Densho Digital Archive
Emiko and Chizuko Omori Collection
Title: Hiroshi Kashiwagi Interview
Narrator: Hiroshi Kashiwagi
Interviewers: Chizu Omori (primary), Emiko Omori (secondary)
Location: San Francisco, California
Date: October 1, 1992
Densho ID: denshovh-khiroshi-01-0009

<Begin Segment 9>

EO: You wrote something about liking to work in the hospital?

HK: Oh, yeah.

EO: Tell me about -- well, first of all, that you had a job. I mean, what is that about?

HK: Well, yeah, we all had jobs. My first job was to, to put plaster boards in the apartments, because they were not finished. And so we went around acting like carpenters, you know, with aprons and we put up plaster boards. [Laughs] It was all a bunch of amateurs. We'd cut a hole and it wouldn't be right and we had to patch it and all that, but that was my first job. And then after that, I guess I went to work at the hospital as an orderly. And this was because my father was in the hospital and somehow I felt that I wanted to, to help others who were in the hospital and so I used to go into the TB ward because I felt that I was already exposed, and so I'd give back rubs, and bedpans. Did those things. But somehow I didn't like it. You know, every Nisei who wanted to go to school wanted to become a doctor. That was the biggest thing, and, you know, I was no exception. I wanted to be a doctor, too. [Laughs] But after working in the hospital, I didn't want any of it. Catheters and stuff like that. [Laughs] So, then after that, I worked in the mess hall, which was really just washing dishes, a mindless job. And after that, I think towards the end, I was a block manager's assistant, and then I became a block manager.

EO: Well, and the thing about working in the hospital, you talked about using the, using the latrine, but you had private toilets.

HK: Oh, that was during the assembly center, yeah, when we had these outhouses, and they, actually, they filled up. It was really bad. And then there was just one partition. Women were on the other side of the partition and we were on this side, you see. And it was really bad. So we'd go out to the hospital, where there was, there were flush toilets in the hospitals for the patients, but we'd go there, and if we worked, then, worked there, then we could use the toilets. So we all joined the hospital corps just for that. [Laughs] But that was a very short time. That's very... yeah, bad memories of that.

EO: How much pay were you getting?

HK: Hmm... how much was it? Doctors got $19, and we got... was it $16? $16, yes, plus a clothing allowance of three or four dollars.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright © 1992, 2003 Densho and Emiko Omori. All Rights Reserved.