Densho Digital Archive
Preserving California's Japantowns Collection
Title: Rose Nakagawa Interview
Narrator: Rose Nakagawa
Interviewers: Jill Shiraki (primary); Kerry Nakagawa (secondary)
Location: Fresno, California
Date: March 9, 2010
Densho ID: denshovh-nrose-01

[Correct spelling of certain names, words and terms used in this interview have not been verified.]

<Begin Segment 1>

JS: Okay. So today is Tuesday, March 9th, and we're in Fresno interviewing Rose Nakagawa. And I'm Jill Shiraki, and assisting me is Kerry Nakagawa. And on camera is Dana Hoshide. So can you tell me your name and when you were born?

RN: Rose Yoshiko Nakagawa. I was born in Auburn, Washington.

JS: And can you tell me the names of your parents?

RN: Fukuda.

JS: Uh-huh, your father's first name?

RN: Matasuke.

JS: Matasuke Fukuda.

RN: Mother had died.

JS: Uh-huh, and what was your mother's name?

RN: Setsu... that was my auntie who raised me, was Setsu Fujimura. She adopted me.

KN: Her mother was Toki Fukuda.

JS: Toki Fukuda. And so your early years, where did you live, and what do you remember about that?

RN: Where do I...

JS: Where did you first live? Was it Auburn?

RN: Auburn, yeah.

JS: In Auburn.

KN: You want to talk about the ranch house and where you born, cherry tree, Ma?

RN: Cherry tree, and the river. It was right by our house, the river. Railroad, too, big railroad. So we used to play, we'd know when the train was coming, we knew it. We'd always have our ear on the...

JS: On the track?

RN: Uh-huh, on the track to see how far that train was. We used to play out there.

KN: And then what about the brothers, when they would bring the salmon home, they would drag it?

RN: Oh, yeah, they'd go salmon, yeah. And it was right where the salmon was spawning. So he would get a whole lot of salmon.

JS: So he would catch the salmon and he would bring it?

RN: Yeah, bring it in, and then Mother would slice it and put it in miso or something, so it would keep through the winter.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 2>

JS: So you had a lot of siblings. How many of you, how many brothers, how many sisters?

RN: I was, when I was seven year old, my auntie, my mother's sister, came to Washington and took me to California.

KN: Or Seattle.

RN: Yeah. They adopted me. So I was raised as a Fujimura.

JS: So what had happened right before that? Your mother had died? Your mother?

RN: My mother, yeah, she was gone.

JS: She was gone.

RN: So my mother's sister is Auntie, she adopted me. And she took care of...

JS: And these are some of the early photos?

RN: Yeah, that's my aunt and uncle. They raised me.

JS: And what do you remember about having to leave the family farm and leave all your siblings?

RN: Yeah, I cried. I didn't want to leave. 'Cause I never saw this auntie or uncle, first time.

JS: Oh, this is the first time you met with them?

RN: Uh-huh. So I didn't want to leave, and I just cried. Even on the train, I was crying. I wanted to be with my other, my sisters.

JS: And how did your aunt console you?

RN: Oh, aunt was real nice to me. She took me to Seattle, and that's the doll that she bought for me.

JS: That's the doll she bought for you.

KN: Can you name all your brothers and sisters, Mom?

RN: Well, Frank and Sam, Sam was the older, then Frank, then George, and then Florence was sent to Japan and she was raised in Japan. She died in Japan, Florence. And then Alice came, she lived in Seattle, but she came and started to live with me.

KN: And then you.

RN: Uh-huh.

KN: Then Lester?

RN: Lester came, May came, too. They all came from Washington. They couldn't live there anymore, they were, wiped all the Japanese out of Auburn.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 3>

JS: So when your, the Fujimuras came and took you from Auburn, you went to Seattle first?

RN: Yeah.

JS: And what did you do in Seattle, or where did you stay?

RN: She came from Hawaii.

JS: Oh, your auntie came from Hawaii?

RN: She lived in Hawaii, and then she came to Seattle, and that's when she adopted me.

JS: And what did you do in Seattle? Do you remember much about Seattle?

RN: Nothing, I just went to school, uh-huh.

JS: Do you remember the Japanese town?

RN: Yeah, I was interested in Japanese music, biwa, and I was too small to carry that biwa, it's heavy and big. So I used to put that biwa in my doll buggy, and go for my lesson.

JS: Did you start lessons in Seattle, or was that after you came to Fresno?

RN: No, Auburn.

JS: In Auburn? Oh. So even in Auburn you were studying biwa.

RN: Yeah.

JS: So there was a teacher in Auburn, so there was quite a Japanese community?

RN: Yeah, Auburn, there were a lot of Japanese in Auburn.

JS: And what else in Auburn do you remember? Was there a Japanese school that you went to?

RN: I don't know.

JS: You don't remember that.

RN: I know there were a lot of Japanese, they were all farmers. They all, milk, they had dairy.

JS: Right. And what did you do to help on the farm, do you remember?

RN: I didn't do much. I was little then.

JS: Uh-huh. Did you have to milk the cows?

RN: Yeah, milk the cow.

JS: Uh-huh. Did you help make the butter?

RN: No.

JS: No, that's too hard work? So did you enjoy having fresh milk?

RN: Oh, no, I didn't.

JS: You didn't. [Laughs]

RN: To this day, I don't like milk.

JS: So when did you move to Fresno?

RN: When did I...

JS: Yeah, when did you, after you were in Seattle... how long were you in Seattle?

RN: I was in Seattle, then this auntie came after me. She brought me back to...

JS: To Fresno?

RN: Seattle.

JS: To Seattle. And when did you go, how long were you in Seattle before you went back to Fresno?

RN: Oh, I was in Seattle for quite a while.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 4>

JS: So when you... when you were in Seattle, what was Mr. Fujimura, was he working there?

RN: Yeah.

JS: What type of business was he, what was he doing?

RN: Yeah. He used to do all the, my clothes. He used to go to... there was a produce man that goes every week to Seattle, so my father, I call him Father, he used to take a ride on this bus, on his bus, and he'd come back with all kinds of clothes. He'd bring a suit, I remember a red suit, and different kind of clothes. He liked to dress me up. [Laughs]

JS: So they were pretty well-to-do when they came. They had money to spend on you.

RN: Yeah.

KN: Do you remember what he did for a living, Mom?

RN: Huh?

KN: Do you remember what...

RN: What he did for a living? I don't know.

KN: How about Grandma Fujimura?

RN: Grandma Fujimura, she was haikara, you know... very... so she used to dress me up. [Indicating photograph] That dress that I have on has a little fur on the bottom, little fur all around.

JS: Oh, right. It's beautiful.

RN: She had two or three dresses made for my friends, my girlfriend, so we all had the same kind.

JS: So you were like a little princess. [Laughs] So then you came to Fresno, and this is Mr. Fujimura's business.

RN: Yeah, he had a little grocery store, grocery store and a soft drink company.

JS: Soft drink.

RN: Yeah.

JS: And in this picture, there's a parrot on his shoulder.

