Densho Digital Archive
Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community Collection
Title: Tomiko Hayashida Egashira Interview
Narrator: Tomiko Hayashida Egashira
Interviewer: Joyce Nishimura
Location: Bainbridge Island, Washington
Date: March 24, 2007
Densho ID: denshovh-etomiko-01

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

<Begin Segment 1>

JN: Can we start off by you introducing yourself and telling us a little bit about your family?

TE: Well, let's see. I'm Tomi Egashira, formally Hayashida, and we lived in Island Center. My father was Ichiro, my mother was Nobuko, and she was born on the island, too. She was a Nishinaka. I was the firstborn, Hisa was next, then Yasuko, and Hiro, and Susan. I think her given name is Toyoko. When she started school she wanted to be called Margaret, but that was too hard for her to spell so she chose Susan next.

JN: What did your, what did your family do in 1942 and what... were all of your siblings in school or... what was life like before?

TE: My father farmed with his brothers, two brothers, and strawberries, mostly. But sometimes they did rhubarb, did rhubarb in the winter. It was a hothouse, rhubarb operation, but just one building right near the house. Then, I think I was in second grade and my sister Hisa was in kindergarten, and the rest were adult.

JN: What was life like on Bainbridge before the war?

TE: Well, I really don't know. 'Cause we were just more or less stuck on the family farm. 'Cause the only cars we had were trucks and they all went to the field. My mother didn't drive. We didn't have a car at home so we just sort of played with each other.

JN: You played games and...

TE: Well, tried to play, not really games, I don't think. Just run around and ride our tricycle.

JN: Did you work on the farm at an early age?

TE: No. I wasn't allowed out in the field. I really didn't work on the farm at all. When I was older, after we came back, I usually stayed home and I did the laundry and cooked, had dinner ready for them when they came home. My other brothers... my sisters and my brother, they used -- and my cousins, when they came to help pick berries -- they, when they came home for dinner, they were usually very hungry. So I usually had dinner ready for them. Let me see. All I did was just go to school, I guess.

JN: What was school like?

TE: Oh, for me it was a little hard. I was a little slow in reading. So, but then I sort of caught up afterwards. Right at the beginning I was, it was rather difficult for me. I used to have to catch the bus at the bottom of the hill of Fletcher Bay and High School Road, what it was called now. But we used to call it Blodin's corner then. Oh, and then Yukawas used to live right across the street from us. They, oh, and Toshiko, their daughter, she used to walk me down the hill. But I was usually late so she was kind of anxious, yelling at me to hurry up. [Laughs] So we, so I was usually running down the hill. But then after, but then I used to, we had to walk back up the hill. Well, I used to take my time coming back up the hill, which was, in kindergarten used to come back by myself because it was only half days. Then I used to take my time, look over the creek, into the creek, leaning over... there used to be a log barrier along the road before it was sort of filled in, so the grade wasn't so steep. I used to watch, look for the fish, the trout that were coming up, or the salmon. Then I used to walk slowly up the hill. It was shady there, but as you go up, further up the hill it was hot. I used to kick the rocks as I was goin' up the hill. I don't know. Take my time anyway.

JN: Did you speak Japanese at home? And did that have any part in you having a hard time in school?

TE: No, I don't think we spoke Japanese. Well, my father spoke Japanese to me, but my mother never did. Because I used to go with my father to these other Japanese families' homes, I think to help get me out of the house so I wouldn't be underfoot with the rest of the kids. So I really knew more of the older Japanese than their children. 'Cause I think they were in school when my father used to go visit them anyway. But they all sort of knew me better than the rest of the kids.

JN: Do you remember the early childhood stories... did they have any relevance when you were going to school?

TE: No, they didn't tell, tell us any stories. My father just went to the field and he came back and after dinner he laid down and took a nap. And then sort of went and did other things around the house. Then they went to bed.

JN: Did you have a lot of classmates... where, where was school?

TE: Oh, I went to Pleasant Beach which is the Serenity House right now. That was, I went there from kindergarten and first and second grade. There were two classes in each room, except for the kindergarten. So one teacher taught first and second grade.

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

<Begin Segment 2>

JN: You kind of mentioned that your father worked really hard and came home and was tired. But, do you remember anything you did, that your family did that was fun that you did together with your relatives or...

TE: Not really. Well except, my cousin Lilly came over occasionally. I think her mother used to say that when they came, if they saw the porch light was on that means that -- oh, Uncle Frank used to work in town -- that meant that he was supposed to stop and pick them up to go home. So, but I don't really remember that. So occasionally, not very often, my cousins from Seattle, the Arimas, would come over. That was mostly during the spring or summer that they came, maybe once or twice a year that they came.

