Densho Digital Archive
Preserving California's Japantowns Collection
Title: Sat Kuwamoto Interview
Narrator: Sat Kuwamoto
Interviewers: Jill Shiraki (primary); Tom Ikeda (secondary)
Location: Fresno, California
Date: March 9, 2010
Densho ID: denshovh-ksat-01-0018

<Begin Segment 18>

TI: 'Cause it sounds like, so it was like a, so you guys had all this furniture, and these, how many, about how many men were there working?

SK: Oh, I can't remember, maybe about forty of 'em.

TI: And only two of you were doing the work? [Laughs] So it sounds like there were lots of men but not much work to do.

SK: Yeah. We used to, we used the rest of the furniture... we had a clubhouse over there.

TI: So you kind of arranged, you just used the furniture for yourself, you guys had tables and chairs.

SK: Yeah, played poker all day, from eight to five. [Laughs]

TI: And so you didn't have to work very hard, but then you learned how to gamble, I guess.

SK: Oh, yeah. It's hard to be in an environment like that. I used to watch, I must have watched for two or three weeks. You can't... you can't...


TI: Okay, so we're back on camera.

SK: Okay.

TI: And so you just told us about your job. So besides your job, what other things did you do outside your job at Gila River?

SK: Gambling. [Laughs]

TI: So you gambled, and then what about just being around your parents? I mean, you're nineteen years old, and up to then, you probably did things around going home for meals and things like this?

SK: No. I don't know where we ate, but we didn't go back to the home, home kitchen. But what we did, I don't even remember we had a kitchen close by. I know we didn't go back home to eat. We...

TI: So you would eat maybe more around where you worked?

SK: Yeah, we gambled eight to five.

JS: So you never left the warehouse, clubhouse.

SK: We must have been eating someplace close by, I can't remember. Somehow I just can't remember where we had lunch. But in the morning and we had breakfast, we'd go get to work, and then you'd go home for supper. For lunch, I don't know. I can't remember.

TI: Well, in the evenings, what would you do? So after you finished work and you then ate dinner...

SK: Well, you visited your friends. And all we did... [laughs] all we did was play more poker.

TI: Wow. So you played a lot of cards when you were in Gila River.

SK: Boy, if my folks knew what I was doing, I'd never hear the rest of it.

TI: Now, how about your younger brother and younger sister? What were they doing in Gila River?

SK: Oh, my sister was still going to high school yet. So she was, had to go to school like everyone else. My brother landed a job as a... not an office manager, but... well, he took care of the block manager, I guess, assistant block manager, I guess. He didn't do anything.

TI: So there were lots of jobs, but then these jobs weren't very hard, many of them.

SK: Oh, there's not many.

<End Segment 18> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.