Densho Digital Archive
Emiko and Chizuko Omori Collection
Title: Harry Ueno Interview
Narrator: Harry Ueno
Interviewer: Emiko Omori
Location: San Mateo, California
Date: February 18, 1994
Densho ID: denshovh-uharry-01-0015

<Begin Segment 15>

EO: I want to -- let's start again about the rice. Can you just kind of tell us again -- didn't, the rice didn't cook well, so you had lots leftover.

HU: Yeah.

EO: And then the whole sugar story.

HU: Yeah. I make the rice crispy and feed, that's, from the beginning I noticed the shortage of sugar. Administration doesn't say anything. And I told my storekeeper, "Keep the record how much sugar the, the supply department give to you. You could always scale those thing. Meat, I know they're always getting less and less. But no way to scale the meat because we only had a small scale. Meat come in in quarter. And they used to have filet mignon of steak to the, the quarter. And we checked that filet mignon for the minor children. They could eat, tender. But none of it came after a couple times. So we know the administration eating all those things that people... Caucasian mess hall, block one, they having everything. I visit there several times. I notice that they got a sugar bowl and every table, a couple sugar bowls, every one filled up. And sugar is, black market is so good. And I hear from policemen, every time that any cars going out, in, they open the trunk and inspect it. I hear from several policemen, some of these acting director, Kimball, he had two-three hundred pounds of sugar in a, stored up in the trunk there. But he's a powerful man and nobody opened their mouths and say anything. But I hear that from several policemen. I believe that he would do that.

EO: Were these policemen Japanese?

HU: Yeah.

EO: So you did have, Japanese were policemen inside the camp.

HU: Oh yeah, the chief of police was Kiyoshi Higashi. And under that, I don't know how many, but they had a Caucasian, only chief of police, and assistant chief of police is Caucasian. Gilby, and assistant chief of police is a William.

EO: And was there an army presence there?

HU: No. Only thing army is in tower. That's all. So we don't see 'em unless we approach near the tower. I never go outside the Manzanar, so I don't see them. But some people, depend on their work, they see them.

EO: So the Japanese policemen, or Japanese American evacuee policemen, who have this job of inspecting cars?

HU: Yeah, right, they do that. But they're afraid to open their mouths against any administration officer. Because I know after the Manzanar incidents, Myer sent a telegram -- I got the FBI record there -- he said, "All personnel eating in the Caucasian mess hall, give up their ration card." In other words, they've been eating all our sugar, all our ration food without surrendering their ration cards. So he sent a telegram twice. In December 10 or 15 and then January 1st again. Because they had people come from outside to work, people live inside, schoolteacher and all those people, they're all eating in Mess Hall 1, that's the Caucasian mess hall. Of course, cook was Japanese. And every time I go, they offer me a piece of cake, but I never, I don't like to eat there because I'm fighting with the administration for ration food, see.

<End Segment 15> - Copyright © 1994, 2003 Densho and Emiko Omori. All Rights Reserved.