Densho Digital Archive
Watsonville - Santa Cruz JACL Collection
Title: Chiyoko Yagi Interview
Narrator: Chiyoko Yagi
Interviewer: Megan Asaka
Location: Watsonville, California
Date: July 28, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-ychiyoko-01-0018

<Begin Segment 18>

MA: So is there anything else that you would like to share about your time in Poston? Any memories about Poston that come to mind?

CY: Well, we kind of got used to living there, after things, when we first went, it was barren, but then after the internees started coming back, they planted all kind of things around the barrack, it cut down the dust, too, and it got prettier. And they had trees planted, and so it was livable. But we did get dust storms once in a while, but not as bad.

MA: Seems like people made the best of what they had at the time.

CY: Yeah, they, like one time, we had, friends from Watsonville came to see us in camp, and we were ready to sit down to dinner at the mess hall, and the dust storm came, and everything just turned all white with dust. They saw what we lived through, you know, 'cause it doesn't happen all the time, but it does happen once in a while. And when it does, it's really bad. You can't see the barrack across the street, across the way, which is twenty feet away.

MA: And these were Caucasian friends from Watsonville?

CY: Uh-huh, uh-huh. My husband's boss, and they came to see him and they came to see other people, too.

MA: And these were the people whose son took care of your property?

CY: (Yes).

MA: Were you able to get, like, rent, monthly rent from the people who rented out your property? Did they send you money?

CY: (Narr. note: No, it was put in an account where all the bills were paid.) We had to give 'em the power of attorney. But later on, he couldn't take care of us, so we had the bank take over, a man at the bank. Because it's getting kind of hard, you had to pick up the rent, and then make sure the place is okay. So at the end, we had a bank. Of course, we were there three years in camp.

MA: And so just to clarify, so you had the, the shop, the barber shop?

CY: (We had the home, granny quarter, and large rental building in the back and the Main Street Property.)

MA: And also your own home?

CY: (Yes). And I had a, we have a granny quarter.

MA: The granny quarter, (a one-bedroom apartment).

CY: Uh-huh, then we have a rental in the back, and we had another property in Main Street, which was rented out, too.

MA: Main Street in Watsonville?

CY: Main Street in Watsonville side, (Santa Cruz County).

MA: Watsonville side.

CY: Uh-huh. But then at the end, we, before we came out, we sold that property to pay off the mortgage on that (...) shop that was just built in 1940.

<End Segment 18> - Copyright ©2008 Densho and the Watsonville - Santa Cruz JACL. All Rights Reserved.