Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Christie O. Ichikawa Interview
Narrator: Christie O. Ichikawa
Interviewer: Sharon Yamato
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: January 10, 2012
Densho ID: denshovh-ichristie-01-

<Begin Segment 1>

SY: And we're talking to Christie Ichikawa. This is the Centenary United Methodist Church in downtown Los Angeles, and my name is Sharon Yamato, and Tani Ikeda is the videographer. So, Christie, tell me, is that your full name, Christie?

CI: I have a Japanese middle name, Akiko.

SY: Akiko. But your mother named you Christie?

CI: Yes, like Agatha.

SY: And how did she get that name?

CI: Well, we used to own a drugstore in Sacramento, and our pharmacist was Leroy Christie. And she had asked him to be the godfather. And so if I were a boy I would have been Leroy, but I'm Christie because I took his last name.

SY: It's unusual, though, and it's spelled "I-E" as opposed to...

CI: Correct.

SY: And you were probably the only one named "Christie" growing up, huh?

CI: I think so. I think if you had Chris, it was Christine, mostly Christine.

SY: Right. So tell me exactly where and when you were born?

CI: I was born in 1928, Sacramento, at Sutters Hospital.

SY: So you were actually born in a hospital?

CI: Yes, uh-huh.

SY: And were you the first child in your family?

CI: I was.

SY: Because in those days, was it common to be born in a hospital, or do you know?

CI: I'm not sure. I know that a lot of people use midwives. But my mother was able to go to the hospital.

SY: That's great. And what date? What was the date of your birth?

CI: April the 4th.

SY: April 4th.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 2>

SY: And so let's go back a little, and if you could tell me a little bit about your parents, where they were from originally?

CI: Well, my father was from Fukuoka-ken. I'm not sure about the machi or anything. And he must have come when he was about eighteen or nineteen. We did look up his travel plans at the museum, but I'm not exactly sure about that. My mother was born in Oroville, California. She was the oldest of three daughters.

SY: So your mother was Nisei.

CI: Yes.

SY: And tell me your father's full name?

CI: It was Masaaki George Tomoeda.

SY: Did he give himself the name of George?

CI: I don't know.

SY: But he had...

CI: He had George as his name.

SY: And he was the only one from his family who came to the United States?

CI: Not that I know of. But it's quite, we don't know too much about him because he died when I was only a year old.

SY: I see. So you really don't remember your father at all.

CI: No, not at all.

SY: But did your mother talk about him at all, or do you know...

CI: She did. I think he was probably studying to be a pharmacist. I know he was very artistic, because I have a few things that he did that is still in my possession.

SY: And how exactly did he die?

CI: He got cancer of the stomach.

SY: Cancer of the stomach. So was it sudden, do you know?

CI: I don't think it was sudden. Cancer of the stomach is usually not sudden.

SY: So then did he have siblings that you know of? You don't know?

CI: I don't know. I do vaguely remember my mother speaking about a sister and a brother. But about the family I know nothing.

SY: But so you're very much more aware of your mother's family then?

CI: Yes, uh-huh.

SY: And your mother's family, well, she was born here, so her parents then were the ones that came from Japan?

CI: Uh-huh.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 3>

SY: And do you know much about family or grandparents?

CI: My mother... let's see. My grandfather lived with us until 19... I would say probably 1940 when he died. But he lived with us as did (my aunt), the youngest of (his) three daughters. The middle daughter, Aunt Irene, was married and was living in Los Angeles. My grandfather that I know of was a contractor. He (to be a contract) I think, and was quite successful in Japan and then he I think lost his fortune and that's the reason he came to the United States.

SY: I see. And was he one who came by himself to the United States?

CI: Oh, no, he came with his wife.

SY: Oh, so both.

CI: My grandmother.

SY: And they were both from the same area?

CI: No. My grandfather was from Hiroshima and Asa-gun. And my grandmother was from Fukuoka. I'm not quite sure about where in Fukuoka.

SY: And did you know your grandmother?

CI: No.

SY: No.

CI: Because she died when I was (one), she died the same year as my father did.

SY: Your grandmother? Oh, that must have been tough on your mother.

CI: Yes.

SY: Her mother and husband died in the same year. That's amazing. And then your mother, the three of them, she had two sisters, right? So the three of them were all born in the United States.

CI: Yes.

SY: And she was the middle one?

CI: No, she was the oldest.

SY: She was the oldest.

CI: And I think they used to live next door to missionaries, and so consequently, when the girls were born, they were all given American names. So my mother is Pauline, then I had an Aunt Irene and Eleanor. (...) I don't think they were nuns. I think they were just missionaries. They named the girls.

SY: Do you remember your grandparents being religious or Christian?

CI: No, my grandparents... my grandfather was Tenrikyo, so I do remember that. I don't know about my grandmother.

SY: Okay, you're going to have to tell me what that means.

CI: Tenrikyo is the Shinto.

SY: Kind of a priest.

CI: Well, it's a sect.

SY: Oh, I see. It's a sect of the Shinto Buddhist religion?

CI: Yeah. I know that my brother Paul and I used to go with my grandfather to the temple. The temple was a house, and we used to go with Grandpa. But my mother was Buddhist. And so we used to go to the Buddhist church later, but my father, the one that died, was a Christian. And so we used to go to the Baptist church in Sacramento.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 4>

SY: So I assume that your father, when he came, settled in Sacramento?

CI: I think he did.

SY: And your mother's parents also settled in Sacramento?

CI: No, they were in Oroville.

SY: Where is Oroville?

CI: It's in northern California. It's around Marysville, Oroville, near the Russian River. And so my father was young and single, but he became a Christian. Now, I have no idea how that happened. So consequently, my mother, even if she was a Buddhist, went to the Christian church.

SY: And did she raise you as Christian?

CI: While he was alive, yes. Which wasn't very long, but we did go to the Baptist church. And then later on we went to Buddhist church.

SY: I see, you switched.

CI: Yes.

SY: And it was you and your brother and any other siblings?

CI: Well, she married when I was about five, I think, she remarried.

SY: And then this was to someone who lived in Sacramento?

CI: I think so, yes.

SY: And you were very young at the time, so you probably don't remember how they met.

CI: No.

SY: So it was just you and your brother when she remarried, is that right?

CI: Well, our grandfather lived with us, as did my two aunts.

SY: Oh, so you had a big house full of people, huh?

CI: Well, I don't know if it was a big house, but we did have a lot of people living there.

SY: And so when she remarried, then she had more children with your stepfather?

CI: Yes. Three.

SY: Three more.

CI: Others. So my sister is eight years younger than me, and then there's two other brothers.

SY: So can you give me all of their names? Your brother...

CI: Paul.

SY: Paul is how many years younger, then?

CI: He's a little bit, about a year and a half. And then Doris is eight years younger. And then Gerald is, I think he was three years younger than Doris, and then Bill was a year younger than Gerald.

<End Segment 4> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 5>

SY: And when your mother remarried, then, did you still live in the same place with your aunts and your grandfather?

CI: Yes, I think so, for a while. We didn't move too often. In Sacramento I remember moving twice from the drugstore to Third Street, and then after she remarried, we lived on Fifth Street. All still in Japanese Town.

SY: I see. So how did this drugstore come into being? How did your family...

CI: I have no idea. How they purchased it?

SY: Uh-huh.

CI: All I know is we owned a drugstore.

SY: In Japanese Town.

CI: And so it had a soda fountain, and so I know after they sold it I didn't know that it no longer belonged to us. And so I used to go to the soda fountain, I used go to the drugstore and sit up on the counter and order whatever ice cream I wanted. [Laughs]

SY: And they would give it to you, huh?

CI: Yes, uh-huh.

SY: And the name of the drugstore?

CI: The Nippon Drug Store.

SY: Nippon Drug Store. So after your father was learning how to be a pharmacist when he passed away.

CI: Well, no, the Depression came right about then, 1928, and then he passed away, and so my mother lost the drugstore.

SY: I see. So was she working at the drugstore with your father before?

CI: Probably, but here she's only nineteen years old.

SY: And she has two children.

CI: She has two children, plus her father and plus her two sisters.

SY: And your grandfather, was he working at all, do you remember?

CI: I don't recall him working.

SY: So somehow she managed to cope after she lost her husband until she remarried, and then I assume that your stepfather became the wage-earner.

CI: Yes.

SY: But do you remember what your mom did in between?

CI: I know that she went out with her sisters, and they were waitresses, whatever they could to earn a salary.

SY: In Japantown, in Sacramento Japantown?

CI: Probably.

SY: So her sisters worked as well, huh?

CI: Oh, yeah.

SY: And they were single?

CI: Uh-huh, they were. Until my middle aunt got married and moved to Los Angeles.

SY: So how would you describe your mom? She must have had a... I mean, having gone through such a rough young life...

CI: She was a remarkable woman. She was sent to Japan when she was eight. Probably they were having a hard time, and she and her sister Irene were sent to Japan and they lived there for five years. So she was very conversant in Japanese. She probably knew Japanese better than she did English. Being there only five years, but it was a family of teachers where she was sent. It was a good friend of my grandfather. And all I can say about my mother is that she was remarkable, she's very intelligent, and everything I know about Japan I learned from her.

SY: So was she very tough on you, the three girls?

CI: Very tough.

SY: She was?

CI: On us, yes.

SY: In what way?

CI: She was really a very strong disciplinarian. Very old-fashioned. To be a Nisei and to be so traditional, she was very traditional.

SY: Since you didn't have a father for many years, then she had to sort of play both...

CI: My grandfather was there, though. And he was just as a disciplinarian as she was.

SY: So when your mother met her new husband, then you were about five years old, you said?

CI: Yes. So I have no recall about how they met.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 6>

SY: And were you... so very shortly thereafter you started school? Or you were in school...

CI: I was in school.

SY: At that time?

CI: Kindergarten.

SY: In Sacramento, the area where you lived was Japantown?

CI: Yes.

SY: So the school you went to, was it mostly other Japanese kids?

CI: I think it was predominately, it was Lincoln School, and it was predominately Japanese. I think there were some Chinese children, too, because I know that one time this Chinese girl had this badge on that "I am Chinese." I asked her why is she wearing that, and she didn't know why she was wearing that.

SY: That must have been close to wartime, do you remember?

CI: Well, this had to be about, oh, early '30s.

SY: Way early.

CI: But that's one thing I remember, so I know that there were some Chinese people going to that school.

SY: So when your stepfather, you started living with him, do you remember what he did?

CI: He was a labor contractor.

SY: Oh, he was the labor contractor?

CI: Yes.

SY: Oh, okay, I think you told me that. I'm sorry. And so he made a fairly good living, then?

CI: I don't know.

SY: That's a good answer. [Laughs] He managed to support you.

CI: Yes.

SY: You and your brother and then...

CI: But I know he was very... well, he had this personality. He was a very quiet man, but he was... his friends were very fond of him. He had a lot of young friends from Hawaii because he was born there in Hawaii but moved to Modesto. Anyway, all I can say is that he was very... not popular, but people were very fond of him because he was quiet and he listened to people and kind of fatherly.

SY: That's nice, since he took on a lot. He married someone with two kids, right?

CI: Yes, uh-huh.

SY: So of all of the five of you, you are the oldest, right?

CI: I am.

SY: You are the oldest. And your other siblings, are they still living?

CI: Except Gerald passed away about... I guess it's been about five years ago. He had leukemia and he passed away.

SY: But he was how old when he passed away, roughly?

CI: Oh, he had to about sixty, sixty-something.

SY: Now, I think you told me that your stepfather never talked about the fact that he was your stepfather.

CI: None of us ever talked about it. We just never talked about it, and so he was just Father to us.

SY: Did you know otherwise, though? Did you have any memory of having...

CI: We did. We had an inkling, so my brother Paul and I used to talk about this. But you know in the traditional Japanese family, anything that's not normal, people just don't talk about it. In our family anyway. And I think that's the way it was in most Japanese families. If it wasn't the norm, you didn't talk about it.

SY: So how did you in fact find out? Did you ever...

CI: We knew all along. So anyway, what brought it forward is because I think you need to show your birth certificate when you graduate from high school, or something. I needed it, anyway, so then I asked my mother, "I need my birth certificate." Not even thinking that, oh, it's going to be different. And then so she sent my Aunt Irene, who I was very close to, to say, "Well, Christie, I have something to tell you," and that's how it came about.

