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-01-0014

<Begin Segment 14>

SY: And where... when you arrived at Tulare, what was that like?

NS: Well, we were all scared, what we're gonna do, where we're gonna do it and everything. So we were kind of excited and yet scared. All of us were scared and we were hungry. Because they only gave us sandwiches on the train and that was it.

SY: And the ride was, do you remember, roughly how long?

NS: Oh, gosh. Just seemed like we never get there. It took so, junky old train, and it was so old that it was just barely making it. It took us, I don't know... anyhow, it seemed like a whole day.

SY: But you didn't sleep overnight in the train? It was one... you got there...

NS: Yeah, yeah. Because from Dominguez to that area it wasn't... well, that was pretty far for us, though. About eight hour, I guess.

SY: And then when you got off at Tulare, did they...

NS: Well, they told us where to go. We had a number already, what barrack we had to go. Each family had their own place to go, so then we had to look for it. So then it took us time for that.

SY: And what was Tulare like when you first got there?

NS: Well, I was kind of excited to see. It was just nothing, it was just a barrack. Said, "God, we're gonna live here after all that?" You had a home after all, you had a bed and everything. Well, just had cot. Where we have to sleep was a cot. There's nothing on there, just a cot. And that day, they gave us one blanket each and that was it.

SY: What was the living arrangement for your family?

NS: That's what I mean, it was all one room.

SY: So you all got...

NS: All got into one room.

SY: One room, and there were nine?

NS: And if the family didn't have family, they have to share. Say that you and your husband, okay, you had to have another family come to your barrack and stay together.

SY: So there were eleven people then in your, in your room?

NS: Right, yes.

SY: And there were people on either side of you? Were there people on either side of you?

NS: Well, the barrack was pretty big, so say about this size. From that end to... so there's two, like us, we had four bed because of big family, they gave us four beds, so just imagine that. Because the barrack, because don't forget, the bathroom and everything is outside, the dining room is outside. It's not in the room, so that room was about that big. We had four beds.

SY: Four beds, but you must have had two rooms if there were so, because there were so many of you.

NS: No, it was in one.

SY: All in one room?

NS: Uh-huh. Like my sister, she only had a baby, her little baby and then her husband. So they only had a small place. They only could get into one place, small, see, up to here, half of this place and that's all. Because, don't forget, dining room and bathroom and everything outside. All we got was a place to sleep. There's no place like, say, bathroom was separate. So just the bedroom.

SY: And who did you sleep with?

NS: Well, I had to sleep with myself because I had a single bed. My mother slept with my sister.

SY: Sharing?

NS: They have to be together, they have to share, and my little brother. So Mama had three sleeping in one bed.

SY: So she shared the bed with your younger...

NS: Uh-huh.

SY: And how old were they?

NS: My sister was not quite five, and my other brother, my second brother was about seven, I guess.

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