Densho Digital Archive
Frank Abe Collection
Title: Kats Kunitsugu - Paul Tsuneishi Interview
Narrators: Kats Kunitsugu, Paul Tsuneishi
Interviewer: Frank Abe (primary); Frank Chin (secondary)
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: August 22, 1995
Densho ID: denshovh-kkats_g-01

[Ed. note: Correct spelling of certain names, words and terms used in this interview have not been verified.]

<Begin Segment 1>

FA: Tell us about this essay, how old was she when she wrote this and where?


PT: Well, my wife was -- and we were not married at the time, of course, she was a teenager and she was slated to graduate from Heart Mountain High School in 1943, which she did. But during the 1981 Commission hearings on the internment in Los Angeles, we started looking through some of our scrapbooks 'cause she had kept some material and I had kept a scrapbook. And she came across an editorial she had written while she was at Heart Mountain and she didn't realize that she had written this essay, because she didn't realize the amount of anger that she had hidden and kept hidden and she was very interested in the euphemism that the teacher used in changing the language of what she had written.

She had written here: "Whenever I hear this word 'evacuation' it brings to my mind masses of people uprooted and torn from comfortable homes, well-established occupations, and friends of long standing. In other words, denied the rights and privilege to live a free life. But more than that, the topic of Americanism arises. Just what does Americanism mean? To me it stands for freedom of worship, religion, speech, press, and the pursuit of happiness which we are fighting for in this global war. Why then were citizens of Japanese ancestry removed from their homes and placed behind barbed wire?"

The teacher changed this wording and inserted this euphemism: "Why then were citizens of Japanese ancestry removed from their homes and placed in relocation centers." And I think that expresses perfectly the tenor of the times, because you must remember that this was fifty years ago and that the Issei were as immigrants denied citizenship, were in a survival mode and mentality, and they hoped to live out, through us, the Nisei, vicariously the things that were unattainable for them. And so we carried into that camp the same kind of mentality and the same kind of values from Japanese culture into the camps, the survival mentality if you will, and that explains a lot of why we did what we did and how we acted as we did under the pressures of the concentration camps.


FC: The teacher offered some other advice for rewrites?

PT: Yes, she had in here following that statement that I just read, "Rationalize and arrive at a conclusion whereby you can reconcile this seemingly undemocratic act as an act of Americanism." So really the teacher wanted her to turn logic on its head, and that was the position we were in in those camps, and I think that that kind of mentality, a large part of that culturally driven, explains why fifty years after the war, we're still deeply divided as Japanese Americans on the issue of resisters of conscience in the camps.

FC: Is this similar to your experience in Heart Mountain High School? Is this what they were teaching?

KK: I think by and large, the teachers were not firebrands. They were, some of them were there because maybe the pay was better or some were straight out of normal school and were looking for a job, and also a few were inspired to be "good citizens" and "do good to the poor Japanese Americans who are incarcerated," that sort of thing. But as Paul says, the whole atmosphere that we lived in was that we were the weaker and there was a power over us over which we had no control, and to survive we just had to go along, and that was the way it was.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 1995, 2005 Frank Abe and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 2>

FC: So in this atmosphere, how, to resist must have been a terribly extraordinary thing.

KK: You couldn't imagine what it must have taken, what strength of soul or maybe desperation, but I still think there was a strength of heart there that saw straight into the heart of the matter and said, "Well, if I have but one life to live I'm going to make a decision that is right, and this is my decision." And they stuck to it and I really admire them because the forces against that kind of decision were just overwhelming, just overwhelming. You couldn't imagine. Your own parents, your peers, the, of course the Sentinel itself was very much against the resisters because to resist the draft was un-American, and we as Nisei were brought up to be 110 percent Americans, although we felt of course that it was unjust for the government to be putting us into concentration camps. But still, when the government called and you were drafted, you served because as an American citizen that was your duty. That type of thing. And so there were all kinds of rationalizations to make and so on and most people did that but the resisters, they made a deeper decision there somewhere and it took a lot of guts.

PT: I think you have to realize, too, that in that time, the, all the organizations within the Japanese American community collapsed under the pressure of the government, and so that you had a strange situation in early 1942 where out of Los Angeles, telegram was sent to Attorney General Biddle saying that we're, we are all Americans and you can trust us and we, and we have even become... not spies but turned in names of people who we thought might be suspicious. And the interesting thing is that was, that was signed not only as you might expect by the Japanese American Citizens League, but the Japanese American Church Federation, and there were Buddhists, there was a Buddhist priest's name on there, and there was a Japanese American union, so you have to understand that all of the organizations within the Japanese community, once they felt that they had to go to camp, decided to cooperate with the government, and it's against this kind of pressure that resisters of conscience responded. They were responding not to the powers of the state, but they were responding to what was laid out in the, in their Bill of Rights, and due process, and to a higher law.