SY: So, in fact, your aunt was able to talk to you more intimately than your mother.

CI: Yes. But we already knew. So when I said that, "Oh, if it's about Daddy being our stepfather, Paul and I know about this already." And of course tears flowed.

SY: That's sweet.

CI: But that's what brought it up.

SY: So did your mom then really not talk to you about much in the way of personal things?

CI: Never. Well, personal... about her life in Japan she did. But that didn't touch on her marriage or anything. All I know is that he was from a good family in Japan. But that's about it.

SY: So she never really talked to you, or how did you find out that he died of cancer?

CI: Cancer of the stomach? Oh, later on.

SY: So somehow it came out.

CI: Yes, uh-huh. And she had some pictures of him which we all now have.

SY: That's nice. And how long did your mom live?

CI: Until she was ninety-one.

SY: Wow.

CI: And I can't remember exactly when she died, but it's been about, I'd say seven years ago or so.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 7>

SY: So when you went to elementary school in Sacramento, then you were there for all of your...

CI: Until I was in the A5.

SY: A5. So that was, A5, that was fifth grade.

CI: Uh-huh, high fifth. [Laughs]

SY: And it was all at Lincoln, at this one school?

CI: Lincoln, yes. Lincoln school.

SY: And do you remember your schoolmates and your teachers at Lincoln?

CI: Only the ones that lived near us. I still am in contact with one, she lives in Washington, D.C. She lived in a house behind us, so I know Yuri. I know some of the names.

SY: So do you remember when Pearl Harbor happened? Do you remember what you were doing?

CI: Oh, I remember Pearl Harbor. But we were in Los Angeles at that time.

SY: Oh, so how did you get from Sacramento to Los Angeles?

CI: How did we get there? By car.

SY: [Laughs] Do you know why you moved?

CI: Probably economics. I think that probably the fruit picking and vegetable picking probably had slowed down quite a bit.

SY: So you were in the fifth grade, you had to leave your school.

CI: Yes, uh-huh.

SY: And your brother was also in school, too.

CI: He was in the fourth grade. And I remember writing one letter to my classmates from Los Angeles telling them... and in Sacramento, I think that we were, most of the families were about the same, at the same economic level unless they were in business or something. So then I told them, described, "We live on an avenue, Grande Vista Avenue," which was just so presumptuous.

SY: You moved on up, huh?

CI: Oh, I know.

SY: And where was this? Where was this avenue, in what part of...

CI: In Boyle Heights.

SY: Boyle Heights, I see. So you remember the house that you lived in?

CI: Oh, I do. It's still there, I think.

SY: And your father was still working as a contractor?

CI: No, no, no. He started working at Yano Crate Company. I have no idea what he did there.

SY: Do you think that was maybe the reason you moved?

CI: Oh, yes, economics.

SY: He had a job.

CI: It was hard times. It was still in the throes of the Depression.

SY: So Yano Crate Company, was that owned by a Japanese?

CI: Oh, yeah, Mr. Yano. Big company.

SY: Big company then. And it was packing?

CI: No. Well, they didn't pack, they made boxes. It was a crate company.

SY: And that was in Boyle Heights?

CI: No, I'm not sure. Seems to me it was around Alameda somewhere.

SY: So he got a job working there for, up to the time the war broke out?

CI: Yes.

SY: He was in the same place.

CI: I think so.

SY: And you remember what your life was living in Boyle Heights, what you were doing? You had a, you were going to junior high school?

CI: Yes, Stevenson Junior High. I told you that I met Peggy.

SY: Peggy, my sister Peggy.

CI: Your sister Peggy. And I think the reason is because your aunt Ethel was a friend of my family, and she used to live in Sacramento and then moved to Los Angeles. So I think she was the one that introduced my parents, or my mother anyway, to people in Los Angeles.

SY: I see.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 8>

CI: So we went to Japanese school after American school just like everybody else did.

SY: What was the... it was Chuo Gakuen.

CI: Chuo Gakuen, yes.

SY: And you went every day to Japanese school?

CI: Every day.

SY: So did you learn a lot of Japanese?

CI: Well...

SY: You spoke English at home, right?

CI: Yes, uh-huh.

SY: Your stepfather spoke only English?

CI: He was born in Hawaii, so he was a Nisei also. And until my grandfather passed away, we spoke sparingly Japanese. And my mother probably was very comfortable in Japanese, but after Grandfather died, then it was almost always English.

SY: And what other things did you do besides going to school and going to Japanese school while you were living in Boyle Heights? Did you play with other kids in the neighborhood? What kinds of activities did you...

CI: You know, everything was centered around the Japanese community. And so we used to go to undoukai, I don't know if you remember those. It would be through church. I went to Nishi Hongwanji.

SY: Which was downtown, right?

CI: Downtown, yeah. It's where the museum is now.

SY: Right. So you would take the bus to go downtown?

CI: Well, the bus picked us up. The church had a bus, and it would pick us up.

SY: And undoukai was a...

CI: Kind of like, well, it's like a carnival. Not a carnival, but something like that. They had races and people took barbeque things and onigiri.

SY: Kind of like a picnic.

CI: Yeah. So it was mostly centered around that.

SY: And that would happen how often?

CI: I think once a year. And then if you belonged to a kenjinkai, like a ken, which we did not belong to, then they had also the kenjinkais used to have those picnics, too.

SY: I see. Were the Japanese kids divided by Buddhist and non-Buddhist, do you remember?

CI: I don't think so. I don't think they were really divided. But of course we saw most of the same people. Because the church also had buses that would pick us up.

SY: And you all went, since you all went to the same school, so it was the same people you saw in school and in church?

CI: And some of us took piano lessons from the same teacher.

SY: She would come to your house?

CI: No, no, no. We went to Ms. Early's house. That I remember.

SY: And you learned how to play the piano.

CI: Yes.

SY: So were the boys doing different things than the girls back then?

CI: Yeah. Well, I know that... well, my brother used to go to the Fresno playground, and they had different activities. So he used to, I remember one time that he was to carve something. And well, I guess my grandfather looked at this thing that he carved and he wasn't very happy with it. And so he ended up carving this Chinese... I have no idea why it was a Chinese figure, but the way Grandpa carved it, you could see the queue, the braid in the back. You could see the weaving of it. Well, our grandfather was a very talented, artistic man and taught Paul how to do many, many things.

SY: So your brother and your grandfather...

CI: Yeah, they were very close.

SY: Were very close. And you were probably, were you closer to your mother?

CI: Probably. The one I was closest to was my aunt because Mother was very busy with other things.

SY: She was helping your stepfather? What was she doing?

CI: Oh, no. But running a household of five children, or four, however many we had at that time. And my grandfather was living with us. And my Aunt Eleanor, before she married, so she was there also.

<End Segment 8> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 9>

SY: So this was kind of a... do you remember it as being a real happy time for you? Did you enjoy living in Boyle Heights?

CI: It was okay.

SY: Okay. You had a lot of friends, though, right?

CI: But we didn't have cars, so it was kind of limited to school. Otherwise you had to walk... I don't know if you remember where Eagle Street was. You don't remember, okay.

SY: Yeah, Boyle Heights is quite, it's several miles.

CI: It is. So we used to have to walk everywhere. If you wanted to walk to see your friend, it was probably a couple of miles. Which I guess we didn't think too much about it.

SY: And all your friends, were all your friends then in Boyle Heights? Were they all Japanese Americans?

CI: Except Dora, there was Dora Montez who lived on Eagle Street, was my best friend.

SY: Oh, she was your best friend.

CI: Yes. And, of course, she was in my class at school.

SY: And how did that happen that you had a best friend who was not Japanese?

CI: Well, she was probably best friends with other people on Eagle Street, like Grace Kawahara. And I'm sure Peggy would remember her also. She lived on Eagle Street. But it just happened that she was Mexican American.

SY: Close.

CI: Yeah, and I was very fond of her.

SY: And were there very many other Mexican Americans?

CI: Oh, yeah, there was Carmen Mesa, also Mexican. And I don't remember too many other people.

SY: You don't remember, like, were there very many Jewish kids?

CI: I don't remember. I didn't know that there were people like Jews. It's something we never spoke about, and I didn't know there was a Jewish, it's not a nationality, but anyway...

SY: Religion.

CI: ...Jewish people until I went to Chicago and I went to Hyde Park High School, which is, in Chicago is a very outstanding school. And it was near the University of Chicago. And probably the population of the student body was predominately Jewish, Greek. And so one day I asked this, I was one of three in a lab group. And one of my lab partners had this beautiful red hair, and I just assumed that people with red hair were Irish. So naive, you know. So I asked her, "Are you Irish?" And her boyfriend, who happened to be the third lab partner, said, "Irish? With a name like Zimmerman?" [Laughs] So I said, "What are you talking about?" He said, "She's Jewish, of course." And that's when I first found out that there was something like... I didn't ask, "What is Jew?" But it was something that we didn't speak about at home. We didn't speak about it in school. So anyway...

SY: Yeah, because Boyle Heights at that time was pretty predominately Jewish and Japanese. So you never saw a difference at all?

CI: No, no. It was something that if your parents don't speak about it, you don't. You don't know.

SY: So when you were in high school, when you went to high school, was that a big transition for you going from junior high school to high school?

CI: Well, it was in camp.

SY: Oh, I see.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 10>

SY: So let's back up, I'm sorry. So when you first heard about the war, about Pearl Harbor, where were you?

CI: Junior high school.

SY: Junior high school, and you were in Boyle Heights.

CI: In Boyle Heights, yes, at Stevenson.

SY: And do you remember what exactly you were doing when you heard the news?

CI: I was at a park with my Aunt Eleanor and her boyfriend, who happened to be a GI. We were at the park, it was on a Sunday.

SY: And her boyfriend was Japanese, a Japanese American GI? So did you understand what it meant when Pearl Harbor was bombed?

CI: It really didn't. One, we didn't know where Pearl Harbor was. Never heard about Pearl Harbor. And I know that there was a lot of discussion among the older people, and when they spoke, you just sat there and listened.

SY: So when you got home, when you left the park, did you leave the park right away?

CI: Yeah, well, I was with them. So we came home.

SY: You came home. And you...

CI: Yeah, listened to the radio.

SY: So do you remember what the older people were talking about?

CI: No, I don't know.

SY: But you remember there was a lot of discussion.

CI: Oh, there was a lot of discussion.

SY: And so did it, were you afraid? Did you know what was going to happen to you at the time?

CI: No, no.

SY: And it didn't bother you?

CI: I was only about thirteen or fourteen, so...

SY: It didn't have an impact.

CI: No, it really didn't.

SY: And so when you went to school the next day, I assume you went back to school the next day?

CI: The next day. It was almost as if nothing had happened. Because Dora was there at the place where we always met. But you could tell that there was some tension and everybody was kind of scared. I'm not sure whether the principal made an announcement. I think that one of my friends that also went to Stevenson said that the principal got on the loudspeaker or whatever and said what had happened and that, "We have our Japanese friends here who had nothing to do with what has happened." But I don't recall that, but someone told me that, "Yeah, our principal said that." But I do know that most of the teachers were very protective and very kind.

SY: So there was never any, like, bad... anything anybody said that made you feel uncomfortable during that?

CI: No. I would say no.

SY: And how about your best friend? Did she say anything?

CI: No, she didn't.

SY: Never talked about it.

CI: No. I think it's because we were only fourteen, thirteen, fourteen, things like war, it just didn't make an impact. Or the consequences and the fact that it was Japanese.

<End Segment 10> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 11>

SY: And then do you remember that period where your parents were getting ready to go to camp?

CI: Well, we were renting a house, and our landlord lived in the back. Between the two houses there was about, quite a bit of land, and there was like a three or four car garage. And she told us that we could leave our possessions there, and she would take care of it. The irony is that her husband was a German, un-naturalized German from Germany. And he didn't have to go to camp. My father, who was born, he is a U.S. citizen, had to go to camp. So that was kind of an irony, I thought. But they did keep our possessions for us until we sent for it.

SY: So it was just she and her husband? She was American and he was German that lived in this back house?

CI: And they had a child, Junior. Little boy, he was just like a toddler.

SY: Wow.

CI: And so they kept your possessions packed in the garage?

SY: In that garage.

