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-01-0004

<Begin Segment 4>

JN: What was your reaction and your family's reaction to the order saying that they had to leave Bainbridge Island?

NO: Well, that was another scary moment. When we were ordered to leave, I think it was my father and my sister or my brother went into town, because we needed suitcases and a few necessities. And so they brought home suitcases, you know, those old-fashioned flimsy ones. They couldn't afford the best. So, and then I think, I think I remember clearly my father thought that Niseis and Isseis would be separated. So he gave a... he went and bought tin plate, tin cup, and a silverware for each of us to take in case. And then Mom made a money belt and wrapped up so we could tying around our tummy and gave each of us cash, so we'll have something. So, that was very scary, too. And...

JN: So, preparing, what are your memories about, of your family preparing to go to Manzanar?

NO: When we had the one-week notice?

JN: Uh-huh.

NO: That was a horrible part. We were told we could only carry, take what we could carry, and that wasn't much because I had three younger sisters. But I had a little suitcase which I really stuffed it. And then I had a little shopping bag, stuffed, and I had couple school books. And then I put layers and layers of clothes on because you can't, you can't carry all that. So I remember that, carrying layers of clothes and my little belongings. But it was a... to leave our new farmhouse, and we didn't know where we were going, it was very... another scary time. I think the whole Pearl Harbor to evacuation all along was very, a stressful time for many families, including me, yeah. And did you want to know about that leaving? Or...

JN: Uh-huh. And what happened, how did your family take care of the farm or all their belongings?

NO: Okay, we were very fortunate. We had a great big farmhouse, and there was a nice Caucasian lady and a son lived in there for I think twenty-five dollar a month. And we had a Filipino, one of the workers, help harvest, took over the farm, and we were very fortunate that we had someone to take care of our place. Whereas in other part of California, all that, they had to give up everything. But I think as a whole, Bainbridge people were fortunate because we had nice neighbors. At least we... the people were good to us.

JN: Did people help you pack? Or, how was the packing...

NO: What... you couldn't pack much.

JN: Uh-huh.

NO: See, just your few clothes you have and all that, you couldn't pack much. I'd like to tell you about the school. We had a very nice principal, Mr. Roy Dennis, and he was very understanding and he was real good to us students. And they allowed us seniors to correspond so we could get our diploma. So that's why I had schoolbooks in my baggage, which was heavy. But I was determined, see. And he was so good to us. I named our first son Dennis.

<End Segment 4> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.