Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Shigeko Sese Uno Interview
Narrator: Shigeko Sese Uno
Interviewers: Beth Kawahara (primary), Alice Ito (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: September 18, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-ushigeko-01-0019

<Begin Segment 19>

BK: Well, once you left Puyallup, did you, with everybody else, then, what camp did you go to after that?

SU: We were sent to Minidoka in Idaho. I didn't know Idaho could have so much desert property, land. Well, anyway, the train moved in, and we were left at the depot. And, oh, as far as you can see, it was just flat sagebrush country. And I guess the truck must have taken us into the camp. It was a typical army camp, barracks upon barracks.

BK: Here again, with two young children.

SU: Yes.

BK: What kind of feelings did you have, in terms of bringing these two innocent babes into someplace like this?

SU: No, maybe that's why my four-year-old can't, says she can't remember camp. It must have made some impression, but she never expresses herself. She just says, "I can't remember." Of course, Naomi, my second one, couldn't remember either. But very funny incident happened, though. When, later on, I guess, we were allowed to go to the nearby city. And the nearby city was Twin Falls. And my mother and my brother, and my husband and his brothers and sisters, were able to go to Twin Falls. So we decided that we're gonna have our picture taken. So we did. And then we stayed over at Reverend Andrews' home, which was in Twin Falls. Decided to give the baby a bath. Well, she'd never seen a tub, bathtub, at that time. We didn't have it installed yet in camp. And she just cried. She was just petrified of that bathtub.

BK: That was foreign to her.

SU: Yes. So she had a miserable time in camp. But in camp, if it wasn't dusty -- all this dust would come through, through the window frames, because they wasn't insulated. They would come in through everything, and lay itself on the, all over the floor, the tables, the beds, and the dining room, where the plates were. They would just be covered with dust. So we would have to clean it. And then in the winter when rains came, the same dust would turn into mud. And I remember my mother and my four-year-old were crossing pathway just made of planks, piece of wood. And then she went into the, my daughter did, went into the mud. And there her boots are down there, but my mother was able to pick up my daughter. So we had to go get the boots and all. It was that muddy and sticky.

BK: And all this time, you're still doing diapers?

SU: Oh, yes. And cold formulas.

BK: Right. Right.

<End Segment 19> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.