JN: Well your family now is known for having your big picnics and your big Easter gatherings. Did that happen when you were growing up as well?

TE: No, I don't think so. We didn't have... the only really big things I remember was a picnic, like the whole Japanese community at Foster, down on Fletchers Bay. But, I don't remember too much about it. I just remember there was just a lot of people and my mother was busy making food and stuff to bring on the picnic as most Japanese do. [Laughs]

Off Camera: Can she describe... it says here that the three Hayashida brothers all farmed together and all lived in the same house. Can you talk about what that was like, living with so many people. Did they own the farm?

JN: Tell us about your three uncles, the Hayashida brothers, that all farmed together and lived in the same area, lived in the same house. How did that work out and how was...

TE: Well, one was a bachelor and he had his own room. Then there was one larger bedroom upstairs, which was Uncle Sub and Auntie Miyan, who everybody knows as Fumi now. They lived there, well, that was before the war. They only had Neil then. Oh, and then Natalie came later. Well, my uncle, bachelor uncle, he usually farmed up in Burlington, so he wasn't home that much. Then, so my Uncle Sub and my father used to farm the other area in Manzanita. But they used to farm where I live right now. Used to be, this is where they first started. I think, one year, my mother said that she used to watch the Canadian pickers over on this field, by the house. And then my father and the rest worked the other field, I mean, they weeded and hoed and everything. But, for, to keep track of the pickers, then she was one that stayed here.

JN: Did you own the farm, up in Manzanita?

TE: Yes, yes. 'Cause Uncle Sub was old enough to be put under... he was over, he was over twenty-one. So he could... 'cause nobody could own a farm, a Japanese if you were under twenty-one or a Japanese native could not own property then.

JN: Do you remember any community or church events that happened in that time and how your family was involved in those things?

TE: All I remember was... seems to me there was a lot of funerals. I think there was a lot of influenza or some kind of sickness that was around that quite a few people passed away. I just remember going to see them and that I had to look at the body, which I didn't really care to do too much.

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

<Begin Segment 3>

JN: Think back to December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor day. What do you remember about that day? Where were you? How did you feel?

TE: Oh, we were home. I think we were looking at the comic section. I just remember being... and then I think the radio must have been on. 'Cause then my uncle heard it and he said... oh, what did he say? Really, this was the first time I noticed the swearing. They never, hardly ever swore. He said, "Goddamn!" But I didn't know what was really, what he was mad about. But that's about all I remember about that day.

JN: Did your family respond, you know, other than the initial shock, did they feel any, feel threatened or feel that something was going to happen to them? Do you remember?

TE: I don't remember anything about that.

JN: How did you feel at school? You were very young, but do you feel that people treated you differently after the...

TE: No, I don't recall anything like that.

JN: So when, when the roundups started, then you must have been pretty surprised because life kind of went on as usual, even after the attack. How did that feel when you...

TE: Well, let me see. I didn't know there was gonna be a roundup or anything. I came, let me see... oh, I know, I came home one day from school and there was no kids outside. Usually there's kids outside, you know, my brother or my cousins running around outside playing. But there was nobody around and... or if I get close, really close to the house, then somebody usually pops out of the door. But nobody popped, you know, came to the door. And when I opened the door there was a man there. And he said, "Well, who are you?" And I didn't know what to say. And... let me see. Oh, and my mother said, "Well, she's just coming home from school." As soon as I stepped into the house I could feel this tension in the air. And all the kids and my mother and my Aunt Fumi were all in the dining room, sitting. All the kids were just huddled around. And I don't remember anything else, really, after that.

JN: Did the FBI people take your father and your uncles? Or did they... what did they do?

TE: Well, let's see. Yeah, they came after my father. But I really don't know if it was that same day or a few days after. But I remember that day they came and got him. Oh yeah, my mother took me to see him one day at the immigration office. And I remember it was, seemed to me, it was kind of dreary day. I know I have to get fingerprinted. I didn't know, I mean, I didn't know what the reason that was for. Why they were putting ink on my fingers and making me make prints on the piece of paper. Then I know we had to hurry up and get home, I think, before it got dark. That was it. I really don't remember talking to him or anything like that.

JN: Did they take your uncles as well? Or just your father?

TE: No, they didn't go.

