Densho Digital Archive
Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community Collection
Title: Fumiko Hayashida Interview
Narrator: Fumiko Hayashida
Interviewer: Debra Grindeland
Location: Bainbridge Island, Washington
Date: February 25, 2006
Densho ID: denshovh-hfumiko-02-0009

<Begin Segment 9>

DG: Did you ever have an opportunity to leave camp, you or your husband?

FH: To leave camp? No. Well, we can't, because the children so young. But a lot of young people, I think it gave an opportunity for young people to go out of camp and go to college. If they stayed on the farm, I don't think they'll have that opportunity. That's the one good thing for young people, or join the army. At first, we weren't classified to join the army, but a lot of 'em, they changed that law and volunteered, and I think it gave young people lot of opportunity to leave the family and go out and work or go to school, which was good. I think if you're living, small farm, they have to stay home and help them with the farm. But that, I think that was a good opportunity for young people. I know, I know a lot who admitted a lot of people out of state, especially in Manzanar. Some got married and they had lot of opportunities to leave camp and be free. So that was good for the young people. There were many who went to university, different states, and doing real well now, uh-huh.

DG: Can you describe any other ways in that it was hard to move from a farming community into the camp?

FH: So that's one good thing, uh-huh. But of course, you had to be aggressive and willing to go to school.

DG: Do you have any, can you describe other ways that it was hard to move from a farm life to life in camp with lots of people by?

FH: Well, farm, I think, is the hardest life. Weather, climate, depend on the weather, too, so it's a gamble, being a business, manage. But you need your education. And I think it was really nice for teenagers, they gave 'em opportunity to go to school instead of working on the farm, and helping the parents. Yeah, so they had opportunity to go to school and be someone, which is nice. I know a lot of babies, boys and girls who are real successful now and living, oh, having good life. Some are professors. I think, I know a lot of 'em that became famous. But if we stayed on a small farm, I don't think they will have that chance. But...

DG: Do you have --

FH: Life is kind of interesting, in fact. You never know ahead. But I'm enjoying what I... and I think I was lucky that children was young, maybe.

DG: So what was difficult and what was not so difficult about having young children in the camps?

FH: Well, I think grandchildren nowadays have good opportunity to study and become somebody, I hope. [Laughs]

DG: Me, too.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.