Densho Digital Archive
Twin Cities JACL Collection
Title: Don Maeda Interview
Narrator: Don Maeda
Interviewer: Carolyn Nayematsu
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Date: October 13, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-mdon-01-0005

<Begin Segment 5>

CN: So December 7th happened and then you went, it wasn't until March that you went to, that you were evacuated...

DM: But then, before that, right after, I can't remember exactly when, but they posted on all the telephone poles that we were restricted, we had a curfew, eight o'clock curfew, and we couldn't go beyond five miles from home. And I remember we would be out with our friends, Caucasian friends, and Lloyd Hoshide, who was Japanese, we had to rush home at eight o'clock. I don't know if we'd ever got caught or not but we were always home by eight.

CN: So you started to get these warnings...

DM: Right.

CN: Japanese Americans were being looked at.

DM: Well, a little different, yeah.

CN: When did you know you would be evacuated, approximately?

DM: Let's see, I think the first post of that along about probably about February of '42, I'm pretty sure.

CN: Now by that time you had a home. Your father had purchased a home, right?

DM: Well, there again now, they weren't allowed to buy property but to get around it I don't know if it's legal or whatever, but a family had a son that was older, he had become of age, and so my dad bought our home through, it was under his name, this boy's name, and I think my dad must have paid yearly, I remember going over to his house and he'd give him some money just to use his name which could have been kind of scary I guess if the boy and his family weren't honest, they could have probably taken it. But they had no problems. But then when Jane, my sister, became of age, they transferred it into her name.

CN: So at that time, by the time of evacuation, your house was in your sister's name?

DM: No. It was after.

CN: And you owned a car.

DM: Yes.

CN: So what were the preparations like that your family had to go through?

DM: Well, that was the worst part for me. My dad had a 1936 Plymouth which I was driving around and then this friend, he bought my dad's car, and so that was really one of the worst days of my life when I didn't have a car anymore. And then he bought my dad's car and another friend bought my uncle's car. And when we were sent to Puyallup they would come out with two cars full of friends and park the car across the street -- we were barbed wire, you know -- and we could talk, and I would see my car and my dad's car and my uncle's car with a bunch of friends, that was hard for me. They were very nice friends to come, they always brought us fruit and stuff, but just to see my car across the street, that bothered me.

CN: What did your parents have to do with your house?

DM: They rented it out and they apparently had very reliable renters because they put the money in the bank, and so my dad had that income so he did not lose his life insurance, but they were honest people.

CN: What about your dad and his job? What was going on there in terms of his treatment at the dental office?

DM: Apparently nothing happened. He worked.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright ©2009 Densho and the Twin Cities JACL. All Rights Reserved.