Densho Digital Archive
Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community Collection
Title: Nob Koura Interview
Narrator: Nob Koura
Interviewer: Frank Kitamoto
Location: Bainbridge Island, Washington
Date: March 24, 2007
Densho ID: denshovh-knob-01

[Correct spelling of certain names, words and terms used in this interview have not been verified.]

<Begin Segment 1>

FK: Well, what can you tell me about your parents and your grandparents? Like where in Japan did they live before they came over to the United States?

NK: In Japan.

FK: Yeah, what part of Japan?

NK: You got me. I know I visited over there, some relatives, but even forget where that was.

FK: Okay. Did they ever tell you why they decided to come to the United States?

NK: No. My grandparents came over about the same time as my parents.

FK: That's kind of unusual, isn't it, to have grandparents and parents come over? So where were you born?

NK: Seattle.

FK: Seattle, okay.

NK: They were living in Seattle, I think, at the time.

FK: Uh-huh. Now, did they come straight to the United States or did they come somewhere first before they came to the United States?

NK: Far as I know, they came straight.

FK: Do you remember about when they came to Bainbridge Island?

NK: Hmm... I don't know.

FK: Well, how old were you when you came to the island, do you know?

NK: Must have been a few... let's see, was I five years old by then? I was five years old or just barely born at the time. I can't...

FK: Too young to remember?

NK: Yeah, too young to remember anything.

FK: Yeah, okay. Now, how many children did you have in your family?

NK: There were... Art and me...

FK: So you were second, huh?

NK: Six, I think.

FK: Six children.

NK: Six of us.

FK: So you were all born in the United States, then?

NK: [Nods]

FK: Okay.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2007 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 2>

FK: So how did, when you first came to the island, then where did you live?

NK: I think they lived right up here on high school road, going down towards, just across the road from that, is that Madison?

FK: Uh-huh.

NK: Yeah, just across the road from Madison.

FK: So somewhere around where the library is now?

NK: I think about where the Catholic... no, what church is that?

FK: Catholic church?

NK: The church on the left-hand side as you go down High School Road.

FK: That would be... going toward...

NK: Going east on High School Road.

FK: Yeah, Catholic church, yeah.

NK: You cross the Madison Avenue. Well, they were down on that road somewhere. The first house that I remember was on High School Road, just half a block down on Madison Avenue.

FK: So did you farm there, then?

NK: They farmed right there. They had strawberries on the left and the right -- you know where Sakai is, land was over there? They're just on this side of that.

FK: Now, the house you lived in, somebody said it had a stone foundation or something, is that right?

NK: The house they moved to.

FK: Oh, okay.

NK: But the original house was just wood, wood all the way. Then they moved across the street, High School. They were on the north side of High School Road, then they moved to the south side when the house became available down there.

FK: Was there a special story about that house as far as the one you moved into, about the stones or something?

NK: About like what?

FK: About the stone foundation? Was there a special story about that house?

NK: Not that I know of.

FK: Okay.

NK: It was a pretty solid house. I don't think it's there anymore, I'm not sure. I know there's another house there. I don't know if it's the same one or not.

FK: So when did you move to that property that you ended up farming on that's Meadowmeer now?

NK: I think I was about a junior or a senior in high school. 'Cause I remember going by bus to school from there.

FK: Did your parents purchase that property right away, or did they lease it or what did they do?

NK: The one over...

FK: Where you're living now?

NK: I don't know if they bought that place... I don't know when they bought that place. We moved in there and they started to build over there. I don't know what year that was that they bought the place.

FK: It was before the war, though?

NK: Oh, yeah.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2007 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 3>

FK: What do you remember about going to school on the island?

NK: Well, I went to Winslow grade school, started kindergarten down that way, then went to Winslow down in the village. You know where the Winslow is now?

FK: The Village Green is.

NK: There used to be a school there. And then Bainbridge High School. But yeah, I graduated from sixth grade and moved up to the high school, I think, when I was in sixth grade.

