Densho Digital Archive
Watsonville - Santa Cruz JACL Collection
Title: Mas Hashimoto Interview
Narrator: Mas Hashimoto
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Watsonville, California
Date: July 30, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-hmas-01-0017

<Begin Segment 17>

MH: But my brother was playing baseball, he was fourteen, Noriyuki, and on the field, sandlot game, and he hit the ball, ran toward first base, and he and the ball and the first baseman collided. My brother's skull was crushed right here, and the flow of blood stopped to his brain, and he was complaining of headaches. He hid underneath one of the barracks. He didn't want to tell Mom that he was hurting, he died.

TI: Did he die underneath the barracks, or did he die in the hospital?

MH: Underneath the barracks.

TI: So someone found his body underneath?

MH: So it was too late. So we had his funeral, and I remember bowing to people, I'm sitting right next to my mother and bowing. There was two funerals in Salinas, we were there for three months. He died in May, we were there in April, he died in May, we left in July. But we, we cremated his body --

TI: So Mas, I wanted to ask, so earlier you mentioned how Noriyuki was the one who would take care of you growing up. What was your reaction when you, when you found out?

MH: He was my best friend. He was my best brother. He was the nicest brother. I still remember he worked so hard, you know, getting, trying to obtain some money to buy a bicycle, and he bought the bicycle, then the war breaks out. We stored the bicycle in the, in the garage, and I used it when I came back. But when we got back, one of the first things we did, we went to the mortuary in Salinas, and they remembered us. They remembered us, that was nice.

TI: And what was the reaction of your other brothers and your mother to this?

MH: I think they were, they were pretty heartbroken. It was, some people wonder, do you sue something, you don't sue anybody. It was accident, it was nobody's fault, it's not the government's fault, it just happened. It was tragic, it was hard on my mother because she depended on him, and he was a really good brother.

TI: And did this change you in some ways, losing your older brother?

MH: Oh, absolutely. It was hard to converse with the other brothers. The other brothers were, the two older brothers, well, the oldest brother in Poston would get married. Then he gets tuberculosis, and then he's sent to a sanitarium, so he didn't fight in the war. The next two are going to be gone because they'll volunteer for the military. And then Mits had his friends. So I was, I was close to my mother, it was just my mother and me, for the most part.

TI: And what was the reaction of the other families towards you? Did people reach out to you and your mother?

MH: Oh, yes, absolutely. And they always remember that, and kindly, for which we are grateful.

TI: And what would be an example of a family reaching out to you?

MH: Well, they, they always saw to it that we were included in activities and such.

<End Segment 17> - Copyright ©2008 Densho and the Watsonville - Santa Cruz JACL. All Rights Reserved.