community like?

ES: They did have a post office, and I know there was a gas station and a, like a grocery store with everything, and a merchandise, hardware merchandise store, but it was a small school district but we didn't go to that school district. We were in another. Hazel Green is the school that we went to, but only because the farming land separated Brooks from, from Hazel Green. But it's strange, our mailing address was Brooks, but we, our school districts were different.

TI: Was it more of a convenience thing because the farmland --

ES: I think it was. The farmland was in between.

TI: So it was just easier to get to Hazel Green. Okay. So tell me about the school. I mean, who were your classmates? Were there very many Japanese?

ES: Well, there were several who worked for my father, and so my father tried to get Japanese to come to help, but most of his male workers on the farm were Filipino fellows, young, young, about teenage Filipino fellows that came by themselves just like the Japanese did. And the Japanese, many of them came because they, and they worked on the railroad, but the Filipinos, they just were, most, majority of 'em seemed like they were on a farm, that I know of.

TI: Now, did these workers stay there year round, or was it more migrant where they moved?

ES: My parents had these little houses, and they, most of them stayed year round. They were, they had... my father had some work for most of them to do. But during the most, the harvest time he would have about twenty, thirty people working on the farm because he grew celery and lettuce, which was all hand work, and there's really not too many people who could do that.

TI: 'Cause it's pretty backbreaking work.

ES: Oh, yes. Get on their hands and knees to plant these little celery plants. They're only like that, you know. [Indicates a few inches] And so that was very tedious, and unfortunately when the war broke out the, that industry that he had, growing celery and lettuce and so forth, was gone when he got home.

TI: Let's go back to the farm. I want you to describe the farm. You mentioned the houses for the workers, but why don't you first describe your house. What did that --

ES: Well, our house seemed like it was the, it was a large home. We had upstairs and -- but we had to pump our water, but my dad made, built furo right next to the house and we always had to start a fire under the furo to make hot water. And it was very convenient for us. I think we were the first family in that neighborhood that had any kind of, we had carbide for lights. I don't know if you know about that. Anyway, it was, my dad had a big tank of, it was a white, I'm not too sure what it is. It's, anyway, he had to pump it out every so often so that we'd have enough gas to burn, so that there's enough power for a light over our kitchen and in our living room. Most of the people had kerosene lamps, that type of thing, but we had what we call a gas light and it was carbide. That's what they called it.

TI: I've never heard this. So it sounds like some kind of, but it's some kind of gas that you could pump into the house that would light all the lights?

ES: Yes.

TI: So it wouldn't be like individual lamps that most people did, but it was built into the house.

ES: Right. And we were the only house that had a telephone about... and so anybody that wanted to get any kind of telephone message, they'd come, have to come to my house, to our house and get the message. It was primitive compared to what we have now.

TI: Primitive now, but relative to the times it was like, it was a very advanced house.

ES: Oh yes, it was. It was, we had running water eventually in our house, but our neighbors would have, still have to pump their water. And then of course we had to pump our water into the bathtub, furo, 'cause that had to have lots of water, and my mother would have that changed every day.

TI: How about indoor toilets? Did you ever do that, or was it still outdoor toilets?

ES: Outdoor toilet. But my dad always had concrete for our toilet, for our building, and he always had that pumped out too. I don't know how he did that. But it was amazing that we had toilet paper, most of the time, and then when we'd run out, well then I know we'd use, like Sears & Roebuck or Montgomery Ward catalogs. [Laughs] This was just normal.

TI: I love, I love these stories. [Laughs]

ES: We had to go outside, if we had to go to the bathroom at night we had to go outside.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright &copy; 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 6>

TI: Tell me more about your father. He sounds like a very forward thinking, industrious person.

ES: Yes, he was. He was quite a different kind of a man. He was always watching out for his children, just constantly. And he did all the grocery buying. My mother would make a list of what she wanted. And he'd buy meat instead of little chunks of, like pork chops where they're sliced now. Well, he would buy a whole leg of beef, and when I think about it now it's probably a rump roast or a leg of pork, then my mother would just slice off what we need for, to make stir fry. And we did have an icebox. As far as I can remember we always had an icebox. My dad would go and get ice from ice, wherever they had ice, had an icebox.

TI: And what was his personality like? I mean, so he's very kind of advanced thinking, industrious, but was he, yeah, how would you describe his personality?

ES: He seemed to get along with people very well. He hired these young fellows and he'd, once in a while he had them come over to the house and have something to eat, those Filipino fellows. They really loved him. But then my mother was kind of, stayed home and didn't want any, too many people around, but she was a good cook. She taught me how to cook. But my mother really got to a point where she liked to associate with people in church, and so we were never taught any other religion except the Protestant. We had Protestant neighbors and so for that reason, I think, my parents went into Christianity. However, my grandparents were still in the Buddhist group and I know their, they had a Buddhist, what do they call them? The shrine.

TI: Butsudan.

ES: Yeah, in their home, but my mother never did. And met a neighbor called the Loony family, and they lived about, I'd say maybe it was only a quarter of a mile from the house, and they were farming and so they were always watching out for us, the children of the Japanese. At Christmastime they would make popcorn balls and come with, he had a buggy with a horse that pulled it, and would ring Christmas bells and come around with, and give all of us these popcorn balls that were just wonderful. And then of course there was a church on the corner of where we went to school, and on the way home from church they'd want us to stop and have something to eat and drink, and then they'd teach us all these American songs, like "Jesus loves me" and that type of songs. And all we knew was Japanese songs, like "Moshi moshi kamesan," that type of thing, and we really loved this lady. She's the one who really told me to come to her home, and she'd show me how to can my fruits. My mother would never can. She finally bought me a pressure cooker so that at age, I think, twelve, I was canning all of my family fruits and some, some vegetables.

TI: So it sounds like your family was really accepted in the community by others.

ES: Yes.

TI: The white neighbors, the Filipino workers, there's a pretty, pretty...

ES: We became very well known in the community. Course we were there for all of our life. We, my dad was there during the war and, of course, our house burnt down.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright &copy; 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 7>

TI: So Emi, we're talking still about Brooks and before the war and how well your family was known. I want to talk a little bit about language, so at home, what language was spoken?

ES: It was all Japanese, until my brother went to grade school. First day he didn't know a word of English and so he had to take first grade over again 'cause he didn't do too well with the English. But then the second year, then it was okay, but then he came home with all this so the rest of us, four of us, didn't have any problem with English.

TI: Because once he had that experience, did your older brother start teaching you English?

ES: Yeah.

TI: Okay, so he didn't want you to go through the same thing he had went through.

ES: No, I guess that was it.

TI: But I'm curious, for your father, how good was his English?

ES: Well, he just learned it. I think what he did learn was all from the farmer that he worked for, and he did very well. And he did writing and, well, my mother had beautiful penmanship because she had learned by herself, Palmer method.

TI: So this beautiful cursive writing.

ES: Beautiful handwriting. But of course she didn't speak a lot English, but like when she's signing her name we used to marvel at how beautiful she wrote.

TI: Now, was she, was she good enough with English that she could write, like, letters in English and things like that?

ES: Yes.

TI: But just the spoken English she...

ES: She'd just as soon not.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright &copy; 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 8>

ES: But we did go to this Hazel Green Church, which was a Caucasian church, when we were just little, and they didn't have a Japanese church until, until... let's see, that was about nineteen, in the, '32, '33. I think I graduated from high school in 1936, so I think when I was in grade school, we still spoke Japanese at home and we still ate Japanese food, and they'd have potlucks at school, at Hazel Green School, the parents, teachers. And they'd say, okay, everybody just bring your, whatever you want to bring, and the first time they were saying they were gonna have a potluck, well, now what if, what are we going to take? You know, I just wasn't too sure. And so I think my dad, he decided to make sandwiches, so bought bread and, I don't know what he did. I think my mother decided he could baloney or ham or whatever and make, put butter on it and whatever, and took sandwiches. Well, I was really kind of ashamed to think that we were eating not the right kind of food that the rest of the people --

TI: You mean ashamed that you might bring the wrong food or something?