RN: Yeah, that was my father's parrot.

JS: His parrot. What color, can you describe the parrot? What color was it, do you remember?

RN: She was, she'd say, "Haro, haro, haro." [Laughs]

JS: [Laughs] She'd say, "Haro." So she would sit on his shoulder while he tended the store?

RN: Yeah.

JS: Wow. That's interesting.

KN: You know, Mom, going back to the dresses you were wearing, can you tell Jill that story about how you wanted to send your old dresses to your sisters?

RN: Yeah. Then my sister-in-law wouldn't, she'd make the dresses smaller and give it to her own kids. So they never got the dress that I sent.

JS: And so what happened? She wrote to you and told you that?

RN: Yeah, and so my sister, older sister was there, and she says that, "Don't send any, any clothes, because it'd be nothing but tears." Because it was meant for her sister, but she would make it smaller and give it to her kids. So she says, "Don't send no more dress." And they were all nice dresses, you know.

JS: So they were never able to enjoy the dresses, your sisters weren't.

RN: No, uh-huh.

JS: Wow.

KN: And didn't you feel sometimes funny, Mom, wearing the new clothes at school? Some of kids would maybe be jealous or envious?

RN: Uh-huh. There was one girl, Alice Stiglets, her folks had a store. She, I used to compete with her. She'd buy another shoe, I'd be interested in new shoe, you know, dress. She was the only daughter, I was the only daughter.

JS: And did she live in Chinatown, too?

RN: No.

JS: Where was her...

RN: I just knew her in school.

JS: At school.

<End Segment 4> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 5>

JS: So did you used to help at the general store?

RN: Huh?

JS: Did you used to go and work there?

RN: No.

JS: No? You didn't have to do that?

KN: Would you get the sodas and drink a lot of the stuff?

RN: Yeah. When the church had some, Hanamatsuri or something, then a lot of the kids would come. I'd get ice cream cone, I'd help.

JS: That must have been fun. And then your mom, Mrs. Fujimura, she was quite an entrepreneur as well.

RN: Yeah.

JS: So, and then this is her business?

RN: Yeah, she opened a restaurant.

JS: It's the grand opening?

RN: Uh-huh.

JS: So can you tell us the name of the restaurant?

RN: Matsunozushi.

JS: And what did they serve at Matsunozushi?

RN: It was on E Street.

JS: On E Street.

KN: What does "Matsunozushi" mean, Mom?

RN: Matsu is "pine," sushi. "Pine sushi."

KN: But didn't it have a deeper meaning?

RN: I don't know.

JS: Well, pine is very symbolic, isn't it? Japanese pine? So this is... what year did we say this was? The grand opening. 1936, approximately?

RN: Yes, uh-huh.

JS: And they would serve all kinds of Japanese seafood?

RN: Yeah, all our friends, business friends, some businesspeople were sent a sack of rice or soy sauce.

JS: For the grand opening. It was like a congratulations? Looks very fancy.

RN: Yeah.

JS: Uh-huh. And you were saying there was another, there's a back room?

RN: Uh-huh, there's a big room in the back, where they used to have big company parties.

JS: Uh-huh, company parties, banquets.

RN: Banquet.

JS: And this is... so 1936, you were a teen, right? You were already in high school? No, this was after. This is when you were married.

RN: Uh-huh.

JS: You had gotten married. 'Cause your husband is in this photo, too, the celebration.

RN: Yeah.

JS: Okay.

KN: So what were kind of the specialties of, on the menu, Mom?

RN: On the what?

JS: For the restaurant. What would you serve?

RN: Sushi. My mother was a good cook.

JS: Uh-huh.

KN: Sushi, what else?

RN: Sushi and donburi. All you know donburi, huh?

JS: Oh, I do know donburi. What kind of donburi did she serve?

RN: Like oyako donburi and ten don and all that.

JS: And then you used to work here and help?

RN: Yeah, I used to help.

JS: There's a nice picture of you all dressed in a kimono.

RN: Yeah, uh-huh.

JS: Is that, you would wear that regularly?

RN: No. For special occasions.

JS: Special occasions?

RN: Special occasions, special customers, you know, the one that, steady customer. That's when I would serve.

JS: Wow, that's nice.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 6>

JS: So tell us a little bit about how you met your husband, the Nakagawa family. How did you meet?

RN: Oh. They were good friends. My parents were good friends with the Nakagawa parents, and that's how they...

JS: Uh-huh, that's how they met. So the Nakagawa family, they lived with their...

RN: In Caruthers.

JS: In Caruthers.

RN: They had a ranch out there.

JS: Uh-huh. And they had two sons.

RN: Huh?

JS: Two boys in the family?

RN: Yeah. But none of the boys were like Tom. That was my husband. They didn't do work on the ranch.

JS: Oh, they didn't?

RN: They worked someplace else.

JS: Oh. So the Nakagawas were family friends with the Fujimuras.

RN: Uh-huh, yeah.

JS: Okay. And so your marriage was kind of a family arrangement?

RN: Yeah.

JS: And what else about the Nakagawa and Fujimura families? There was also...

RN: Well, they were good friends. Then Johnny, Johnny married my sister. So two sisters married the Nakagawas.

JS: So your sister Alice...

RN: Alice.

JS: ...who was just the sister older than you.

RN: Yeah. She married Johnny, I married Tom.

JS: Okay. And so when you and Tom were married, where did you live?

RN: I lived... where did I live?

JS: Did you live behind the restaurant?

RN: Yeah.

JS: Right before the war?

RN: Yeah.

JS: Uh-huh. And Alice and Johnny, did they live in Chinatown, too?

RN: Yeah, they did. Then they moved to some apartment.

JS: But neither brother, neither of the Nakagawa sons worked on the ranch at the time?

RN: No, uh-huh. None of them did the farm.

JS: Oh, wow. It was a big farm to manage. They must have had other workers.

RN: Well, Grandpa run the ranch with some help, outside help.

KN: Was Dad plumbing then?

RN: Huh?

KN: Was he a plumber then?

RN: Who, Dyna?

KN: Yeah.

RN: Yeah.

JS: Oh, okay, so he had his own business to run. Okay.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 7>

JS: So earlier you talked about learning to play the biwa, right? And so you continued your studies when you came to Fresno? You continued to take lessons?

RN: Yeah, I took...

JS: Uh-huh, and to perform?

RN: Yeah.

JS: So where did you, what was your teacher's name, do you remember?

RN: Yamasaki.

JS: Yamasaki?

RN: I think.

JS: So you would take lessons at her home?

RN: Uh-huh.

JS: Okay. And then you would have performances, recitals or concerts?

RN: Yeah. I took a lesson when I was five or six. Anyway, I couldn't carry the biwa, it's big, I used to put it in my doll buggy and go up the hill where that teacher lived.

JS: Oh. And this was when you were in Seattle, is that what you said?

RN: Uh-huh, Auburn.

JS: Yeah, when you were in Auburn, you used to push the biwa up the hill?

RN: Yeah.

JS: Did your other sisters also study?

RN: No.

JS: No? So you were the only one that studied?