CI: I see. And then we, I think my... I'm not quite sure how we regained some of the things. I know that it could be that my mother said, "Sell that, sell this," or whatever. But my grandfather had made a desk for me which came to Chicago. He was a very good carpenter, too, my grandfather. You know, the one that carved the queue on the Chinese figure. And he made a dollhouse which also came to me.

SY: So you were lucky in that way, huh? You got to save that.

CI: Yeah, we were. Because a lot of people had different people say, "Oh, we'll watch your possessions," and they never got it back. But we did.

SY: So I guess then you probably, they didn't have to worry about selling as much. But do you remember them selling anything?

CI: Before?

SY: Yeah.

CI: Oh, yes.

SY: So your family was busy selling things.

CI: My grandfather used to raise bonsai. He was multi-talented; he used to do all kinds of things. So he had made all these bonsai which we sold for five cents or ten cents or whatever. There are many, many plants. So they had to... they couldn't store everything at the Daimlers, but I do know that...

SY: There were some things.

CI: Yeah, there were a lot of things that they had to sell.

SY: Did you have to give up anything that you were really sad to give up?

CI: I don't know.

SY: You don't remember?

CI: I don't remember.

SY: And do you remember your brother being upset?

CI: No. I don't think we had a lot. Because you have to remember that we're still all kind of Depression babies. So I think that we weren't cumulative. We didn't have a lot like we have now. We give our children everything. It wasn't that way. We didn't have a lot.

SY: That was probably good then, huh?

CI: Uh-huh.

<End Segment 11> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 12>

SY: And when you ended up having to leave, where was the first place you went to report to?

CI: Santa Anita.

SY: So did you drive your car?

CI: I think some of us were in a car, and then some of us... and then my dad and a friend went with us to camp, Santa Anita. And they took a truck, because then we loaded all the suitcases. Because you could take one suitcase per person, so that amounts to quite a few suitcases. So we couldn't put everything in a car. So I think we went in the car, which we had to sell to the government for twenty-five dollars or something. I think in Santa Anita there was a place to dump your car.

SY: And the truck, too?

CI: And then the truck was rented. And I have no idea who drove it or what they did with the truck. But I do remember a truck. And we were in Santa Anita for I think six months, from April... about six months.

SY: You reported there in April? And what was your assignment as far as living when you got to Santa Anita? Where were you told to report? Were you in one of the barracks?

CI: Yes, we were in a barrack. I used to know the number of the barrack until right now. It just slipped my mind. But we were near a shower, and we went to the Orange Mess. The messes were assigned colors. And so we were in the Orange Mess.

SY: And your whole family with all the kids and your grandfather?

CI: My grandfather had passed away. He died about 1940, I think. Just before the war.

SY: Before he even had to hear about Pearl Harbor.

CI: Uh-huh.

SY: So it was still your mother and father and all the kids, five of you, right?

CI: Plus my Aunt Eleanor. She had not married yet.

SY: And you all lived in one family space?

CI: No, we had two. One held three people, and then the rest of them were in the next barrack.

SY: So your parents, and then who was the third person in the one unit?

CI: It was my Aunt Eleanor, Paul, and me. And then rest were my dad, mother, and the three kids.

SY: What do you remember about Santa Anita? Do you remember what you did every day?

CI: Every day we went to the mess hall. And pretty soon you couldn't gather everybody together. And then when you got to the mess hall, you might not be able to sit together anyway. So that was the beginning of the breakup of the family unit, I think, is that people, the families no longer could eat together, and I think parents slowly lost control of their children because... well...

SY: So you just sort of went on your own whenever you wanted to, or did you have a certain --

CI: We were still pretty cohesive. But slowly we would be, I'm going to go eat with so-and-so. And then we were restricted to the mess hall. You couldn't go to any mess hall, you had to stay at the Orange Mess or whatever color you're assigned.

SY: So that meant you had to stay more with your family than with your friends.

CI: Unless your friend is close by, and that wasn't usually the case.

SY: So your friends from Boyle Heights were not in the same area?

CI: No. Because we lived south of Whittier Boulevard, and that seemed to be the line of demarcation. But people that lived north went to Poston or to Manzanar, and the rest of us went to Santa Anita and then to Rohwer.

SY: So you didn't have that many friends that went to your...

CI: No, not that many.

SY: That you grew up with.

CI: Uh-huh.

SY: So it was mainly your family that you stayed with.

CI: Family and, well, some. Anybody that went to Lorena Street School, not necessarily Stevenson, because Stevenson was a larger area. But Lorena was kind of restricted to people south of Whittier Boulevard.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 13>

SY: So Santa Anita I know was quite large.

CI: Oh, very large.

SY: So you, did you meet young other kids there?

CI: Not too much. But I had to go to school in Santa Anita.

SY: Once you got there. So a few months after you got there?

CI: Yeah, we went to the... what do you call it? You know, where you sit.

SY: In the facilities there?

CI: Yeah.

SY: Oh, you mean at the stadium, the seats in the horse...

CI: Yes. So you reported there and then you looked to see what classes they were offering. And the two classes that kind of interested me was -- and I don't know why -- was algebra and accounting. And here I am in the ninth grade, taking algebra and accounting. And then so... this is the grandstand, that's what it was. And so they said, "Report to this section," and we sat there. And a couple of seats away was another class going on over there. And our teachers were college students.

SY: College students who were also incarcerated.

CI: Incarcerated, yeah, Niseis.

SY: So what was the education like? Did you feel like you learned a lot?

CI: Well, you can imagine, you're sitting in the grandstand and down below are people making camouflage nets, 'cause that's something else that you could do for sixteen dollars a month. And they were all young guys, they were wearing masks and they were making camouflage nets. And then you looked farther down and people are walking around the racetrack. So how much can you pay attention to? So I do know a few things, I just couldn't, the concept of negative numbers is very difficult for me. That's algebra. And after we moved here, I don't know if you know Min Tonai, he said, "Christie, don't you remember? I was in your algebra class." So we talked about that.

SY: So how big were these classes?

CI: Well, it depended. Maybe ten, five, didn't matter. But anybody that was younger than... I think fifteen or sixteen, had to go to class.

SY: So it was required, you had to go.

CI: Yes. But I don't know if they took roll, it was very difficult for these teachers, I know.

SY: So if you were there for six months and you were in classes for a good portion of that, four months? Three or four months?

CI: Yeah. It didn't meet every day.

SY: Oh, it didn't?

CI: No, because you only have so many teachers, and they have to teach other things, I think.

SY: So you would go to school, and then on the off days, what would you do?

CI: Walk around the track. Lot of time to go walk around the track. What else did we do? Well, I was on the volleyball team, I do remember that.

SY: All kids, or kids and adults?

CI: No, no, it was just kids. We were the Keiki Wahinis, that means "little women." I have no idea who he was... I have a friend that still is alive that was on that team, volleyball team.

SY: So you had some other activities then.

CI: Yeah.

SY: Everybody sort of did it on their own?

CI: And a lot of it was young people who were just walking around. What else can we do? Walk around and see if you can... I know the boys used to try to sneak into other mess halls and eat whatever they could.

SY: And do you remember what your mother was doing during this time?

CI: No, I don't. Busy... well, you know, the place was difficult to keep clean. I think that every once in a while they'd say, "Today is," some kind of a day, and then they'd have to put lines out and put all the blankets, hang them, I think for sanitary reasons. They were trying to make sure that people didn't have bedbugs. I don't think that they realized how clean the Japanese people are. But I do remember that, that we had to string lines and hang those sheets or blankets. Of course, we had to do laundry. The laundry was very difficult for the women because you had to haul... that's why they had so many wagons, because you had to haul the clothes and linen and everything to the wash house, which wasn't necessarily close by. And then after that you had to hang it up somewhere. For the women it was very difficult, I think. And, you know, of course they had to keep washing, they had to wash the sheets once a week. Compulsive Japanese. [Laughs]

SY: So do you remember how you felt when you got to this place and thought, "This is where I'm going to be living"?

CI: Santa Anita, I think a lot of people my age thought Santa Anita was fun because we had college students, and in the evening they used to have songfests. I don't know if you've ever been to a songfest, but I learned all of the college rah-rah songs. You know, "On Wisconsin," we knew all of them because they had little sheets. And the college kids, they were really fantastic. They kept the morale up. And then we had girls that sang, you know the Songbird of Manzanar? That's how she probably started was singing in Manzanar. So we had ours in Santa Anita also. And then I think they had dances, but we were too young to go to dances.

SY: So there was plenty to do then in some ways. It was boring in other ways.

CI: And they had some sports, like the volleyball team. I believe that they also taught piano, because my girlfriend, her piano teacher was teaching there. I didn't take piano lessons.

SY: Do you remember having to study for your algebra, accounting class?

CI: Well, we didn't have books.

SY: So you didn't have to study too hard, you just went...

CI: No. But I do remember some things like negative numbers. And I do remember some of the principles of accounting, debit and credit.

SY: Did you have tests?

CI: I have no idea whether we did or not.

<End Segment 13> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 14>

SY: So when did you find out that you were going to be moved from Santa Anita?

CI: I don't know.

SY: You don't remember how you found out? Your mother telling you?

CI: No, but everybody was kind of concerned about where are we going to go? Because my Aunt Irene and Uncle Tad were there. And they were living in the stables. And so we kind of realized that depending on where you lived before the war, was going to determine where we were going to be sent from Santa Anita. And sure enough, they went to Heart Mountain and we went to Rohwer.

SY: Was there any rhyme or reasons to who ended up in the stables?

CI: Small families.

SY: Usually small families?

CI: Yeah, they had just the three of them, they had just one child, where we had a big family.

SY: Did you visit them in the stables?

CI: Oh, yeah, we did.

SY: And did you notice it being much worse than where you were living?

CI: Well, they lived, I think they lived in the front unit. There was a unit in the back, and so the people that lived in the back had to go say, "Sorry. Knock, knock, knock, can we come through?" And they had to go through my aunt and uncle's unit to go to their own unit. So that was terrible. No privacy. And of course, they had whitewashed their stables, but they smelled very, very bad. It was mostly people that had small families.

SY: I see. And you noticed that yourself when you went to see them? Were you happy to be where you were as opposed to living in the stables?

CI: Yeah, it was better.

SY: Better.

CI: They were new, the barracks were new.

SY: So everybody was a little concerned about where you'd end up. And so when you were separated, when your family was separated, was there discussion about that among your family?

CI: I can't remember that. I do know that there was a train, so we would go to the train and a lot of people were having to say goodbye to their families. I'm not sure about whether family units were broken up. I think sometimes, like newlyweds would be separated from their parents because depending on where they lived before the war.

SY: And how did you end up getting, so you took the train to go to...

CI: Yes, to Arkansas.

SY: Arkansas.

CI: It took us three days.

SY: You remember that train ride?

CI: I remember the train ride. I can't remember where we slept. I guess we slept in the chairs. I know that they didn't provide sleepers, and I don't remember... I think eating, I think we had sandwiches. But beyond that...

SY: Do you remember stopping on the train where you...

CI: We did. And whenever we stopped we had to pull down the blinds so that we couldn't see out and people couldn't see in. There was a musician in our train, and he kept us entertained by singing, or he had us sing along. When we got to Texas, we all learned how to sing "Deep in the Heart of Texas" because he told us the words. So I do remember that, singing for three days because he was on our train and taught us some songs, which was good.

SY: So you learned how to sing a lot of songs, huh?

CI: But I remember specifically that one. He said, "Okay, now we're in Texas, we're going to sing, 'Deep in the Heart of Texas.'"

SY: Do you remember the guards, were there guards?

CI: I don't remember the guards. I'm sure they were probably up and down. I don't know guards.

SY: Do you remember it being uncomfortable?

CI: No, I don't remember. See, I can't remember about the trip except for singing.

SY: The good part.

CI: Yeah.

<End Segment 14> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 15>

SY: And then when you got to... I guess, did you arrive at a spot where they took you by bus to the camp, or how did that happen?

CI: I know that we landed in Arkansas at night, and then so I think we got into trucks or something and then they took us to the various blocks. That's about all I remember is that they took us by, I'm sure it was trucks, not buses.

SY: What was your reaction when you got there? How did you feel when you ended up in this...

CI: Gee, I can't remember.

SY: Do you remember if it looked --

CI: And I can't remember what we did when we got there, whether... was there a welcoming committee? I don't know. [Laughs]

SY: And so you, I mean, you don't remember if it was noticeably different from Santa Anita?

