Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Kazie Good Interview
Narrator: Kazie Good
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: February 26, 2015
Densho ID: denshovh-gkazie-01-0013

<Begin Segment 13>

TI: Now, when families, new families started coming to your block, do you recall like from what different camps they came from?

KG: Oh, yeah.

TI: So what were some of the camps that they came from?

KG: All the different places.

TI: So places like Manzanar, Poston...

KG: Yeah, Minidoka.

TI: Minidoka, Heart Mountain.

KG: Yeah.

TI: And how would you characterize these families, how did they differ from the ones who had left?

KG: The ones that came in?

TI: Yeah, the ones that came in.

KG: Oh, they were emotionally wound up. They were going to Japan, we're gonna do everything possible to prepare ourselves to live in Japan, and this is how the Kibeis especially took over. They started the Japanese schools and all that, and that was really... it just turned the place upside down. Because the idea is we're gonna prepare to live in Japan, so start speaking Japanese, and don't speak English. And it went to a ridiculous point, for instance, the girls were told, "The Japanese have straight hair." They should not curl their hair because that's American. "Just make yourself Japanese, and speak only Japanese." And that was ridiculous, because for the average Niseis, we didn't speak Japanese except to our parents. Among friends we never spoke Japanese, it was all English.

TI: So to the point where if you were just out with friends, like at the mess hall, and were conversing in English, that would be looked down upon by some people?

KG: Oh, yeah. When they went to the Japanese school, this is one of the things. First of all, there weren't enough jobs, so that only two people were allowed to work in the family. My father worked, he had a job keeping the furnaces fired for hot water, my mother worked in the kitchen, so I couldn't work. So those who didn't have a job, we were supposed to go to Japanese school. And I refused, and so my father took a beating for that because they criticized him, he must be a weakling, that he can't get his daughter to go to Japanese school. And he said at one point, just for safety, I ought to at least just go to the (school). And I told him absolutely not, because I knew how the camp's, the schools functioned. I had a friend who went, and it started out with, "Banzai, Hirohito, banzai, Tojo," and I said, I told my dad, "There's no way under the sun that you're going to get me to go through that. So he didn't push me, because he (understood) how I felt.

TI: Now, do you know who beat up your father?

KG: There was a man at the end of our barrack, actually. One day when my dad was shoveling coal in the furnace, right at that moment when he picked up the shovel, this man started screaming and saying that my dad was going to beat him up. And the warden, who knew my dad and saw it happen, just threw the case out. In fact, this person took my dad to the warden's court and accused him formally, that he was, my dad was going to beat him up with a shovel. But the warden said that was all fabricated, and so they tossed the case out. But my dad knew all along that there were people who were out to get him, mainly because I refused to go to Japanese school. I was one of the few people; all the others went. I had classmates, they worked, so they were left alone. But I didn't, I wasn't working, and so I should be going to Japanese school, and I just refused to do that.

TI: So what did you do with your time?

KG: I went crazy. [Laughs] I was active at the Christian church, just to get together with friends, everything was in English. There were also books available, a lot of churches from the outside sent books, so I managed to keep myself occupied. Also, a group of us talked the high school administration into letting us audit some courses, just to...

TI: Oh, audit some of the high school courses?

KG: Yeah. And then we had to stop that because we got chased home. The idea was, "What business do you have going to an American school when you should be going to a Japanese school instead?"

TI: So I'm curious, was the administration aware of the harassment that you and some others were facing?

KG: Oh, yeah, I'm sure.

TI: And were they able or tried to do anything?

KG: No.

TI: So here is a...

KG: Well, they weren't really responsible for us. I mean, we were through with high school, so they shouldn't have to worry about us. They were concerned about the people who were in high school.

TI: So when I say administration, I'm not talking just the school administration, I'm talking about camp administration. Because they're responsible for the people they're essentially holding.

KG: No.

TI: And if certain people are being harassed, wouldn't they feel an obligation to protect them?

KG: Not in Tule Lake. In Tule Lake, the people who were in charge were the Kibeis and the radicals who got up every morning and marched around, paraded, exercise, because they're making themselves, bodies strong for Japan and all that crap. So, oh no, they had control. And it was very dangerous, in fact. It got to a point where they said, "Don't speak English." And then it got to a point where, "Don't associate with anyone who is pro-American." So nobody was talking to me, because...

TI: Now when you say "no one," because you talked about being in this...

KG: Within the block.

TI: Okay, in the block.

<End Segment 13> - Copyright © 2015 Densho. All Rights Reserved.