RN: Yeah.

KN: Tell Jill why you think you were adopted by your mom's sister, do you remember?

JS: Why did Mrs. Fujimura...

KN: Why were you picked out of all the daughters?

RN: Uh-huh, yeah. They had no children, so they adopted me, made me their child. I had to go to court, too, you know.

KN: But why do you think... remember, there was a reason why you think they chose you instead of Alice or May, Grandma Fujimura? Remember you said that you were the prettiest?

RN: Yeah. I was real cute when I was small.

JS: Yeah, you're beautiful. So do you think the arrangement was made before? How did your mother, Mrs. Fukuda, how did she die? What happened?

RN: She died early.

JS: Uh-huh. Was it accident, or she got sick?

RN: She died of cancer.

JS: Oh, so she was sick.

RN: Yeah.

JS: So I wonder if the arrangement with her sister was made before she died.

RN: Could be, could be.

JS: Interesting.

RN: Because my auntie that adopted me, she stayed all through her sickness. And so she got, they talked to each other and they said, "If anything happens to Mother, the auntie will take care of her."

JS: Wow.

RN: So it was a pre-arranged.

JS: Pre-arranged. Wow. So the sister came to see her when she was sick, and then after that, you went to live with them.

RN: Then my Yakima, she died in Yakima. Anyway, we came home, and after she died, had our funeral in Auburn.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 8>

KN: Mom, what was that story you used to tell me, when everyone came to the funeral, or came to the house? Even though your mom died, you were real happy to see the people.

RN: Yeah. Because we were too little to realize the death of... my sister May, she just curled up under the coffin, playing under the coffin. She was only about four or five.

KN: But why did it make you happy to see all the people?

RN: Because they don't come around, you know, first time. When Mother died, all these people came to pay their respects.

JS: Because you lived out in the country, and you didn't live close. Your neighbors were far, right? So that... when your mother died, and often in Japanese homes when they have someone, a death in the family, the body remains in the home.

RN: Yeah.

JS: And then they have, invite people over to see, to visit. So that was several days that...

RN: Yeah.

JS: ...after your mother died that the body was there? So you said that your sister was playing underneath the coffin?

RN: May, my sister May, played under the coffin.

JS: And do you remember how you felt or what you thought when you saw your mother after she died, and did you think she was sleeping?

RN: No, I just came home. And little bit after that, my auntie, this auntie and uncle came and took me to California. So they were my mother and father.

JS: Right. But it was a very different life, huh, that you first had and...

RN: Yeah.

JS: So when you think back on that, that you had these two different lives, you were raised on the farm in a big family, and then raised by the Fujimuras in the city, what do you think about that?

RN: I used to cry for my sisters and brother, that I couldn't, I couldn't see them anymore. But gradually, I got used to... they do everything for me.

JS: So when Alice came to Fresno, that was right before she got married?

RN: Uh-huh.

JS: Okay. So that must have been really kind of a happy time for you. And then the rest of your family, your father and your brothers, they went...

RN: They were, stayed in Auburn.

JS: They stayed in Auburn?

RN: Until they had to leave. Everybody had to leave Auburn.

JS: Auburn. And when was that?

RN: And they all came to L.A.

JS: Uh-huh.

RN: And they all ended up in gardener.

JS: Oh.

KN: And produce, too. Uncle Frank and Uncle Louie.

RN: Yeah, the produce.

KN: Real successful, right?

JS: So they left Auburn in, right around the time of the Depression? Is that when they left the dairy farm?

RN: Yeah.

JS: In the late... that photo that you have is... what did we say? That's like 1926? Uh-huh. Okay.

<End Segment 8> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 9>

JS: So your family moved, they moved to Los Angeles, and your sister came to Fresno and got married?

RN: Yeah.

JS: Uh-huh. And then you had your daughter, your daughter was born?

RN: Uh-huh.

JS: Yeah. And that was right before the war. So you were working at the restaurant then when your daughter was born?

RN: I think so.

JS: I think so, yeah.

RN: Uh-huh, yeah.

JS: She liked dolls, too? [Laughs] Okay, let's see. So... oh, that's right. Okay. So this is a special celebration? [Referring to photograph]

RN: Yeah, hina.

JS: Hinamatsuri?

RN: Hina ningyo.

JS: Hina ningyo.

KN: Where did all these dolls come from? What do they represent?

RN: Well, some came from friends, relatives, yeah.

KN: Can you talk a little bit about Senjiro Fukuda, some of your samurai bloodlines?

RN: Uh-huh.

JS: So the Fukuda family...

RN: Yeah, the Fukuda family. But I was carried by my Fujimura, my grandmother.

JS: Right. So this is Fujimura side.

RN: Fujimura. She was our mother's sister. They had no children. So eventually I was adopted to that family, and they raised me.

KN: Didn't your dad Matasuke tell you, or Baachan about being born samurai?

RN: Yeah, yeah.

KN: What did she say?

RN: I can't remember.

KN: That, "You were born samurai, we'll see how weak or strong our family's genes have gotten through you," right? Did you ever see the hina ningyo -- I mean, the Hikari Jinja in Hiroshima city?

RN: No.

KN: Where great-grandfather was born... I mean, buried? But didn't he say that you were born of royal family? How did that speech go? So... "Be very proud of who you are, because you were born samurai," right? 'Cause you told me that, and then I told Kale and Jenna.

JS: What did your father say to you?

RN: Huh?

JS: What did your father say to you about your roots in Japan?

RN: He was very proud of the family, ancestors, you know.

KN: And didn't Matasuke give land back to the people that was given to him? 'Cause when you went with Auntie Alice and Auntie May, didn't you tell me the story where all the families came out and they bowed to you and Grandma and Grandpa because they knew that they were...

JS: Grandchildren?

KN: Uh-huh, grandchildren of the Fukuda clan.

JS: Do you remember that, going to Japan with your sisters?

RN: Uh-uh.

JS: No? It's a while ago, huh? So what happened to the doll set?

RN: Huh?

JS: Do you still have the dolls?

RN: The dolls?

JS: Uh-huh.

RN: Gee, I don't know.

KN: Yeah, Janie has 'em.

JS: Janie has 'em?

RN: Oh, yeah.

KN: Big suitcase, trunk, remember? Weren't these real special, though? They're not made out of... normally they're made out of porcelain. These are... tell Jill how special these are. And remember the kids used to come for tours to the house?

RN: Oh, yeah, schoolkids come to the house to see the dolls.

JS: Wow.

KN: What would you tell 'em, what was the reason for having 'em?

RN: Like on Doll's Day, Japanese, they celebrate the girls, Doll's Day. That's when they came.

JS: Oh. So who would come to visit?

RN: All those little kids from the school.

JS: You invited your whole class?

RN: Yeah.

JS: Oh.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 10>

JS: So did you go to Lincoln Elementary School?

RN: Lincoln, uh-huh.

JS: Okay, so your classmates from Lincoln came over.

RN: Yeah. And then [inaudible].

JS: Uh-huh. So your classmates at Lincoln, they were all from west Fresno?

