Densho Digital Archive
Emiko and Chizuko Omori Collection
Title: Jimmie Omura Interview
Narrator: Jimmie Omura
Interviewer: Chizu Omori (primary); Emiko Omori (secondary)
Location: San Francisco, California
Date: March 21, 1994
Densho ID: denshovh-ojimmie-01-0019

<Begin Segment 19>

CO: Let's get to the evacuation now. Okay, so tell us when you heard the evacuation order coming down.

JO: Well, when the evacuation order came down, as you all know, the presidential proclamation did not stipulate evacuation. But proclamation number one of General DeWitt did. And however, when the president -- E.O. 9066 came down, more or less, our future was sealed.

CO: And what did you do then?

JO: On the last day of the movement out of the area, I piled up everything, all my personal belongings, and drove out of the area. I was still in Military Area number two, but I was on the move and was not bothered. And I drove to Denver, where we had already established an office.

CO: Who is "we"?

JO: My business manager went ahead and procured a house, or an office, and refurbished it as best she could.


CO: Okay, tell us, when you went to Denver and that you... to resume publication of this...

JO: We attempted to resume publication of Current Life, but it wasn't long before we learned that the Argonaut Press in San Francisco had seized our materials. As a result, why, the publication was dead.

CO: What did you do then?

JO: In place of the publication, a lot of refugees came to the office because we were an office. And I listened to their stories about how difficult it was to obtain work, any kind of work. And I decided to, and I decided to start a placement bureau for them. And we had a contact with the governor's office, which also provided us with prospects. We had a motorcycle cop who also brought prospects of work. But because there were more offers than people to fill it, I went down to Amache and signed up people for jobs. Most of these jobs were domestic work and the owners specified what type of a person they desired. As a result, we had to go down and interview the evacuees. We charged no fee for this because we thought that the eviction of Japanese from the West Coast was a racial crisis and that we all should pull the oars together. I guess I was an idealist in those times.

<End Segment 19> - Copyright © 1994, 2003 Densho and Emiko Omori. All Rights Reserved.