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

<Begin Segment 4>

JN: What happened, and what was your family's reaction when you heard of Executive Order 9066, asking, ordering that you have to leave Bainbridge Island?

TE: Just, they were busy. But I didn't really know what they were being busy for. Uncle Sub usually was out taking, I guess helping other people with things or explaining to them what they had to do. But my other uncle, Tsuneichi or Hohoy as we called him, he was around to sort of help pack things up, and I know some of, some of our things we stored with the Schmidts down the road, at the bottom of the hill. And the rest, I really don't know where it went. But they must have put it or left it in the house.

JN: So while your uncles and your mom was busy getting prepared, did you have chores or what did the kids do?

TE: Tried to stay out of the way, I guess. I don't know. I know I probably just went to school, did the usual routine.

JN: What are your memories of your family preparing to go to Manzanar? You talked about your uncles helping. Did other people help you or was it just kind of a lonely process?

TE: I really don't remember anybody else coming. It certainly wouldn't have been another Japanese 'cause they were busy with their own things. But I don't remember any other Caucasians coming, except maybe Mrs. Schmidt probably came and did... I know that she came and helped the day we left, you know, try to get us all dressed and probably say goodbye to my parents, my mother and Auntie Miyan. That, that is about all I can say about that.

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

<Begin Segment 5>

JN: What are your memories of March 30, 1942? Going to the Eagle Harbor dock and leaving your friends, walking down to the ferry...

TE: I don't... it's vaguely remember, mostly because I have a picture of the Kitamotos coming and we all, oh, how many of us? Ten of us all crammed into the back of Felix's car. And he drove us, I know he drove us down to the dock. There were more people than I ever knew that were on Bainbridge Island there. So, but we sort of all stayed together, not being as rambunctious as we usually are. Just, you know, close to our mothers.

JN: Do you remember the ferry ride or the train ride or the bus ride or any of those?

TE: The train, oh... that was the first time I was on the train. I think for any of my brother and sisters. I remember having milk in a conical container. But it was so unusual. I think I drank a little too much milk. I had a tummy ache. [Laughs] Oh I know, they won't... they asked me if I wanted to sleep in the car, sleeping car, or in the coach. And I think I chose the coach. Art Koura was supposed to sort of keep an eye on me but I don't think I saw too much of him. He wasn't too old anyway. I think he was still a teenager or so. And I remember the seats are very, the car, sleeping coach, was very old. It was mohair seats and it was not clean, well, it was very dusty. You pat the seat and the dust flies up. There was a little footrest and when we, it was time to go to sleep, I kept, I think, touching the footrest and it squeaked a lot. People were yelling at me to stop doing that. [Laughs] I tried to keep my foot still, but I don't think I quite succeeded. And my mother went, and the rest of the kids were in the sleeping car. I could sort of go back and forth to it, but I don't... and there were soldiers around in between the cars and they told us not to, told me not to go back and forth too much, so I didn't.

JN: So you were... you weren't really with your younger brothers and sisters in the car?

TE: No, I was sort of in the, in the coach. Oh, I know, when we were gonna leave, still by the dock, the train was, after we boarded, then the photographer came around to take pictures or something. And they told me to be in there, but I didn't want to be in the picture so I went between the cars and I sat down on the stairs and the soldier came by and told me to get back in the car. So I went back in and sort of hid between something, the seats and things.

JN: Do you remember them to be kind or kind of strict and...

TE: Oh, the soldiers? No, they were really kind of fun, well, the people who were with the sleeping car where all the kids and the elder, I mean, the infirm people were, had, could stay and have a sleeping car to sleep in. I remember them telling us fairytales, but it was not the kind of, the usual script that I heard before. It was a little different.

Off Camera: Can you ask about the mood on the train and how did she feel? Was it sort of exciting or was she fearful?

JN: Okay, describe the mood on the train. Was it exciting or were you fearful? How did you feel?

TE: I think it was a little exciting because it was the first train ride and the things were new. I mean, the experience was new, of course. But, I don't know, I think it was a little somber. People were not real talkative, as I remember. I thought it was like an adventure, myself. I just... what came along, came along.

JN: And your mom didn't restrain you from having fun or playing? Or even the kids were a little quieter, you thought, than usual? Were the parents, were your parents feeling fearful? Could you tell? You were very young.

TE: I think it was sort of like they were apprehensive of course. But, I, well, maybe there was underlying fear. But I really didn't take notice of it. People were more or less rather subdued, I think.

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

<Begin Segment 6>

JN: What was your first impression of Manzanar when you got there?

