Densho Digital Archive
National Japanese American Historical Society Collection
Title: George S. Matsui Interview
Narrator: George S. Matsui
Interviewer: Marvin Uratsu
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: December 11, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-mgeorge-01-0006

<Begin Segment 6>

MU: So what happened after...

GM: Well, I went to Tule Lake after...

MU: No, you went to Santa Anita?

GM: Santa Anita Assembly Center first.

MU: Now, how was that?

GM: Worked in personnel department.

MU: Yeah, how was that, George? Santa Anita? Your accommodations, for example?

GM: Oh, accommodations was terrible.

MU: Why?

GM: Well, we had (hay) mattress with horse (stalls). And then dust, and you could hear next door neighbor -- just thin wall.

MU: You weren't married at that time, were you married at that time?

GM: No. I was still single. My brother was.

MU: And it was a horse stall, you say?

GM: Yeah.

MU: How do you know?

GM: 'Cause I'd been there before -- betting on horses -- (at) Santa Anita (race track). (...)

MU: How was, some people said the...

GM: It smelled, too. If you know what I mean.

MU: Well, that's what I hear.

GM: [Laughs]

MU: And so...

GM: So what can you do? You're a prisoner, with guards on the towers.

MU: Was your family with you?

GM: Well, just my brother and his wife and me. (...) Others were in Japan. They're probably worrying about us during that time.

MU: Who were the others? Your parents and...?

GM: My parents and my (brothers) and a sister -- my brothers and sister. So you could understand why I was, had mixed emotions. (...) My brothers back there, folks back there and my brother's here and my sister's here. And I'm an American in the American army. [Laughs]

MU: And at the same time, was this about the same time you were in a American-style concentration camp, huh?

GM: Yeah.

MU: It must have been a rough time?

GM: So, it was miserable, but I tolerated it. What else can you do?

MU: What was your thinking at that time? "How I'm gonna survive?" How did you...?

GM: Well, I, how is your mind gonna work when you're in a situation like that? I like to ask somebody else that question. Each of us might be different. I don't know.

MU: Yeah, everybody reacts differently, yeah, yeah.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.