Densho Digital Archive
Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community Collection
Title: Nobuko Omoto Interview
Narrator: Nobuko Omoto
Interviewer: Joyce Nishimura
Location: Bainbridge Island, Washington
Date: October 22, 2006
Densho ID: denshovh-onobuko-01-0010

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JN: You mentioned some people that helped... do you remember any Bainbridge Island families in particular that really helped you out, you know, after the war or before you left? The family that lived in your house, were they neighbors?

NO: No, no. She was one of the working ladies, a single mother with a son. In fact, I hardly knew her because see, having an older sister, she made all the arrangements. And I know one lady, I think my sister used to help at the, was it was it Bucklin Field company or something? And I think they stored our, something for us. And I remember, I think it was Ms. Biggs, my math teacher, I think she visited camp once. So as a whole, to me, I didn't feel prejudice at all. I think Bainbridge Island people are more on fortunate side because the people on the island were good to us. I feel that way. I didn't feel any prejudice. Maybe there were a few, but I didn't hear of it.

JN: And you probably weren't looking for it, so you didn't know, you don't even... sometimes it's a lot of, in your attitude and how you look at things.

NO: Yes, but all this experience is something that you'll never forget, but you don't dwell on it. A person's life is too short; you must go forward all the time. But the thought of evacuation is something that's a memory you won't forget But, you don't dwell on the past; it's not good for me.

JN: Well, your parents must have been wonderful with all of their teenage children and trying to keep you focused and what to focus on and not to dwell on your difficult situation. That must have been very difficult for them.

NO: Yes, because my folks stressed education. Because my father lost his father -- no, mother, when he was a young boy. And he has some education, but way back in the 1800s, not many were able to go to school. So if they had a few years of schooling, that was doing, they were good. Whereas my mother came from kind of a good family so she has all kinds of education, so she stressed study, read, study, study. So they both stressed education. So that same thing went on to me, to our children. I said, "Study, study, study." So, even my son, when he decided to go to law school, he said, "I'd better work first." I said, "No, you're not." I said, "If you work first, I'm not gonna pay for your education." I said, "You go and if you quit, that's it. So you make up your mind," I said. So he finished. [Laughs] I said, "You, your job is to finish school. My job is to send you to school." So, I did that with our three children. Now I'm blessed with seven grandchildren, so I have no complaints. I feel very grateful and fortunate. So, I think the best thing that happened to me is a having my family that's so lovable and supportive. And I don't know if I should mention it, but the most important thing to me when I went to Minneapolis, I became a Christian, and that has been very helpful to me. And I have been a member of the Japanese Baptist Church in Seattle for sixty years now, and I was baptized by Reverend Andrews. And I was, and he performed our marriage. So I have very... I just feel richly blessed. And to be able to have this interview at my age, I want to thank you.

<End Segment 10> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.