Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Martha Nishitani Interview
Narrator: Martha Nishitani
Interviewer: Sara Yamasaki
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: May 15, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-nmartha-01-0016

<Begin Segment 16>

SY: So what did you do in camp?

MN: Well, I, first I was a file clerk for housing, but I didn't know anything about filing, and so I think I messed everything up. [Laughs] Especially when boys went out to work in the sugar beet fields and things like that, you had to do something with a card, say when they left or when they came back, or... well, anyway, I'm sure I didn't do a very good job. But it was...

SY: So then did you get another job after that?

MN: It was fun. We had an office and everything, but we did a lot of goofing around. And then...

SY: Like what?

MN: Well, we'd come and go when we wanted to, and we could move around. We didn't have to sit down all the time. But some offices, there was just absolute silence, everybody lined up, sitting. So you really felt like you were in an office.

SY: What made this office different from others?

MN: (It was so informal). I guess the people in it. They just kinda goofed around. [Laughs] You didn't feel like you had a job, (but the work got done).

SY: What did it feel like?

MN: (Too much time for the amount of work.) Well, I did file clerk. And then there was, the next room, there was a bunch of guys. And they drove the trucks for housing, to deliver people and deliver mattresses and things like that.

SY: When you say it didn't feel like a job, is there some reason that it felt...

MN: Well, because it wasn't very serious. If you didn't wanna go, you didn't have to. And you could take off and go to the canteen, if you wanted to.

SY: And were you paid?

MN: Oh, yeah. I think we were paid, I can't remember, $15 a month or something like that.

SY: Oh, I see. So you were paid, even if you did a good job or a bad job?

MN: Yeah. [Laughs]

<End Segment 16> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.