RN: Oh, yeah.

JS: And so they were a mix of Italian and German?

RN: Yeah.

JS: And some Japanese?

RN: Yeah.

JS: Oh, that must have been really special. So then they would come over and visit the dolls. Did you do a similar thing when your daughter was growing up? Did you set up the dolls for Girl's Day?

RN: Yeah. she used to...

JS: At the house?

RN: We used to invite her class.

JS: Oh. You continued that? Wow. That's nice. And then there was another set. Did your sister have a set of dolls, too, your sister Alice?

RN: I don't know.

JS: You don't remember?

KN: Remember Uncle Johnny, he was afraid during World War II that they would think that if they found these Japanese dolls, you might be... so what happened?

RN: Uncle Johnny destroyed them. He didn't want to get involved with Japan. And so... but we didn't even touch ours.

JS: Where did you store the dolls and your belongings?

RN: In back of that restaurant.

JS: In back of the restaurant.

RN: Yeah.

JS: Huh, I see.

<End Segment 10> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 11>

JS: So what else do you remember about... about Fresno's community celebrations?

RN: Oh, yeah, Raisin Day.

JS: Raisin Day. And what was Raisin Day?

RN: Raisin Day was a whole town celebration. Every year, the president of the Buddhist church would send a, make a float, and I was chosen couple of times as a queen of that float.

JS: Uh-huh, queen of the Japanese float?

RN: Uh-huh.

JS: Wow. Wow. So there was a float that was like a boat, and there was another one.

RN: Yeah.

JS: Like a pagoda? What other activities do you remember from growing up in Fresno? Did you go to the Buddhist church, were you active there?

RN: Uh-huh, yeah. Then they'd have... I guess they still do have those race.

JS: Uh-huh, like a undokai?

RN: Uh-huh, undokai. Yeah, we used to have that.

JS: Were you a fast runner?

RN: Uh-huh. [Laughs]

JS: And then did you go to Japanese school?

RN: Uh-huh.

JS: You went to Japanese school after school, after regular school? Oh.

RN: After Saturday, and weekdays after American school.

JS: Oh, so you also went on Saturday, too?

RN: Uh-huh, we used to have a class.

JS: Wow. So you were busy. And then on Sundays, did you go to Sunday school?

RN: Uh-huh.

JS: Sunday school, oh.

<End Segment 11> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 12>

JS: Were you, did you practice kendo? Do you remember that?

RN: Oh, yeah.

KN: Tell Jill why Baachan asked you to take kendo, Mom.

RN: Because I was weak. She says that if I take kendo, I'd get strong. That's the reason she put me in that class. And I stayed in that kendo for I don't know how many years.

JS: Did it make you stronger?

RN: Yeah.

JS: Yeah, wow. So there were girls and boys that participated in kendo.

KN: Yeah.

JS: Wow. So that's a good skill. This is 1932, this tournament. So you would host a tournament and other teams would come to compete? And then would you also travel to other towns for kendo?

RN: No.

JS: No? You would just have one at the church?

RN: Yeah.

JS: On the grounds there. So you did kendo and you liked to run. What other sports, did you do any other sports?

RN: No.

JS: Play tennis or...

RN: Just kendo and...

KN: Well, tell Jill about the Lumbini team you were on.

RN: Lumbini.

KN: Lumbini softball team.

RN: Oh.

KN: At the church wasn't it, church team?

JS: So you were on a softball team.

RN: Yeah.

JS: So was that a girl's softball team?

RN: Uh-huh.

JS: And who was Lumbini?

RN: Lumbini is a junior... not senior, junior club, Lumbini.

KN: Why was it called Lumbini, though?

RN: I don't know.

KN: Wasn't it from Lumbini's Garden?

RN: Yeah, it was young people.

KN: But it's the Buddhist description, right?

RN: Yeah, Lumbini Garden.

KN: Like heaven.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 13>

JS: So what other activities happened... when you performed biwa, you performed at the theater, right? Was it called...

RN: Yeah, I played the biwa, but this is Fujinkai.

JS: This is the Fujinkai.

RN: Yeah.

JS: So the community had lots of performances, and there was a special theater?

RN: Yeah, they used to have...

JS: A Japanese theater. And what was the name of the theater, do you remember?

KN: Cal Theater?

RN: Yeah.

JS: That was Cal Theater. So you --

KN: That was a movie house, though, too, right?

RN: Yeah.

KN: But you could also see stage plays there, too?

RN: Yeah.

JS: Wow. So you used to perform, did you used to go watch the entertainment, too, watch the shows, plays they had? Okay. And you continued to study biwa, and you...

RN: Yeah, until I got older, then I quit.

JS: Right. But you achieved your teaching status, right? Natori.

RN: Uh-huh.

JS: Uh-huh, did you have to go to Japan for that?

RN: Uh-uh.

JS: No, for the certification?

KN: Remember, you went to San Francisco.

JS: Oh, okay. Do you still play? You could still play the biwa?

RN: Huh?

JS: Can you still play?

RN: No, uh-uh.

JS: You haven't played in a long time? [Laughs]

KN: You should break it out.

JS: Yeah, you should play for your grandkids. What other activities do you remember, this is kind of hard to see.

RN: Oh, we used to go to Herndon River, picnic. Just the family, yeah.

JS: Family picnic? So did you used to swim in the river?

RN: Uh-huh.

JS: Wow. And what else happened at the picnic? Did you have entertainment? Is that the same thing, or is that something different? [Referring to photograph]

KN: It's just, to me, a funny picture of everybody.

JS: And they look like they're having a good time. Do you remember that?

KN: What would you have at the picnics, Mom? Obento?

RN: Bento.

KN: What kind of food? Describe to Jill things that they would make.

RN: Bento was mostly chicken, teriyaki chicken, and teriyaki beef, and then onigiri.

KN: Sake?

JS: Yeah.

KN: Yeah.

JS: Looks like lots of sake. [Laughs]

KN: Lots in that picture.

<End Segment 13> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 14>

JS: Oh, I know what I wanted you to tell me a little bit about. So the Nakagawa family, they had the ranch in Caruthers. And what happened to the ranch during...

RN: Oh, we evacuated, our neighbor, the Ravens took care of it. And they took real good care. When we came back, they made money on the ranch. They gave it all to my father-in-law. All the jewelries, we left with them, and they had it all in a box, cigar box, yeah.

JS: So they looked over your special property?

RN: Yeah, and then they gave so much for the making the money on raisins. And so they were really good to us. Some of 'em, I hear, got robbed, you know. They let some people take care of it, and they got nothing, even lost the ranch.

JS: Oh, they even lost the ranch?

RN: Yeah. Whereas like ours, we had good people. They took care of the ranch, and whatever they made, they took care of all our jewelries and everything. Everything was intact.

JS: But when your father-in-law came back after the war, did he still farm the ranch, or did he...

RN: Yeah, I think he farmed.

JS: He did? Wow.

