Densho Digital Archive
Friends of Manzanar Collection
Title: Chikaye Sande Azeka Hashimoto Interview
Narrator: Chikaye Sande Azeka Hashimoto
Interviewer: Martha Nakagawa
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: January 10, 2012
Densho ID: denshovh-hchikaye-01-0005

<Begin Segment 5>

MN: What memories do you have of the mess hall?

SH: I don't remember. (...) What do you mean? What'd it look like?

MN: What'd it look like, what the food was, what the trays were like.

SH: (...) I remember we'd get into lines and they'd give us a, like a tin plate, (...) sectioned off and there was a place for your (...) stew (and) your rice (...) down the line and there'd be somebody there serving (other food), maybe, they changed the plates, but at the beginning I think they were, like, tin plates. And I remember my mom used to work at the mess hall, so I used to go over there sometimes and she'd be peeling the potatoes (...). But I don't remember any, too much (because as) soon as we ate, we were (...) ready to play again 'til it gets dark (...).

MN: Who did you eat with in the mess hall?

SH: I don't know, maybe just the three of us. [Laughs] I don't remember if in the mess hall it was designated every family sits in one place, (...) I don't remember what kind of food we were fed. 'Cause some people said, "I remember they had a lot..." what is it, cream (chipped beef). I remember they had rice and they had stews, (...) people remember on what days they served what (...).

MN: Now, you had to live in a communal showers and latrines. Was that a difficult adjustment?

SH: (...) I just remember that all the showers, kind of circular type of thing. (...) It didn't bother me because I was too young. And then the laundry rooms (was) cement floor and all the tubs would be all lined up, I do remember (...) one time I was carrying somebody on by back and I was giving them a piggyback ride, and I fell in the laundry room, and when I fell I broke my arm. And then when I looked, (...) I'd never saw anything like that, but since I broke my arm I saw the bone (...) sticking up through my skin (...) a lady was in there -- I don't know who she was, washing something on a washboard -- and she thought I was just crying (...), but then she turned around and (...) was helping me up, and then that's when I saw my arm (...). She said, "Oh, you are hurt." So they had to take me to the hospital (...). I had my arm in a cast for a while. (...)

MN: You also mentioned that your block was next to the largest firebreak.

SH: (...) I guess it was a firebreak, but that's where they had the outdoor theater, so everybody from all the blocks (came). So it would be between (Blocks) 20 and 21, (to) see all the movies.

MN: So what was the advantage of living next to the theater? Did everybody, did you get better seating?

SH: Well, you're there early enough, so you would. They had, in the front area (...) dirt, and then from I don't know how far they would start the benches, but we never sat on the benches. We always sat in the dirt area. We would dig holes to (...) contour type of ditch (...). Sometimes when we had a dust storm it would cover it up. But that's what we would do, we'd go there early and kind of dig it up so that we could sit there leisurely (...). It was more fun for us to sit in the dirt.

MN: Do you remember any of the movies that were shown?

SH: You know the only movie, I don't know why I remember that because to me, it's not a cartoon or anything, but I remember that they showed that movie, (...) Ox-Bow Incident (starring) Henry Fonda (...) and that's about the only movie I remember.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright &copy; 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.