CI: Well, let's see, because it was like eleven o'clock at night. So we were just exhausted.

SY: Somehow you got to your barracks, though, and somehow you found it and set up. And so your family, same set-up for your family, three and...

CI: No, this time we had... well, there was still three and five. Yeah.

SY: Your aunt was still with you.

CI: Yes, she was. And the three-person unit was a little bit larger than in Santa Anita, little bit larger. So we had the two end units. And I think we had... it's like a seven-unit barrack.

SY: Seven separate family units, is that what you're saying?

CI: Yeah, seven. But it depended on the makeup of your family, like we had two end units. And then it was identical on the other end and then they had about four units in the middle. And they might be occupied by just one family or two, depending on how many people there were. Eventually my father cut a little hole in the wallboard, and so we could crawl from our unit to next door without going outside.

SY: Otherwise you'd have to go from...

CI: Yeah, we'd have to go outside on the porch and then go. So anyway, he made that hole, so we just crawled.

SY: So were you in the interior unit or were you on the...

CI: No, we were the big one on the end.

SY: Uh-huh. But you personally, were you on the inside?

CI: Yeah, the next smaller unit.

SY: So do you remember the family on the other side of your unit?

CI: Oh, there? Yeah, the Shiroishis. I think they had two middle-size units.

SY: And could you hear, was it noisy? Did you hear things that were happening?

CI: I didn't notice it. But I know that a lot of young people were very cognizant of noise, extraneous noise. No privacy.

SY: And then you started school right away?

CI: I think so. Because this was wintertime, and I think there was no semester, I think it was kind of in...

SY: So you remember it being cold, huh?

CI: Oh, yes, very cold.

SY: Very cold.

CI: We were not used to that. The only thing I remember is that when they told us that we were going to be evacuated, they gave us a list of suggested clothes to wear. And one of the things that was on that list was boots for the girls. And I didn't want to wear boots. So we went to Sears-Roebuck, and the only thing that I would agree to was cowgirl boots, and that's what I had, cowgirl boots. [Laughs] Black ones that came up to maybe mid-thigh. So my mother made me wear those. Otherwise I would have had to be wearing boots. But they weren't very good suggestions as to what to wear. They said, "Be prepared for the heat or be prepared for the cold. So I know that in camp, later on, we were given money for purchasing things from the Sears-Roebuck catalog. So here was this great-great grandmother wearing a peacoat, and the little kids wearing peacoats because it was cold. And that was kind of a funny thing to see, this great-grandma wearing a peacoat.

SY: And to keep them warm, huh?

CI: Yeah.

SY: And so you remember... that's interesting that you remember all those things that they told you to bring. Because I never knew that, that they actually gave you a list.

CI: They gave us a list, yes. But it wasn't very helpful.

SY: And your mother and father, did they get a job working?

CI: Yes. My dad was, he was the furnace, the man that maintained the hot water for our block. They had to keep the fire going. And my mother was the dietician.

SY: Wow.

CI: She didn't know a thing about dietetics, but anyway, that was her job.

SY: So what did she do?

CI: Well, I don't know. I don't know what she did. [Laughs]

SY: She had something to do with what you ate?

CI: Yes, she was the dietician, so I think that with someone there, maybe under someone's supervision, she made sure that the provisions were there for the cook to cook. But anyway, you had to do something in camp, otherwise you didn't get paid.

SY: Right. So the food, do you remember the food at Santa Anita?

CI: We had pretty good food.

SY: At Santa Anita and at Gila?

CI: Oh, I'm not sure. I know that we had apple butter. Many of my friends and I will never touch apple butter again. Because that's what we had every morning. We had toast and butter and apple butter.

SY: So it was not a pleasant memory, I guess.

CI: No, not apple butter. There's some people that, "Oh, I thought that was good." But some of my friends and I...

SY: You'd never had it before, I imagine.

CI: No, we didn't. We were introduced to apple butter.

SY: And did you miss Japanese food when you first got there?

CI: No, it seems to me that we had Japanese food, I think, but I can't remember in Santa Anita what we ate. It was kind of... well, I think in Santa Anita, for the younger people, there were kind of a bog and we just fooled around and your parents really didn't have that tight control over you. And where could you go anyway? You were restricted in camp.

SY: And then when you got to Gila, you had to go, it was the same thing?

CI: Oh, no, I think it was different in Arkansas, Rohwer.

SY: Rohwer. I'm sorry, Rohwer.

CI: It's much more... well, I guess it was more organized and more like home. Because Santa Anita was, it was just temporary. We knew it was temporary. It was much more organized.

SY: So you had more of a sense that you were going to be there for a while.

CI: Oh, yeah. I think so.

<End Segment 15> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 16>

SY: And you had regular classrooms? Like a regular school?

CI: Yes, uh-huh.

SY: So was it like a barrack that they converted to a schoolroom?

CI: Oh, yeah, it was a barrack.

SY: And this was your high school?

CI: I was still in junior high.

SY: Oh, you still were in junior high?

CI: When I got there it was A-9. And then, yeah, it was one semester there, and then to high school, which was on another campus.

SY: And you had to walk to that other campus. Was it far away, the high school?

CI: Well, there's nothing far in camp. [Laughs]

SY: All the kids went to one high school?

CI: Oh, yeah. There was only one high school, one junior high, and one elementary school.

SY: So it was... it served a fairly big area, though? So there were some people who didn't have as far to walk to high school?

CI: I never thought about that. I think there were about thirty-some-odd blocks, and we lived in Block 11. And the blocks were allocated according to where you came from. Like we knew that eleven is L.A. people, and twelve... no, ten was Stockton or Lodi. Because they sent people from Lodi and Stockton to Rohwer, and then rest of us were from L.A. or L.A. area. So you can imagine what kinds of fights there were among the boys especially. Lots of fights.

SY: Really, you remember that? The young kids?

CI: I don't remember that so much, but you heard about that.

SY: You heard about them. And it was kind of territorial?

CI: Yeah, especially older (boys). See, in L.A. they used to call them L.A. Yogores.

SY: Oh, so the L.A. people were the, kind of the troublemakers?

CI: Well, I guess. And then the Stockton people were the quieter, they're from the country, right? Stockton and Lodi, and so they really, it was kind of hard to get along at first. And pretty soon you're all there together. It's kind of like the 442. You heard about the story of the 442? How the people from Hawaii and the people from the mainland used to just knock heads together? They just couldn't get along. And then the colonel one day thought, "I've got to stop this." Because he needed a unit that was cohesive. And so he sent these Hawaiian boys to camp, Rohwer. Because from Camp Shelby it was the closest one. And the guys were on these trucks singing and having a good time and going to Rohwer, and when they got there, they saw the barbed wires, the guards, and then found out that the people in camp had anticipated the soldiers coming and so they saved their rations so they could have a real nice meal. And so they said on the way back, nobody said a word because they found out where these boys on the mainland had come from, the parents had been in camp and they had volunteered.

SY: Interesting.

CI: So when they went back, he said, "It was a fighting unit."

SY: Now was that Colonel Kim?

CI: No, no. It might have been Colonel Keegan, but wasn't even Keegan. It might have been Colonel Pence. But anyway, he was very wise.

SY: And that's a story you've heard from some of the guys?

CI: Oh, no, they talk about that. Daniel Inouye always repeats that. He was one of the soldiers that went to camp. He said, "Boy, we were singing and having a great time, but on the way back," he said, "nobody said a word." He said, "When we got back, we were a fighting unit." So it was kind of like that, I think, with Stockton and L.A. boys. They were territorial, and, "He's dating a Stockton girl." Anyway...

SY: So when you were in high school then, you started dating some of these guys?

CI: Oh, no, I didn't date. I was only sixteen.

SY: But by the time you got to high school?

CI: No, I didn't date.

SY: At all?

CI: No.

SY: Not at all during camp days?

CI: No, did not date.

SY: And that was because you were too young or your parents say anything?

CI: No, I just was too young.

SY: But you knew some of these older guys, the ones that were getting into...

CI: No. Well, we had boys in our block, but it was just not done.

<End Segment 16> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 17>

SY: So you were a busy student. Do you remember your classes once you got into high school?

CI: Yes. But I wasn't that good a student, I don't think. Well, me, I wasn't one that just studied and studied.

SY: Were there kids like that in camp?

CI: Oh, I think so.

SY: Who studied a lot? So you were more in the middle?

CI: Oh, I guess.

SY: Was it hard?

CI: Well, we still had college students that were our teachers. I remember some of the teachers were southern.

SY: They were from the area, from Rohwer?

CI: They were. I would have to say that they were quite good teachers.

SY: How about the students? Was it competitive, other Japanese kids?

CI: Well, you know how they are. I think Japanese people are quite competitive. But I think that probably because my parents are Niseis, that could have been one of the reasons why. Like I don't think your mother was that way, was she? Or was she?

SY: To study? No, I don't think so. But I think you probably had it in you somewhere that you needed to do well, right?

CI: Well, I think there's always that giri, the Japanese are always talking about giri? Probably there. Maybe I wasn't aware of that.

SY: So what kinds of classes did you take, do you remember? Was it just basic?

CI: Oh, yeah. You didn't have electives.

SY: You didn't get to choose.

CI: Oh, no, there was no electives.

SY: And what other things, activities did you have in school or outside of school?

CI: Nothing much really.

SY: But you spent how many hours? Like give us a typical day in camp.

CI: Well, we spent most of the time in school. And there were some athletic things, but I remember playing volleyball and basketball. So there were some team activities.

SY: And did you just hang out with your friends when you weren't in school?

CI: Uh-huh.

SY: So did you have little groups? Did the girls all form...

CI: We did have a girls club in camp. We were called the Luanas.

SY: And were there a lot of these little clubs?

CI: I'm not sure. I think there were. Because one of my friends that was in my block invited me to join the Luanas. And about two years ago, we all met. We met and I think only two were not there. One had passed away, the other one was ill. So anyway, we took a picture of... we had one picture of us sitting there and posed, and then we met at Mimi's Cafe and we all wore black and then we stood where we were before. It's kind of like the before and after picture, which was nice.

SY: And what was this club like? Were you real close friends?

CI: Well, I was only close to Lillian. And they were all a year or two years older than me. I was like the youngest one in that club. So I didn't get to do a lot of things that they did. They used to date. But it was kind of nice. And then after the war, two of them, we had a club called the Maharanis. And so I think there were three of us that were the Luanas, now became Maharanis.

SY: So this was way later, after camp.

CI: Afterwards, yeah. And Mary Karatsu became a Maharani. I think she was like... we had the Married Maharanis, so I think she was one of the Married Maharanis. And in fact, there's quite a few still around that were Maharanis before and after marriage.

SY: So do you think this idea of this girl's club, was it something that started in camp?

CI: Probably. And then it was socialization, a way to meet boys after camp.

SY: But in camp, it was really just the girls getting together and talking?

CI: Yeah, talking, and I think they used to go to dances.

<End Segment 17> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 18>

SY: So did you just hang out with those people in the club or did you have friends...

CI: Oh, no, I had friends, because I was one of the younger ones. It happened that one of my friends lived in my block and so she invited me. So I was really kind of too young for that group.

SY: So it was kind of an honor to be invited? Was it kind of a...

CI: Gee, I don't know if it was an honor. [Laughs] You just joined.

SY: And I assume that there were boys groups that were like the girls groups?

CI: I don't know.

SY: You don't remember that?

CI: Well, I do remember, in our block, there were a lot of bachelors in my block. I don't know how that came about, but anyway, they were the Royal Dukes and they were really tops as far as men went. All I know is that I lived in the block where the Royal Dukes started.

SY: And how were they so great? They were nice-looking, athletic?

CI: Well, I think so. I think they were nice-looking. I'm not sure if they were athletic, but all I know is that they were the Royal Dukes.

SY: And they were how much older than you?

CI: They weren't in high school, they were out of high school.

SY: They were out of high school. So did some of them go on to join the army?

CI: I think so, yes. Because right now I see some are in the MIS, they go to the reunions.

SY: You remember them then?

CI: Oh, yes, I do. They were in my block, so I remember them.

SY: So now did you graduate from high school in camp?