TE: My first impressions? I thought there was a whole bunch of rhubarb houses. 'Cause that was the type of building that our, we grew the rhubarb in. It was just tarpaper over, I don't know, boards. When I first saw that I said, "Oh, look at all the rhubarb houses." And then I saw people working on it. They were dark. I mean, they were darker than I'd seen people. Then we went in, but it was... the buildings were, I think, finished but the ground wasn't. I know there was ditches along the way, you had to watch where you were going so you wouldn't fall into it or step into 'em. They were, I think, still putting in sewer lines and stuff. I know there was a communal, well... I think there was women's and men's side. I know the women's there was just showerheads. That was the first time I saw a shower. But they were really cold. The water was cold to me. And there were no partitions. It was kind of... some people didn't like that.


JN: Can you share some of your personal stories and memories that you have of the camps, good or bad? Let's start maybe with Manzanar. Tell us about your close friends and who you hanged out with and who you, what kind of things you did.

TE: I don't think I made any really, outside of the Bainbridge Island people... well, besides my relative Lilly and her family, I really didn't know any other people. Oh, maybe John Nakata, that family. But the rest I didn't really know at all because, since we didn't have a car usually and they didn't have, I don't think, have a car. If they had a car they usually went to the field or the dad drove it to his workplace. So you don't really go to somebody's house. If you wanted to you had to wait 'til the father, somebody came home. So I got to know more kids from the island than if I had stayed home, I mean, stayed on Bainbridge Island. I know when we first went there was no school 'cause they weren't ready for us then. I think after a couple months school started. It was about another block over. Of course you walked 'cause there was no bus transportation or anything like that then.

JN: So who did you play with when you were at camp?

TE: Mostly Lilly and the Bainbridge Island girls. Sometimes there were... the boys we didn't play with them too much, not at that age. We played... there were really not too much at Manzanar. We just played, caught ants, caught, I think horned toads, and watch out for scorpions. That's about it, maybe some hopscotch and stuff, stuff you could sort of draw games on the ground. I think there were marbles... no, I think the sand was too, too soft that you could really play marbles. I know the sand, when they had sandstorms, it was really bad. It was very stingy and there were tumbleweeds which came rolling around. You had to watch out for them 'cause they were prickly too.

JN: So, could you tell when a storm was coming by and you'd have to run home or what did you do? Or it lasted the whole day or how did it work?

TE: Yeah. I think sometimes it lasted a whole day and you just did what you can, or you stayed inside and just run out to eat, go to the mess hall and run back.

JN: Do you think it was very different from if you were on Bainbridge, except for the fact that you had more friends there? How was it different?

TE: How was it different? Well, the weather was different, really. There were no really green trees around. Like, we used to go play in the woods, but you couldn't do that. I remember there were warehouses next to out block, which I think they made camouflage nets there or something. But we were not allowed to go over to that side of the road anyway.

JN: Did you miss school?

TE: Did I miss?...

JN: When you were there you didn't go to school for a while 'til they built the school. Is that right?

TE: Well, it wasn't really built, the school. It was just another barrack that they converted into school rooms. So I think they must have had three or three or four barracks that they designated as school rooms.

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

<Begin Segment 7>

JN: Do you remember when you left Manzanar and moved over to Minidoka? Do you remember that day? Does your family?

TE: I really don't remember. We must have taken the train again. I don't know how we got there really. But I'm sure it must have been a train. I know I, the first, the first dinner we had there I got sick, 'cause I don't know, it was some kind of bad fish or something. I had a tummy ache.

JN: Was it different, the lifestyle in Minidoka versus Manzanar?

TE: It was about the same, I think. Except there were, maybe we were, maybe 'cause we were older that we could roam around a little bit more, but not, still not go too far from, from our block. Our school was, must have been eight blocks or more that we had to walk to school. Then we came home for lunch, back to your own block to have lunch, and then you walked back again.

JN: Was the weather different, do you remember?

TE: It was hot, but it was not... but it was colder, too. I remember they had, some people made getas out of scrap wood that you wore when you went... it was rainy season, then you wore it so you wouldn't get all muddy, your shoe wouldn't get all muddy.

JN: Tell me, did, when did your father rejoin your family? Was it during the camp time or was it afterwards?

TE: It was while we were in Manzanar. But I really don't remember how long he was... while we were there, I mean, that he came back. I just remember that he was there one day.

JN: It was at Manzanar then?

TE: Yeah, it was at Manzanar.