FK: So the high school was from seventh grade up, is that right?

NK: It may have been. I don't know if it was from six up or from seven up. It was right in there somewhere.

FK: So what kind of things did you do in high school?

NK: What kind of things did I do?

FK: Yeah.

NK: Study. [Laughs] Studied and played football. Yeah, I played quarterback on the high school team there, a couple years.

FK: So were most of your friends Japanese, or did you have hakujin friends, too?

NK: Oh, yeah. People were friendly.

FK: Did you have to go to Japanese school?

NK: Yeah, we'd walk down from the, after we finished school, and then we'd walk down to, we used to call it Tip School. I don't know why it got that, the word, but they called it Tip School. Went there for, I think they had about five, six years when I went there.

FK: So did you go after high school then?

NK: No, just 'til I was... oh, after school?

FK: Yeah, after school. That's when you went.

NK: Get out of school and then walk down to the Japanese school. It was just a short... well, it didn't seem like a very long walk.

FK: Where was it held?

NK: Japanese Hall. You know where that is?

FK: I remember where that was, yeah. Tell me where it was.

NK: Pardon?

FK: Tell me where the Japanese Hall was.

NK: I think it was on Grow Avenue about halfway down from... what's that street that goes east and west?

FK: Wyatt Way?

NK: Oh, Wyatt Way, yeah.

FK: What do you remember about the Japanese Hall? Do you remember when they built it?

NK: Yeah, I think I remember it being built, in fact. Although maybe it was standing already, I don't know. I know we used to play a lot of basketball in there, and they used to go to meetings and stuff. It was a meeting place.

FK: Who taught the Japanese classes?

NK: The teacher was Mrs. Ohtaki. Do you remember that name, Ohtaki? Yeah, we used to go down there and learn how to write our name in Japanese, learn how to read the easy part, the easy way. They had the complicated words, and they had this thing called katakana which was like spelling out A-B-C, like.

FK: How did you feel about going to the classes?

NK: Going to where?

FK: How did you feel about having to go to the classes?

NK: Going to classes?

FK: For the Japanese school.

NK: Oh, it was all right. We used to go down there and play baseball. Just before classes start, we'd all be out there playing baseball. And then if it was raining, we'd play basketball in the gym there. And the classes were held in the little room on the east side of the basketball court.

FK: So graduated in what class? Class of what year?

NK: High school?

FK: Yeah.

NK: Must have been somewhere in... '38, I think.

FK: '38?

NK: '38, uh-huh.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 2007 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 4>

FK: So what was farming like at that time? It sounded like you and your brothers had to work on the farm, huh?

NK: Yeah. Well, things were done by horse and hand cultivators until after we moved to that area, what is that area?

FK: Meadowmeer area?

NK: Pardon?

FK: Meadowmeer area?

NK: Yeah, where we live now. That was called... what the heck was that area called? I forget. Meadowmeer area now. The folks bought some land there and started to grow quite a few strawberries for a number of years.

FK: So what do you remember about the cannery that was at the end of Weaver Road?

NK: Well, we used to deliver strawberries to there, and they used to process it, process berries right there on belts. Until about, I forget what year, they finally pulled it out. And we had to, if we wanted... we had to haul it into Seattle, I think. By about then, I think we quit.

FK: So did the community build that cannery?

NK: Yeah, the Japanese, they'd been farming berries on the island for way back, from when we used to raise berries. They used to ship a lot of it to Seattle, but then they started that cannery, I guess, and started to process it there, and then take it by boat in cans to Seattle, freeze it over there, I guess.

FK: How did it work to start the farms? How did you get your plants and how did you... did you have to borrow money to do that kind of stuff or what?

NK: You had to borrow money from R.D. Bodle company and stuff. I guess that's how our parents started, borrowed from R.D. Bodle company. And then about the time we got out of high school, I don't know if R.D. Bodle was still involved at that time or not. The cannery was still running, too, but we'd also take a lot of fresh berries to the market, put it, like Western Avenue.