CI: No, no. We went to Chicago because my dad was only in camp for less than a half a year. He was a citizen and he got... I think they called it "eastern clearance." Anyway, he was able to leave camp, and so he was in Chicago. And I think if you had a job and a place for your family to live, then you could call them out, which is what he did. So we were only in camp for about two and a half years. And so in '44, 1944, we went out. We went to Chicago and lived on Clark and Division where a lot of the Japanese lived, which was notorious for the gangsters in that era. But anyway, we went to school on the north side, found out that we were going to the wrong high school because across the street was another school, you know how they divide it. And so we went to that one high school, and I don't know the name of it, for only about three weeks and then we had to change high schools to go to the right one. And we went there for maybe about another maybe six months and then my dad found -- and this was a boarding house where we lived. It was very... not a real good situation. But anyway, my dad found a house on the south side, so that's how I ended up at Hyde Park High School, which was probably the outstanding school in Chicago.

SY: So at that time, the south side was considered the more upper crust?

CI: Well, I don't know about upper, but anyway, the high school among high schools in Chicago was probably the outstanding high school. Be like Uni High here.

SY: In West Los Angeles, yeah.

CI: Feeding into UCLA? Well, Hyde Park High School fed into the University of Chicago, and so it was predominately Jewish. I told you about that girl with the red hair. And it was a very good high school. So when I graduated, when we came back to Boyle Heights and I went to Roosevelt, to get a diploma from L.A. Unified School District you have to go for a whole semester, and I was short by several weeks. Because, you know, we came in the middle of the semester like October and school had started in September, a couple of weeks before. And so Chicago, my high school diploma is from Hyde Park High School, they sent it to me from Hyde Park. So I'm not a Roosevelt -- I graduated and went through the ceremonies and everything from there, but my diploma is Hyde Park.

SY: So you were able to finish high school there, then? You went through all of your... at Hyde Park in Chicago?

CI: No, I only went through A-11.

SY: Oh, but yet they gave you a diploma?

CI: A-11... yeah. No, almost A-12 I think, a semester.

SY: So only half year, and then, but they still gave you a diploma?

CI: Yeah, 'cause I went almost a year. From A-11 to A-12.

SY: From A-11 to A-12.

CI: Yeah. But I lacked not quite a semester of finishing, and then we moved again back here. So because it wasn't a full semester that I went to Roosevelt... anyway, I was looking the other day, and yeah, my diploma is from Hyde Park.

SY: Well, at least you have one. At least you have a diploma. So you really did move around a lot then, right? From camp. You moved at least...

CI: Yes, twice.

SY: Twice and then back here.

CI: So it's five high schools. I went to high school in camp, three in Chicago, two by mistake... well, anyway, and then Roosevelt.

SY: So what was that like for you? You had to make friends at each place and you were sort of the stranger, right, at each...

CI: Except for Roosevelt.

SY: You knew people when you...

CI: Roosevelt was like coming back, coming back home because my classmates...

SY: But going to Chicago, what was that experience like, do you remember? Was it pleasant, unpleasant?

CI: It was quite pleasant. Chicagoans are very homey people, that's all I can say. And that's the reason why so many Japanese went to Chicago, because they were welcomed as workers. I'm not sure if it was the mayor that expedited that or not.

SY: But as a young girl, were you welcomed by the other kids?

CI: Oh, yeah. Remember that they were predominately Jewish in Chicago. Well, you know, they're ostracized and discriminated against, and a lot of my teachers were Jewish. So oh, no, they were very welcoming.

SY: And were you one of the few Japanese?

CI: I think so. I didn't see too many Japanese at Hyde Park.

SY: At Hyde Park.

CI: No. I think they were gradually coming out because someone I met, neighbor said, "Oh, I remember you. I remember you at Hyde Park." I said, "Oh my gosh, I didn't know that. [Laughs]

SY: So did you meet very many other Japanese while you were there, any other young Japanese kids that you might know today?

CI: Some, yeah.

SY: What was the study like there? Was it hard?

CI: Very competitive. At Hyde Park? Very, very competitive.

SY: And you managed to do okay.

CI: I did. I started studying there. Because I remember this one teacher that I had for literature, I think it was English literature. She said -- and there was a little Japanese girl in my class. She said, "She did better than you. That's not good." And so I think she's the one that really kind of woke me up.

SY: So you got a little shove there, huh?

CI: I did, I did.

SY: And then you were still, your family was still all together.

CI: Yes, uh-huh.

SY: And in the meantime, in camp, my aunt married my uncle Gary who was a soldier I told you. So she married in camp and then she went to San Antonio, Texas, where he was stationed. So my aunt Eleanor was no longer with us.

CI: So that must have been hard, huh, to lose your aunt?

SY: Well, yeah, she's close like a sister. Because my mother was only, she was nineteen and then my aunt Eleanor was only twelve years older than me. So she had lived with us most of my life.

CI: So you really didn't have anybody your age that was going through this all with you? You were sort of the oldest one in your family, right?

SY: Oh, you mean among the children?

CI: Yeah.

SY: I mean, you were kind of, had to do everything on your own? Were you pretty independent when you went to Chicago?

CI: I guess so.

SY: Your parents were probably... what were they doing during this time? Your mother worked?

CI: No, she wasn't working any longer. And my dad was working at Smith's Paper Company, where a lot of the Japanese were working. And then my mother wanted to come back to Los Angeles because the weather was terrible in Chicago and she was having to shovel the snow and she's only five feet tall, four feet eleven. Anyway, the weather was really getting to her.

SY: So she's the one that kind of decided.

CI: Yes, she wanted to come back.

<End Segment 18> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 19>

SY: And then you took a train to come back to Los Angeles?

CI: Yes, we did.

SY: Another long train ride.

CI: Another long train ride.

SY: And did you have memory of that?

CI: Oh, I do. I remember that. Because my girlfriend had invited me into Luanas who was one of our, she came back with us to Los Angeles. I think her sister was here already.

SY: So you did have a friend that you could...

CI: Yeah. Well, I didn't see her too much in Chicago, but anyway, we did bring her back.

SY: And so she came and was, she had family here, too?

CI: Yeah, I think her sister was here. And then she went up north. So she was one of the Luanas. So anyway...

SY: So you stayed in touch. And then when you returned back to Los Angeles, where did you end up settling? Back in Boyle Heights?

CI: Boyle Heights. We were at the Evergreen Hostel, I don't know if you're familiar with that.

SY: No. Where was that?

CI: I think it was part of Union Church. I'm not sure if it was the man's or the minister or what, but anyway, it was a pretty big house. And I'm not quite sure where it's located.

SY: Is it near Evergreen?

CI: Well, yeah, it's kind of north. But anyway, it is big and housed about fifty people. It was a hostel, and it had big, like dormitories where all the women, they had beds lined up. And then you were given duties, you were on a list. And like tomorrow you and so many people had to make the sandwiches for the workers and you have to do this, you have to do that. So anyway, it was run by the Quakers. And I remember the woman, she's very tall. She must have been about five-seven or... well, you know, to me she was very large. And spoke perfect Japanese. I heard later on that she, at one time, was Emperor Akihito's tutor in Japan. She was here and she was running the hostel for the Japanese Americans. Giving orders in Japanese. And I was shocked, "Kyou wa... da, da, da, shimasho."

SY: And you all had to live in, was it kind of the dormitory?

CI: Well, it was, yeah. It had a bed assigned...

SY: The women were in one area and the men were in another area?

CI: Yeah. And we were schoolchildren, so a lot of times we had to make sandwiches. You were given assignments. And so we lived there for, I'm not sure how long, because we didn't have a house at that time because we had just come from Chicago. And I went to... someone wanted a schoolgirl, and so that's what I did. I went to the Hervitz's house. They didn't live too far from Roosevelt, and they wanted a schoolgirl. All they wanted me to do for five dollars a month was iron. Every day after school she would dampen about five things. She hated to iron, just hated it. So I would come home and there would be a little bucket, and she had it dampened, and she said, "This is today's." And so that's what I did. That's all I did, was to iron. I guess I was pretty good at ironing. Anyway, and then she gave me room, board and five dollars. Maybe it was five dollars a week. A month is not enough, is it? So anyway, that's what I did.

SY: And she was, her name was Hervitz and she lived in --

CI: Esther Hervitz

SY: And she lived in Boyle Heights.

CI: Near Roosevelt.

SY: And do you know what she did, what her family did?

CI: Oh, she didn't do anything. She just didn't want to iron, so it was worth it to her to give this Japanese girl five dollars a week.

SY: And room and board, though.

CI: And room and board.

SY: So they didn't have children?

CI: Oh, they had two children.

SY: But you didn't have to watch them?

CI: No. All I did was iron. And my girlfriend, she did the same thing, but I don't think she ironed. I'm not sure what she did. But anyway, I was there until I graduated from Roosevelt. I didn't know that she got one of my invitations for my graduation, Mrs. Hervitz.

SY: And what was it like living with her, living in a house with...

CI: Well, a lot of good Jewish food. She wasn't kosher, but she used to bake. I could have anything I wanted to eat.

SY: So she was very nice, treated you well. But did you feel a little like the servant?

CI: No. I mean, I didn't have to do anything very much. [Laughs]

SY: And so your family --

CI: You kind of realize, you know how Jewish people live, they were clean. I think they were like Japanese people, huh?

SY: This was sort of an introduction to you. For all those years you didn't know the difference between Jewish and Japanese, right?

CI: Yeah, so I lived with them.

<End Segment 19> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 20>

SY: And when you graduated from Roosevelt, your parents had already gotten a house?

CI: No, they didn't get a house until later, couple of years later. But they rented, they rented a house. And then by then I had started East L.A. College, and I think I told you about how I was introduced to L.A. County Hospital School of Nursing. Because the two teachers that I met at East L.A., they didn't have, I needed to take anatomy and microbiology, and they didn't have a lab at the high school.

SY: There was a high school associated with East L.A. College?

CI: Yes. Not Roosevelt, the other one. Well, anyway, I'll think about in a minute. Anyway, so I used to ride with them to County Hospital and they had a lab there so I started taking lab classes with the student nurses which is how I ended up as a student nurse at County because I used to go with the teachers.

SY: So the teachers sort of took a liking to you, kind of?

CI: No, it was the fact that I needed to take anatomy and they didn't have it at East L.A. because they were borrowing this... I still can't remember the name of the high school.

SY: The high school's lab.

CI: Yeah.

SY: But what about the other kids who were in your same position?

CI: Well, I don't know that there was anybody else in my position, because East L.A. was very new at that time. I was student number... I still had my card. I was only student number 69 or something.

SY: And you knew when you went to East L.A. that you wanted to go into nursing?

CI: I did. But I was anticipating going to either Berkeley or someplace else. But then once I was introduced to... I met some of the student nurses.

SY: And you were still in your first year of college when this happened?

CI: I was, yes.

SY: So how many years of schooling did it take to...

CI: Well, because I was taking that and I was kind of taking an accelerated, like I was taking like twenty-seven units at one time. Because of that, I finished East L.A. I think about in a year and a half I had my AA degree. It was very fast.

SY: Uh-huh. And so then you starting taking courses at L.A. --

CI: No, then I enrolled at the School of Nursing at Big County Hospital. School of Nursing is a three-year program and you go in and it's very, at that time it was very, probably the outstanding school on the West Coast. Very competitive to get into the school, and so all we had to do was pay kind of a basic tuition. And they gave five uniforms and books for the first semester. And then once you got in they gave you twenty dollars a month stipend plus room and board and medical care. So it was a very...

SY: Prestigious, kind of, to get in.

CI: Yeah, but it was very great to get in because your schooling is almost paid for.

SY: And how did you, what was the process of getting in? You just applied?

CI: You applied and then you had to take a series of tests. They tested us someplace in Hollywood Testing Bureau or something, I don't know. I had to take a bus to get to that place.

SY: So that became more, a better place to go to school than a four-year college then?

CI: For me, yeah. And then I wanted to get into UCLA, but because I had gone to Hyde Park High School, and I had gone to high school in camp, I started my foreign language at Stevenson Junior High School. I didn't have three years of a foreign language. I had two years of this and then I had a year of Latin, so I didn't qualify to get to UCLA.

SY: So you would have to take more language to get in.

CI: I would have had to take another year of some kind of language, probably Latin or another semester of Spanish. So it probably turned out well for me.

SY: So was that very common? When people got out of camp, well, you went to high school, but to find, to get back into school and to find jobs, was it hard to do?