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

<Begin Segment 8>

JN: Okay, after the war, what did your family do? Did they come straight back to Bainbridge Island? What was it like when they returned?

TE: We came straight back to Bainbridge Island. We came back on the train with most of the families. And it seemed about the same as I remembered. We went back to our same house. I think the lawn was not as well kept up as before. But, it was still... the house was the same as I remembered it.

JN: Who took care of your property? Did somebody live here? Or not you know... live in your home?

TE: Yeah... Johnny Cadawas was supposed to look after the farm and I think he lived in the house. But I'm not sure, but I'm pretty sure. I heard one of the Filipinos said, "Oh, we used to have parties here all the time." So, it might have been a party house.

JN: Were they neighbors?

TE: Who?

JN: This family that lived here.

TE: No, he was a single man. So I don't know if he had other friends that stayed with him or what. You know, they don't tell us kids details. Especially Japanese didn't tell details. You do what you're told.

JN: But when you came back, what you recall, the house was pretty much the same. And the yard was a little less...

TE: Neglected. Yeah.

JN: As far as your belongings, were they all okay?

TE: I think so. The furniture seemed like what we had before.

JN: How does, how were you treated by the non-white people on Bainbridge when you returned?

TE: I don't remember being any different, really. In fact, there were kids from the Navy families that were in our same grade and they didn't seem to be particularly annoying or anything.

JN: You didn't feel any hostilities?

TE: No.

JN: Tell us about the successes and failures your family... your father and his brothers had trying to resume farming on Bainbridge after the war.

TE: Let's see. I think they really started farming up in Burlington more than here. Then after they had a hard time up in Burlington -- they had a bad flood and they lost the whole crop -- then they started farming on Bainbridge, not as, I think, as large a scale as they used to farm, but they did some. And I think they did okay.

JN: Who was in Burlington that they did... did they have property there in Burlington?

TE: No, I think they, they just rented property up there.

JN: Because it was a bigger area?

TE: Yeah.

JN: So did they farm with the Sakuma brothers?

TE: No, they were on their own. But they did hire some college kids that were from the island to help them with some of the chores and things.

JN: Their farming on Bainbridge, who helped them? And did they have non-Japanese helpers from the Filipino families or the Native American families?

TE: Yeah, mostly the people who helped were... that was before the war were, we used to have, I don't know, have the bunkhouse for the Filipino men, 'cause they couldn't have women come over and marry them either. So, that was sort of off limits for me too, not to go bother them. But I, sometimes I used to go there and jump on their beds with my not too clean shoes. [Laughs] But they, I mean, I think they sort of treated me like a little sister. 'Cause I think they were probably in their twenties or in their teenage years too.

JN: Do you characterize yourself as being a little rebel or being, or just being more adventurous than your brothers and sister?

TE: No, no. Hisa was the one that was into everything. My uncle used to call her the mouse, the little mouse, 'cause she used to scurry here and there and everywhere.

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

<Begin Segment 9>

JN: Do you have anything more that you have to say about just life after the war and with the farming? You were older when you got back. Did you... you still kind of helped with the cooking at home and you didn't really work on the farm that much.

TE: Yeah, I didn't have to go out and hoe and weed or anything like that. Well, during the, when I was really small, they never used to let us go out in the field. It was occasionally I got to go when my, one of my uncles or my dad came to pick up the lunch for the rest of 'em to... I could ride the truck up to the cannery when they were bringing berries to the cannery. But then you had to stay in the truck, cab of the truck, and not get out of there. So I really didn't know how the berries were processed or anything. It was no fun just sticking in the truck.

JN: Today, how do you feel about what happened to you and your family during the war?

TE: To me, I just... for me it was not bad. 'Cause the family was around. I think it was very hard for my parents and my uncles and my aunts. They were... they knew what was happening and what they worked for all their lives was sort of in limbo. So, it was very hard for them.

JN: And they probably protected you and your kids from their feelings, 'cause you...

TE: Well, yeah, I'm sure they did. They didn't want to, I guess, pass on the anxiety so they really, well, my father's side of the family didn't talk much anyway so he didn't, we didn't know what was happening. So we just...

JN: How do you feel about the memorial that we're building?

TE: I think it's a very good thing. It lets people know what happened so that maybe we won't forget. That maybe it could happen to anybody.

JN: What would you like to say to visitors that come to the memorial?

TE: I guess to get a sense of how things were at that time. And that maybe we shouldn't forget everything or gloss it over too much.

