Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Nancy Shimotsu Interview
Narrator: Nancy Shimotsu
Interviewer: Sharon Yamato
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: February 7, 2012
Densho ID: denshovh-snancy-01-0013

<Begin Segment 13>

SY: And do you remember when they told you where to report?

NS: Yes, it's the Gardena... there was a, where they had the train, train station, it was on the train station, Gardena had a train station. We'll meet over there, so we have to get on the train to go to camp. See, we had to go to a place called Tulare Assembly Center. Tulare Assembly Center.

SY: So they told you that you were going to Tulare.

NS: Yeah. Oh, yes.

SY: So you drove, did you drive to Gardena?

NS: No. Our teacher came after us. We didn't have no car anymore. I mean, we can't use the car anymore at that time.

SY: So who was your teacher?

NS: Mr. Crane, I told you he was a real good friend of ours, my brother's friend, my oldest brother's friend. He used to come over our place all the time, he used to eat our food all the time I told you? He's the one that helped us out. And then after that, my brother lost his address and everything, we couldn't get in touch with him. He had passed away and we didn't know it. So it was so sad. He was, nice family, he got married and had children. He was so good to us; he was happy with us.

SY: So were there other people like that that helped you, that helped you? Do you remember other nice...

NS: Yeah, oh, yeah. Lot of people that was like that. After all, we were real good people around there and we all got along real good. So I just... it was so sad. I still remember.

SY: What was the worst part for you during that period?

NS: Well, to be apart with those people that came to say goodbye to us.

SY: At the Gardena bus station?

NS: Yeah, uh-huh. It was so sad. It was so sad that... not just me crying, everybody else crying away. [Laughs] So it was okay.

SY: So there were other families, too?

NS: Oh, yeah, not just me. Mr. Crane was so good 'til the end. He was a teacher, but my brother's real friend, real chummy that went all over with him, you know. Used to go bike riding together and go mountain climbing or whatever, they're fishing together. Just like brother and sister. So it was sad.

SY: So once you got on the train, they took you to Tulare. Do you remember how long that would take?

NS: Oh, gosh. I thought we'll never get there. I tell you, it was so long. The train was so slow, I guess. And then it stopped on us one time. [Laughs] It didn't move or something, they had to fix it. I still remember that. And it was so hot. It was so hot I was just dying.

SY: Did they tell you, in that ride did they tell you to keep the blinds down?

NS: Yeah, oh definitely. It was all, what do you call? They had the black thing on there already, can't take it up, you can't put it up. So it was always blind anyway.

SY: And do you remember the guards, were there guards?

NS: Oh, back and front. And then they come through the center like this. But they didn't find nobody doing anything, they just behaved so well. I asked the man, you know, "Hey, you guys are good." We didn't fire anything, we just sat there and behaved. Well, somebody told me that some fresh guys were Japanese, real bad guys were on the other train and they had a fight or something. On our train it was good. Nobody fight.

<End Segment 13> - Copyright © 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.