ES: Wrong food. It would be embarrassing to me. But we got used to it, and --

TI: Well I'm curious, what did the others bring? You brought sandwiches, what did the other kids bring?

ES: They brought, they had Jell-O salads and fruit salad and potato salad and all this that my mother was never used to making. And it would've been nice if she could've made Japanese food, sushi or something, and taken it and introduced it to, like when we were teenagers, or when we married and had children, we'd take our own and they'd love it. Like they, I'd just make sushi and take it, and they still enjoy it. But we were kind of embarrassed that none of us could do that, and so there were other Japanese families, but they wouldn't even participate. We had Japanese families that worked for my dad, worked for my dad on the farm, and...

TI: I'm curious, the other kids, so what background, like ethnicity, like where would, where did they come from? Like different countries?

ES: Well, I think they would come from different countries, not just Okayama people.

TI: No, I mean the whites.

ES: Oh, the white people. Well, they had farms before we got there, so they, let's see, the Loonys were Scandinavians, and then there were Williamsons, I think they were also Scandinavians.

TI: So kind of similar to the Seattle area.

ES: Yes.

TI: There's a strong Scandinavian influence. I was just kind of curious.

ES: And they had cows and sheep, and they grew grain, they had corn and fruit trees, but we never thought too much about it until we were at an age where we were in school.

TI: No, but I was curious if, like a potluck like that, if you ever saw ethnic food, like lutefisk or something like that that was Scandinavian that they would bring.

ES: Well, that was all really wonderful for us, but we, the Scandinavian people I know, I had friends of my own in my class and their mother baked bread, and this was something that my mother never did. We always bought our bread, Wonder Bread. And so I'd take baloney or ham or something like that and make a sandwich, and my friends would envy me for having a store bread. And so we used to exchange our bread because I liked their bread because it was so good. It was homemade.

TI: [Laughs] And they wanted the white store bread.

ES: Yeah. And I remember that so thoroughly. It seemed like it was crazy for me now when I think about it. And they always used to bring Jell-O, and I never had Jell-O at home. My mother would, I remember her making kanten, which was similar but not Jell-O, and with whipped cream. And of course they had cows so that they had lots of cream and so they can have all the whipped cream they want. It was a different experience.

TI: Well did you ever, for lunch, bring Japanese food?

ES: No. No, never did. And you know, but when we met on picnics, the Japanese, there were quite a few Japanese in that Salem area, Independence and Salem and, well there was little -- [coughs] excuse me -- little communities, like Quinaby. I don't know if you've heard of that area. It was a farming community.

TI: And again, all these were kind of more like truck farming, things like lettuce and celery and other things?

ES: Yes, but not large farms. My dad had the largest of all the farms and he finally took care of all these people, the farm, and when they grew celery, well my dad would have a lot more celery to send to the market and he'd have orders from different groups of people that, not just local. They'd send celery by the carloads as the years went by, and then my dad would let the smaller farm people order, cut their celery as many as, in proportion to their farm. They made it so that everybody could have their share.

TI: So let me make sure I understand this, so when he sold it he would help the smaller farmers by, by helping to sell their...

ES: Their percentage.

TI: Their percentage, their produce.

ES: So that they will have their share of their farm.

TI: And that helped the smaller farmers because your father's farm was large enough that he could talk directly with these larger buyers and do that.

ES: Sure. And so he was kind of a boss in that area for farming, in that big Salem community, but then he was getting to an age where he really wanted my sons, his sons to take over. But of course they went on to college and so they weren't home very much anymore, and so he was, at the time of the war he still was in the prime. Yes, and I thought, now why is the government moving us when...

<End Segment 8> - Copyright &copy; 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 9>

TI: Okay, we're gonna get to that a little bit later. I still have more questions. The prewar life in Brooks in this area just fascinates me.

ES: Okay.

TI: And I'm curious, you mentioned Japanese picnics, were there other, like, Japanese community events that you can recall? Like when they did Obon or something like, or anything like that?

ES: There was a group of Buddhist people, Buddhist community, and they were from Fukuoka. I remember that because they spoke a complete different dialect than Okayama people, and I could hardly understand them. But when we were teenagers, while we were in elementary school, my father decided that we needed a Japanese school, so -- in that Brooks and Salem community -- so my dad was the one who had to get the teachers for our Japanese school. We had to go to Japanese school on Saturday when all of our Caucasian friends, Saturday was off, but we had to go to school. And so I know I went as far as the twelfth grade, which was about as much as I would learn when, as long as you're in America you don't go anymore because you're on to college or something and you just don't have time. But the Fukuoka people, majority of them raised, they had a dry cleaning establishment in Salem. And there were a few, there's one couple that had a Japanese restaurant, also in Salem, Tanaka's.

TI: So would that be like the largest, I guess, or the place where you'd have a Japanese restaurant, like Japanese food, did you have a grocery store in Salem?

ES: Yes. And they did quite well, I think, made a living. We used to go once in a while to that. And they grew hops in Independence area. It's north of Salem. But they seemed to have come from a different area of Japan, and once in a while we'd go and visit them.

TI: And would you see that, going back to the Japanese language school, I mean, so you have Fukuoka and Okayama, was there a difficulty in learning language?

ES: See, we didn't go together. The Fukuoka people seemed to kind of be a very clannish group. They...

TI: So did they have their own separate Japanese language school?

ES: Now that I don't know, if they did or not. But we had to go, and there was quite a, I would say we must've been at least thirty or forty students.

TI: So that's quite a few. That's a, that's a good size school.

ES: Well, quite a few different families, and we'd have Japanese teachers that come on Saturday from Portland to teach us. And so we learned, at least we thought we did. We didn't really like it because we thought all our friends, hakujin friends, didn't have to go to school but we did. But now, when I think back on it, I thought we should've really studied hard.

TI: Was it hard for you? Because your dad was somebody who had set the school up and so you were kind of like the daughter of kind of an important man who had done this.

ES: Right.

TI: So was there pressure for you to do well?

ES: Uh-huh. And then eventually, as we got into high school, we had a Japanese church that my father and, there's another family by, the Watanabe family, who had a dry cleaning establishment in Salem. This was, they were not Fukuoka people, but they were, they got into our group and they were Protestants and they were, they had I think five or six children.

TI: Now, when you say Watanabe family, so I know that Taul Watanabe went to, went to Willamette in Salem.

ES: Oh yes, Taul. Yes, yes.

TI: So is that the family that you're talking about?

ES: Yes, yes. They're very good friends of mine.

TI: Okay.

ES: Of course, Taul is gone, but his wife, second wife, Sachi, is still in Bellevue, and she's in a retirement home like I am.

TI: So they grew up in that, in that area.

ES: In Salem.

TI: And that's that connection to Willamette.

ES: Hoshi Watanabe used to teach me my piano lessons and so we used to be in their home quite frequently, and they always looked forward to my dad bringing vegetables because my dad always had to take me to the piano lesson. But it was...

TI: So there's a nice family connection.

ES: Yes. We had quite a large group of Protestant Japanese in Salem. We used to come to Seattle for Young People's Christian Conference. Go to Spokane and we went to Hood River. It was a good group.

TI: It sounds like a really rich community life that you grew up with.

ES: Yes. I thought it was.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright &copy; 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 10>

TI: So let's talk a little bit more about you, so in your family, when the family wasn't farming, what kind of fun activities would the family do? You mentioned earlier things like every year a couple weeks you would, your dad would take you someplace.

ES: Oh, that was during, when we were growing up.

TI: Yeah, talk about that.

ES: Well, I can hardly remember a time when my father didn't have a boat. He loved sport fishing. He loved sports games, baseball, and of course we didn't have too much in football or basketball or anything like that, but there was a lot of baseball among Japanese. And my three brothers always liked to play and so, and Hood River had Japanese, so did Gresham, Troutdale, and let's see, I think there was a group from Kent Valley, Kent and...

TI: And so they would play against each other?

ES: Yes. We'd have a team.

