Densho Digital Archive
Raechel Donahue and Garrett Lindemann Collection
Title: Donald Yamamoto Interview
Narrator: Donald Yamamoto
Interviewer: Raechel Donahue
Location: San Jose, California
Date: December 15, 2010
Densho ID: denshovh-ydonald-01-0005

<Begin Segment 5>

RD: So then tell me, you joined the Boy Scouts? Were you a Boy Scout?

DY: Yes, we joined the Boy Scouts while we were there. It's not right away, it was the following summer, summertime I think. Somebody was saying they're forming a Boy Scout troop so we went, I went with some of the friends in our block to that place and we organized a troop.

RD: And were you one of the... did you get to go to Yellowstone?

DY: Yes, we got to go to Yellowstone. There were a total of about seven Boy Scout troops in camp, and we were scheduled to go once in early July but it was delayed because one of the boys in our troop had drowned in the canal. And so we stayed to have the funeral, and we went later one.

RD: I remember, I think Shig told me about the boy drowning. Was it the swimming hole part of the...

DY: No, it's a canal.

RD: Canal that fed the pool.

DY: Yeah, there was a canal that went by the outside of the camp that led, was used for irrigation and --

RD: Shoshone irrigation ditch?

DY: Yeah. And there was a... Garland Canal was the name of the hotel.

RD: Do you remember the name of the boy?

DY: Toru Shibata.

RD: That was very hard for a young boy to lose a young friend.

DY: Yeah, he was only around, I don't know, twelve or thirteen, I think.

RD: That's very young to have a sense of mortality. What did your parents tell you about why you were going to camp?

DY: They didn't really say. I don't recall any sort of conversation like that with my parents. All I know, we had to go, so we went.

RD: No one does. So why do you think? That's a cultural thing, too, is that the parents were being protective? Do you think that was a conscious decision?

DY: I don't know. Maybe they said something, but I don't recall anything. That was quite a while ago.

RD: And what happened to your parents' property?

DY: We did not have any property. We were renting, and so we stored some things away in a relative's garage, and the rest of the things we left piled inside the Buddhist church gymnasium. But then families got so many square foot to put in it. But then by the time we came back, all that stuff was gone. Whether it was stolen or it had to be cleaned out in order to make places for people to sleep.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 2010 Raechel Donahue and Garrett Lindemann and Densho. All Rights Reserved.