Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Nobu Suzuki Interview I
Narrator: Nobu Suzuki
Interviewer: Dee Goto
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: June 3, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-snobu-01-0022

<Begin Segment 22>

DG: And you went to work for the WRA relocation office?

NS: Yes. Well, as soon as that... I was still doing some -- I guess I was connected some way or the other with the Japanese Chamber of Commerce, as far as welfare or trying to help people. And somewhere along the line there was a need for typhoid inoculations. In order to go from Seattle to camp, wherever we were going, there was a necessity or advisability that typhoid shots be given. And so people who could afford it went to their doctors to get them. And also it was available for people who were traveling, and such, to go to the city health department and get them for free. So I went to the city health department and talked to the head man, and he just shouted at me, "Get out of here."

DG: Because?

NS: Isn't that awful? And then, of course, it made me cry. [Laughs]

DG: So what did he say?

NS: He said, "Get out of here."

DG: Because you're Japanese.

NS: He says, "I'm not going to give them any shots."

DG: Oh, okay.

NS: Yes. And so that was the head, he was the head of the health department. But, of course, the one that I was friendly with was the assistant, and so the assistant said -- and he said there was plenty of medicine available to give to the community, to give these shots to the community. And so that's why I went to the head man. Well, the head man just, well, he just cursed me. And so...

DG: You went as a representative of the...

NS: I just went on my own to try and get the shots released because it would have been a whole quantity of them, so that the people could be inoculated against typhoid. So word got around that I couldn't get it. Somehow the Cannery Worker's Union, Taul Watanabe and somebody else heard about it.

DG: You said Dyke Nakamura?

NS: Dyke Nakamura and Taul Watanabe. They heard about it. So they said that they had monies in the Cannery Worker's Union and they could make it available for us if we could administer it. And so we bought the typhoid and set up one of the empty places. Paul and the nurses gave the shots.

DG: That's your husband?

NS: There was a picture of that, someplace.

<End Segment 22> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.