RN: There was a lot of white people that was against the Japanese, you know. In fact, when we got off the train, there was a couple of hakujins, they didn't greet us. They came to see what's what, and they said, "You sure got a nerve to come back," say things like that. "You Japs got a sure lot of nerve to come back." But we didn't pay attention.

JS: So that was right, you remember that as you were returning.

RN: Yeah.

JS: Wow.

RN: Right by our, near the train station, whereas our friends, the McClurgs and the Ravens, they welcomed us back.

JS: Wow.

RN: They were there at the station to welcome us. So there was good people and bad.

JS: Right. So the Ravens and the McClurgs, for being allies to the Japanese Americans, did they receive any treatment?

RN: Yeah, uh-huh.

JS: What happened? Did other people in the, you know, mainstream community, did they say, "Oh, you're friends with the Japanese?"

RN: Uh-huh. The Ravens and the McClurgs were good, still good to us.

JS: Okay.

KN: Remember Dad tried to get gas, and they told 'em...

RN: Yeah. "We don't sell to Japs."

KN: How did Dad feel about that?

RN: He was...

KN: Would he ever say to you how he felt?

RN: No.

KN: Like hurt or angry?

RN: Yeah. Angry.

<End Segment 14> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 15>

TI: You talked a lot about the Ravens and the McClurgs. Why do you think they were different? I mean, here you talked about good people, bad people, but what was it about them that made them so special?

RN: I don't know. They were... I don't know. The McClurgs and the Ravens, they knew my in-laws forever, since they were farming. So they were very close with them.

TI: So do you think it might have been the relationship between the families, that long relationship, so they knew each other really well, and then it was through that that they stayed loyal to the family?

RN: Yeah.

KN: Did you ever exchange food with the McClurgs and Ravens?

RN: I used to take some lunch over there, uh-huh.

KN: Remember Irving used to always bring us walnuts?

TI: I think it's really special, because I've interviewed lots of people. And it's not that common that there were times when Japanese families felt they were close to someone, but when the war happened, it was very difficult, because sometimes those families turned their backs to them.

RN: Yeah. Not the McClurgs or the Ravens. They were really good to us. They took care of a lot of things. Like that Raven, we left all our jewelries and, you know, cigar box, and everything was there when we came back.

TI: Well, it says... it may say something, well, it does say something to me about maybe the character of the Nakagawa clan, too, that they felt so loyal to them.

RN: Yeah, uh-huh.

<End Segment 15> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 16>

TI: So I want to ask a little bit about your husband. You mentioned, when you talked about him, you said, "Dyna." Where did the name Dyna, the nickname "Dyna" come from?

RN: 'Cause he was playing football, he was like a dynamite, I hear. That's where he got that name, Dyna.

TI: So he was quite the athlete?

RN: Yeah. Football, he was really good at it. And they all called him Dyna, Dyna.

TI: To the point where everywhere, friends just called him Dyna? Not Tom, but Dyna?

RN: No. That's how he got that name. [Laughs]

TI: That's a good story.

KN: And then sumo, too, right, Mom?

RN: Yeah, he did sumo, too.

TI: So he must have been a very explosive person like in terms of dynamite.

RN: Yeah.

TI: Going back to the Nakagawa clan and the Fujimura clan, so there was two sisters who married two brothers. How was that arranged? How did the two brothers and two sisters decide to get married?

RN: Parents arranged it.

TI: So it was the parents. So was that common during that time for parents...

RN: Yeah, around then, yeah. Parents had, they did what they thought was right. And the son or the daughter would go along with the parents.

TI: And so when you think of, like your Nisei friends in Fresno, so it was pretty common for parents to sort of say, "You're going to marry So-and-so"?

RN: Yeah, uh-huh.

TI: That's interesting, because it's a little -- I mean, the city, I interview people like in more Seattle, Los Angeles, it seems the Niseis were given a little more, maybe, freedom to decide who to marry.

RN: Uh-huh.

TI: But in Fresno, it sounds like it might be a little bit different and more, it was almost like more traditional, more Japanese traditional.

RN: Yeah, that's right.

TI: So why do you think Fresno was --

RN: Huh?

TI: Why do you think Fresno was a little bit different in this way than, say, Los Angeles or San Francisco, or Seattle?

RN: I don't know. I think they, Fresno, was same as like where the Japanese influence got ahead of everything.

TI: Interesting. Yeah, that's really interesting, that it seemed like it was a little more traditional in terms of the Japanese side.

<End Segment 16> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 17>

TI: Okay, so Rose, I'm going to now switch gears a little bit. So I'm going to go to December 7, 1941. So that's the day that Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. Do you remember that day?

RN: Yeah.

TI: So describe to me what happened that day.

RN: Oh, gee, I can't remember. We just stayed inside and never went out, you know. Kept to ourselves.

TI: How did you first hear about the bombing of Pearl Harbor?

RN: It was all over, you heard that. Like they say that Japanese, they say the "Japs" bombed the San Francisco airport or whatever.

KN: Pearl Harbor.

TI: Yeah, Pearl Harbor.

RN: Pearl Harbor.

TI: Now, was the restaurant open on that day?

RN: Uh-huh.

TI: And was it business as usual, or did anything different happen that day?

RN: No, it wasn't... business was not that... white people stayed away. Because we had nothing but white to eat sukiyaki. Japanese don't come and eat sukiyaki, but the white people used to come, and then they kind of stayed away. Some would come back, you know.

<End Segment 17> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 18>

TI: But that's interesting. So on the day of (December) 7th, the business was down, and the days after, like the weeks after, did business stay kind of low? Lower than...

RN: Yeah.

TI: Did any of your customers ever talk to you about the war and the United States was in this war?

RN: Uh-uh. No, they weren't prejudiced, you know. Like I remember we used to have an ashtray, nice ashtray, Japan, and one hakujin customer wanted that. They didn't even ask for it. He put it on top of his head and wore a cap. He forgot, so that thing broke when he lifted his hat to say goodnight. And the ashtray just broke in small pieces. My mother got another one, gave him a new one.

TI: Oh, so he wanted to keep it, so he just put it on his hat. And when he put it up there, it fell.

RN: Yeah.

TI: But he didn't ask for it, he just was going to take it. But your mother was going to give him one anyway?

RN: Oh, yeah.

TI: So why do you think your mother did that?

RN: I don't know.

TI: That's a good story. That's interesting.

RN: My mother felt sorry for him.

TI: Yeah, or really kind.

RN: He wanted that ashtray so bad.

TI: Well, was your mother really thinking about, almost, the wants of another person in giving... even though he never asked directly, he did that.

RN: I know.

TI: Interesting. So how did... with the business dropping, was that difficult financially for the family when not as many customers would come into the restaurant?

RN: No, not too much. The ones that used to come, still come, you know.

TI: Now did you and your husband talk about what's going to happen? As you think about the war that started, there's lots of, sort of, tension, did you and your husband kind of think what was going to happen next?

RN: No, uh-uh.

TI: How about talking with your parents? Did anyone have any thoughts about what might happen in Fresno to the Japanese?

RN: Yeah.

KN: Did Grandma Fujimura tell you maybe what's gonna happen to...