CI: Well, especially I think for nursing. At that time, nursing was a three-year program, hospital-based, and so it's relatively uniform and that's how most of us went to nursing school. Now it's almost all collegiate programs.

SY: But it was still hard to get in then, back then?

CI: I would say so. Because I understood that there were something like close to eight hundred applicants and then they took 150. So it was very competitive.

SY: And so you were among, did you have friends that went into this nursing program as well?

CI: One friend that we had worked together at Japanese Hospital.

<End Segment 20> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 21>

SY: And that was, can you tell us a little bit about Japanese Hospital?

CI: It was run by the Japanese doctors. And very well thought of, I think, among the medical community. And they started because they weren't given privileges in some of the other hospitals, so they started their own hospital.

SY: And that was back before the war?

CI: Oh, yeah, way before the war.

SY: Way before the war. And during the war, do you know what happened to it?

CI: No, I don't. There's a book out, though, you know, there's a book.

SY: And when you worked at the Japanese hospital, when was that?

CI: Had to be in the late '40s before I went into training. I went into training in 1947 and so it was before then, couple of years before that that I worked as a nurse's aide.

SY: And how long did you do that?

CI: About a year or two.

SY: So quite some time. So you got to know the hospital pretty well, the Japanese hospital.

CI: Well, pretty well. But you don't learn too much as a nurse's aide. [Laughs]

SY: Can you say where exactly it was?

CI: It's on First and Fickett.

SY: So it's right in Boyle Heights area.

CI: Uh-huh. I think the facility is still there but it's not Japanese Hospital any longer.

SY: And all Japanese patients, by the time you were there?

CI: Mostly. Mostly Japanese patients.

SY: And doctors and nurses?

CI: And doctors, yes. There were a couple of, I think there was one or two Hispanic nurses who had trained at County, knew the community. I can remember one RN that was a Mexican, Hispanic.

SY: And when you worked there, it was just on the side while you were going to school? It was kind of like...

CI: No, it was only two weeks during our vacation, because we were given two weeks off every year. That was supposed to be our holiday and so we were supposed to rest. But then we wanted money, so Kazzie, my roommate and I, she worked there as a nurse's aide also. And then we asked to be roommates in training. And so we would work there during our two weeks off.

SY: And so all this time that you were going to school, how were you making money other than working part time doing these little...

CI: Well, we weren't making money.

SY: So how did you support yourself?

CI: Well, they gave us twenty dollars a month stipend, but you were there as a student and you were there. I mean, 24/7. Nobody... I mean, when they found... they didn't find out that we worked the two weeks because we weren't supposed to even do that. But one time, this teacher that I used to go to County with, the teacher that taught anatomy, she called the Director of Nurses and said, "May I speak to Miss Ozawa?" Me. "And what is the nature of your call?" She said, "Well, I would like her to babysit my little girl." My teacher wanted me to babysit. She said, "Well, she can't do that." Said, "No, you can't speak to her." So she wouldn't let me speak to her. And Dr. Memmler told me later, she said, "Well, I wanted you to babysit but they wouldn't let me speak to you." So we weren't allowed to -- and you wouldn't have a chance to work. We were there going to school and doing the practical part, so nursing.

SY: So they were very strict then.

CI: Oh, yes. You can imagine the attrition rate. We started at 150 of us and we only graduated fifty.

SY: Wow. And you were... what were your parents doing when you were going through...

CI: Well, they were just doing...

SY: And you were sort of on your own now then?

CI: Oh, yeah. Well, you were there, they took care of us and fed us. Any of the student nurses, we had our own cafeteria, and we had our own doctor. We had the student nurse's doctor. There were two of them that took care of us.

SY: Wow, so it's almost like you were going to a four-year university with all the things that they did for... I mean, it sounds like it was difficult.

CI: Well, yeah. There weren't that many four-year schools at that time. But then there was... I'm not sure how they came around to it, but they wanted to make it so that the nurses all had degrees. At that time, if you had an AA degree which I did, you were very fortunate. And then later on, now, all the programs are collegiate programs. Either you get an AA or you get a BSN, Baccalaureate in Nursing.

SY: So when you graduated from that program, I assume you felt... did they place you into your position or how did you...

CI: No. But if you graduated from... and at that time, any nurse that graduated from a nursing school, hospital nursing program, they were all pretty much uniform. So you could go to any hospital in the United States and the standards were almost identical to the nursing school that you went to. So you could get a job anyplace. It was almost like that. It's not like that any longer, but at that time you could go to anyplace.

SY: And so where did you end up going?

CI: I stayed at County, worked in the operating room there.

<End Segment 21> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 22>

SY: So, Christine, when did you, when was the date that you actually graduated from nursing school?

CI: August the 10th, 1950.

SY: And you remember it because?

CI: We have class reunions. And whenever we filled out anything, we always had to write down the day you entered the nursing program, and it was the day after that you graduated.

SY: So at these reunions, there weren't that many of you by that time. You said there was a big attrition rate.

CI: Well, our reunions would be held at parks. The ones that were close together. Not everybody would attend the reunions.

SY: And it's all women in that group?

CI: In our class. There were three men, and one did come to one of our reunions. I think the other two have never come to our reunions. One was the nurse at the jail, at the prison, Kesler. But anyway...

SY: So this was only, when you think about it, it was only five years after the end of the war that you graduated, right?

CI: '45 to '50.

SY: Yeah. So was there still reaction from people about camp or World War II or did you ever feel like you were being, there were any kind of racial overtones?

CI: No. I guess I was fortunate that my friends were...

SY: How about among the other teachers or people that you were working with, patients? Never any feeling of discrimination?

CI: No. I worked mostly in, well, the newborn nursery, of course. I worked there, then I worked for an obstetrician, so of course he's not... and I knew him in, at County. The Crawford brothers in Lakewood. And I know that one time we were starting to look for a house. I mentioned to one of the patients that, "Oh, Lakewood, they have restrictive covenants," and I believe they did at that time. And so they got together and they said, "Well, we're going to start a petition so that you can own a house in Lakewood." And I said, "Forget it. I don't want to go anywhere where I'm not welcome." So most of the time it was very positive.

SY: People trying to help you.

CI: Yeah.

SY: How about doctors? Do you remember very many Japanese doctors there, whether they had a hard time?

CI: I don't think they did. There weren't too many doctors at County. I remember just... what was his name? George Mizunoue? Some med students I knew. But I think even at that time, they were kind of, you could only have so many Asians, I think, in a class. I believe that...

SY: There were quotas.

CI: I think so, at that time. This is, we're talking about late '40s and early '50s. So I think the quota system was still in effect. And then I worked at Harbor, and Dr. Uriu, I don't know if you know Dr. Uriyu. He just passed away recently. But he was one of the... I think he was the chief resident of surgery at that time when I met him. So there were more Japanese doctors on the scene. But I never heard of any of them feeling discrimination.

<End Segment 22> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 23>

SY: So when you graduated, then you went right into surgery. That was the area of specialty?

CI: Well, I was there, yeah, and I went into surgery there. And then I moved to Long Beach and went to, I worked in a newborn nursery. And then that's when Dr. Crawford asked me to be his office nurse.

SY: So you weren't in surgery for very long in County then?

CI: No.

SY: It was a short time?

CI: Short time. And then I also worked in surgery at Harbor General for a short time. Predominately my career was school nursing. I was a school nurse for about, that was twelve years.

SY: From when to when?

CI: I think it was like 19... school nursing?

SY: Uh-huh.

CI: Probably about 1956 to 1968, something like that. And then Harbor (College), the director of the nursing program at Harbor (College) was a County grad. She graduated from the same school I did. So she told one of her staff, she says, "Call Chris and ask her if she'd like to teach for us." And so that's how I ended up at Harbor (College), was through the kindness of one of my alum friends.

SY: And what did you teach?

CI: At first I taught vocational nursing.


SY: But you were able to teach because... didn't you have to have some sort of advanced degree?

CI: I didn't have an advanced degree at that time. But Roberta wanted, she was a very powerful woman. That's what the dean said: "Well, Roberta said she wanted you, so that's how we got you." And then so they facilitated me working towards my master's. They wanted everybody to have a master's degree and I didn't have it. And one of my friends when I was a school nurse, Dr. Callatrello was on the staff at Cal State Dominguez. And so he called me one day and said, "Chris, we're starting a master's program at Dominguez, and I want to know if you're interested." Well, he knew I was interested. And so I was one of their first students at the master's program at Dominquez in the school of ed.

SY: So you had to go to school and work at the same time?

CI: Yes, I did. I did have to do that.

SY: And when I first got -- Did I tell you about when I first got my teaching, I mean, my school nursing? During the interview they said -- and I didn't drive. I was in my thirties, and they said, "Oh, by the way, you do have a car, don't you?" And I thought, "Oh, yes?" And she said, "Oh, because you have to make housecalls when you're a school nurse." So I thought, "Oh, my goodness," and I said, "Oh, yeah, I have a car." I didn't have a car; I didn't even know how to drive. And so from June until school started in September, we had to buy a car and my husband had to teach me how to drive. And I had to go back to school because I needed a credential as a school nurse. So we had a house with a detached garage. The garage was way in the back. And so when I managed to come home from school at night, my school, I would park in the front and my husband would back up the car for me. So in the morning, all I had to do was zoom out. And so about three months later I thought, "Oh, I can back it up myself." So I got out of the car. Oh, and by the way, my roommate that was, worked with me at Japanese Hospital, she told me that, "You know, Chris, you're having a new job and you have to learn how to drive. You have to go to school. And so for one year, on the nights you have class, I will come over and give the boys a bath." I had two children by then. "I'll give the boys a bath and I'll make dinner for you." So that's what she did for one whole year. But in the meantime, I get out of the car and I'm trying to back the car up and I go back and forth, back and forth, for about, oh, ten minutes. And I finally gave up, so I parked the car and I got out, and I hear laughter from next door. And I said, "Hey, what's going on over there?" And they said, "Oh, Chris. I've called all your friends and neighbors because this is better than watching television." [Laughs] So anyway, that's how I learned how to drive.

SY: And you're still driving today, right?

CI: Yes. Still driving. I can back up, too.

SY: That's amazing. You put your mind to something and you're going to do it, right? So that was a lot to have to do in one short period of time, and you were --

CI: And I did that for twelve years, school nursing. It was wonderful.

<End Segment 23> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 24>

SY: And, but then after you finished, that's when you started teaching? When did you start teaching?

CI: In '68. That's when Roberta Lindburg, the director of the nursing program, called and said, "She's a County grad, she can do anything." That's what she said.

SY: So you were still school nursing.

CI: No. At that time, the Unified School District and the College District was all one, they were together. And then about a year after I went to work at Harbor, they separated and they became different entities. So I was able to transfer all of my units and everything to Harbor, so I was very fortunate. And so I had to teach, I had to teach the cardiovascular system. I knew nothing about it, so the first lecture I had, I said, "How many hours is it?" Said, "Two hours." Two hours? So I stayed up, I would say I stayed up all night to give this lecture. And so I had a friend that was on their faculty, and she said, "You can't teach all that." I had pages and pages. I had, well, two hours' worth. I've got to have all of these notes. And so she said, "Chris, you can't get through all that." And I said, "Well, I'm going to try." And so those poor kids. Well, I taught them the anatomy of the heart, something that would take weeks. And she said, "How much did you get through?" I said, "I got through all of it." [Laughs] That's what happened.

SY: So did you do that again? Did you keep teaching like that?

CI: Yes. Oh, I got better and better.

SY: You got better, good.

CI: Yeah. But I taught for ten years and then I became chair of the department, chairman of the nursing program at Harbor.

SY: Wow, at Harbor?

CI: Uh-huh.

SY: So what did that involve?

CI: Well, that's purely administrative. All that's administrative.

SY: So you didn't have to teach anymore?

CI: I didn't teach anymore. [Laughs]

SY: And then, and what were the years that you were working as the chairman?

CI: 1979 to 1989, ten years.

SY: Wow. So you had a varied career in nursing. You did all kinds of different things.

CI: Uh-huh, I did.

SY: And which of those things did you enjoy the most?

CI: Well, I think I enjoyed the administrative. I did like that.

SY: Because? What was it about it that you liked?

CI: Well, you could make changes and see changes. And I had a wonderful faculty. So it's always nice...

SY: And you had power.

CI: Well, there is power. [Laughs] Used judiciously, you can accomplish a lot.