TI: Well Kent would be pretty far, but I could see the Portland --

ES: Yeah, but we went. My dad always drove and we all went as a family, and my mother would fix Japanese picnic food that we loved, and so we'd, maybe it'd take us a half a day just to drive from Brooks to Seattle so we'd stop at a park and have lunch.

TI: And the whole team would go up, so it would be like a caravan of cars?

ES: No, this was just my family.

TI: Okay, so not like a team thing.

ES: No, but the team would be going there, but they would all go separately and then meet at the same place.

TI: I see. So you were there to go root the team on, to be the fans for the team.

ES: And so that kind of sport we always did do. Then, of course, my dad loved fishing and so we'd go fishing just, at least once a week or twice a week, maybe three times, lake fishing, river fishing, and he'd always have a boat. Seemed like --

TI: Now would you go with him, or was it more the boys?

ES: With the whole family. But he always made time for us to enjoy that kind of life.

TI: How about things like, I'm not sure if they're down there because there's, I can't think of any mountains, but matsutake during the fall?

ES: Oh yes, we loved that.

TI: You would do that.

ES: Oh yes.

TI: Where would you go down in Oregon?

ES: We'd go up to Mount Hood, and then of course we'd go down to Netarts, Tillamook area, and then Newport. Well, later, after we were married, my parents, well, my one brother bought a home out in Newport, Oregon, and there was nice places where matsutake would grow right out in people's yards, and my dad, he's so smart, he'd take vegetables to all these people that had the farm, had the homes. And I don't know what kind of work they were in, but several were Indians, and he'd ask 'em, "Can we go in your farm? Because we want to look for mushrooms." And so they say yes, so they let him in and then here's my dad with all these vegetables in the pickup truck, he gives it to 'em and they're just delighted with that and so they just thought that was the greatest thing that could ever happen, somebody bringing them food.

TI: Food, and all they're doing is walking out there and picking mushrooms that they didn't care about.

ES: Yeah, that's right. It was, yeah, so they must've done that for ten years at least. But it was fun, and we were always invited to go, my husband and my children.

TI: Okay, good.

<End Segment 10> - Copyright &copy; 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 11>

TI: So let's, so you mentioned 1936 is when you graduated from high school, so let's talk about what you did after high school.

ES: I went into nurses' training.

TI: And why nurses' training? What made you decide nurses' training?

ES: Well, I think the thing that was kind of, it was a kind of a glamorous thing. I think when I had my tonsils out and I saw these nurses, white uniform and a cap and everything, and I thought, gee, that would be fun to be. I thought about that, and that's the first thing that came to my mind, is how can you do that. And they were treating, I was treated so well, and we were only there, I think, overnight and they came around and asked us what we wanted and got everything, and they were -- my sister and I, we both had our tonsils out -- and I thought how neat, these people. And we had a good doctor too and I liked the doctor, and I still remember his name. His name is Prime. And he is, I think, our family doctor. I don't think we ever had specialists at that time. So it was in this Salem General Hospital, and ever since then -- I think I was only about ten or twelve when I had my tonsils out -- I could think of nothing else but just to be a nurse. [Laughs]

TI: Now, did anyone, when you were making this choice, did anyone ever talk to you about, well, it'd be hard as a Japanese American to be a nurse? Did you ever have a conversation with anyone?

ES: There was a lot of prejudice. But we... I think, my best, my father's very good friend lived in Portland and I think my father talked to him about what I wanted to do, and Mr. Ito, he thought, well, that's a good idea. And his son was going into medicine, Bill Ito, and he was my, I think he was two years older than my brother.

TI: So he was going in, to become a doctor? Is that --

ES: Yes.

TI: Okay.

ES: In medical school. And we knew them very well as a family friend in Portland, and so he said that it was hard for nurses to get into, go into nursing. So then he knew this one surgeon who worked in the hospital, at Emanuel Hospital in Portland, and talked to him about it, and Dr. Kanto says, "There's no reason why a Japanese can't go into nurses' training here." And it was, they said -- and I think that was about, it was in the middle of summer and we didn't hear from them for a while -- and finally the application form came from the hospital. So then right away I applied and got in.

TI: Got into the training or the job with the hospital?

ES: No, to be a nurse student.

TI: A nurse student, okay.

ES: And that was, I think there were two other nurses in the Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland.

TI: That were Japanese American?

ES: Japanese Americans, ahead of me. And I didn't know that, but so then one of --

TI: But at Emanuel you were like a pioneer in terms of a Japanese American being a nurse.

ES: Yes, we were the first Japanese. And so I thought, well, it would be nice to have another Japanese go with me, so I went with Takako Ohashi. She wanted to be a nurse too and she happened to be a daughter of my father's friend, and so it worked out real well. So they put us in the same nurses' home as a roommate. Well, we didn't get along too well. And she was a, had a home life that was quite different than ours, from a small farm in Gresham, and I don't know what happened but we just didn't think right, we didn't do things the way I wanted to do and she didn't, she had some different ways of doing things, so I finally decided after three months of living with her that I would have to change my roommate. And that worked out okay, because she could get along with somebody else better than we, we two.

TI: So who was your new roommate? Was it a Japanese?

ES: No. So we, she went with another girl that got a roommate, and I went with another one, another girl. We just didn't think the same way 'cause she was from a small group of people and never went out very much, and I used to think that we just didn't fit. And she'd bring things from home from her parents and she never shared with me, and I always thought, wanted to share my things with her. And she didn't want to share it, so she'd be eating her food in the middle of the night so she doesn't have to share with me. I could smell her orange that she's peeling. I can still remember those things. [Laughs] But then after a while, after we graduated, well then we went on our own way, and she got married and I got married and everything was okay.

<End Segment 11> - Copyright &copy; 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 12>

TI: Now was there any events or incidences as you were training that people maybe were concerned that you were Japanese when they were getting treated or anything? Was that ever a problem?

ES: Yes. There was a quite a bit of problems. There was a lot of prejudice.

TI: To the point where some people would refuse to have you as a nurse?

ES: That's right.

TI: And how did, how did that make you feel? What was your reaction to that?

ES: Well, we just, the nurses worked it out for us. The supervisors worked it out with us, and this, we'll just say, well, that's okay. We'll just go. They don't know any better. That was always their explanation. We'll just do it this way. But it wasn't with the girls in training; it was with patients. And then once in a while we'll be -- well, this one man, he says, "Well, you're a Jap. Well, I don't need you." And so I said, "Okay, I'll just go out, tell the supervisor," and that was that. But you get used to that.

TI: And how frequently would this happen? Would it be pretty...

ES: Well, it wasn't too often. But we did see it even after we got out of training and I was working in a doctor's office. We'll have a visitor coming into town and they're having car trouble or somebody's sick on the way through, going through the town, and there was a Japanese doctor, Dr. Kanda, in Sumner, and somebody referred this party to the doctor's office and he said, "Well, you're a Jap. I don't want you." Then, "Is there another doctor's office?" and so they referred it to the doctor's office that I was working in, and so I happened to run into him. And he just says, "You're a Jap too?" And I said, "I'm Japanese American." He says, "Well, what can you do for me?" And I had just heard from a phone call or something that so-and-so is coming and so be ready, and so I said, "Okay, I don't have to take care of you." There were only two of us. So then they took care of this patient, but they don't know you so you just have to accept that fact, and they're traveling through town, you're a "Jap." They have some bad experiences with somebody in the family that was killed by a Japanese.

TI: So this was maybe during or after the war?

ES: After the war.

TI: During this time when you were getting training, were there any other races that were also training, like whether they're Filipino or Chinese or...

ES: There was a Chinese nurse that came in soon after I did, and we got along very well. But by that time I think as long as we're nurses we're fine, but it's the patients that once in a while you have to be careful. But it's not unusual. It's, and we have to accept it, I guess, and educate them.

TI: Well, and do your job too, I guess.

ES: Sure. That's right.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright &copy; 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 13>

TI: So I'm gonna move on because earlier you mentioned, after you graduated, you got married. And so let's talk about that, about how you met your husband.