RN: No, she didn't.

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

<Begin Segment 19>

TI: When you started hearing, sort of, the news that people on the coast like in Los Angeles, they're starting to move, being taken away from, evacuated from their homes, what did you think then? Did you think that that was gonna happen in Fresno, too?

RN: No, I guess not. Fresno is a small town, you know, not big city like L.A. So they didn't discriminate that much.

TI: But then eventually the word got out, or the officials said, so Japanese and Japanese Americans in Fresno are going to have to leave also. Do you remember when that happened?

RN: Uh-uh.

TI: Did they put up notices, pretty soon, that pretty soon would have to, people leave.

RN: Oh, yeah.

TI: And what happened then? What did your family do then?

RN: I think the JACL, I think they took a big part in it. And they defended, you know, even if you weren't a JACL member, they defended that Japanese Americans are, they're nothing that could hurt, or bad. And when the JACL defends you, well, they listen.

TI: So in Fresno, did the JACL come out and... what's the right word? Kind of stand up for the rights of Japanese Americans?

RN: Yeah, uh-huh.

TI: And so do you remember some of the people in the JACL in Fresno who did this?

RN: A lot of people didn't like the JACL. Lot of people thought that they were, they were too much for the American law and American... but they didn't do anything about it. And JACL wasn't light then.

TI: And so how did you feel about that? Because on one side, people felt that the JACL was helping Japanese Americans, and then on the other side, some people said, "No, they're cooperating too much with the government." So where did you fit?

RN: I didn't feel anything for JACL or... I didn't.

TI: Okay, good.

KN: So some of the leaders, Mom, remember, like Fred Hirasuna was JACL leader in Fresno, right? Who else? Mike Iwasumo?

RN: Mike, maybe he was.

KN: Fred Hirasuna, I know he was an old-time JACL.

TI: So did you know Fred Hirasuna?

RN: No, I didn't know him too well.

<End Segment 19> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 20>

TI: So you got, so pretty soon your family got notice that they had to leave. So what did your family do to get ready or prepare to leave?

RN: We started getting things together. And we knew that we had to leave. Everybody else was doing the same thing.

TI: So what about the restaurant? What would you have to do with the restaurant to get that ready?

RN: Oh, just close that up.

TI: So at this point, in terms of ownership of the property, who owned the property?

RN: Oh, some hakujin.

TI: Okay, so you were leasing.

RN: Yeah.

TI: You were leasing it.

RN: And they didn't want you to close it up, they wanted it to stay open. But eventually, we didn't... it was a big place, and there was a back room, a big banquet room. Anyway, the whole Fresno business, like Toshiyuki, Toshiyuki is the drugstore, big drugstore in Fresno, the only one. All of them, they stored all of their things in our place, 'cause they had to close and leave. So they brought all their things and rented the spot where they could leave their drugs and whatever, personal things they wanted to leave.

TI: And so how was it that you were able to keep your lease during the war? I'm thinking, most people, if they were leasing, they had to kind of like, either sell their materials or store it with, like, a Caucasian family. But here, you were able to keep the lease through the war. How was that possible?

RN: Well, I guess the lease was still going on. It wasn't closed. So that's how they kept that going.

TI: Good. And so the white owner was willing to keep the lease going with the family as long as, I guess, as long as you kept paying him it was okay.

RN: Yeah.

TI: And because of that, because of the big back room, you were able to be the storeroom for many of the Japanese business.

RN: Yeah, that's what we did.

TI: And when that happened, do you know if these other families maybe helped pay for the lease to help store the things back there? Did they pay some of the money to do that? Or do you know if they did or not?

RN: I don't know.

TI: Okay.

<End Segment 20> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 21>

TI: So let's talk about when you do have to leave Fresno. So where did you go from...

RN: We went from Fresno Assembly Center, and from there, we went to, they sent us to Arkansas.

TI: Okay, so let's talk first, the Fresno Assembly Center. So it's you, your husband and your daughter? So is it just three of you living together?

RN: Yeah.

TI: So what were the living conditions for the three of you? So your daughter is about how old right now? She's quite young. She's about, what, one or --

RN: She was already about six year old.

TI: Oh, she's that old now? Okay, so she's six years old.

KN: No, about two or three, Mom.

RN: Oh, yeah.

TI: Okay, so she's, like, two years old, two or three, so tell me what it was like having a young child at the assembly center. Here's a picture.

RN: Oh, yeah.

KN: Tell Tom, Ma, about being on the train and having to go from the assembly center to Arkansas. They had blinders, right?

RN: Yeah.

KN: But didn't you peek and you saw signs that some of the people wrote?

RN: I guess, I don't know.

KN: Remember? It said, like, "Get out of Fresno, never come back to California"? Didn't you ask Baachan, weren't you concerned what was gonna happen to you guys? Do you remember riding on the train?

RN: Yeah.

KN: What was that like? Were you scared, were you not scared?

RN: Yeah, well, they had those black curtains, so you couldn't see outside.

TI: When you were at the Fresno Assembly Center, did anyone come visit you when you were there? Like any of your, maybe your customers or...

RN: Friend.

TI: A friend?

RN: Uh-huh.

TI: And who was the friend that came?

RN: Yeah, they came. McClurgs... not McClurg, the Ravens, they came.

TI: Can you describe the meeting? What was that like when they came? Where did you meet, and what can you remember from that?

RN: I can't.

KN: I remember when we walked to the Fresno Assembly Center, Ma, Dad pointed out to one of the horse stalls, he goes, "That's where we used to live." What was your living conditions like at Fresno Assembly Center? Did you have to live in one of those little...

RN: Yeah, yeah, with the hays, with the hays.

KN: The smell?

RN: Yeah.

KN: Where the animals lived, right? Was there any other Fresno families who lived around you that you remember?

RN: I don't remember.

KN: Well, you remember the hay and...

RN: Yeah.

KN: Did you have to make your own bedding?

RN: With that straw, get a straw, and that becomes your mattress, yeah.

<End Segment 21> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 22>

TI: And Fresno, did your husband or you have a job? Or like Dyna, did he have a job in Fresno?

RN: Uh-huh, he did, but he lost his job.

KN: He was a plumber, town plumber, huh? Tell Tom what, didn't he have to go with the advance team, with Dr. Taira six months before to get the Arkansas camp going?

RN: Yeah.

KN: He set up all the plumbing.

TI: Okay, so, which was probably really needed and valuable. Because you always read, or I hear about how oftentimes, the plumbing was always really poor or still being done in terms of sewer lines and water lines, and so it sounds like it was useful to have your husband.

KN: What was it like going to the bathroom at the Fresno Assembly Center? Nori Masuda talked about this, like, trough that would fill up with water and tip back and forth.

RN: Oh, yeah?

KN: Did you have to sit right next to somebody when you had to go benjo?

RN: Oh, yeah. We didn't have no privacy.

TI: When you think back to Fresno, what was the most difficult thing for you at Fresno?

RN: Going to the bathroom, uh-huh. Yeah. No... you have to share the toilet with others.

KN: And shower, too, right, Mom?

