Densho Digital Archive
Emiko and Chizuko Omori Collection
Title: Frank Emi Interview
Narrator: Frank Emi
Interviewers: Emiko Omori (primary), Chizu Omori (secondary)
Location: San Francisco, California
Date: March 20, 1994
Densho ID: denshovh-efrank-01-0004

<Begin Segment 4>

EO: Did you participate in, like, the political life at the camp at that time? I mean, did you try to organize?

FE: No, actually, being an activist was the furthest thing from my mind at that time. I didn't participate in anything resembling politics, out of camp or in camp. I was apolitical, I think. And, in fact, the first, first summer we were there, a little after we got there, they had people -- before I was put on the stop list -- I went out on the sugar beet farm with several other people, and we went to Montana and did sugar beets.

EO: Did you have another job in camp?

FE: Yes, I've had two or three jobs in, while I was there. One of the jobs was driving a truck, I was a truck driver. Another one was, I worked for a while on the road crew, where we fixed potholes in the road. And I think my last job was working in the tofu factory. Well, actually it was a two-man operation -- myself and the man that knew how to make tofu. Where we would boil the soybean, and they had a big rock crusher, you know, a wheel that goes around this way and smash the beans, and then we strained it through a cloth bag, big bag, and made it into a gel-like and added some, I think it was calcium chloride, to make it firm. And we used to get up there about four in the morning, and the high point of that was we used to eat all the eggs we wanted, we didn't even think about cholesterol then, you know. We must have ate a half-dozen eggs every morning. [Laughs]


EO: From your memory, you know, like what was the general feelings in the camp, as far as you could tell?

FE: Well, I guess about the only thing I can remember is that the food was pretty bad, so they, I think, investigated the food supply and found that some of the employees were -- the civilian employees -- were carting away the food that belonged to the internees. And I think that brought on a kind of a short-lived strike there at the warehouse. I'm really not too familiar with all these things that transpired in camp, because either I was out in the sugar beets in the beginning, or later I was active in the Fair Play Committee, and didn't get into much of the camp activities.

<End Segment 4> - Copyright © 1994, 2003 Densho and Emiko Omori. All Rights Reserved.