FC: So if there was this much pressure against them to resist, once they resisted, the community, how did the community respond to that?


KK: There was a lot of pressure for them to change their minds and to go along with the official line, so to speak.

FC: Were there consequences after camp for the resisters?

KK: Well, of course they were in jail and had to serve time until they were pardoned, and that part of their life is a blank.

PT: It's important to remember, though, that there were other federal trials, under three other different federal judges, and those trials were, two of those were, the judges refused to hear the case saying it was unconstitutional, the other judge of course fined them a penny, I believe, and let them go. But we're living with the consequences of that today because that dichotomy between, between staying with your community and staying with the government versus the idea that the Constitution has a higher value than the state, is with us today in the Japanese American community. And those resisters of conscience are still paying the price and those who have died are beyond being recompensed in any way. It's a valid and live issue in our community.

FA: The churches.

PT: Churches are interesting situation, especially in the camps because the one person who has done a study on this and wrote a book on ministry in the assembly centers and the relocation centers, wrote a very interesting part of his book which said that all ministers and religious leaders who came to the camps to preach or to be, or to make speeches, like internationally famous people like E. Stanley Jones, were told before they came as a condition of coming into the camps, what they could say and what they could not say, and it's spelled out in that book that that was the conditions under which they came in. So the churches, of course, you can understand why they did what they did under those pressures, but beyond that, all the ministers' training, and I'm talking about the Protestant ministers, the Japanese Protestants, the training was in Western seminaries. And so in that particular training, all the values came from the Anglo culture. But beyond that, within the Christian tradition, for ministers there's a pastoral role and there's a prophetic role, and one of the things that have never surfaced even fifty years after is any kind of Japanese American theology about what that theology of resistance should look like. This is a very valid part of the Old Testament, Amos and the other prophets who call the kings in the government to account for what they have done. And that has not happened in the Japanese American Christian community.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 1995, 2005 Frank Abe and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 3>

FC: How did the white communities around -- how did Cody and Powell respond to presence of camp and internees wandering in and out of town?

PT: Well, I'd like to respond to that. When we attended the symposia, three-day symposia in Powell, Wyoming, a few months back, it was very clear from the comments made by some of the speakers, Velma Kesell, a nurse at Heart Mountain was one of them, and the, another person that worked in the camps who was Senator Simpson's brother, they all, two things were very obvious. All the local population were very happy to find work that paid above the prevailing wages, not only to build the camp but to work at the camps. Also because due to the shortage of labor, local farmers like Jim Hart, who ran a potato farm there and is retired today in Powell, the... and when I talk to him, he and Velma recently, they both told me that the atmosphere of Powell at the time was that, was really less hostile than it was out here on the Pacific Coast that led to our internment. And as a matter of fact, there was a lot of good will there and it's only those who, who identified us with Japanese from Japan that called us "Japs" as has happened. But the overall environment in the local community, while not supportive, was more close to neutral than being hostile.


FC: -- further east, it felt quite different.

KK: Oh, you know, most of the people had never seen a real Japanese person in person so they didn't have this ingrained mindset that they were supposed to look at us a certain way. And so as Paul said, they were either neutral or they didn't have that hostility to begin with. And I found that going to Wisconsin University, that most of the people were very open-minded and I didn't find any instances of personal antagonism like that.

PT: There were isolated cases, Jim Hart the potato farmer that I referred to, told me something very interesting which I realized when I visited the cemetery in Powell to visit the gravesites of seven Issei who had died in Heart Mountain, and that I realized that there were Japanese living in that area, and Jim Hart told me that there were two Japanese farmers with families living in that area that were in Powell that were very well- respected. You must remember that Powell today with a population under five thousand probably had a smaller population at that time. So it was a very small, rural population but he did cite an incident that happened. He and other farmers were very glad to hire Nisei like us to work in the sugar beet fields and the potato fields, and he had hired six or seven Nisei at a time to harvest his potatoes. And he would dig them up with his tractor and they would walk behind with these heavy sacks picking up potatoes. And he related an incident that happened where a car stopped and he found, when Mr. Hart came out from his house, he noticed that all the Nisei were hiding behind the potato sacks, and he says, "What's going on?" and they said, "Well, the man in the car is shooting at us." So he walked over to the, started to walk towards the car and it moved down the roadway and he caught up with it. And the passenger got out of the car and swung at him with a whiskey bottle and he dodged that and he said he had leather gloves on because he'd been driving a tractor, and he decked him. And the driver then came out and was going to attack Mr. Hart's truck driver who was there and Mr. Hart gave him the same treatment and Mrs. Hart called the Powell police department and they came, came out and incarcerated the two men who had probably been drinking. But those kinds of incidents were very, really isolated incidences.

