Densho Digital Archive
Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community Collection
Title: Michiko Amatatsu Noritake Interview
Narrator: Michiko Amatatsu Noritake
Interviewer: Joyce Nishimura
Location: Bainbridge Island, Washington
Date: February 26, 2006
Densho ID: denshovh-nmichiko-01-0009

<Begin Segment 9>

MN: And then, in Minidoka camp, got to the point where we could, little by little, everybody was leaving. Lot of 'em went to Chicago and lot of 'em went to cannery to work in Utah, Ogden, Utah. And so I had a chance of working out on the farm with, oh, there was how many of us that went? Six of us or something, couple boys and rest of us girls. My, but that was hard work. We had to, we went, got to go to a Pocatello farm to pick potatoes and sugar beets. [Laughs] We never worked so hard -- we had to pick the potatoes in the hot sun and put these potato in 50-pound sacks or something. Oh, we had to drag them, fill them up, and we worked anyway. And then towards the end, we had, topping beets, sugar beets. And that was a lot of work. We had to top it, and then we had to load it onto the truck, and we never had, you know, on the strawberry farm, we never worked that hard. And sugar beets we had to top it, throw it onto the truck that came to pick it up. Oh, I don't know how we did it, but we had to. We went to earn money so that we could get out of camp and get some clothes to go home in, and the fall was coming. And so I remember by working those two jobs, picking spuds and working in a sugar, topping beets, we were able to make enough money to make clothes to get out of camp, so that we could either go to Colorado or somewhere to find jobs. And so I had a sister living in Denver, so I was able to -- oh, she had a baby, the first child, grand-, my parents' son, so I got to get clothes in Pocatello, get, you know, all ready to go to them for... [laughs]. And so, you know, and so we were dressed nicely, so I got to go my sister's to help out. I went to Denver several times. One time I had to work in a carpet factory, they were mending those Oriental rugs, you, one by one tie, and that was another nasty job.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.