Densho Digital Archive
Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community Collection
Title: Yukiko Katayama Omoto Interview
Narrator: Yukiko Katayama Omoto
Interviewer: Joyce Nishimura
Location: Bainbridge Island, Washington
Date: June 15, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-oyukiko-01-0003

<Begin Segment 3>

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

YO: We were home. No, that's when, that's before we left. I don't remember too much on that one.

JN: The day that you, in the news, the radios were saying that Pearl Harbor was attacked, you don't remember anything much? How old were you? Okay. Do you remember how your family reacted, or was your family, your parents, nervous?

YO: No. Not to me they weren't. There was somebody visiting, I think, that they, and they didn't seem to be worried or anything.

JN: And life was pretty much the same? You didn't feel that school was different or that people treated you differently?

YO: No, they were all the same. There's no difference on the island.

JN: Do you remember anything about the FBI roundups? Did anybody come to your house?

YO: Yes, they, that's when they'd start pickin' us up. They came around and they took my dad, but they brought him home the next day, so, well, he was the only one, I mean, in our family, that was taken.

JN: Where were you when that happened?

YO: I was home. We were packing rhubarb. That's, that was in the winter because there are plenty of rhubarb. No, but they asked him what he had in his barn and he told 'em he had some dynamite, and that's why they took him in. But then they brought him home the next day.

JN: Do you remember how your family reacted to all this going on?

YO: They didn't seem, to me, I guess maybe I didn't notice much, but to me, they didn't say anything to us or...

JN: Do you remember what your reaction was to, or your family's reaction to the order saying that you had to leave the island? Do you remember that day when people were saying that you will have to leave to go to concentration camps?

YO: No, we just gathered up what we were supposed to and then, my parents didn't say anything. I mean, they didn't say anything.

JN: They're probably just trying to protect you.

YO: I don't, I don't know. I mean, we were old enough to know what we were doing.

JN: What were you doing at that time? Were you, were you still in school, or you were out of school?

YO: No, I was going to, started a new sewing school. See, I was going to a Japanese sewing school. I was gonna go to the American sewing school where they had tailoring and all that, but I didn't get a chance to do that. So I was going to sewing school before that, but it was taught by a Japanese lady.

JN: Was that on the island?

YO: No, in Seattle.

JN: So did you live in Seattle?

YO: No, I commuted.

Off camera: Ask, ask her how she felt when she couldn't go to sewing school.

JN: How did you feel when you couldn't go to the sewing school, when you were working up to the American sewing school? How did you feel?

YO: I, if you knew we couldn't go, well, I didn't feel that, that... I don't know. I didn't have no feeling, bad feeling about it or anything.

JN: Did you, were you able to go back to it later on?

YO: No. That was when we, just before evacuation, so no. So I went to tailoring school in camp.

JN: You must be a good seamstress.

YO: No, I'm not. [Laughs]

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 2008 Densho. All Rights Reserved.