FK: Do you remember what companies?

NK: Most of... the bulk of the berries I think used to go to the cannery. Most of the berries just had to go to the cannery. The fresh market couldn't handle all of them.

FK: Did you ever bring any to the Pike Place Market or anyplace like that?

NK: Yeah, but very little.

FK: What companies on Western Avenue did you bring the berries to?

NK: I don't know, right up to the market there. Delivering some fresh berries up to there with the hulls still on it so they could sell it on the fresh market. But not, the bulk of it went to the cannery.

<End Segment 4> - Copyright © 2007 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 5>

FK: So when the war broke out and you heard about Pearl Harbor, what did you think?

NK: I thought Japan was crazy. [Laughs] Not much we could do about it. I thought it was just crazy in Manzanar, that we went to Manzanar. Were you in Manzanar?

FK: Uh-huh.

NK: Were you born by then?

FK: Yeah. So what did you do when the war broke out? What did you think as far as, what did you decide to do?

NK: Well, we were buying the property from Arnold Rayburn, and he offered to step in and harvest the berries for that year and keep the farm going until we come back. So we turned everything over to him, and he harvested the berries and kept the farm going until we came back. Then he turned it back to us. We had to start all over again.

FK: So who did you have working on the farm then before the war? Who were your pickers?

NK: There were Filipino men and Indian men.

FK: Was there a specific Filipino family that worked with your family at that time?

NK: Yeah, but I've forgotten their names.

FK: So how did you get -- were the pickers from Canada then at that time, too?

NK: Yeah. To harvest the berries, most of the pickers were from Canada. They were Indian pickers that the parents had contacted way back in the '20s when we were still living over here, used to come and harvest.

FK: Uh-huh, High School Road. So how did, did you have to go after them, or how did that work?

NK: Well, mostly they came down by ferry, but we did go up there to get them to trucks, but most of them came by ferry, I think. Pick 'em up in Seattle.

FK: So what part of Canada were they from?

NK: Oh, I forgot the name of the... I forgot the name of the place.

FK: Up further north like Duncan or Nanaimo?

NK: I guess... I know I went up there with the truck once or twice to get their baggage, but generally they would come down on their own. I don't know how they got here.

FK: So when the war broke out, how were you feeling personally about, did you decide what you wanted to do or...

NK: We had no choice. We had to head down south to California, and we had no place else to go. It was a tough time.

FK: Did you decide you wanted to join the service or something right after the war broke out?

NK: Well, eventually I did, but, get in the service, but I think we went to California and then the family moved up to Minidoka, and I went out to work in a guy's farm, and from there I went into the service. I worked on his farm for a short while and then went in the army.

FK: Now, did you try to volunteer before we had to go to camp or anything like that?

NK: From the camp?

FK: No, from the island before we went to concentration camp, did you try to volunteer for the service?

NK: I don't think so. I just went with the family.

FK: Okay. What do you remember about when the FBI came to the island? Do you remember anything about that, when the FBI came to the island?

NK: No, that was a long time ago. I don't... did the FBI come around?

FK: I think in early February before we had to go to camp?

NK: I don't recall talking to them.

FK: Were your parents and your grandparents...

NK: They must have talked.

FK: Yeah. Were they taken away before we had to go to camp?

NK: I think Dad may have been for a short while. He was in camp, too, though. He might have been for a short while 'til he joined us there. I'm not sure.

FK: So what do you remember about that day, that day when we were, had to leave the island?

NK: Had to leave the island? Oh, it was a sad day. Lot of my friends came to see us off at Eagledale. That was a sad day.

FK: Did the army trucks come and pick you up at your farm then?

NK: I guess that's how we got there. I'm not... I don't remember much about it. Yeah, we just had the people that were, we were buying the land from, he agreed to move into the house and look after the house and take care of the farm for us while we were gone. We owe him a lot. He harvested what was available there, went through the whole thing and did a lot for us. Arnold Rayburn, he did a lot for us.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 2007 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 6>

FK: What do you remember about the day you left as far as being on the ferry and going on the train and that kind of stuff to go to Manzanar?