ES: Well that is really kind of a strange thing. You know, Wonder Bakery had a bakery across, on Vancouver Avenue in Portland, and somebody, one of my friends, Japanese friends, said the Japanese are having a stag party, a stag dance party on, at Wonder Bakery. They have a recreation hall, and it was only about two blocks from the nurses' home. And I just don't even know how it happened that I heard about this. Anyway, it was Saturday night and I had a roommate, I had a roommate of five hakujin nurses, and so -- we just got along beautifully -- there was only one room that had six of us, in the nurses' home. And we just clicked. Everybody ate everybody else's food and some even borrowed some of my clothes. I had a fur coat and they, if it fit someone then they were, wanted to borrow my fur coat. I let them use it. And so we got along real well, but anyway, this one girl, she was my size, hakujin, I said, "You want to go to a stag party?" "Okay." So we went, and they had nickelodeons that played music, not a band or anything. So we sat there for a while, and we didn't know anybody, but they're all Japanese, young people, and my husband was one of 'em. And of course I didn't know him, but I was watching him and he was jitterbugging -- you know, in those years -- and it was fun. And I'd never jitterbugged before, and I thought, only thing that I could think of doing is use a, go to waltz or foxtrot or something like that.

So we just sat there for a while and pretty soon some people come and talk to us, and they said, come on, let's dance. And they're all young people, in their teens, and I was still in my teens because I was eighteen. No, I was, I must've been nineteen or twenty. And I happened to meet this one fellow, and I thought, gee, he's cute, he's a nice looking guy. And I found out what his name was and everything, and a few weeks went by and here his, there's a Japanese lady who, Haru Nomura was her husband, and she was having a baby at the hospital and I was taking care of the, taking care of the babies at the time. That's part of my training. And so I saw this name, Nomura, and I thought, well they must be Japanese, so I took the baby in to nurse and start talking to her, and she's a very nice lady. So the few -- those patients stay there about ten days after they have their baby. They didn't get 'em up the next day like they do now. And so I saw her for, several times while she was there, and she said, "When I go home, would you like to come over and, I have a brother that I think would like to meet you." I said, well sure, that'd be fun. And so, "I can cook Japanese food." "That'd be great." And of course it just went in my one ear and out the other. I just figured, well, some people say that and they never call. Well, after about six weeks after she got home, here she's calling me and she said, "I'd like to have you come over for dinner." So that was it, and he came after me and he knew who I was.

TI: Okay, and you were surprised because you recognized him from that dance weeks ago.

ES: Yeah. I haven't seen him since, but he came after me. He knew where I lived, so it was nice and I just hit it off just right.

TI: And so at that point you, the two of you started dating?

ES: Uh-huh.

TI: And tell me his name.

ES: Huh?

TI: And his name is?

ES: Arthur Somekawa.

TI: Arthur Somekawa.

ES: Yeah, and found out that he was working with his father in Nichi Bei Fish Company in downtown Portland. And he had, let's see, he had three sisters and two brothers, and they all wanted to go to college, and the poor, he was the oldest of them, six children, so he had to help his father so the others can go to college.

TI: Now was he okay with that, kind of sacrificing?

ES: He was okay with that, for a while. But after we got married I said, "You should, if you want to go to college, well, why don't you go to night class or something?" Then the war broke out. That was that.

TI: Well let's, let's go to the war. So let's, so before we go to the war let me just explain where people are. So you still have your family down in Brooks, down by Salem, the family farm.

ES: Yes.

TI: At this point your father, through your brother's name, has forty acres down there. You're at the Emanuel Hospital in Portland.

ES: I, just as soon as I graduate I went to work in Salem General Hospital.

TI: That's right, you worked down there for a while.

ES: For a year.

TI: And this is before you were married, because Arthur --

ES: This is before I was married.

TI: -- Arthur's still in Portland.

ES: In Portland.

TI: And you worked down there. Now, why did you go down to Salem and not stay up at Emanuel?

ES: Well, I thought I'd be coming home. Then I could come home to weekends or on my days off my dad would come after me, which is easier. And I thought about marrying him, sure, and we did get engaged finally in April of 1940. Got married in September 1940.

TI: And then that's when you moved back to, to Portland?

ES: Yeah, because he worked for his dad, and so we, we bought a home soon afterwards. But then our home was there when we were able to come back to Portland. I think that's the only reason we came, we did come home, because all the rest of the family got separated and went to Chicago and Detroit, and that's the Somekawa family.

TI: Because they all went to college and then they went to different places?

ES: That's right. Well, or they're still going to college.

TI: I see. Okay. But Arthur stayed because he was essentially helping with the family business, the fish company.

ES: That's right.

TI: And this is the Nichi Bei Fish Company on Third and Davis? This was the --

ES: Uh-huh.

TI: Okay.

<End Segment 13> - Copyright &copy; 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 14>

TI: Okay, so let's go now to December 7, 1941. So tell me what that day was like, how you heard about it.

ES: Oh, that was horrible. That was horrible. We thought, what in the world's gonna happen to us? 'Course, we're American citizens, we're born here, we have a Constitution. But we still didn't know what was gonna happen, until 19th of February. The, President Roosevelt just asked all the Japanese and all the descendants of the Japanese to be evacuated. It was a blow.

TI: Going back to that Sunday, what was the reaction of your husband? Do you remember anything that your husband said?

ES: No, he felt the same way. He's Japanese too, you know. Well, he's, he says, "Well, Dad and Mom are both from Japan." See, they're from a different part of Japan, Wakayama, kind of on the water side of Japan. Evidently he went into fish business because that's where they had a lot of fish in Japan. But his parents came to Japan about the same time as my parents, but we didn't know them 'cause they settled in Portland, and maybe they were here maybe even before my parents.

TI: Did your husband's family have very many connections to the community at Terminal Island? Lots of Wakayama at Terminal Island. I was just curious if there was any connection.

ES: I don't think so. I'm not too sure. I don't know.

TI: I just wondered because Terminal Island, they were removed early, so I was just curious if there was anything that happened.

ES: I don't know too much about their family.

TI: How about your father? So after Pearl Harbor was bombed, did you ever have a conversation with your father about what he was thinking?

ES: Yes. Yes, they were really ready for the FBI to come to the house to take him because he was very active, but active in a different sense, I think. He was a very strong leader but with the church, and evidently the church people was behind him all the way because they didn't question him hardly at all. Just let him go. And it's always amazed me that they didn't bother him, but folks were ready.

TI: Because he was such a prominent person in the community.

ES: Yeah, but I think that was one of the big reasons that... like the Fukuda family, they were very prominent too but with the Japanese group. They were very strong with the --

TI: And so was Mr. Fukuda taken by the FBI?

ES: Yes. Immediately. And then there were a few others, but -- I think the one that owned the restaurant in Salem, 'cause that was before the war -- but not too many from the Salem area were taken. I think there was a couple of other families that the men... but I wasn't too sure. See, I wasn't sure about anything because I was already married and had a child when this war broke out.

TI: So you were already, your hands were full.

ES: I was in Portland, so I was, didn't have too much in the way of knowing what's going on in Salem, except that I did inquire if they were gonna come to Portland, a livestock exhibition building as assembly center. But instead they were taken directly from their home to Tule Lake.

<End Segment 14> - Copyright &copy; 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 15>

TI: And before we talk more about that, so you mentioned February 19, 1942, Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which led to the removal of Japanese and Japanese Americans from the West Coast. And before we talk about leaving, I just want to ask, like you mentioned earlier that you bought your house, what arrangements did you make for your home in Portland?

ES: Well, right away the, is it Wartime Authorities? W, W...

TI: I think back then it was WCCA at that point, and then later on the WRA.

ES: Yeah, WRA. The War Relocation Authorities. They came around and said that they would take care of our home, rent it out, but we could remove anything that we wanted saved to Beacon.

TI: The storage company.

