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-01-0006

<Begin Segment 6>

RD: So how do you know... do you remember the day that you left camp?

DY: I don't remember exactly. It was late, late September or it was in early October, and I was kind of upset because I was afraid school was starting and I wasn't there to go to school.

RD: And how did your parents get it back together after camp? How did they make their lives work again?

DY: Well, when we got out of camp, we got on the train, we went to Oakland. We got on a bus, we went to Hunter's Point in San Francisco and the bus driver got off and I didn't know whether we were going to stay there or not. But then he came back in and he drove us to the west side of San Francisco, there was an old, abandoned army camp, Fort Funston, which had empty barracks there, so we stayed there. We couldn't go to San Jose because there was no, we didn't have any place to go to. I found out that the Buddhist church had taken all the benches out and it was full of army cots. They had an old gymnasium and that was full of army cots for people to sleep. And so we stayed in San Francisco, I don't know, about three months, 'til November.

RD: Did you go to school?

DY: No, we didn't go to school. Another guy and I, we used to just walk down Highway 1 to the beach or something like that.

RD: Yeah, well, Fort Funston, yeah, that's on the beach side.

DY: West side. It's right near the ocean side. It's, it was a pretty nice place, I thought.

RD: Isn't that like where Playland and all that was?

DY: Yeah, south of that. Way south, where the...

RD: Cold.

DY: It's cold.

RD: And one heck of a rip tide. So most of the parents that I've talked to, most of the kids that I've talked to, their parents said it can't be helped.

DY: That what?

RD: They said that their parents would say, "It can't be helped."

DY: Yeah.

RD: So do you feel bitter for your parents?

DY: No, I don't feel bitter. It was just something we had to go through, so I don't...

RD: Let me ask you a couple of questions about, do you remember Shig's bird, Maggie?

DY: Shig who?

RD: Shig Yabu.

DY: Shig Yabu, yeah.

RD: Do you remember his bird?

DY: Well, I heard about that after camp. I didn't know about it in camp.

RD: And were you a member of anything else, football, baseball?

DY: No, just Boy Scouts was all I...

RD: I heard there was also a, like a sumo wrestling pit or jujitsu?

DY: No. There was, I think there was some place they were teaching judo, but that's the only thing... I never partake of that, no.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 2010 Raechel Donahue and Garrett Lindemann and Densho. All Rights Reserved.