NK: Being sad. Couldn't believe it.

FK: Did it seem kind of scary to have the soldiers there with their rifles or anything like that?

NK: No. Best thing to do was cooperate with what they wanted us to do. I couldn't believe what was happening.

FK: What were your feelings like on the ferry?

NK: What?

FK: What were you feeling when you were on the ferry?

NK: Disappointed. But you can't fight the government.

FK: And you said you felt disappointed. Can you tell me more about that, what kind of feelings there were as far as disappointment?

NK: No, I just couldn't believe what was happening. But we had to obey the law. And I felt sorry for my parents and my grandparents. But nothing we could do, just obey the law.

FK: What was the train trip like?

NK: The what?

FK: The train trip, what was that like?

NK: Oh, I don't know. It was like any other trip, I guess. Just do what you're told to do. Yeah, it's unbelievable. You didn't remember anything.

FK: Not much. What did you think when you first saw Manzanar?

NK: Couldn't believe it. Desolate place. Got to do what you're told.

FK: Now, was it your grandfather that passed away in Manzanar then?

NK: Was it Manzanar or in...

FK: Minidoka?

NK: Minidoka, Grandpa passed away?

FK: I think it was Manzanar.

NK: Was it Manzanar?

FK: Yeah.

NK: It may have been. Yeah. I forgot now whether it was Manzanar or Minidoka.

FK: He was the first one from the island, then, to...

NK: Was he the first one?

FK: I think so.

NK: Oh, it must have been Manzanar then.

FK: Yeah. Do you know how he passed away?

NK: I can't remember now. Well, he was getting up in age. I forget how old he was or anything. It was sad.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 2007 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 7>

FK: What were conditions like in Manzanar? What was it like there?

NK: Well, you just got up, ate breakfast, hang around. [Laughs] Oh, and then eventually we got to go out to work. I went out to work up in Idaho. I guess it was Idaho, on a farm. Then I got to know the people quite well. When eventually we got home, they came out to see us and visit for a while and stayed at our place. They were nice people.

FK: What was the food like in Manzanar?

NK: Oh, I forget. I forget what kind of food it was. But it kept us alive.

FK: So you had a pretty large family then, so what was the living arrangements like in the barracks?

NK: The what?

FK: In the barracks, what kind of living arrangements did you have in the barracks? You had a pretty large family.

NK: Oh. Well, it was, you know, all you had to do was sleep, crawl in the bed and sleep. We all had our beds, our own beds. I think we all had our own beds. Sleep, get up, go to work. We had little jobs that we could do.

FK: What kind of jobs?

NK: Well, not much 'til later on. What did I do? Not much of anything, I guess, until things got settled. I know I worked at something or other.

FK: Can you tell me about camouflage nets?

NK: Oh, yeah. Enhanced them, I guess it was weave stuff through the camouflage nets.

FK: So you're making them for the army or what?

NK: I guess that's what it was. Big, they'd hang from the ceiling down and we'd thread stuff through it. They were pretty big size, they hung down from the ceiling and just thread colored cloth through 'em.

FK: So when you went to Idaho, what kind of farm was it?

NK: He raised some spuds, had sheep, cattle, then he had the spuds, Idaho spuds.

FK: So was there a group of you that went at the same time?

NK: Well, I went to work on this man's farm. I stayed with him and lived in his home and just worked on his farm.

FK: So how long did you do that?

NK: I forget how many months I was there. About half a year or a year, I guess. He came out to see me, too, after the war ended, he and his wife. Nice family.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 2007 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 8>

FK: Now, what did you feel when Art volunteered for the service from camp?

NK: Oh, what do you mean, what did I feel?

FK: Was there any mixed feelings about him joining, or did you feel it was a good thing, or how did your parents feel about it?