TI: And you had a young child. What was the most difficult thing in caring for Janie during this time? When you think back to Fresno, what was hard?

RN: I don't know.

KN: Did she cry a lot? How did you feed her bottles and food?

RN: Yeah.

TI: Like did you ever have to worry, if Janie was crying, that it might bother the other families because you were so close and everyone could hear her cry? Were those some of the issues?

RN: Uh-huh.

KN: Do you remember who the neighbors were at the Fresno Assembly Center?

RN: Uh-uh.

<End Segment 22> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 23>

TI: Let's go to Jerome now. So your husband leaves early, so he's already at Jerome. When you and Janie get to Jerome, what's Jerome like for you? What are your first impressions of Jerome?

RN: Well, sort of lonely. Just the two of us.

KN: And then what about, like, being in Arkansas? It's such a foreign state from Fresno.

RN: I didn't feel anything.

TI: Was it good to see your husband again after all those weeks?

RN: Yeah.

TI: I'm curious, because of his advance work, was he able to get a nice apartment for you and Janie and him because he was there early?

RN: Yeah.

TI: So tell me about that. Which block and tell me the apartment?

RN: He was working International Harvester, he was working there, at International Harvester. And then they...

KN: That's after camp, though, Mom.

RN: Yeah.

KN: They went to Chicago.

TI: How about in camp? Did... tell me about your living quarters in camp.

KN: Do you remember your block number and where you lived?

RN: In camp, it was the same, you know. Then we went to Chicago and lived out of the camp.

KN: What was the block number, Mom, do you remember?

RN: I don't remember.

KN: You told me Block 41.

<End Segment 23> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 24>

TI: At Jerome, I know your mother became ill. Can you talk about that and what happened?

RN: Well, she died in the camp. And they brought her remains back. Didn't have her name, it just said, on the top, and on a white paper, said, "Jap woman." That's all it said.

TI: And who wrote that?

RN: Oh, mortuary, I guess, wrote that: "Jap woman."

TI: And when you saw that, how did that make you feel?

RN: I felt like they have no respect for any Japanese, even after you're dead, you know. All it said was "Jap woman" on a white piece of paper.

TI: And in camp, was there a service for her? Did they have a service?

RN: Uh-huh.

TI: Can you describe the service that they held for your mother?

RN: Well, each one had their own church service.

KN: Was there a lot of people that came, Mom?

RN: Oh, yeah.

KN: Was it sad? Was it... how would you feel about it? How did Dad take it?

RN: Dad was bitter about everything.

<End Segment 24> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 25>

KN: Can you tell Tom how you would go visit Baachan in Little Rock, and how the white people would treat you at the beauty parlor when you'd get your hair done? 'Cause you couldn't get your hair done in camp, right? So remember you would tell me you would go to Little Rock?

RN: Uh-huh.

KN: How were the people in Arkansas treating you?

RN: They treated me all right, except the blacks, they didn't, they sure stepped on the black people.

TI: Okay, so the whites treated the Japanese okay, but the whites did not treat the blacks very well?

RN: No.

KN: Tell Tom about that bus ride that you took.

RN: Oh, yeah. There was a black guy, no, white guy standing, no seat. So he would say... that driver, he's driving that bus, looks up at that hakujin and said, "Hey, you. Get one of those black guys out. Take their seat." And that's how they did it, they were towards blacks. Very...

KN: But on the bus, didn't you go and sit in the "black section" of the bus?

RN: Yeah.

KN: And then what happened?

RN: They told me I wasn't supposed to sit there with the blacks. "You sit over here, change your seat."

TI: And so when you saw that, when you saw sort of the South and the segregated South, so, you know, the story about the bus driver telling the white person, "Take a black person's seat," or telling you not to sit back there, what kind of things did you think when you saw that?

RN: I don't know.

TI: Did it make sense to you? I mean, did you understand that world?

RN: Yeah, I understood, but how come they're so mean to the black people?

RN: Because they had "black" bathrooms, "colored" bathrooms, "colored" fountains. Didn't you tell me that you could really see the prejudice, huh?

TI: When you saw that, I'm thinking, so here you're in a camp, because you're Japanese, and then you're in the South and you see whites treating blacks in a mean way. Did you ever think about whether the Japanese were being treated as bad, or if blacks were being treated worse than the Japanese? I mean, when you saw that, did you think about, wow, the blacks were treated worse? Or did you think the Japanese were treated worse? Did you ever think about that?

RN: No.

TI: So if you think about it now, who do you think was treated worse during that time? The Japanese put in camps, or blacks in segregated South?

RN: Gee, I don't know.

TI: It's a tough question, I'm just curious if you had a thought about that. Having lived that and witnessed it, I'm just curious how you felt. I mean, when you think about this, would you have rather been in your shoes or the shoes of a black person in Arkansas in 1943, when you think about that? Who do you think had it worse back then?

KN: Do you think the blacks had it worse, Mom, or do you think our families had it worse?

RN: Black family.

TI: Yeah, okay.

<End Segment 25> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 26>

TI: Going back to your mother, who died at Jerome, how did she die? What was the cause of her death?

RN: Heart attack.

KN: I thought she had cancer.

RN: Oh, yeah.

KN: That's why you visited her at the hospital in Little Rock, right?

TI: And when she first started getting sick, do you know what the health care was like at Jerome, how good it was?

RN: No.

TI: But then they then sent her to Little Rock.

RN: Yeah.

TI: And how was her care at Little Rock?

RN: At Little Rock it was all right, 'cause I went to see her. It was okay. When she died, it just said, "Jap woman."

KN: How was it you got to go get your hair done when you would go visit Baachan in the hospital?

RN: I don't know.

KN: But you had, remember you told me they treated you really nice?

RN: Uh-huh.

KN: Southern hospitality?

RN: Yeah.

TI: I'm thinking about your life, and so when you were young, your mother, your first mother died, and then now your adopted mother died. How was it for you? It must have been, I'm thinking, a difficult time for you to have, to see your mother die at this time?

KN: Yeah, 'cause now you don't have any more Mom.

RN: Yeah.

KN: How did you feel, Ma?

RN: I don't know.

KN: What kept you going? What made you...

RN: Well, the family.

TI: Yeah, because you had the family to... you mentioned that your husband was oftentimes bitter about things. What was he bitter about? Did he talk about what he was mad about or bitter about?

RN: He was bitter about putting us in the camp, I guess.

<End Segment 26> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 27>

TI: So are there any other memories about Jerome that you want to share? Are there any happy moments that you can think of? Something that, a fond memory of Jerome?

RN: No.

KN: Remember, you were the Starlights? What was that...

RN: Yeah, advisor.

KN: But what was this group of girls you advised? What was that?

RN: Star something.

KN: Starlights. What did the Starlights do?

RN: I was the advisor for the girls.

KN: And what would you advise them on? What did you guys do, activities? Do you remember what you advised them of? Elma and the rest of the...

RN: Well, I was just the advisor. I didn't do much.

KN: What would they do, though?

RN: They were all club members. They didn't do anything wrong.

