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-01-0019

<Begin Segment 19>

HU: Fred had two brothers, Harry and Tom, the brothers, younger brothers. Tom is the supply department. Harry is Block 24, Block -- I mean, chief of the mess hall there. That's why they, we already know they had a problem. Tayama knows he had so many enemies, because everybody knows he informed a lot of people from Japanese community. So already a rumor in the camp that Tayama had, somebody might attack him, so he needed protection. So his second brother, Harry, the mess hall chief, he feed a lot of people from behind the back door of the mess hall, younger people. They feed him the good part of the steak or something good, because he's, youngest brother is in supply department, he can get him anything he wants. So he had a bunch of young people come in. Then for instance, like Thanksgiving day in November, the people in the block, they all get these scraps because the turkey is limited in proportion to the kitchen, they'll deliver so much. So they feed the younger people first in the back door, and block people doesn't get any good part of the turkey. So they asked Winchester, the mess steward, to fire him. We want another chief of mess hall. But Winchester and Tayama's families very close together, and so do administration. So they asked him twice, and nothing doing. So they, finally they come to me: "You're the mess hall organizer. Will you represent us and go up there and talk to him?" But I talked to his brother but he almost throw me out of the mess hall. [Laughs] So, no use. But eventually the Manzanar incident, they all went to the desert army camp there. So...

EO: Do you think that as well as being considered an informer, do you think that Tayama was also making a little money on the side?

HU: I don't know. He's get lots of favoritism from administration. Then some of the FBI records said he got free to travel outside, you see. For instance, if he goes to the Salt Lake City to see Mike Masaoka, they give permission. If I go, they won't give me permission. For instance, like a furlough, they give to the Nisei but the Kibei, none. And before, they, they won't let any Kibei go out. They already separate the same citizens but Kibei and Nisei is separate.

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