NK: It was up to him, I guess. There was not much I could do. I thought it was a good thing. And eventually I got in. It was after we moved to Idaho.

FK: Now, did you volunteer or were you drafted?

NK: Well, I guess, I think I made myself available for the draft.

FK: So tell me about the service.

NK: Oh, they shipped me off to Italy.

FK: Where did you go for basic training then?

NK: Where?

FK: Yeah.

NK: Let's see. From Idaho I went to California for a while and took basic training there, I think. Then went to, went overseas to Europe from New York.

FK: Did you take a direct route from New York to Italy then, or to Europe?

NK: Yeah, went on a boat from New York to Italy. Yeah, it was a boat.

FK: How long did that take you?

NK: Oh, I forget. I think it took a week or so.

FK: So was the war still going on when you got to Europe?

NK: No, I think it was the occupation force I was with. I forget now what the unit was called or anything. All I know is I was stationed in Italy, and I did some office work there. I was working in the office...

FK: What was your reaction when you found out that Art was wounded?

NK: When what?

FK: When Art was wounded in the war, what was your reaction at that time?

NK: Well, I forget. I was just hoping he'd survive, and he did.

FK: Now, how long were you in the service then?

NK: I think two years. I forget now, it's so long ago. But I didn't see any action. I just went overseas and worked in an office.

FK: So had you met Mary before, then? Your wife, Mary, before then?

NK: Oh, yeah. The family, our families were friends from years before. The folks knew them for a long time.

FK: So they lived in Mount Vernon and you lived down here?

NK: They'd come and visit us once in a while, we'd go up there and visit.

<End Segment 8> - Copyright © 2007 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 9>

FK: So when did you get married?

NK: What year was that? [Laughs] 1940s, somewhere...

FK: That was after the war, then? Or did you get married before you went to the service?

NK: Probably after. Got to ask Mary. [Laughs]

FK: So where did you live right after you got married, then?

NK: On Bainbridge. Or was it... I think so. I think on Bainbridge Island.

FK: Well, Mary's family went to Minneapolis, right?

NK: Yeah. So maybe we got married over there and then came back. I forget.

FK: So where was your first baby born? That was Carol, right?

NK: Carol.

FK: Yeah.

NK: She was born in Minneapolis.

FK: So do you remember, how did you get from Minneapolis to Bainbridge then? Did you...

NK: Oh, I think I bought a used car or something and drove home. 'Cause Mary had baggage.

FK: That's a long trip.

NK: Yeah, but it's easy driving.

FK: Was it pretty uneventful, or did you have some problems?

NK: Pardon?

FK: Was it a pretty uneventful trip or did you have some problems coming back or anything like that?

NK: You mean from Minneapolis?

FK: Uh-huh.

NK: No, just got on the highway and drove west.

FK: How long did that take you, do you remember?

NK: Probably two or three days. This was a long time ago.

FK: So do you remember what year it was when you got back to the island, then?

NK: Do I what?

FK: Do you remember what year it was when you got back to the island?

NK: Must have been 1940-something.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright © 2007 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 10>

FK: So when you got back to the island, was Art still in the hospital then, or were your parents already back on the island, then?

NK: I think he was in the hospital. I think he was still in there. Boy, I don't know.

FK: So was the farm already started back up?

NK: Pardon?

FK: Was the farm already started back up when you came back, then?

NK: Well, the Rayburns kind of took care of it for us, and he was... there was some strawberries still in the ground. He had harvested for us, and so there were some things still there, but pretty run down by then.

FK: So you had to replant, or what did you have to do?

NK: Yeah, we had to start over. But there were still some plants in the ground, I remember, when I went back. Arnold Rayburn, yeah, he was a good man. He helped us out.

FK: So when you came back to the island, did all, was your whole family back on the island, or did some of them, your family stay elsewhere? Did you all work on the farm? How did that work?

NK: I think we all were on the island, my parents and grandparents and the kids, we all came back.