ES: The storage company. And so we did do that, but of course there were a lot of things that we couldn't, we didn't move. We didn't move the refrigerator or stove or anything. And then at that time I had a nurse friend who had just recently got married and so she was looking for a place to stay, because they still hadn't decided where to live. And so they said they would rent our house and keep it up. I said that'd be great because I knew her so well and I knew her parents too, and the parents knew other Japanese in the community. So they came and lived there and everything, I thought, was gonna be great. What do you know? He was drafted into service. He was a plumber, and so of course she couldn't live there by herself in the house, a good size house, upstairs, basement, and so she said she had to move from there. So she had to turn the whole thing over to the War Authorities again. And so then, from then on they just rented it out to anybody that could, that would want a roof over their head, I guess. They didn't ask what they did or was able to do. And so I, the way it sounded they had three different tenants who lived in that house while we were gone, for three years. Well, got back, the house was a terrible mess. Every window in that house had a crack in it. There was a hardwood floor, there was a piece about like that all cut out from the floor. You could see the basement from our living room floor.

TI: Now why would somebody do that?

ES: I don't know. Why?

TI: That doesn't make sense, they would cut into a hardwood floor.

ES: I don't know. And just before that we had the house all wallpapered and everything was just like we wanted it, 'cause we were married in 1940 so we bought this house. And so except that I, my folks, I knew, were gonna have a lot of things to store.

<End Segment 15> - Copyright &copy; 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 16>

TI: So now I'm gonna go back to the beginning of the war because we'll come back after the war, but I just wanted to talk about the house a little bit. So at this point, so we're talking about kind of the summer of 1942, you're also pregnant with your second child.

ES: Yes. We were in assembly center.

TI: You're in assembly center. So tell me about that, about delivering your second child. How did, where did that happen and what was that like?

ES: My doctor that delivered my first child, I knew that I had a very difficult labor and so they were thinking about even doing a Caesarian section, but I finally delivered her normally. And so we were gonna have four children so we decided, and my husband was nine years older than I -- no, he was six years older than I -- so we decided we didn't want to have our children spread out too far, so we were gonna have four children right together.

TI: Why four children? What made you decide?

ES: Well my husband says, "We can divide the grapefruit in half." [Laughs]

TI: [Laughs] And that's how he decided.

ES: And so in that way he says we don't have to waste anything. He says that way we don't have to worry about having four children. There'd be six, and the three grapefruit, cut it all in half, eat it.

TI: Okay.

ES: That was one of the funny things that he used to say. He said, "We're gonna have four children." I said that's fine. We had five in my family and he had six in his family. So I thought it'd be fun to have grandchildren.

TI: So you had your first child in 1941 and then your second child a year later.

ES: Yes. '42. Of course that ended that. Only have two children. "But because," the doctor said, "you had such difficult delivery, I'll have to talk to the executive of the camp, of the assembly center," and he did. He talked to him on the phone, evidently. He said that, "Emi is pregnant and I'm gonna have to deliver her because she had such a difficult delivery." And so it was agreed upon by the... I can't even remember what his title was, but anyway, he was the executive director of the assembly center anyway, and he said, "Sure. The minute her labor starts call me." I did, and the ambulance was there and took me to Emanuel Hospital, delivered me that night. And next day the ambulance came back to pick me up, bring you back to the base hospital 'cause they didn't want me away from the assembly center any longer than I had to be. But those were the days that you're supposed to be in bed for ten days.

TI: So compare the facilities at Emanuel Hospital with the facilities at the Portland Assembly Center. So here you were, you delivered and you were there for a day, and you knew the facility really well, and now you go to the Portland Assembly Center. How would you compare the medical facilities?

ES: Well, it was just a cot that we slept in at the base hospital. I thought, well, I'm just gonna get up and walk. I just couldn't take it, so I guess that was the way it's supposed to be anyway, so I got along fine.

TI: How about the staff in terms of the trained, the hospital staff at Puyallup -- or not Puyallup, Portland, the Portland Assembly Center? What was that like?

ES: It was okay because I kind of took care of myself. I didn't have to worry about --

TI: But see, you were lucky because you had the training. You knew what to do.

ES: Yes, that's right.

TI: But if you were a young mother who didn't, delivering for the first time...

ES: It's kind of sad, but then I figured there were other ladies who were pregnant too, had babies, and they had babies right there at the base hospital. And they really didn't have what you call obstetricians. At Emanuel, where I trained, we did have obstetricians and gynecologists because that's, that's part of the training, but it wasn't that bad. It wasn't that bad. I got lucky.

TI: So going back to you, here you have a one-year-old and now a newborn, you're at the Portland Assembly Center, tell me what life is like. I mean, what, how do you do that?

ES: Well, I don't know how I did it, except that I wonderful babysitters because there are a lot of Issei people that wanted to take care of my children. And anyway, sometimes I would give them their formula that they have, they can have for two hours, for two different feedings, and this one lady came and she'd take my, Carol -- she was my oldest, older one -- she'd take care of her and I wouldn't see her for the whole day. She'd take care of her and, because I had this little infant, and I just thought, well, how wonderful that was, that that lady would take the diapers and -- and my husband had to do all the washing. We never had disposable diapers, no. But anyway, it was amazing how well we did get along.

TI: And it helped, now, this Issei woman, was she a family friend? Who was she?

ES: She was a, not a real family friend, but anyway, she knew me because I was around a lot. I think her name was Tsuboi, and I know she's not living anymore, she's gone, because I remember when she died. But I remember I had her name in my address book even when we moved back to Portland, because she moved back to Portland, but she was ill at that time. And she didn't have any children. That was one thing. She loved Carol, and so she had her in a stroller and she had her with, had her naps together, and it was wonderful. I keep thinking about that lady all the time.

TI: Yeah, so that, having her there at camp helped a lot. What about the other side? Were there any hardships by being in camp versus if you were just at home?

ES: Well, baby food. Course you never think too much about baby food until you have a child, and you think, well, you can't have them eating that kind of food. They can't chew, they've no teeth. But I managed to bring home carrots and potatoes from the stew that we had. I'd make okayu from rice and feed them that if I were home. And it's amazing what you can get along with, but I really blame a lot of this allergy that my son has to wind and dust that we had to go through.

TI: So being exposed to that as a baby.

ES: Asthma. There's no way to keep that out of your home, which is sad, but that's one of the big reasons that he's in Hawaii. Because when he comes back here just to visit me his eyes start running and his nose starts running. I can tell that he needs a pill. But that's the only thing that I think is, just always gets to me.

<End Segment 16> - Copyright &copy; 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 17>

TI: Okay, so we just had been talking about you delivered a baby, you're back at Portland, and you talked about baby food and how that was hard. But the next step is I want to get you to the camp after Portland, so after the Portland Assembly Center where did, where did you and your family go?

ES: We moved to Tule Lake, California. Our move was all done by train, all the drapes, curtains all down, couldn't even see outside all the way over to --

TI: So I'm curious, because in Seattle people went to Puyallup and pretty much everyone from Puyallup went to Minidoka as a group.

ES: Right.

TI: So Portland, I know a lot of people from Portland went to Minidoka, so it sounds like at the Portland Assembly Center they went to different camps?

ES: Yes.

TI: And you went to Tule Lake. Some people went to Minidoka.

ES: Some went to Heart Mountain.

TI: And some went to Heart Mountain.

ES: Yes.

TI: So was it based on when people left, or how did they decide who went where?

ES: I don't know, but we left, we left Portland Assembly Center on the 2nd of September. We entered assembly center in May, May 2nd.

TI: And so September 2nd, did, a lot of people had already left for Minidoka by that time?

ES: I think so. From different places, but not from, not from Portland. I think most of the people from Portland who went to assembly center, there were about thirty-six hundred people.

TI: That went to, that went to Minidoka.

ES: Assembly center.

TI: Yeah.

ES: We were at the livestock exhibition building, about a little over thirty-six thousand.

TI: Thirty-six hundred?

ES: Thirty-six hundred, yes. And I don't know why.

TI: Now, when you left Portland, the livestock, the assembly center area, were you one of the first ones to leave or the last ones to leave?

