Densho Digital Archive
Preserving California's Japantowns Collection
Title: David Matsuoka Interview
Narrator: David Matsuoka
Interviewers: Jill Shiraki (primary); Tom Ikeda (secondary)
Location: Sacramento, California
Date: December 10, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-mdavid-01-0019

<Begin Segment 19>

JS: What else do you remember about camp? About school or...

DM: Like I say, my English was bad, so I used to skip class. No, I didn't skip classes, but school works, I didn't... not into...

JS: Not too interested.

DM: I was not athletic, either, so I wasn't in any sports.

JS: Did you mostly hang out with the friends from Walnut Grove?

DM: Yeah, mostly from, in the same blocks. Most of the block people is from, you know, same village. Hometown people. That's why they knew where we were from.

JS: So was there a division between people from other towns? Was there any kind of cliques or groups? Did they treat you different because you were Walnut Grove?

DM: No, we get along pretty good. I didn't have any problem, I never... although they did have, camp, they always had a gang, you know. But I didn't have any problem.

JS: Okay. I've heard stories before where they talk about, like, the city kids and the farm...

DM: Yeah. They used to have L.A. gang, they're always, they're bad because they're always sticking with a group and they go attack somebody. 'Cause we have a mess hall, whenever they have problems, they ring that mess hall bell. And if it starts during the lunchtime or dinnertime, they'd be in trouble if that bell, thing. Somebody banging on that, and sure enough, somebody's causing trouble.

TI: And what would be an example, when they rang the bell for trouble, what would be an example of trouble?

DM: Everybody would come out to see where the trouble was.

TI: And would the trouble be like a fight, or what would be an example of what...

DM: Yeah, either somebody's doing something, and I know the guy that used to take care of the water heater, they call it, for the shower, and there was an old man, that was a mean old man. They used to throw tomato at him. [Laughs] And he'd probably ring the bell, maybe, I don't know. [Laughs]

JS: [Laughs] "Help."

TI: So people were throwing, maybe, tomatoes or something, and he rang the bell to get help?

DM: No, he was really mean, the guy.

<End Segment 19> - Copyright (c) 2009 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.