Densho Digital Archive
Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community Collection
Title: Zen Shibayama Interview
Narrator: Zen Shibayama
Interviewer: Frank Kitamoto
Location: Bainbridge Island, Washington
Date: November 5, 2006
Densho ID: denshovh-szen-01-0004

<Begin Segment 4>

FK: So, so when the orders came to leave Bainbridge Island, what do you remember about that?

ZS: I don't remember a thing, to tell you the truth. [Laughs]

FK: Well, now you were one of the families that were able to get off the island, before all of us had to go to concentration camp. Do you remember anything about how that happened?

ZS: I didn't ask my dad anything about what happened, so I really don't know. But somehow he found this property out in Moses Lake, they called it Brown's Ranch, and we just loaded up and went straight over there.

FK: So, how many, how many families went together then, too?

ZS: Well, the Haruis came with our group. And of course my grandfather and grandmother came along. No, my grandfather, he got interned at Missoula, Montana. So it was just...

FK: That was Mr. Seko?

ZS: Uh-huh.

FK: So was he rounded up in Seattle or was he rounded up on the island?

ZS: We were on the island.

FK: You were on the island.

ZS: Uh-huh. In fact, I remember seeing a picture of my (brother), Masaru, he was only about two or three. Well, let's see, '39 to '42, yeah, he'd be three years old. And I recall that picture of him with the soldier right next to him with a rifle. So we must have went down to the ferry dock to see our friends off. But we stayed behind and we ended up in Moses Lake shortly afterward.

FK: Did you go there by car then or bus?

ZS: Uh-huh. No, we had a car. And I think my grandfather's family, Mr. Seko, had a, kind of a van. They used it for, they had a nursery. And we had to load up and I remember we had a tough time 'cause it was all loaded. Trying to go through the pass, we had radiator trouble. We had to melt some snow and put some water into the radiator, and all that kind of stuff. But then we made it somehow or other.

FK: So when you got to Moses Lake, you went into high school?

ZS: Uh-huh. I was a, I guess, I guess I was a freshman or a sophomore then. And I don't recall any problems there either. We just accepted our situation and I graduated there in '44. And right after that I was, I joined the army. I was drafted, actually.

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