ES: We were the last when we left assembly center, because they were looking for a place to put me. They wanted a nurse. That's the, that's the last I, first and last time I heard about that because here we were behind. Everybody'd gone. I said, everybody's gone, how... so I finally went to the director there and, "We're still looking for a place for you, but we're gonna get you out of here soon." That was the end of August, and they did get us out of there. The order came right away. And I think we were the last train, and it was only because they needed a nurse over...

TI: At Tule Lake.

ES: At Tule Lake.

TI: Okay.

ES: That was the biggest camp.

<End Segment 17> - Copyright &copy; 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 18>

TI: Okay, so let's talk about going to Tule Lake. So what were your first impressions when you got to Tule Lake?

ES: The first thing they told us, told me was, "Are you ready to go to work?" That's about the first thing they said to me, and had just barely got there. My uniform, nothing, and I said, "Yeah, we just got here from assembly center. I'm not ready to go to work."

TI: But you also had a newborn baby.

ES: My, I had a baby. Yes, I did. I said, Gordy was just born in July, I said it's, I'm not settled and I don't, can't leave him at home by himself. So they said, "Well, we'll have you get ready, but we need a nurse to take care of our OB department." That's one of the big reasons that we moved from, they were putting us in, what do they call this, the grouping, the... anyway, we were in 72. They were putting to --

TI: The Block 72.

ES: Block, block.

TI: Block 72.

ES: Block 72, and I said, "Where are my folks?" because, and I was surprised to see my folks there when we first came in, by the truck. And I hadn't even talked to them.

TI: 'Cause you weren't sure where they were going?

ES: No. I didn't even know where they were. And so I was really happily surprised. But they said they're in Block 14, so I said, "Well, they're supposed to be my babysitters if I go to work at all." And they were willing to do it so that, then they changed us out completely again to unload my things in 72 instead of, I wanted it in 14 and there was an opening there. And I found out that there were quite a few Salem people in that area, which was good. And so it was quite a turmoil.

TI: So that's right, 'cause your parents went directly to Tule Lake.

ES: Right.

TI: And you didn't really know where they went.

ES: No.

TI: So you said that you just came across them by happenstance.

ES: I know.

TI: You came and your dad was there.

ES: He was in a truck, already working on the farm in Tule Lake.

TI: So he must have been pleasantly surprised to see you also.

ES: Oh yes. He couldn't believe it either. Yeah.

TI: So describe, how would your dad react in that situation? So he hasn't seen you for a while and he's surprised and sees you 'cause he, what does he do? Does he, does he say anything?

ES: He just said, he waved because the truck was moving and I didn't even know where he was, but then I found out right away that they were in Block 14 and told them that -- we did get our things in 72, Block 72 for a day or two, but we didn't unpack or anything. They moved us right over to, we were in Block, I think it was 13 or 12, one or the other.

TI: So not in 14, but pretty close.

ES: Yeah.

TI: Close enough that they could help with the babysitting and all that.

ES: Yes, right.

TI: Okay, so that again worked out for you.

ES: That's right. It was... so anyway, it was quite a ways to walk over there to the hospital too. I had to do that every day, even at night 'cause I always worked 3:00 to 11:00.

<End Segment 18> - Copyright &copy; 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 19>

TI: So tell me about the hospital. What was that like?

ES: Well, sad. They did have different situations where they have medical patients and pediatric and surgical and OB, and of course when I'm working a 3:00 to 11:00 shift I'm the only RN to take care of the whole hospital. But when there's a delivery or a patient in labor I had to take care of the patients in labor because they could have a baby just anytime or they might wait another night or something. You just have to be sure when they're gonna have a baby, and I was in, that was my specialty.

TI: But go back. You said from the 3:00 to 11:00 shift you're the only nurse there.


TI: RN. And that's why they were so anxious to get you there, 'cause they were just so short-staffed with professional staff.

ES: Yeah. And they knew that I was, I would be taking care of the OB patients, babies and labor, mothers in labor, that I would be delivering the babies. And so it was, I don't know what they did when I'm not there because I only worked from 3:00 to 11:00.

TI: Because they didn't have any other RNs?

ES: No. Well, they had RNs but not in, that they specialized in that. But then they did have more doctors.

TI: And so if there were a delivery during a different shift would they bring you in? Like if it was in the morning or anything?

ES: No. They have a doctor usually. See, in the 3:00 to 11:00 shift a lot of times the doctors were not there all the time.

TI: Because they knew they had you there, probably.

ES: That's right. Yeah.

TI: And when you say, was it for the whole hospital or just the OB section?

ES: No, it was the whole hospital. 'Course, you know, we've had some real sad cases that happened in the hospitals too, because the aides that are working there -- they call 'em aides -- they have very little training before they're put on the floor to be with patients and they really don't know what they're, who they're taking care of. They'll put a thermometer in patients right down the line, they go down, put the thermometer in, and one patient was an epileptic and he bit the thermometer and bit into the mercury, died. Things like that. People don't hear about those sad things that happened, and that's because they haven't had training.

TI: So it was just the inexperience of these aides who you wouldn't, they wouldn't have the training to know better.

ES: That's right. And there's other sad cases like that that people don't know about.

TI: So why weren't there more professional staff brought in from the outside to take care of the hospital?

ES: Well, I don't know. They did have civil service nurses there, but they didn't know very much. They just sat there and watched us. We're all really volunteers, but they thought that Japanese should take care of their own, I guess.

TI: So even though they were getting paid much, much more than...

ES: Oh yes.

TI: Because in camp as a professional you got nineteen dollars a month, and they were probably getting hundreds of dollars.

ES: Sure. I don't know how the, what the salary was in those years, but it wasn't, it didn't compare with our nineteen dollars.

TI: Who would run the hospitals? Was there an administrator or did doctors run it, or how would that run?

ES: No, they had some administrator who came from maybe Minidoka, maybe they came from Twin Falls or someplace, I don't know.

TI: Okay, so are we talking about Minidoka now or Tule Lake? So at Tule Lake, we're still at Tule Lake?

ES: Tule Lake around California, somebody in...

TI: So California, maybe Klamath Falls.

ES: Klamath Falls. But it's very rare that we saw these people. Just name only. But in Minidoka, I think it was a little better in Minidoka because it was more established. Tule Lake was kind of sad. We were there just at the beginning, and we've had, I don't know, the Satos here in Seattle, it was, it was one of their family that the mother was pregnant and she had a heart condition, and they asked her to be given morphine so that she can die because she wanted, they wanted to deliver the baby and then she would die because there was nothing they can do for her. And I was there to take care of that too, and so I was supposed to give the shot, but I said no, I didn't feel like I should be responsible, so Dr. Ito from San Francisco, or Sacramento I think he was, gave her the morphine. And I sat there while she died. It was sad. The Sato family, and I think the Sato family was here in Seattle, but I never did meet them because I was in Uwajimaya one time, downtown Uwajimaya, and there was a Mr. Sato and I think it was a son of the Sato family, and I said, so I asked my brother, I said, "Is that the Mr. Sato that had this mother pass, die?" And he says yeah, he thought it was, because my brother worked at Uwajimaya. But then is he the one that had construction, big construction?

TI: John Sato.

ES: I think that was it.

<End Segment 19> - Copyright &copy; 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 20>

TI: So going back to that, if there were other medical facilities available, like a hospital, whether it was Emanuel Hospital or Salem, would the treatment have been different? Would the outcome have been any different?

ES: Oh sure. There was other things that they could do. They, all they could do is just put a tent over her for oxygen, for the mother, and they could give her, and they could've helped in a lot of other ways.

TI: So if, if this, in this case, if there were, I guess, just regular, current technology available, this could've been prevented?

ES: I think there was other things that they could've done while, during her pregnancy. But see, this was towards the end of her pregnancy and her heart was real bad, I think. Wasn't...

TI: Was it hard for you? Because here you had worked in a professional hospital with better facilities, better trained staff, better equipment, to have to be in this situation?

