Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Hy Shishino Interview
Narrator: Hy Shishino
Interviewer: Sharon Yamato
Location: Cerritos, California
Date: January 31, 2012
Densho ID: denshovh-shy-01-0014

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SY: So then by the time you got, so when you got to Gila, do you remember... well, you didn't, you were talking about what you saw when you arrived.

HS: Yeah. [Laughs] Some of the guys, some of the guys that were just the darkest, that I thought were Indians, turned out to be friends that lived in our block. [Laughs]

SY: And do you remember settling, where you ended up being taken to at, what barracks and all that, when you arrived at Gila?

HS: Yeah, they gave you a number and everything, and you had to find it. I remember we were in Block 33, what was it, Barrack 9 and Apartment C. That's, I always remember that.

SY: And the --

HS: I think there were six units in each barrack.

SY: And it was still the family, your family of five?

HS: Yeah.

SY: All in one room?

HS: Uh-huh.

SY: And you remember, and you had the neighbors around you, the same neighbors that you had at Santa Anita?

HS: Yeah. The Ichikawas and the Yamaguchi family were all close by.

SY: So did it feel like it was an improvement over Santa Anita?

HS: It was a little bit bigger. [Laughs] It was.

SY: But the whole experience --

HS: I think it was ten by twenty, something like that. Or twenty by twenty.

SY: So the barracks itself, the room where you were in was bigger.

HS: I don't remember too much about the size in Gila, when I come to think about it. Santa Anita I remember because when you had a twenty by ten and then they cut it down to a ten by ten, that was cramped. [Laughs]

SY: But, and how about the bathroom facilities and all that? Were they an improvement by the time you got to Santa Anita? I mean, I'm sorry, I mean to Gila.

HS: It was still a latrine, but at Santa Anita there was a big barrack and then the latrine was big, pretty big half of it was, one side was female and the other side... but the latrine, like the, in Gila you had a block, what was it, six barracks on each side, then the laundry was in the middle, and then the latrine was, those two were in every block. That's the way it was. And there was a rec hall there. Yeah, so it, it must've been three small units in the middle of the block, or two, for the rec hall.

<End Segment 14> - Copyright © 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.