SY: Uh-huh.

<End Segment 24> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 25>

SY: And in the meantime, actually I would love to talk a little bit about your husband. When did you meet him?

CI: Probably when I was seventeen. We got married in 1950 and I think I met him probably... yeah, I must have met him around '47, just about the time I went into nursing program.

SY: So you'd just come back from...

CI: Well, I graduated in '46, remember, from Roosevelt.

SY: So you'd been back a while. And then you met him...

CI: Yeah. And he was in a fishing club, and we were the Maharanis. Remember the Maharanis? And so...

SY: And that was a club that you were one of the first people in the Maharanis?

CI: Well, some of us started from camp, in the Luanas.

SY: Oh, so it was kind of the next...

CI: Yeah. And then we started the club in Boyle Heights, Maharanis.

SY: Where does that name come from?

CI: Well, you know, it's an offshoot of Maharajas, you know the Maharanis, the queens, I guess? I don't know. But anyway...

SY: So you were in that club and your husband was in a fishing club.

CI: He was in a fishing club.

SY: Was it the same idea, social club?

CI: Yeah, they were social. And so they had, they invited us to a beach party. They used to have beach parties in those days. And so that's how we -- except that he danced all night long with this other woman. [Laughs] She was older, but she was a friend of his from a long time ago. So anyway, he did spend a whole evening dancing with Sophie.

SY: And then what happened?

CI: Oh, then, later on, we went to other dances.

SY: That's how you met him, though?

CI: Yeah. And another thing is he was very tall. And I'm five-six, or I was five-six, and I had never seen anybody that tall before.

SY: So that impressed you.

CI: Oh, yes, yes. And I didn't realize that he was a soldier. He didn't say very much about being a soldier, but I didn't know he was in the 442.

SY: And what was his name?

CI: Robert Ichikawa. And he was from the Seinan area.

SY: So he grew up in Los Angeles.

CI: Yes. And he was also in Santa Anita and I never saw him or never met him there. Then they went on to Amache. And you know, he carried the American flag in the Nisei Week festival for thirty-some-odd years.

SY: That was his thing, huh?

CI: Oh, yeah.

SY: Did he talk much about being in the 442 after you met him, or after you knew him, got to know him?

CI: Oh, yeah. They always talk, those guys, you see the same thing at the reunions, talk about the same things over and over. Well, yeah, for them it's recollections.

<End Segment 25> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 26>

SY: So you became active with the...

CI: Go For Broke?

SY: Go For Broke, that's how you...

CI: Yeah. And we weren't active right at first when they were building the monument or anything. We were mostly active with E Company, which was the same company as Dan Inouye.

SY: And that's the company that your husband was in.

CI: Yeah.

SY: So he spent most of the war years, or was he, he saw a lot of the...

CI: Oh, yeah. He was at Camp Shelby. I think he was the youngest one in his E Company because he went at seventeen and they wouldn't take him, and he had to wait until he was eighteen, right out of high school. So that's when he volunteered.

SY: So he was one of the later ones who volunteered.

CI: No, he was one of the earliest.

SY: Oh. And then he fought all through Italy and France?

CI: Well, just before the "Lost Battalion" he was wounded. And so he missed it because he was in the hospital, which was, we think he was so fortunate because so many of them were killed.

SY: So did he get discharged after that or did he go back after?

CI: Oh, yeah. He didn't come right away, but he had two Purple Hearts. He was wounded twice.

SY: So you didn't know that until you were dating?

CI: No, no, I didn't know. I didn't know anything about anything like that. But anyway, I remember the first reunion they had postwar, and we're all sitting around and everybody's talking pidgin. All these guys, mainland guys, it didn't matter where they were from, pidgin. And so I asked this one guy, Ed... I can't remember... well anyway, I said, "Oh, and what island are you from?" And he said, "Oh, I'm from the island of Livingston." [Laughs] "Do you know where that is?" I said, "Yes, I know where that is. My dad grew up in Modesto, which is right next to Livingston." So after that everybody laughed and we were good friends. But it was a lot of fun, these reunions.

SY: Over the years, right? So when did you start getting involved with Go For Broke?

CI: I think it must have been about... it had to be after the monument was built. And I don't know what possessed us to start going, but once we started going then we just full blown.

SY: It was, what kinds of things did you do?

CI: Mailing, mass mailing. [Laughs] You know, the mass mailing. Or going to meetings. And then I can't remember when I became a board member, but they asked to be on the board. And Bob was on the board of governors.

SY: And you're still on the board today.

CI: I'm still on the board. I think I've been on it for ten years.

SY: And your husband has since passed away, so you've taken on his, the work of...

CI: Yeah, he just died July the 4th.

SY: This year.

CI: Of this year.

SY: Appropriately on July 4th, huh, since he always carried that flag? Yeah, that's amazing. Why is it that he carried that American flag?

CI: He insisted on carrying the American flag. Sometimes they wanted him to carry some other flag, but no, he carried the American flag. So he did that until they got so... not feeble, but anyway, it was just too much. So I think it's been about five years that they walked. The whole... I mean, it's not that many miles, but to carry a heavy flag. And so they started riding and let the younger folks carry the flag.

SY: And what is it about Go For Broke that keeps you involved? Why do you...

CI: Well, because I think that unless we have some organization like that, they're going to forget about the sacrifices that the men gave. Because some of you younger folks would probably not have some of the advantages that they have if it weren't for the sacrifices of the guys. That's what I think.

SY: And then looking back on your own camp, having gone through what you and your family went through, do you see it differently now than you did when you were going through it?

CI: I think I would be... if I knew what I know now and I knew some of that then, I think I might have been more of an activist. But you know, we were so totally unaware of rights, and I think we had that Japanese mentality of enryo, which is not good, but I think that with things like Go For Broke, I hope that we're telling our younger folks that they have to have power and they have to stand up for their rights.

SY: Do you remember, Chris, when that sort of changed for you? Like when you started thinking about what camp meant? Do you remember giving it much thought as you were...

CI: Probably. Probably being on the board for Go For Broke. And in talking to some of my friends, so I've got some of my friends that write to me now, my Caucasian friends. "Oh, this is Bob's company." And they'd get the numbers mixed up, but that's all right. They know that there's some fours in there.

SY: So you keep in touch with these people?

CI: Oh, yes.

SY: Are now even more incensed, or they are more aware now.

CI: Yes. And I'm still in touch with some of my nursing students. I wasn't going to send out Christmas cards this year until I got too many "Mr. and Mrs." cards, realizing that there are some people out there that are unaware of Bob's passing. So I sent out some cards with a picture of Bob on one side saying that, "This is our first Christmas without him." But one of my students wrote back and said, "Oh, every time I hear about the 442 I think about Bob."

SY: And your, you have how many children?

CI: Three.

SY: Three. And they're all sons?

CI: No, no, no. I have two boys and a girl. One son is a sheriff, and he's going to retire. Well, in fact, they gave him a retirement party already, to which we went, but I don't know why at such a young age. [Laughs] He wants to retire. And then our middle son lives in Kauai, and he has his own business. And then our daughter lives in Long Beach.

SY: And do you talk to them about camp and the war?

CI: Oh, yeah. They came, all of them were with me at the Evening of Aloha this year. And they donated to Evening of Aloha, and then their friends come. They're very much aware.

<End Segment 26> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 27>

SY: So do you have any different feelings now that you can look back on the camp experience? Does it seem like it was... does it seem more traumatic looking back at it or do you still see it as something that, because you were young, it wasn't so bad?

CI: Gee, I just don't know how to answer that. You know that when I came back from Chicago and went to Roosevelt it was like coming home, I think I told you that. Because I had gone to school, elementary and junior high school with a lot of my friends. And then they had just started senior activities, and they just embraced me and took me right in. I was elected as the... they had, at that time at Roosevelt they had a Host, they call it Host and Hostess. It was like the king and queen of the senior class, so I was elected the Hostess. And then they asked me to be a commencement speaker. So that was very gratifying, and my commencement speech centered around evacuation. I remember, yes, I remember it well.

SY: And what did you say?

CI: Well, I told them about that we had to cooperate to live in that kind of restrictive environment, that cooperation meant everything. Because otherwise, everything would have fallen apart, you know. And then so, well, anyway, it was well-received. Then when I left Harbor College, during my retirement, they asked me to give the... I can't remember what they call it.

SY: The keynote or something like that?

CI: Yeah, a speech. They always asked one faculty member to address the students. And so I took that speech and I said, "So many years ago..." and took them back to the war years, able to duplicate my speech.

SY: And the gist of it was...

CI: What happened to me in camp. And that they had to make changes.

SY: That the country had to make changes.

CI: They, they had to make changes.

SY: I see, the audience that you were...

CI: The graduates.

SY: I see. So it was kind of a message of what you had been through.

CI: Yeah. And reiterating my high school speech, graduation speech.

SY: And did you talk about the 442 in it?

CI: No.

SY: It was really your experience.

CI: It was just... it was not even my experience, it was just the fact that they had to, they're the next generation and they had to make some changes for America, really.

SY: Well, it has to be a little bit longer than that. So can you give me any more detail about what you said? Because that is amazing that you gave two speeches on this subject. I'm curious to hear more about that. Can you remember anything else that you said?

CI: No...

SY: Did you talk about what happened to you specifically and going to Santa Anita?

CI: Well, I did, but I can't remember exactly. I did remember the speech.

SY: That's great. I mean, it's nice that you used that as the subject for your speeches. It must have had a huge impact on you for you to want to talk about it, right?

CI: I guess. You want me to talk some more?

SY: No, I just, I'm curious what you said just because it's so amazing to me that you could get up in front of an audience and talk about your camp, whatever happened. I mean, I'm assuming that you...

CI: I talked a little bit about seeing America because of that trip, that I probably would never have seen before. You know, like the Rocky Mountains we had to go through. I did speak a little bit about the trip and what camp was like. I did do that.

SY: And you talked about camp in a positive way? That it was...

CI: Positive in that unless the Japanese acted the way they did, it would have been chaos, don't you think? Other races, they wouldn't tolerate things like that, and I think it would have just been chaos, but because we're Japanese and we gaman, we were able to succeed in having kind of a decent three years or four years or whatever. I think people don't understand that. They say, "You were so complacent and just gaman." Like the Sanseis and Yonseis, they think we were foolish in that we didn't fight for our rights. But it wasn't the time to do it at that time.

SY: But a part of you still thinks maybe if the same thing happened today, you would have...

CI: Oh, it would be different.

SY: You would have reacted differently?

CI: I think so, yeah. But I don't know if that's for the better or not.

SY: You've had a lot of experience, though, in terms of sort of being in positions where you have some sort of influence over other people, right? I mean teaching...

CI: Uh-huh.

SY: ...being the head of a department and all of that. You've never felt different because you were Japanese American? Do people look at you differently?

CI: No, I don't think so.

SY: Never?

CI: Yeah. Lucky. I had good colleagues. I'm still very close to my former faculty members. We go out to lunch together.

<End Segment 27> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 28>

SY: So when you retired or when you stopped being the administrator, that was when you retired?

CI: I did.

SY: So that was...

CI: 1989.

SY: '89. So you've been retired now for a good many years.

CI: Yes.

SY: And you've been busy? What have been your, what's been your activity?

CI: I started quilting.

SY: Really?

CI: I took quilting lessons at Harbor and I've been an avid quilter for ten years, I would say ten years. And then I got caught up in Go For Broke, which is very time consuming. But I love to quilt, which is time consuming also. Well, it's really more than a hobby.

SY: Where have you shown your quilts or where can we see your quilts?

CI: Well, there was one at the museum which they showed not too long ago, something about the threads of something or other.

SY: And it had to do with camp?

