Densho Digital Repository
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Hubert Yoshida Interview
Narrator: Hubert Yoshida
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Emeryville, California
Date: April 7, 2022
Densho ID: ddr-densho-1000-506-14

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TI: Now your family -- and we talked about it earlier -- left earlier than most people left camp. Especially as family units, it wasn't like just one person leaving. Actually, your grandparents left, pretty much everyone in the family left Poston by 1943, which, and the camps were open for two years after that. So talk about that. Why did they leave so early?

HY: I don't know. The opportunity, I guess, came up to leave camp and farm, and I guess they wanted to farm again. I know my mother kind of had some reservations going, leaving the "safety" of camp and moving on like that. Going out into a world where you didn't know what the situation was. My dad also had an offer to teach. He was teaching school, I think he had an offer to teach at the Indian reservation. Poston was part of, within an Indian reservation, and he was offered to teach. And he did get, I know at one time I remember he had letters from kids who had been in his class.

TI: And so these were kids from the reservation, actually Indian kids?

HY: Well, he taught in the camp itself, but then because he, I guess, did well, he was offered to go out and teach in the Indian reservation. But he wanted to farm, and my grandfather invited him to come along and join them, so we went to Longmont together with them.

TI: You mentioned letters that he got from his students. Are those still around someplace?

HY: Someplace I think they are, maybe my sister has them.

TI: Okay, I'll talk to you later. I would love to see that. So Longmont, Colorado, do you know why they chose Colorado?

HY: No. It was an old farmhouse, and I think we raised maybe beets, onions, things like that, truck farming. I think my older cousins and my brother went to school there, I didn't go to school. Again, we lived in the same, it was a big old farmhouse, we all lived together in that same house. So it was, again, for me, it was a comfortable time.

TI: So when you say "all lived together," so it'd be your grandparents, your family, and Emi?

HY: Yeah, Emi and Uncle Mac's family.

TI: Okay, Uncle Mac's family, but not Uncle Kenji? You said Kenji went up to Chicago?

HY: Yeah, they went to Chicago. He had a job offer in Chicago. Uncle Heek wasn't there because he was in the 442 at that time. And that's when we got the notification that he had been wounded. I know my grandparents were very concerned or very upset by that.

TI: Oh, so you remember that?

HY: Yeah, I remember the feeling, kind of, I didn't really understand what was going on, because I was still four or five.

TI: Right, but you could just feel the tension?

HY: Yeah, it was kind of a pall...

TI: Because I'm wondering, I mean, early on, they knew he was injured by they didn't know how badly he was injured? How much did they know?

HY: They were just told that he had been wounded in Italy, but he had, was alive.

TI: And so when did the family see your uncle Heek? Did he come visit at any time?

HY: Well, he did recover and he stayed in Italy and went back, I think, to the 442. And it wasn't 'til after the war, when the war ended, and on his way back that he visited us. We were living in Denver at that time that we saw him.

TI: Okay.

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