FK: So how many of your brothers ended up in the service? It was you and Art...

NK: Well, I think boy my other younger brothers, there was Tony and Genzo, they were both in the service, but I forget now what kind of service they saw. I think Tony was in Japan. I don't know much about it.

FK: When you were in Europe in the service, were there any other Bainbridge Island guys that you saw there or knew?

NK: Oh, I'm sure there were, but I can't remember now. But there were, if they were about my age, they had to be serving. I forget.

FK: So was it pretty hard to start over then on the farm?

NK: No, because the man we were buying it from, Arnold Rayburn, he had moved into the house, taken care of the place, and took care of the fields. So it was just a matter of getting back into it.

FK: Do you remember when you were in camp, having to sign a "loyalty questionnaire" or something like that?

NK: I don't recall.

FK: You don't recall, okay.

NK: We really owe a lot to the Rayburn family, Mr. Rayburn, for taking care of our place. No payment coming in to him from us, you know, he took care of the place. He took care of everything for us.

FK: So you really had a lot of gratitude to them.

NK: Oh, yeah, we were grateful to his help, for his help.

FK: Did he have boys or kids who were about your age?

NK: Yeah, there was one, Doug Rayburn was in my class. I don't remember any other. All I remember is Doug, who was in my class. He was a nice guy. Yeah, we owe him a lot. He took care of things for us. He moved into the house and took care of the place.

FK: So did you build that house, then? Did your family build that house on the property, or was that already there when you got the property?

NK: No, it was a brand new house when we moved over there. When we bought the place, Arnold Rayburn agreed to build a house for us.

FK: Oh, okay. How about the barn that was there? Was that built later or was that already there, too?

NK: I think we built it. Except for there was a wood, just horse barn there. But we built the one with this concrete base and everything, it's still standing. We built that.

FK: Do you know how Mr. Rayburn got the berries picked, then? Did he keep using people from Canada, or what did he do, do you know?

NK: Yeah, I think some people from Canada came down.

FK: And stayed with the farm.

NK: Yeah. He took care of everything for us.

<End Segment 10> - Copyright © 2007 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 11>

FK: So when you decided to quit farming, what did you end up doing?

NK: See, I think I got a job. I went to school for a couple years and got a job as a programmer. And eventually I went to Seattle to work for an outfit, Fisher Flour Mills, I think it was. Oh, no, King County. I started at Fisher Flour Mills and transferred, then got a job at King County.

FK: Did you miss farming?

NK: No. [Laughs]

FK: What was the last year you guys farmed?

NK: I have no idea now. I can't remember.

FK: Did you and Art sit down and decide you're going to stop, or what made you decide you're going to stop farming?

NK: Just wasn't worth it, I guess. Yeah, we were getting up in age. It wasn't worth the effort.

FK: My mother used to say farming was a real gamble. Was that kind of the feeling you guys had as far as prices and stuff?

NK: Yeah, it's a gamble, because depending on the weather and depending on the pickers, because I don't know how much strawberry farming there is on the island anymore. Yeah, it was a living, though, I guess.

FK: Well, did you have... was yours one of the largest farms, then, in the state or in the...

NK: On the island it was.

FK: Yeah. How many acres did you have?

NK: I don't know. I think we harvested fifty, sixty acres. Seventy, maybe eighty.

FK: Yeah? Seventy, eighty?

NK: Yeah, I forget now.

FK: Did you start out with Marshall berries?

NK: I think we still had some Marshall's, but Northwest, I think was what we eventually shifted to because it held up better. Then we had some Olympic berries, which are kind of related to loganberries. They were called Olympic berries. And some raspberries.

FK: So is Meadowmeer Golf Course then pretty much on what was your farm?

NK: Yeah, most of Meadowmeer.

<End Segment 11> - Copyright © 2007 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 12>

FK: So the Meadowmeer Golf Course was pretty much your property then, quite a bit of it was?