KN: But would they organize dances, or what?

RN: Yeah.

TI: Now, when you have a child in camp, did you have a lot of babysitters, or, sort of, people who wanted to help babysit or anything like that?

RN: No.

TI: So it was pretty much on your shoulders to take care of it. So I'm wondering, how can you even be an advisor, have the time to be an advisor when you're caring for a young child?

KN: Didn't some of the obachans look after Janie, too?

RN: Uh-huh, yeah.

TI: Yeah, I would think they would love to have that distraction. I was wondering.

KN: In fact, that's how my sister learned Japanese, from the other obachans and stuff, talking to them.

TI: Yeah, that makes sense.

RN: 'Cause my mom's mother and father went to Rohwer. My dad's mother and father went to Jerome, so they split up the family.

TI: And why was that? Do you know why they split them?

RN: Yeah, I don't know.

TI: Interesting.

KN: Did that make you feel sad, Ma, that both families, Nakagawas and Fujimuras got split to two different camps.

RN: Yeah.

KN: So you couldn't see them.

TI: Because that, wasn't that unusual? Because I thought most people went to Jerome. So only, so some also went to Rohwer, also? Okay, interesting. So any other memories or thoughts about Jerome?

RN: Uh-uh.

<End Segment 27> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 28>

TI: Okay, so let's talk about after the war. So you mentioned earlier how Dyna went to Chicago and got a job with International Harvester? And so that you, the family, all went to Chicago? What was Chicago like?

RN: Well, we were, we didn't have any friends except that Reverend Kono. He used to, he was single reverend, he used to come, I used to cook and he used to come and eat. Outside of that, I didn't have no one.

TI: And so other than Reverend Kono, did you see other Japanese Americans? Because in Chicago, there were quite a few Japanese Americans who resettled there during and after the war. So I'm curious if there was ever, sort of, parties or any group activities.

RN: No, uh-uh.

KN: Weren't we good friends with the Omachi family? Didn't George Omachi's family stay with you and Dad, or was that with Uncle Johnny and Auntie El?

RN: Yeah.

TI: Okay. So any other memories about Chicago that kind of stand out?

RN: No. Chicago.

KN: Reverend Kono was what church, Mom?

RN: That was the Buddhist church, Chicago Buddhist Church.

KN: Tell Tom one of the bad experience you had in Chicago with your purse.

RN: Oh, yeah. Someone stole my purse. And I told that to the police, says, "If you had your mouth open, they would steal your teeth." [Laughs]

TI: So not much sympathy from the police. [Laughs]

RN: That's what they told me.

KN: Didn't you say it was cold in Chicago, Mom?

RN: Oh, yeah.

TI: And so how long did you live in Chicago?

RN: How long did I live?

KN: A year, you said.

RN: About a year?

<End Segment 28> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 29>

TI: And then after Chicago, where did you go?

RN: We came back to California. Because they opened California, so we were able to come back.

TI: And back to Fresno?

RN: Uh-huh.

TI: And what was it like coming back to Fresno? Were there very many Japanese when you first got back?

RN: No. There were my friends, the McClurg and the Ravens, they came to the station to greet us. And they were real good to us. Whereas there was a couple of white people, says, "You Japs got nerve to come back to this country." That's what he said. I didn't answer or nothing.

TI: And so when you came back to Fresno, I guess there were two things. You had the restaurant and then the ranch, those two things? So what did the family do? Did you try to start both of them up, or did you do one first, or how did it work? What did you do first?

RN: I don't know. We went back to the restaurant business.

TI: Okay. And how difficult was it to start the restaurant back up?

RN: It wasn't...

TI: So the customers came back pretty fast?

RN: Oh, yeah.

TI: Did your customers ask you what it was like, where you were, what you did?

RN: Uh-uh.

TI: So it was almost just like nothing happened, to some of them, they just came back.

KN: Well, it was restaurant, but it was -- tell Tom -- it was more of a pool hall than restaurant, right? Can you describe the Tom and Rosie's? See, my uncle Johnny had the co-op right next doors to help the farmers. Mr. Shirakawa, remember, was the founder, and Uncle Johnny, and then right next door was, was it Tom and Rosie's pool hall? Describe to Tom what was in the pool hall, Mom. What would you guys have food-wise? What was in there? Pool tables?

RN: Yeah.

KN: What kind of food would you serve? Remember, you had a little milk shake?

RN: Yeah.

KN: Milk shakes, hamburger?

RN: They all come from the high school.

TI: Oh, I see. So a lot of your customers were high school kids.

RN: They were all high school kids, they came for lunch. Hamburger and milkshake.

KN: They even had the old pinball machines, and sometimes I'd see Dad paying people off, 'cause it was like a little slot machine, huh? Then at night, music?

RN: Yeah.

KN: What kind of music?

RN: Modern music that was popular then.

KN: Yeah, a big jukebox.

TI: Oh, so it sounds like a real big hangout place for high school kids. Now, why did you decide to go to Fowler and not come back to Fresno?

TI: Gee, was I living in Fowler?

KN: You and Dad started the pool hall.

RN: Yeah.

TI: Do you recall why, why Fowler and not Fresno?

RN: Yeah.

KN: I think it was probably because it was closer to the ranch.

<End Segment 29> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 30>

TI: Okay. So I think we're getting a little tired here. [Laughs] So I think we're gonna, I think this is a pretty good place to stop. This has been really interesting. Really, I appreciate the time. Jill, is there anything that you wanted to follow up before...

KN: Any last thoughts?

RN: No, nothing.

KN: What would you like to leave for Kale and Jenna to remember your legacy by? Nakagawas, Fujimuras, Fukudas?

RN: They all like Fowler.

TI: [Laughs] They like Fowler?

KN: No, but down the road, long time from now, what would you hope that Jenna and Kale remember about you and our family?

RN: They knew we were happy people living in Fowler.

JS: So it was good to come back?

RN: Huh?

JS: It was hard to be in camp, so it was good to come back to Fowler, start a new life, start over.

TI: And when you say, remember that you were a happy family, what is it that helps you to be happy? When I think about your life and all the difficult times that you had with your mother dying, both young, and then later on, another mother dying in camp, going through all your journey, what is it that makes you think that, that allows you to be happy?

RN: Gee, I don't know.

JS: Can you tell us about this one? He was part of the happy life, wasn't he? Was he part of Fowler?

KN: I came after the war, right, Mama?

RN: Uh-huh.

KN: So why was I born fourteen years later after Janie? What did the doctor tell you when you were pregnant with me?

RN: I don't know. I don't remember.

KN: He said that, wasn't I the menopause baby?

RN: Oh. Uh-huh.

KN: But why did you wait so long to have me? Janie was fourteen years older than me.

RN: I don't know.

KN: I wasn't planned, though, right? You and Dad didn't plan to have me. So I was a moment of weakness?

RN: Could be.

TI: [Laughs] I think that's the perfect way to end.

KN: I'm glad I'm here, though. Thank you.

TI: Rose, thank you so much for the interview. This has been wonderful, thank you.

<End Segment 30> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.