ES: Yes, not enough, and not enough medication and not enough research being done on any of these patients. And so it's sad to think that we were there at that time, but maybe it could've been the same. But then the family just, because she was suffering so much, the family, we didn't practice euthanasia that much then at that time either, but --

TI: As a medical professional, was there, I guess, who would counsel the family in this situation in terms of what to do? I mean, was there anything else that you or the doctors or anything could've suggested, or do you think that was the --

ES: Well, the husband was there to ask us for different things and we just didn't have anything. Yeah, it was, I look back on it so many times, but I don't know, it's just not anything you can answer. But I heard the daughter that was delivered before she died has been in Seattle, but I never did meet her.

TI: So let's... it sounds like it was in some ways very difficult, and in many ways Tule Lake was fortunate to have you, especially in the OB area.

ES: I think so. Well, I was fortunate that we didn't have a serious case of deliveries.

TI: But I'm guessing you were able to provide professional sort of, professionalism that they perhaps would not have had if you weren't there.

ES: That's right, that's right. A lot of times I think that too.

TI: Hopefully that avoided more problems for other people.

ES: Probably. Well, I thought I was doing my share, what I can do.

TI: So are you ever, in hearing what you just said, I guess, do you ever feel anger about what, what kind of position you were put into? I mean, knowing that it could've been much better but, how do you think about the position you were put in?

ES: You know, it's one of these things that you just have to live with. You just can't look back on it anymore. It's, some people have asked, "I'm surprised that you're not bitter, more bitter." I think yeah, but what do you do? You have to live your life, so you just keep on. But I think these things have to be brought out. Sometimes maybe this same kind of thing has been happening again in this world, what's going on with this world right now. Yeah, you wonder, with Arabs.

TI: Now, were there other kind of examples like, like the Sato case that, was that a very isolated case or were there other examples like that where perhaps people did not receive the care --

ES: Muslims, you know.

TI: No, but I mean back at Tule Lake, or Minidoka, later on you went to Minidoka. Were there, again, cases where you would think, if only we were in a real hospital these people would've, would've been served better?

ES: Oh yeah. Yeah, well just like that, when he swallowed the mercury, that could've been avoided. There's things like that that I think it's too bad, because they're working on epileptics even now, trying to find different things that they can do for epileptics. It's the time that we lived in then.

<End Segment 20> - Copyright &copy; 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 21>

TI: Well, you were at Tule Lake and then you and your family went to Minidoka. Can you talk about why you moved from Tule Lake to Minidoka?

ES: My husband's father had a stroke, and he had a minor stroke earlier, before the war -- and that's the reason that my husband decided that he had to take over that store, Nichi Bei Fish -- but after we went into camp, then he was fair, he was taking care of himself, but they always have another stroke and die. So he had another stroke, so they asked us to come and see him if we wanted to see him again, alive. So the two children and my husband and I took the bus to, from Tule Lake to Minidoka. I can't remember what month that was, but, I have it written down, but anyway -- I think it was in March, March of, March of '42.

TI: Well, it'd be '43 probably.

ES: '43 maybe.

TI: September '42 was when you went to Tule Lake.

ES: Tule Lake, yeah, that's right. yeah, '43. Anyway, so we went and we took the bus, the two little children, bought two tickets, one carrying other, another carrying, and the little one I was carrying. And we ran out of special morning milk. My son was already allergic to something, so the only thing that he can get, drink or tolerate was special morning milk, and there's a can, in a can. Well, I thought that I had enough to get him to Minidoka, but ran out of milk in Burns, Idaho. Was it Burns, Idaho?

TI: I think so.

ES: Anyway, so the bus stopped and I said, "I see Safeway over there," I could see a Safeway store, so I said, "You mind just waiting for two minutes, just, I need to get a can of special morning milk," not realizing that you had to have a red stamp, red token to buy anything that comes out of a can. Everybody had to do that if you wanted to buy anything that comes out of a can, but anyway, I didn't know that so I went to the counter, cashier and said, "Do you have a token for this can of milk?" I said, "I don't know what you're talking about." So she was trying to explain to me and I says, "Well, you know, I'm coming from camp, moving, going to Minidoka to see my father-in-law," and I didn't have it, so then there was a lady behind me and she says, "Here's a tag." So I took it. That was really a sad thing for me. If it wasn't for that lady I wouldn't have had that milk.

TI: So this stranger helped you when she didn't have to.

ES: Yeah.

TI: 'Cause she heard your story.

ES: That's right. But you know, I wish that I had her gotten her name, but you don't think about those things, you hurry to get back to the bus. And I had to fix that formula in the bathroom, and you keep thinking about sterile things, but you don't worry about anything sterile when you're just trying to fix the formula.

TI: But these simple acts of kindness can mean so much to people.

ES: That's right, yeah.

TI: Yeah, that's special that you had that opportunity.

ES: But there are a lot of things like that. Really I don't know how I took, took all that, but you have to live through it. Yeah.

TI: Thank you for sharing that. That was special.

<End Segment 21> - Copyright &copy; 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 22>

TI: When you got to Minidoka, tell me about what you saw there. Now were you, when you went to Minidoka was it to live or just to visit? That wasn't clear to me.

ES: No, we went there to live for a year, about a year. And then my husband decided it was just too much to just keep living in a place like that when there's a job offer to us in Indiana and different places that they could get a job. And so he decided to go to Indiana to work in a lead, steel factory, and that didn't work out too well because he eventually ended up with lead poisoning. And so I think he was there for about six months, and in the meantime I decided, well, I just didn't feel like staying in camp myself, but I had two children. So I said I think I can take a job with the farm labor camp as a nurse, and so, because there was an opening there and it was just for the season. I think there's sugar beets and potatoes. And so they took me and I got a babysitter, and part of the time my mother came out with me to be with my children while I worked, and I went to a different camp, like Rupert and I think there was Paul and Burley. I think there were three different camps that I had to take care of. Yeah, I had to give Rocky Mountain spotted fever and I think there were a couple of other shots that I had to give.

TI: Now how was it for you, so you were nurse inside camp and now a nurse in a farm labor camp outside, so you're not behind barbed wires now, what was the difference? I mean, was it...

ES: Well, they gave me a different salary. That was one of the reasons that I left. But I had to do my own washing on a scrub board and do my own cooking, had to buy groceries, so it wasn't that easy, but the farmers, the farm labor camp had a boss there and he would take me shopping for my groceries. It really wasn't that easy when you had to feed the three, two children and your babysitter, but it was better than being in camp. And then, but fortunately my husband was in Indiana and he had made a little bit of extra money, so he would send me the money and then I would save my check. That was in, let's see, '43? '44, yeah, that was in the summer of '44 and what was, VJ Day was '44, wasn't it?

TI: '45, August '45.

ES: August of '45. Okay, we were there on the farm in '44, then we were told that we could go back to our home in Portland.

TI: So before the war was over.

ES: Yes.

TI: Okay. Right.

ES: So we got back to Portland in 1945, October.

TI: Okay. So this is right after the war had ended.

ES: Yes, yes. But my folks had gone back earlier, a month or two earlier.

TI: Now why, why didn't they go back to Brooks in the Salem area? They went to Portland, why?

ES: The house had burned down, so there was no house to go back to.

TI: How did their house burn down?

ES: Well, I guess it was accidental. From, we didn't --

TI: But you looked a little skeptical when you said that.

ES: Because the people lived there, I heard later that, and so they lost everything too.

TI: Your parents, you mean? Or who did? I mean the people who were living --

ES: Living in the house.

TI: They were renting the house.

ES: Yes, they lived in my folks's house.

TI: And then the house burned down.

ES: And they had stored everything in the attic that was of value, and of course my mother had all these Japanese things that I really would've loved to have. And a lot of pictures, so there's no baby pictures of my brother or a lot of the family pictures, so they're all gone.

TI: But was the house, you said it was accidental, or was it under suspicious sort of circumstances?

ES: Well, we think it's accidental. Let's just think it's accidental, because they lived there too, the people who were running the farm. So the farm was completely gone, really, because they couldn't do too much farming.

TI: How about the forty acres that he bought under your brother's name before the war?

ES: Well, evidently they were still growing onion there. They didn't grow anymore celery or lettuce or anything like that because that took too much handwork and they just didn't have enough people to do that and they just didn't have the knowledge to do it.