NK: Yeah. Well, yeah, I think quite a bit of it was, but there's some holes way south and west that belonged to Arnold Rayburn.

FK: So did you join afterwards?

NK: Pardon?

FK: Did you join the golf club?

NK: Yeah. Yeah, I played quite a few rounds on that course. It's still going pretty strong, I think.

FK: When you came back to the island, what was it like? Did people, when your family came back, did they, what was it like when you came back?

NK: Well, I don't know. They were friendly, people were friendly. We felt welcome.

FK: Now, I think your sister, Sa, was a reporter for the Review from camp, huh?

NK: I think so.

FK: So what did the people remember about the Bainbridge Review or the role that Walt Woodward played during that time?

NK: I don't know what you mean.

FK: When we were in camp, Sa used to give reports back from camp to the Review. And was there any general feeling among the people from the island about the Review and what Walt was trying to do or anything like that?

NK: Not that I know of. I know Walt was a good man, I thought.

FK: Did he do anything with the community when he found out the war was starting, or did he talk to any of the community or meet with any of the community or anything like that?

NK: I can't remember anything about that. There wasn't much he could do. He was a good man.


FK: When you grew up on the island, I mean, you went from first grade all the way through high school, right?

NK: [Nods]

FK: What did you guys do for fun? What did you guys do when you were growing up?

NK: Well, we participated in sports. I don't know.

Off camera: Did you do any fishing?

NK: Pardon?

Off camera: Did you do any fishing?

NK: Yeah, we went fishing for perch and rock cod.

FK: Where would you go?

NK: Out to some of these docks. Once in a while we'd get on a boat, but mostly it was off of docks.

FK: So were there very many Japanese families living around you then when you were in Winslow?

NK: Yeah, there was... Sakais were our neighbors, Mikamis, Okazakis and Oyamas. There were quite a few families in Winslow. Then of course there was all over the island.

FK: Uh-huh. How would you get together? I mean, transportation couldn't have been that easy in those days. How would you get together?

NK: Well, there was... the older folks, our parents, would get together at the Japanese Hall in Winslow. They had quite a gathering there every once in a while. They'd have big picnics once a year at least.

FK: Do you ever remember going to Foster's or Stanley Park on Fletcher's Bay?

NK: Not much. But I guess they used to go there for dances. I don't remember much about those.

FK: So what did you kids do when you got together when you were, like, in grade school, Winslow grade school?

NK: Oh, play ball. Yeah, go up and get a game together.

FK: How did your team do in high school?

NK: Pardon?

FK: How did your team do in high school when you were quarterback?

NK: How did our team do?

FK: Yeah, when you were quarterback.

NK: Oh. That's right, I was a quarterback. Oh, I think we did all right. We lost some games and won some, though.

FK: What schools would you play?

NK: Gosh, I don't know. We played every week, though. I forgot the name of the schools. Silverdale, we'd go down to Bremerton. I forgot the names of those schools we played. But it was a full season of play.

FK: So what do you think about the memorial?

NK: The memorial?

FK: Yeah, that we're trying to do.

NK: Pardon?

FK: About the memorial we're trying to do at Eagledale. What do you think about that?

NK: Well, I don't know what it's going to be, so I don't know what to think about it. I don't know what it is. What are you thinking about?

FK: Well, we're going to build a memorial wall there.

NK: A memorial hall?

FK: A wall.

NK: Wall?

FK: With everybody's name on it was on the island at that time when we left.

NK: Where at?

FK: In Eagledale.

NK: In Eagledale?

FK: Yeah, where the dock was.

NK: Well, I guess it'll be all right. I don't know much about it.

FK: Okay. Is there anything else you'd like to tell us or say?

NK: No. I commend you for doing all this work. Gee, it's a lot of work for you.

FK: Oh, we're glad we could talk to you.

NK: I appreciate it, but boy, it takes a lot of your time.

FK: Well, thank you very much.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright © 2007 Densho. All Rights Reserved.