Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Francis Mas Fukuhara Interview
Narrator: Francis Mas Fukuhara
Interviewers: Tom Ikeda (primary), Elmer Good (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: September 25, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-ffrancis-01-0010

<Begin Segment 10>

EG: Tell us about the evacuation process.

FF: Well, things were just happening, like bing, bing, bing. We just, we just saw these posted notices on the telephone pole. Actually, there was one really right on our corner, which gave us notice, when to leave and what to take, and whatnot. So we packed up our goods in one little gym bag-like thing, and off we went.

EG: Now there were four of you, your stepmother and your sister, yourself, and your kid brother.

FF: Right. And by that time, we had physically drifted apart from our extended family. So we never did maintain any connection after that. It would have been more comfortable for us if we had, but we didn't. They still tried to look in on us, but they ended up in one area in Puyallup and we ended up in another.

TI: Earlier when you talked about your stepmother, it sounded as if the kids were pretty independent of your stepmother after your father had remarried. How did dynamics, how were the dynamics after the, during the evacuation with your father gone, and having the three of you with your stepmother? How would you describe it?

FF: Well, we were, of course, forced to be more communicative, and forced to relate to each other much more closely. Because what the heck, I mean, we eventually moved into one small room where we... we slept in one small room, the four of us.

TI: But I imagine also, there were lots of decisions that had to be made about your belongings and all those things that the four of you had to decide.

FF: There wasn't really much to decide there, because all you could take was what you could carry. So individually we decided what we wanted to carry. There was a -- we didn't have any property to dispose of and stuff like that.

EG: That's what I was going to ask. What did you do with the rest of the stuff?

FF: Yeah. Well, we had some things, like we had a car. I think... I had nothing to say about that.

TI: How about things like your father's investments and things like that? Were those all sort of taken care of?

FF: No, they were all impounded. Yeah, anything owned by "enemy aliens" was impounded. So all his assets were impounded.

EG: So now your father wasn't an "enemy alien," he was born in this country.

FF: No, no. No, he was an alien. He came here when he was in his, as a teenager.

EG: Sure, sure.

FF: Of course, it didn't make a heck of a lot of difference anyway. I mean, at the time, they didn't make any distinction. If you were Japanese, you were Japanese. It didn't make any difference whether you were an alien or a citizen.

TI: Let's go to... okay, so you were evacuated. At this point, the people in Seattle generally went to Puyallup.

MF Right.

TI: Is that what happened with you?

FF: Right, yeah.

<End Segment 10> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.