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-01-0028

<Begin Segment 28>

HU: Then April 4th, the Tule Lake group came over and then other people went out for the little sightseeing in same kind of place, the petrified wood or something outside, you know, but they won't let us go. And that's why... and the same time they had the new chief of police came in from, he was the assistant chief of police of the Gila camp, Poston, around there. His name is Francis Frederick. And he, Best was in business, went back to Washington, or I don't know, to meet Myer, I guess. Then he said, "Nobody can visit the other barrack without permission. First you want to visit the other barrack, come to office and get permission. If the permission granted, you speak only in English. And take one guide" -- I mean -- "guard with you." I said, "Those, a lot of those people, they won't understand English," I told him. A lot of Kibei, they don't understand English. "How the hell are you going to communicate with them?" "Write down on the paper and bring it in," I told him. "What are you asking for?" They said, "No. I won't write that." Then I want to, then he said, "If you don't agree with my new rule, pack your things and come to office tomorrow morning." I said, "Okay." Then about thirteen of us and younger men and myself from Manzanar, and fifteen of the Tule Lake group, they said, "In that case, we go with you." So out of forty-five or so people, twenty-eight people all pack up their duffel bag or suitcase and line up in the office in the morning. Then the Frederick, chief of police, internal security, see that and say, "Oh, go back to your room. I'll let you know." Then evening, he picked seven people and load up in the army truck and took to Moab jail there. [Laughs]

EO: Were you one of those people?

HU: Yeah, I was one of 'em. Yeah. And the Moab jail, the sheriff was pretty nice, we get along fine. We all put in one room there. Then we been there for, let's see... February 5 to February 27 or so. About, almost three weeks. And then the 27th, sheriff said, "Everybody pack your things and come out from jail." It was early in the morning, you know, about eight o'clock. So we packed our things and we went outside. I see the, one pick-up with the new build the box on the, behind the pick-up -- I mean, truck, flat-bed truck. And that was 5 x 6, around that size, the box. About oh, four feet high. And a padlock on the back. They open and he picked the five people to go in there. And only small breathing hole in back, and put the padlock on it. Then a list of people I seen riding a bus there. And we're riding a long, a long ways, takes more than ten hours to reach the Leupp.

EO: Did they stop? Did you get lunch?

HU: Yeah, they stopped for the gas. But you see around Utah, all those places, there a lot of potholes here and there and the road is not all paved. Dusty and the dust come in there and the truck is shaking like that. We get groggy and sick. Two people is pale color and they can hardly eat anything. We can't eat anything. Our stomach's upset because the long drive, and shaking all the time. So they finally, that evening about, oh 5:30, we reached the Leupp. And they said, "Get out here." And we come out from the box there, and I notice that other people was in the mess hall there. And they tried to feed us but the people was inside the box, we can't eat anything, our stomachs upset. I just picked one orange and then that's all I ate. So the other people, they can't eat anything. Then half an hour later, they said, "Come back to the box again." And this time, four people, that's me and three other young men, they took 'em to the Winslow, about 27 miles away. Winslow is a little higher ground, about 4,000 feet, you know, climate's a little cooler than Leupp is. Leupp is in the desert-like.

EO: This is Arizona?

HU: Yeah, Arizona. Yeah. Winslow, they have a jail there and two bunkers, that's all. In other words, for two people, supposed to be. And I could see next jail, other side of the bar, is two Caucasian soldiers, you know, ex-soldiers in there. They probably what you call, runaway soldier or stay away, or AWOL or something like that. And I asked the sheriff there, "Could you give us an extra blanket?" He wouldn't even answer me, because it's cold in nighttime out there. Winslow. But he don't answer, so no use. Then in the morning, sheriff took those two men for the restaurant a few doors away and then they bring the food back. When they bring the food back, the breakfast, they had pancakes, they put the, covered with ketchup. You can't see what's under there. And then one man said, "What we going to do?" "Take them over to the sink and wash it off and eat whatever you can." Otherwise you're not going to starve, and he wanted to quit eating. And said, "No, don't do that; you have to survive." So they'd been repeatedly doing the same thing. If they had eggs in there, they put the, covered with the salt or something else, you know, the pepper or something. So we washed and eat. And they were doing that for four days. And finally the chief of internal security, he came over, came over and -- you know, it costs money to keep us in the outside jail. So they took 'em back to the Leupp Indian school there and they have a jail in down cellar. I imagine they used to put the Indian kids into the jail, you know. So I was in with the other people in that jail for ten days, and finally I been released from there. [Laughs]


EO: I had these, all these questions about why you were moved to this and that place, but you never know why you were moved. They just said...

HU: Yeah, they won't ask me or they won't tell us. They just move here and there in the jail, everything. They never give me a reason and they admit, you know, that I didn't attack Tayama. They got no evidence, nothing.

<End Segment 28> - Copyright © 1994, 2003 Densho and Emiko Omori. All Rights Reserved.