Densho Digital Repository
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Shiz Inaba Interview
Narrator: Shiz Inaba
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Wapato, Washington
Date: May 27, 2023
Densho ID: ddr-densho-1000-538-9

<Begin Segment 9>

TI: And when you left the farm, where did you go?

SI: We went to that Portland Assembly Center.

TI: And do you remember what that was like? Like your first impressions when you got there?

SI: Well, every time it rained, it felt like a barn because it was a stockyard.

TI: Oh, so the smells of wet hay and things like that.

SI: Yeah. So it was different because it was a barrack. I mean, hallways, and then all we had was a curtain going down on our floor, we have a neighbor with theirs, everybody had just curtains, you could just see if they wanted to, but they didn't bother us.

TI: And how about just in terms of seeing so many people that kind of looked like you, Japanese Americans?

SI: Japanese, yeah. It was quite different because I've never had a crowd like that living in the same place.

TI: And for you to be around so many people the same age as you, too.

SI: Yeah, we had people we can go play jacks or whatever, whenever we did with the young kids.

TI: Now do you remember anyone kind of noticing or commenting, "Oh, you're twins?" Again, it was probably a little unusual to be a twin.

SI: Well, I think they probably questioned whether we were twins or not.

TI: And during that time, were the two of you still kind of wearing the same clothes?

SI: I think so.

TI: Now, why did you do that? Was that because the two of you wanted to, or did your mother want you to wear...

SI: I think they wanted us to look alike because they were twins. I don't know when we started, later on when we didn't have to dress the same, she went her ways and I went my ways. Then we dressed whatever we wanted to.

TI: Now was there a certain style that the two of you had, like a certain color the two of you liked to wear, or a certain type of dress?

SI: No, I don't remember any special color.

TI: Any other memories of the, first the Portland Assembly Center? We'll move to Minidoka, but first Portland. Any memories?

SI: Oh, memories. The assembly center? Well, I don't know too much, just that we had other people to do things with. I don't know of anything really special, we just, in the mess hall we'd just go to eat and we didn't have to do any cooking or anything.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright © 2023 Densho. All Rights Reserved.