Densho Digital Archive
Raechel Donahue and Garrett Lindemann Collection
Title: Roy Doi Interview
Narrator: Roy Doi
Interviewer: Raechel Donahue
Date: 2010
Densho ID: denshovh-droy-01-0002

<Begin Segment 2>

RD: So do you remember hearing about when the war started?

Roy D.: No, I was too young, really. Although I knew something was happening because there was a curfew on and my parents couldn't go out after a certain hour, they had to be at home. But I was not too aware because I was nine years old when the war started.

RD: And do you remember the day that you were told that you were gonna go away?

Roy D.: Right. I mean, we didn't have too much notice. Like my sister got married one day before we had to be evacuated because she wanted to stay with her husband. So I remember a quick wedding at my brother-in-law's house, and they were married just the day before they went to camp, and so they were able to stay together. And then the next day we had to go camp.

RD: Do you remember what you took with you?

Roy D.: Well, I don't remember what I took, but my mother was very worried. And in one hand she had a suitcase, and in the other hand she had a big sort of canister of dried milk because she thought we wouldn't have anything to eat. So that's one thing I remember. And when we got to the station where we had to leave for the assembly center, I remember we went on our car, and my dad sold his car for fifty dollars, which was a paltry sum, although that's worth about five hundred dollars today, I guess.

RD: Yeah. Well, that's probably what you were able to live on in the camp.

Roy D.: Yeah. I don't know exactly how we lived on it in camp because after the assembly center when my dad and mother worked, they worked in the kitchen mess hall they called it, and they were paid I think sixteen dollars a month, and that's what they survived on.

RD: And where were your assembly camp?

Roy D.: Our assembly camp was in Arboga, Marysville, near Marysville, California.

RD: Pretty small, right?

Roy D.: That was a small one. It was a small camp, but it was for residents living mostly in Placer County and the Sacramento area. And I remember the barrack was very simple at that time, just a partition, but you could hear everything going on in the next room.

RD: How many people?

Roy D.: Well, in our room, let's see, there were six of us. I had, at that time, one sister and two brothers and my parents and I were living in this one room, about twenty by twenty-five foot room.

RD: Did you go to school while you were in Marysville?

Roy D.: No. We were in the assembly center only for about three months, and then we were shipped to Tule Lake, California, which was a large camp in northern California. And I remember going, I think, by train, Arboga to Tule Lake.

RD: We have pictures, you saw the pictures of the Tule Lake barracks, is that what you remember?

Roy D.: Yes, I remember Tule Lake. And one of the few things I remember was our address, which was 41-01-A. And the camp life must have been imprinted in my life because of the many places I lived in, I only remember the camp addresses. Like Tule Lake was 41-01-A and later Heart Mountain was 9-15-B. I lived in a lot of places, but those are the two places that are imprinted in my mind.

RD: And you had a family number, too, right?

Roy D.: Right, it was 24455. So that's been sort of imprinted. You know, we weren't tattooed, but I think it was tattooed in our brain, because I remember our family number. So it must have made a pretty firm impression, although I was young at that time.

RD: Do you know when you would have to use your number?

Roy D.: No, I never could recall having been asked that, except it was imprinted on all our baggage, I remember, when we were shipped from Tule Lake to Heart Mountain.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2010 Raechel Donahue and Garrett Lindemann and Densho. All Rights Reserved.