Densho Digital Archive
National Japanese American Historical Society Collection
Title: Takashi Matsui Interview
Narrator: Takashi Matsui
Interviewer: Marvin Uratsu
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: December 12, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-mtakashi-02-0015

<Begin Segment 15>

MU: And when you arrived at the gate at Minidoka, what was it like?

TM: It was a strange feeling. I had no trouble getting in there.

MU: Was there American soldier at the gate?

TM: Yes. There was guards there on the ground, and up in the watchtower. Of course, they didn't give me any trouble. But some of the people that I knew were there, and I felt that some of the people who were in there saw me and they looked as though they didn't want me to see them. They were a little bit ashamed, or so I thought. Others didn't feel that way, the way they looked. Some of 'em were kind of ashamed, being in there.

MU: Did some hold resentment against you for being in the American army uniform?

TM: I don't recall. In fact, I was welcomed by my friends. I went to different compounds, to see how the inside looked like. Went to the hospital, into the mess hall, and whatnot. And I was able to bring my camera with me.

MU: Oh, you were?

TM: And lots of people wanted me to take picture. They weren't allowed to have cameras.

MU: Yeah. And did you get a picture of the inside of the...

TM: Yes.

MU: quarters and things like that? You have those in your album?

TM: I still have them. Yes, I have them in my album.

MU: Can you describe a little bit...

TM: It was a small place. I noticed my uncle had -- I guess like anybody else -- had one room, and couple of beds were there. I believe there was some kind of stove, it was December. And aunt said there was lots of dust come in from outside, through the window. And cold, 'course they had stove, but nevertheless it was cold. And not much in a little room. No, hardly any furniture. They weren't allowed to carry too many things anyway. So they were there...

MU: How many in the family in that small room, you're talking about?

TM: Well, their daughter was already out, going to school, and son was... son was attending Brigham Young University, so only the old folks were there.

MU: Oh, the uncle and his wife?

TM: Yeah. So as far as that goes, I guess the room was all right, but he said there are families with children. And you can hear the babies cry and all that. Well, he was, of course, he was from Japan. And he was resigned to cope with the situation. There wasn't anything he could do.

<End Segment 15> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.