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

<Begin Segment 10>

JN: Can you tell us a little bit -- this is a little bit on the side on farming -- if you can tell us a little bit about the history of your family and the family land and how it was farmed over the years. You say you had property in Manzanita and did they have a large farm there? And did they have that first and then they came here? Or how was your family's...

TE: Well, I really don't know too much. Before, I think the Hayashidas used to farm out in Bellevue somewhere. Then they moved to Bainbridge Island and I think they farmed a little bit over by where Rotary Field is. Then they, I think Uncle Sub got old enough that they could buy this property in Island Center. Then they bought some property over in Manzanita. So they farmed this Island Center first. Then they cleared land over there in Manzanita. I think they had it cleared by Ray Peterson's dad. I cannot think of his father's name. But he cleared it for them. He used... I think they, well, it was the first time they used a bulldozer on the island to clear land.

JN: So was your family's farm all of this area and going to where Hisa lives and everything from Brooklyn Road over to this?

TE: No. Just sort of towards the end of Strawberry Hill Park, the north end, or just south of that a little bit.

JN: Down to Fletcher Bay Road?

TE: Uh-huh.

JN: And then in Manzanita, it was by Bayhill Road?

TE: Uh-huh. Between Bayhill and Koura Road... and below Koura's.

JN: So it went over the hill toward the golf course area then?

TE: No, not quite. Just towards, before you hit Koura's house I guess.

JN: And they mostly farmed strawberries and rhubarb.

TE: No, just mostly strawberries. I think rhubarb was only about a year or two before we had to leave. But I remember carrying rhubarb to school, bunches of rhubarb to school for school lunch or for Mrs. Hinkle to bring home. I mean, I think she bought it. But then it was just...

JN: So you brought rhubarb to school for them to serve the kids?

TE: Yeah.

JN: Did they buy it from your family?

TE: I don't know. I was just the transportation.

JN: Yeah, we talked about that. Do you have anything to say about the "loyalty questionnaire"? Or what do you remember about your parents filling them out as far as that "yes-yes"...

TE: I don't remember a thing. I mean, they were probably talking about it and I didn't know what they were talkin' about so I didn't pay attention to it.

JN: Did you have to take care of your younger brothers and sisters? Do you remember like even before the war or during camp, being a babysitter for Hisa and Hiro?

TE: No, not really. I mean, you sort of keep an eye on them, but there were other people who were keeping an eye on them. It was like a village. Everybody can... 'cause you're from the island so you'd know who belongs to who and...

JN: Tell us, do you feel like you're, as a community, with the Japanese community on Bainbridge, you got closer in terms of watching out for each other, since the war? Because you mentioned that before the war you were pretty isolated because you didn't have transportation. Do you feel that after the war the Bainbridge families were a little bit more connected?

TE: Maybe they were before, but I didn't know, from my viewpoint. But, probably were. We sort of got to know them a little better because we sort of saw them every day. I know my mother... well, probably the older generation, they didn't have to work on the farm. So they could, especially the mothers, they probably do their cultural things like flower arrangements or, or crocheting or knitting and... my mother learned how to knit and crochet in camp. I mean she didn't really have to cook. Well, she had to do laundry of course and watch kids, but still she had a little more free time rather than work, help my dad work on the farm a little bit. She didn't really have to go out in the field either. 'Cause they always hired Filipinos or Native Americans to help.

JN: Do you remember what the men did at camp? They were so busy at home and then they were at camp. How did they use their time?

TE: I just remember them playing cards and playing go. Well, I guess talking, carving, doing carving with wood, scrap wood. I don't know, finding sagebrush or mesquite out in the desert and polishing it and making cane or maybe a table or other things that they... useful things. There were some decorative things that they made also.

JN: But it was like totally learning new skills or doing things that they never really had time for earlier that they could...

TE: Yeah, and they could socialize a little more I think.

JN: Do you have anything more you want to add to, anything more that you can think of that you might want to tell us?

TE: Well, one thing I could remember, I used to walk with Kay and Sam Nakao. I mean, they used to ask me to come with them. I think it's 'cause they were... like I was a chaperone. So... 'cause her father was pretty strict. But then I didn't know what was happening behind me 'cause I used to run up ahead before...

JN: This was at camp?

TE: Yeah. Well, then I used to get to go out to a different block. 'Cause I never, I was not allowed to leave a certain area. And they used to take walks over, a couple blocks over, so that's why I went with them.

JN: That's a great story.

TE: I don't think I was a very good chaperone myself. [Laughs]

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