CI: Well, we donated, six of us who belonged to the South Bay Quilters Guild made this quilt. And it's a king sized quilt and it has the (museum) logo in the middle. And we thought, well, we'll raffle it, because they were trying to raise funds for the museum at that time. And the goal was three thousand dollars and then you get your name on the wall or something. So then we thought it over, the six of us, and we said, "Well, we don't want anybody to lay on the quilt. We don't want anybody's head on it. So what shall we do?" And we thought, well, we happened to go to the county bazaar or whatever, and we went to the New Home dealer, which is the sewing machine, and said, "How can we get hold of somebody at New Home?" And they said, "Oh, well, why don't you just call and ask for the vice president and he might be able to talk to you." And so I called New Home and this Japanese guy answered. He said, "What is it you want?" I said, "Well, there are six of us and we made a quilt as a fundraiser, raffle prize, but we don't want anybody to use it. So we were just wondering, since the four of the six of us have a New Home sewing machine, whether you might sponsor this quilt." And he said, "Well, I don't know, I'll have to get back to you." So anyway, he was not the Japanese guy, he was a Caucasian. So then a couple of weeks later, this guy called and said, "Hey, Ichikawa, Ichikawa," he said, "Do you know Clarence Ichikawa?" And I said, "That's my brother-in-law but he's passed away." And he said, "Which Ichikawa are you married to?" And I said, "Robert." He said, "Robert, I know him." So he gets on the phone and they talk and talk. And they're talking for about five minutes, he's calling from New Jersey or someplace back east. And finally he said, "Well, let me talk to your wife." So he said, "What is it you want?" And I said, I told him, "I don't want anybody's head to be on it and we're trying to raise some money." He said, "Well, how much money do you want to raise?" and I said, "Three thousand dollars." He said, "Oh, I can write three thousand dollars on my signature." I said, "Oh, how wonderful." So that's how it happened that we donated it to the museum, they wrote a check for three thousand dollars. So that's one of our things. And the museum still has it, and they showed it the other day for the first time in a long time.

SY: Wonderful. Did they show it --

CI: It's beautiful. It's purple, it's called Murasaki no Yume, "Purple Dream." And it has the museum logo, you know, the waves, in the middle. And six of us, we each made so many squares, and some of us put it together and some of us quilted it.

SY: And the squares, do they tell a story?

CI: No, no, no. It's a random background and it's purples and blues. But when you look at it, it looks purple.

SY: And the six of you who worked on it are all...

CI: Japanese Americans.

SY: Camp survivors? I mean...

CI: Well, no, no. Some of them weren't in camp because they're young, younger.

SY: Oh, I see.

CI: But we all belong to the South Bay Quilters Guild and they're all Niseis. So their names are on the back and there's a legend stating that we named it Murasaki no Yume, "Purple Dream." All of our names are on it, and made in Torrance. So I spend a lot of my time quilting.

SY: That's nice, though, you have something to show for all that work, and you can look at it and appreciate it, huh?

CI: Well, we were very unhappy that they didn't show it more often at the museum but they did during this last showing which was about, not quite a year ago. So Mary had a lot to do with that, Karatsu. She said, "You better show that quilt." [Laughs]

SY: Great. That's wonderful. So yeah, you've managed to stay very busy.

CI: Yeah, quilting is very labor intensive.

SY: And is this something that you have to learn how to do or you just practice?

CI: Both.

SY: Did you take classes?

CI: I did. I did take classes at Harbor, they were free to seniors. And so, and then they ran out of money. You know how they always run out of money. So after about three years, then you had to pay and the classes all just kind of went away. But until then we were meeting, oh, maybe twice a week. And then we belonged to the South Bay Quilters Guild and then we'd go to quilt shows. My husband said, "My wife could quilt twenty-four hours a day for the next one hundred years and she won't use up her fabric." [Laughs]

SY: Uh-huh.

CI: Oh, I have so much fabric. If you want any fabric, let me know.

SY: You'll be, maybe some Densho viewers will contact you. [Laughs] So this, is it sort of a social club, too, kind of?

CI: The Quilters Guild?

SY: Quilting guild, yeah?

CI: Oh, yeah, it was, it was.

<End Segment 28> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 29>

SY: Because whatever happened to the Maharanis? Did you eventually just dissolve? Because you've always had these nice organizations that you've belonged to, women's...

CI: Well, like, see, Mary was in it. I see members but we have not met. We keep saying, "We've got to meet, we've got to meet." And one of the things we did when we were young is that, before we were married, is we adopted an orphan in Japan, Ma-chan. And Mary kept a scrapbook which she gave to me about six months ago. Said, "Now, here, you take it for a while." So I must try to find out whether the orphanage is still viable. If he's alive, he has to be in his sixties, 'cause he was just a little boy. We were already in our teens.

SY: And you basically just sent him money every once in a while?

CI: Every month. But we used to sell sembei. Once a year we had a big sembei drive. So we sold that, and then I can't remember how else we raised money but we gave, every month we sent money to the orphanage for our little Ma-chan.

SY: And it was for how long you did this?

CI: Five years, six years, I can't remember.

SY: He was a baby.

CI: Well, he was a toddler, I think. But Mary's the one that kept all the letters. He was in kind of a, I think a Catholic orphanage. I have it if you want to look, I have the scrapbook at home.

SY: That's worth exploring. That's such a great story.

CI: I know, I must do that.

SY: Because the group really, I mean, was that your main fundraising project for this little boy?

CI: Yes, uh-huh. I had two, I can't remember the name of the street. I said, "Nobody go there because I have that street." Because they expected me every year. It was almost every house was a Japanese house, and they knew that I was going to come once a year to buy sembei, sell sembei in Gardena.

SY: Oh. You had to sell.

CI: Yeah, we had to sell the sembei.

SY: And so what other projects did you -- was that the only fundraising the Maharanis did?

CI: I think so. I think that was it.

SY: And did the other groups like that, the women's groups, did they do similar things? Because I know there was a period in Los Angeles where there were --

CI: Lot of girls clubs.

SY: -- quite a few of these girls clubs. Is that...

CI: I don't know.

SY: But your group really primarily was social, you met...

CI: Social and our little orphan.

SY: And you met and you went to...

CI: We met once a month. And I think... none of us had cars. We all lived all over the place. How did we get together? I don't know. I guess we took buses and streetcars, I think. But I don't remember ever getting in a car saying, "Take me to Sharon's house." [Laughs] Because nobody had a car. Our parents had one car, right, and that was for the father to go to work.

SY: And you also went to dances, right?

CI: I have no idea how we got to the dances. [Laughs] And we used to put on these dances. We had little invitations, and it seems to me, how did we do all that?

SY: You had very enterprising women.

CI: I guess so.

SY: And the dances were all friendly, there were no...

CI: Yeah. But, you know, we had a sound system and I think, "How did we do that?" We had records. I don't know if we had announcers, I don't know.

SY: Lots of things that you did, really. And did a lot of women meet their husbands that way?

CI: I think quite a few did, socially.

SY: But eventually it just died out.

CI: Yeah, well, yes, after a while.

SY: You all had your own lives.

CI: Yeah, everybody got married and then you started having babies and you get too busy.

SY: So really, if you look back at your life, you must know so many people from all these different things that you did. You probably keep in touch with a lot of them.

CI: Well, some. But you know, people move away and pass away.

<End Segment 29> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 30>

SY: So say if camp didn't happen, do you think your life would be different?

CI: Oh, of course. It really would be different. I think we'd still be in a little cocoon, being very traditional, traditional Japanese. I think camp broadened us, a lot of us.

SY: But what about your ambition to be a nurse? Was that something that...

CI: No, that was always there.

SY: Always there.

CI: Always there.

SY: So whether you went --

CI: I didn't have to choose a profession because I'm one of the few lucky people, I think. I knew I wanted to be a nurse. I was very fortunate.

SY: Really? When did that come to you that you wanted to be a nurse? Was it during camp?

CI: Oh, no. It was from the time I was little, young.

SY: Did you have any...

CI: No, I didn't. [Laughs] Role model, you're thinking, right?

SY: Well, that, no, I was just thinking, in camp, there were opportunities to work in the hospital but you were too young, probably.

CI: No, but I worked in the hospital in camp.

SY: Oh, you did?

CI: That was my first job that I ever had.

SY: Oh. We missed that, or did I miss that? You actually worked... so that's when you know.

CI: I know, but that was only about a couple of months, I think. And this one girl that lived in our block, Mi-chan, she was a nurse's aide so they assigned me to her. And I thought, "Oh, okay," I thought I could sit and talk with her. And she said, "Okay, now, let's get going." She had me washing the cribs...

SY: So it was hard work.

CI: It was hard work. She was a good role model. [Laughs] Nursing isn't sitting there talking about this and that.

SY: I mean, that, so you found that to be true all through your career.

CI: All through, yes.

SY: A lot of hard work.

CI: But camp, I mean, it was the first time I experienced anything like, I saw a first baby being born and I saw that. And I was only, how old was I? Sixteen. That was quite an experience.

SY: So you were never, you never got uncomfortable being in an operating room, then?

CI: Well, all I know... I'll tell you something. I thought, "I can't stand..." I didn't think I could stand in the operating room to see the scalpel going like that, so I used to always look away during surgery. Until one time I was so busy that he opened up the... he did the, and I didn't have a chance to look away. So there were, you know, I had to learn how to...

SY: Stomach it.

CI: Yeah. And another thing... well, to this day I still have problems with eye surgery. That's very sensitive to me. So I told my instructor, because at County you have different services you go to. You rotate through, and I had spent two weeks on ear, nose and throat, and my next service was two weeks on eye. So I told my instructor, I said, "I think I have to resign from the program." And she said, "What?" And I said, "I can't stand anything to do with eyes." And so she said, "Oh, well, why don't you try? Go to the operating room and try it and if you really can't stand it, you can go back and spend two weeks more on ENT. So I said, "Oh, that's very nice." So I did. I went to eye surgery. For two weeks, I never watched surgery. [Laughs] I made all these little... in eye surgery you make little pledgets and you have, it looks like a dental sponge. And so you roll it between your fingers and then the points come out, and that's what they used to get rid of the blood, these little pointed pledgets. So that's what I did for two weeks, I made little, hundreds of little pledgets and put it on the tray. [Laughs] And he'd say, "Oh, look Miss Ozawa, look at this. Isn't that interesting?" I said, "Yes, it is. Very interesting." So very seldom... once in a while I would get caught and I had to watch something. Anyway, there are things that... and a lot of my friends tell me, "Oh, I can't stand this, I can't stand that." But you can stand the majority of it. But that's me and eyes.

SY: But that would...

CI: So I never had to, you know, I choose not to work with an oculist or ophthalmologist.

SY: Yeah, that's good. You still have choices, huh?

CI: Yeah.

<End Segment 30> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 31>

SY: Well, I think that's a great story to end with. I do... I mean, I am sort of going to go over this one last time because I think it's so interesting, that the whole camp experience for you, you kind of think it sort of broadened your experience?

CI: I think so.

SY: But I still have to ask, do you think that it had any kind of lasting bad effect on you or negative effect?

CI: Oh, I wouldn't say negative. I think it made me a more thoughtful person.

SY: Stronger, too?

CI: Thoughtful, too. I don't know if it's made me more tolerant; I would hope so.

SY: And really always sort of looked on the positive side when you were going through it as well?

CI: Uh-huh. You know, I recently read Min Yasui's story. I don't know if you've read that. It was very, very powerful for me, what that family went through. And I thought, gee, what I went through is nothing compared to what Min Yasui and his family went through in Oregon. So I think to that end, each of us has different things that happened to us, and none can be worse than somebody else's, it's what you can tolerate.

SY: And you're very strong. Your family, though, do you think that your parents could say the same thing, that it was a positive -- not positive -- but broadening experience?

CI: No, but the only thing I regret is that, like my dad, he worked so hard all of his life, had to go to work when he was twelve years old, because his mother had severe arthritis. And then he was never able to finish school, but he sent all of us to college. And then redress comes along and he gets nothing. And he's the one that suffered the most. And someone that was just born, maybe they were born a couple of days after camp, and yet they get their twenty thousand dollars. You know, I guess I'm being selfish, but it just didn't seem fair.

SY: So why is it that he didn't get redress?

CI: Because he died.

SY: Oh, I'm sorry. He died before camp.

CI: Before redress.

SY: Oh, you mean, oh, before... oh, I see.

CI: Yeah, my stepfather.

SY: Your stepfather.

CI: And a lot of people were in the same situation that they suffered, they lost everything, and they get nothing for redress.

SY: Because they passed.

CI: They passed away. So maybe I'm being selfish. But anyway, that's one of the regrets I have is that Dad didn't.

SY: Because he suffered.

CI: Oh, he did. He lost. But he did send all of us to school, which I think is very good.

SY: Your whole family, that's wonderful. Okay, Christie. Thank you so much. Really appreciate it. I think we're at the end here.

<End Segment 31> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.