Densho Digital Archive
Twin Cities JACL Collection
Title: Lucy Kirihara Interview
Narrator: Lucy Kirihara
Interviewer: Steve Ozone
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Date: October 13, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-klucy-01-0009

<Begin Segment 9>

SO: Okay, so you were there, and you were in the assembly center. Your sister had gone on to school.

LK: Right. Took the train and got 25 dollars. She had to go through a lot of red tape though to get released, to go to the mid states. And then maybe Judy mentioned, too, that her aunt, Ruth Tanbara, they were here earlier in St. Paul, and they were sort of the greeting party that when Esther came out here she didn't know a soul. And so they were very nice to at least get her settled. It must have been too early for the dorm, oh, she had a job as a babysitter in a home and so she must have stayed there. But then during school, you had to have enough money to stay at the dormitory for the first semester. And so she took our only suitcase. All our bank accounts were frozen at that time...

SO: So how did she get the money?

LK: Yeah, I'm just trying to think unless they took, they had some with them. Then after she went to Macalester for a semester, she found out that she got a scholarship. Oh, and then they also helped out that national, remember the Quaker group? Right, so she got a scholarship from them and that helped, and I don't know how much it was, two hundred dollars or so, and then she found out, gosh, if you get good grades, they give you a scholarship, so then she said she tried harder. And she was lucky that she was able to get some kind of help throughout. Then she had three jobs while she went to school. She worked for her room and board and she worked for Glen Clark, who wrote a lot of religious books. She was a typist there, and then she worked at the college for Miss Gwen Owens who was the drama teacher and she used to type for her. It was good that she knew how to type. So she had three little part-time jobs to put herself through. She would write to us and that's why we had contact with the outside world and so we knew how sad it was to be in camp. When I wrote to her that we all had food poisoning, she got so sad and she was crying. And I would write to her and when I got out of camp I said to her, "Did you save my letters?" Because after hearing about Anne Frank and all her letters that were written. She said, "Well, don't you remember, you always misspelled words, and so I circled them in red and sent them back to you so you would correct the spelling?" So she said, "You have all the letters that you wrote to me." So I guess it didn't add up to anything.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright ©2009 Densho and the Twin Cities JACL. All Rights Reserved.