<End Segment 22> - Copyright &copy; 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 23>

TI: But tell me a little bit about your father, because you mentioned earlier how when the war started he was still in the prime of his life, sounded like it was, before the war, a very successful farm operation.

ES: Yes.

TI: That he had a boat, he could do things, send his daughter to school at a nursing school and things like that, and then the war happened. He comes back, his house and everything's burned down.

ES: So that's why he decided he couldn't go back to the farm again. He decided, well, evidently that was, there was nothing to go back to because there was no house on the farm.

TI: And what was his demeanor? I mean, how did he accept all this? What was he like at this point?

ES: Well, evidently he decided that he didn't have to farm in his later years, but then he was still in his fifties. That's young. In fact, we thought it was old, but now they think it's old because... and he didn't live, well he lived 'til he was eighty-nine, but when people were in their sixties we used to think that was pretty old.

TI: But did you see bitterness on his part about --

ES: Hmm?

TI: Did you see much bitterness on his part?

ES: I think he just thinks it's shikata ga nai, can't help it. But he, and I don't know why, how he got enough money to, how he had enough money to buy or lease a hotel. I don't know what he did. He did buy that hotel so that we could live in it when we were getting our house cleaned up when we moved back, because we had a house.

TI: So in Portland he bought a hotel to run as a business.

ES: Uh-huh. It was like a pensioner's hotel and it wasn't much of a hotel, but anyway, you could see that some of the homeless people are sitting in the doorway for shelter. It wasn't a very good hotel, but anyway, it was a place where people did come in and stay overnight, or maybe they stayed for a week, I don't know. But anyway, when we did come back we were able to stay in their hotel because they had an extra room.

TI: The reason you did this was, you mentioned earlier how your house was trashed. I mean, it was unlivable when you got back.

ES: It was unlivable. We were there in the hotel for a month. But then after we were there for a while my mother finally decided, we want to go back to the farm and rebuild, just build a new house. And I wondered why she made up her mind. She says, "I wanted one carrot."

TI: One fresh farm carrot.

ES: Carrot for a stew or something. And I said, and she says, "But I have to go out to the store and buy it." She just couldn't figure, she just couldn't stand that. She said, gee, if we had a farm there's a carrot in the ground all winter. You can, don't have to go to the store and buy it. So they finally, and my second brother that was the fourth one in the family, he went to, during the war, he went to University of Nebraska, because he was at Oregon State when the war broke out, but he graduated from University of Nebraska in horticulture. And he wanted to farm and so he decided when he got back that he could farm, go back and, and my dad had that land and so my brother's planning on -- but then, see, they, my oldest brother, Tats, he was already on the farm. No, he wasn't working on the farm either yet. No, he was still, he was, still wasn't married. He was living at the hotel helping my folks with the hotel. They had to make beds just about every night on the whole place. He was still single.

<End Segment 23> - Copyright &copy; 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 24>

ES: And we moved into our home, I went back to work the second day of January because my job was still there for me when I got home.

TI: Back at the Emanuel Hospital.

ES: Yes. They told me that my job would be there, and so I asked if the job was still there.

TI: So I'm curious, when they said that was it because nurses were in such demand or was it because of some sense of loyalty to you that the job would be there?

ES: I just felt like it was just some kind of a loyalty to me, that they just thought it was good just to say that to me. I never really thought that there would be a job for me, but then I just took it for word because there was nothing written. But when I did go back he says, "Oh yes, we're ready for you to come back." It was there. And so he says, "We have a person taking your place right now, but she's there with the understanding that when you got back that you would, you have that job." I was Supervisor of Labor and Delivery Room.

TI: So what did it mean to you that they kept that position for you when you came back and that they would all along think that you would come back?

ES: They just assumed I was coming back because I was corresponding with them all the time. I knew this lady who was working with me.

TI: But it sounded like you weren't quite sure.

ES: I wasn't. I thought they just said that. But then I was really surprised when they said, "You can come back any time you want to."

TI: And how did it feel for you when you did finally go back and the job was still there?

ES: Well, I was glad that it was there, but I didn't go back until the first of January because I had hives. I broke out with hives, every day. I got back in October and even after I got back to work I'd break out with hives. I think it was, they say it's nerves, because I was even allergic to, I had skin tests done and he said, "You're even allergic to carrots." And so anyway, they said that it's probably an emotional kind of thing that made me have that condition for so long, but anyway, they put me on a special diet and I worked from 3:00 to 11:00 and so the meal was all planned for me, that I could eat little bits of it at a time. And I finally got over it in a couple months, but in the meantime I was, I had carried adrenaline with me, so any time I felt like was coming with hives I could shoot myself with a little bit of adrenaline, and that cured my...

TI: So they said this might have been kind of caused by the stress and things like this. Was this a really difficult time for you when you think about the --

ES: Well, I had a terrible time with some of my patients at first. They didn't want me to see, and so there was a Chinese girl working there and she had a sign, says "I am Chinese," but I didn't have anything and some of the patients didn't want me to take care of them.

TI: Because you were, you were of Japanese ancestry.

ES: Yeah. But they thought that this Chinese girl was Japanese too, see, and so that's why this Chinese girl wore a sign, says "I am Chinese." But that didn't affect me any because the hospital wanted me to work there and so I said okay. But then it all turned out okay because I worked there for fourteen years, until when Dr., my gynecologist that I worked with at the hospital wanted me to work in his office, so the last about ten years I worked in a doctor's office in Portland.

<End Segment 24> - Copyright &copy; 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 25>

TI: So Emi, we're coming to the end of the interview. We've already been two and a half hours, so I just want to ask you, this has been an incredible story, and you've just had so many experiences and your family lost so much during the war.

ES: Oh, they just...

TI: And it's, I guess I'm trying to understand what lesson can we take away from your story and your life, and if you were to talk to maybe your great-great-grandchildren, they'll see this in maybe fifty years, what kind of message, I mean, when they listen to this story, what kind of message would you want them to know in terms of...

ES: You know, this country is getting, this whole world is getting to be so homogenized that you just don't, can't think of things that's gonna be like what we went through. It's gonna be so different. Like in your, like Microsoft and all these different things that's coming up, I don't know where all, people are gonna be people.

TI: So why would it be important for, say, your ancestors fifty, a hundred years from now to know this story? Why do you think that's, why would be important for them to listen to this story?

ES: I think it's because, well, I like history and I think that it's important that we read history from way back, from like 1500s, see what they went through. And we want something in our story and only way you can have it is in, well, we get it through books, but now I think you're gonna get it from every other way rather than you have to read. You can see it through a lot of other ways.

TI: Yeah, I agree. There're gonna be all these different ways that these stories will be told, but, but the story itself, the story of what happened to you and your family during World War II, why would it be important for kids today to know this story?

ES: Well, I'm, I just kind of... you know, things are changing so fast that, I know from my great-grandchildren that what they're doing now is way beyond what I comprehend. It's hard for me to see what they're doing. I don't know, but I really think that it's good that we have this history behind us that they can read. I have a great-grandson who's eight years old and he says to me sometimes, he says, "Grandma, what did you do when you were six years old?" And I told him I was at home in a Japanese farmhouse with no toilet, inside toilets and no running water, and I said, "But we got along okay." He says, "Really?" He's just amazed. And he says, "Did you have TV?" And I says no way, we didn't have TV until I was married, and that was 1940.

TI: But then what you also had was this rich community that you grew up in, in Brooks, Oregon.

ES: I think we were probably the richer than some of the people, because we had electricity before a lot of other people. We had telephone quite a bit sooner than a lot of people. About twenty people used to come and use our telephone.

TI: No, I think it's, again, I think your great-grandson will learn so much by these stories.

ES: Yeah, I think, yeah, he's interested in a lot of little things that I told him.

TI: This is good. So Emi, thank you so much for doing this interview.

ES: I hope it helps.

TI: This was a wonderful interview.

ES: Well, I hope so.

TI: Thank you so much. I'm glad we did this.

<End Segment 25> - Copyright &copy; 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.