FC: So for the most... so the relations were fairly congenial then, on the whole, rather than tense and hostile.

KK: Yeah, when you get to know people, that's the way it usually is.

PT: Beyond that, I mean, I'm not sure if congenial is the proper word. It's just that they didn't know us and we didn't know them. But a lot of internees went to Powell and Cody to shop and so there was an economic interest there and they got to know some of us, and that did make a difference, because I worked in a farm in Worland and worked on a hothouse in Thermopolis and worked on a sugar beet ranch in Powell, and so they were glad to have labor available because most of the young men had been drafted to the war effort.

KK: The high school used to have basketball games and football games and baseball games against these teams from outside.

FC: Against other high school teams from Powell and Cody?

KK: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

FC: Wow. That's interesting.

KK: Yeah. And there were some apprehensions at first but young people being young people, you know.

FC: Did the teams leave camp, or would other teams come to camp to play?

KK: Other teams came to camp. I don't recall any going out.

PT: I don't think so.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 1995, 2005 Frank Abe and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 4>

FC: I seem, I remember a series of articles in the Denver Post about Heart Mountain, fresh fruit, fresh meat...

KK: Meat?

FC: ... fresh vegetables being given to the, food that was being denied boys overseas --

KK: What meat? [Laughs]

FC: -- was being lavished upon the people of Heart Mountain. Was the local press, did they join that hue and cry?

KK: Well, the Cody newspaper was quite hostile and there were signs in Cody windows that said "we didn't want Japanese trade" and that type of thing but we ignored that. But, you know, you have to remember that when you have ten thousand... was it more than thousand?

PT: Ten thousand.

KK: People in Heart Mountain, we were like the third largest city in Wyoming all of a sudden, and it does make an impression and the government did build a nice high school building which probably was better than nine-tenths of the other high schools in Wyoming. [Laughs] But meat? I don't think I ever saw meat.

PT: Well, that was attributed to a politician -- I forget which state he represented -- but the camp administration invited him to come out and see what we had, but of course he didn't come and that was not true.

FC: What did you have? What was the food like?

PT: Rutabagas. I remember rutabagas. [Laughs]

KK: Rutabagas and apple butter. I still don't eat apple butter because I remember it from camp. We didn't have any other kind of jam but apple butter type.

PT: Very quickly, though, the Issei farmers, who had been farmers before, started an agricultural growing there and lots of fresh vegetables, and actually started growing some animals, too, raising some animals, pigs, I believe.

KK: So they grew enough and more, they had enough for the camp and more, so they shipped to other camps, uh-huh.

FC: Good. So there was no fear of white vigilantes mounting their pickup trucks or their horses or whatever it is, riding out to...

KK: No, I think everyone was too busy. [Laughs] Too much to do to be doing that sort of thing.

Male voice: Was there any attempt to move resisters into one unit than non-resisters? I mean, did JACL try keep its people together?

PT: Not in Heart Mountain. There was a general overall attempt to move all that the WRA thought were troublemakers and resisters to one particular camp, but within Heart Mountain itself there was, nothing was done at that level at that time. After all, what they did was to arrest the ringleaders and put 'em on trial in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

KK: Those who answered "no-no" to the loyalty question were then moved to Tule Lake.

FC: You've maintained, you've established friendships with some of the, with some of the white members of the community out in Powell and Cody, and maintained these friendships. Why?

