Densho Digital Archive
Twin Cities JACL Collection
Title: Yoshimi Matsuura Interview
Narrator: Yoshimi Matsuura
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Bloomington, Minnesota
Date: June 17, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-myoshimi-01-0013

<Begin Segment 13>

TI: During this difficult time, were, do you recall any acts of kindness by people?

YM: Yes, yes. We had some friends who were really good. They're the ones that gave us transportation to the railroad stations and stuff like that with their pickup. Yes, we had some very close friends.

TI: So there were some people who were friends before the war broke out who remained?

YM: Oh, yeah, they remained, remained good friends, yes. And they didn't change, they didn't change. They knew us.

TI: And so things like dropping you off at the assembly point?

YM: Yeah, that was all, of course, they were happy to do that.

TI: Anything else you can recall that really kind of helped you and your family out, an act of kindness?

YM: At that time? We had a high school teacher we used to call Ma and Pa Kellogg. It was, they were from Midwest, it was a couple, elderly couple from Midwest. He was from Ohio and she was from, I believe, Wisconsin. They went to the same school, college, and then married and moved to California. He taught civics and she taught World History and American History and Latin, I believe. And I think he taught World History also, or American History. This couple was, she had many Japanese students, and they were quite outspoken. As I understood it, they bought a retiring, farm for retirement in Parlier, California, which was not too far from Fowler, to retire on. But eventually they sold that because of the pressure. They got too much pressure, they were too outspoken. And they moved to La Jolla, San Diego area. So there were people like that who spoke out.

TI: Oh, so there was a lot of pressure, so these teachers who were essentially neighbors, when they were outspoken, I'm guessing that they were outspoken in terms of, in support of the Japanese community. Because of that support, they were, essentially, forced out of town.

YM: That's right, uh-huh. That's one that I know of. I don't know of any others, but I'm sure there were others who wouldn't dare speak up. But then that was the way things were going.

TI: Do you recall how the Kelloggs spoke out in Fowler?

YM: No, I don't, no I don't, because we were evacuated. But my brother got some letters from them, and this is where I got all the information that they did have problems. And matter of fact, they visited us here in Minnesota after the war. They stopped by when they were out Midwest. So...

TI: And I'm curious, when they stopped by after the war, do you recall anything they said about what happened and did you guys talk about that?

YM: In California?

TI: Yeah, in California.

YM: They were, they didn't want to talk too much about that.

TI: Did they, did they talk about what happened to the Japanese community and what they thought about that?

YM: No, really not. It was a short visit.

TI: So it was just getting together.

YM: Yeah, short visit.

<End Segment 13> - Copyright ©2009 Densho and the Twin Cities JACL. All Rights Reserved.