PT: Well, that's a very interesting question, but my answer to that is: fifty years in the Christian tradition is also the jubilee year where debts are forgiven and you move on. But you can't forgive debts until you deal with the problems that are there. Because you must have justice, to reconcile groups there must be justice. And that's why the resisters of conscience are conscience to the Japanese American community and the JACL, 'cause that issue has not been resolved. But I must tell you that I admire the folks of Powell and Cody because it was local citizens who decided that Heart Mountain ought to be recognized, and a group in a local nonprofit group set up all the markers and everything you see there, headed by the Blackburns. Then after the 1990 Wyoming Centennial, out of the Centennial a decision was made to put together an interpretive educational facility to Heart Mountain, all this done by local Wyoming citizens who had an interest in their own history so that they might learn from what happened there fifty years ago. And so they've invited us in to be part of that history. And I believe that the time is now that we might not only memorialize but that we move beyond being victims to do something positive and educational not only to free our souls, but for the benefit of our children and the larger population.

KK: Very well put.

<End Segment 4> - Copyright © 1995, 2005 Frank Abe and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 5>

FC: Will Japanese America survive?

KK: Numerically I don't know, as such. There's a lot of outmarriage and I think which is fine. I mean, it's natural.

PT: We're in transition. We're a very small marginalized group within this larger society with outmarriage amongst our children, but there are, I believe that it will survive because there are values inherent in Japanese culture and Japanese American culture that are very, very valuable to the larger community. Values that bring something to the table that we might be a multi-cultural society and not a melting pot.

FC: What are these values? What, if Japanese America seems, I see it, it seems to be fading fast, disappearing, and maybe it's true you can marry anybody you want and still maintain your cultural identity. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Seems to depend on the individual. But what are these values if they're this valuable, and can you show me that these values are still being carried by the young? Are these values valuable to the young Japanese Americans? Will they survive in the young no matter who they marry?

PT: Well, I look to the very interesting group, the Jews have survived for four thousand years without a country until recently and it's very interesting that, that civilizations in which the Jews survive are long gone, the Greek civilization, other civilizations. In Japanese American society, I think, there are cultural values that have to do with endurance, the value of community, the value of ethnicity, the value of the individual within the group, although there's a sense that Japanese society smothers the individual, yet there's a larger sense in which the individual is valuable within the ethnic group. And I think that we have come to understand that the melting pot theory in America, basically a racist concept, and that what we really need to work towards is a multi-cultural society where each individual is valued for what he or she is, whether as a Japanese American or a mixed-parentage person. It's when we come to understand that within this society, this very unique kind of society that is so different from other societies in Europe and the Far East where the individual is valued, but within a multi-cultural setting that we're a test tube for what the globe might look like within the next millennium. And it's here in Southern California that we'll either make it come true or we will see it die.

FC: What do you think, Kats?

KK: Well, when I try to think what are the traits that make Japanese Americans Japanese Americans, or what I would like to see the traits, and did I pass it on to my kids, the answer is no. What I'd like to think of as Japanese American is a, first of all there is the what the Japanese call kenson, which puts yourself last, you know, "after you my dear Watson," type of thing. And that is an attitude that's not going to get you anywhere in the United States, and so there are assertive training classes and all that. But it is that type of courtesy that is fast disappearing from this Earth, I think, which is so valuable. And if we had that type of respect for each other, it would be so nice. And the other is finding something to do that is worthwhile to yourself and work hard at it. That we really must find a way of educating our children so that they find this something to do that is worthwhile to them, instead of just making them go through certain set pattern, it seems.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 1995, 2005 Frank Abe and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 6>

FC: What do you, do you tell your children about camp, about Heart Mountain, about the resisters? Or do you say forget all that, it's just going to mess you up, don't bother thinking about that stuff at all and just get good grades and get on with your life.

PT: I think for myself, I think, I know my wife is getting tired of hearing me say this and I think my children are, too. Is that I've told them that I realize that I've made a very bad mistake as a parent and as a husband in not sharing with them what I was going through and what was happening at that time, and what it meant for me as a Nisei to be growing up in a society where I didn't realize that from a very early age, because of the pressures from both the society and my parents wanting me to succeed, that I had really become a white person, and in doing that I denied myself. But I have shared with my children, my three children and my wife, that I regret a lot of those decisions, but from here on out, I'm going to be sharing with them what that experience means to me and what I'm doing currently in the Japanese American community. And I think with that as a parent and a father and a grandfather, I think that's about the best I can do.

KK: Sure, that's a lot.

FC: How about yourself?

KK: Well, my kids are of course all grown up and my oldest grandchild is beginning college this year, so all that is sort of behind me now. [Laughs] I don't think I did a very good job of telling them about camp because we never made it a point to talk about it. And... the way we brought our kids up, we never made a point of anything, I think. It was just that...

PT: Things were understood. [Laughs]

KK: No, no, they just watched us do the things we did and if they learned anything, they learned it just by watching us. And apparently it worked because all three are good kids.

PT: All right. [Laughs]

FC: What does camp, what does Japanese America have to show a non-Japanese American American, a pagan non-Christian like me, what do I have to learn from you from this? Can it happen to me?

KK: Absolutely, absolutely.

PT: Of course, of course. It happens with every generation because everything's in transition and change is the norm. But the greatest mistake I think we can make is not to learn from what has happened and I think that we must put a very high value on sharing and teaching about what the, what history has to teach us.

KK: And to be from our point of view, more sympathetic because of what we went through, that we should certainly know better when groups are discriminated against because of just being what they are.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 1995, 2005 Frank Abe and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 7>

FC: As we look at the camp things, oh, this story is too complex. The Japanese Americans can't even agree amongst themselves what they should have done, there was this big split that is still there, they're never going to resolve it. What would happen, in your opinion, if the JACL said, "We made a few mistakes, we're sorry"? What do you think would happen if the JACL said that to Japanese Americans?

KK: I think they would gain more respect, certainly. You know, people have to realize that times change as Paul says, and it's no shame to admit you were wrong, because sometimes you are wrong, you know? [Laughs] I'm not always right. And I changed my mind on Vietnam. [Laughs] I tell you, when I look back on my life, it's not all shiny, whatchacallit. [Laughs] There are a lot of things I regret.

PT: But I think that question is particularly pressing for JACL because JACL claims to be a civil rights organization. And this issue of the resisters of conscience is a civil rights issue, and it ought needs to be addressed. We can, JACL as an organization will lose more support if it does not 'fess up and confess that they made an honest mistake. And that's really what it was. They honestly believed that it was in the best interest, our best interest to cooperate with the government, but in doing so they made the mistake of vilifying resisters of conscience, and actually...

KK: The pointing fingers at innocent people and so on.

PT: That's right, and actually driving, in the case of a supporter of theirs, James Omura, out of jobs and making him a pariah within the Japanese American community. That's the JACL legacy, and I'm a JACL member and I say we have to redress that within our own community.

FC: Are you JACL?

KK: I used to be. But I really don't see what I could give to JACL at this point and what it could do for me so I haven't been a member for more than ten years.

FC: How close do you feel to the Japanese American community these days?

KK: I feel very close. I mean, without the community I don't think I exist really because it is my home, my, where my heart is, and I just feel very comfortable in it and it's just a part of me.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 1995, 2005 Frank Abe and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 8>

FC: Okay. Would you do me a favor now and define the term 'Issei.'

KK: Issei?

FC: Issei.

KK: Issei are the immigrants who came over from Japan. So that they could be the old Issei that came at the beginning of the century or prior to that, they could be the Shin-Issei that came after the war.

FC: The term Nisei. Give me a summary of what that means.

KK: Nisei are the Isseis' children, the second generation born here.

FC: And Kibei?

KK: Now there I think there's a matter of probably language because I'm a Kibei. I lived in Japan four years. It was not long enough for me to be completely Japanese. I do read, write and speak Japanese fluently, but I don't think Japanese enough, and it's not my native tongue either, so that strictly speaking, I think Kibei were Nisei who were sent to Japan at an early age, probably stayed there longer than ten years and then returned to the United States to live the rest of their lives here, but their native language is Japanese and they think Japanese probably.

FC: Of these groups, Issei, Nisei, Kibei, were they all treated equally by the government in camp?

PT: No, no. Well, when you say "in camp"...

FC: Or in the community or anywhere.

PT: Well, you must remember that a lot of Issei leaders were picked up before or after Pearl Harbor, sent to special camps. Issei in the camps were not given leadership positions, although a few of them were in leadership position. What happened was each block within camps was asked to select a leader which... and that group was to meet with the governing body there and Norm Mineta's father was one, my dad was one, we used to call them "blockheads."

KK: [Laughs] Yeah, I was just going to say...

PT: So, but beyond that, really the camp administration looked to Nisei whom, with whom they were more comfortable in dealing with, so I think there, depending on the circumstances, they were treated, we were treated differently.

FC: Who was treated worst, or the best, of the three groups?

KK: Well, probably the JACL Nisei had it the best.

PT: Oh yes, I think so. Those who were most American in their attitude and being, no question about it.

Male voice: Who, who did you say?

PT: Those who were most Anglo-like in their, in their being and their conversation and fluent in English.

KK: In any setup, you have people who tend to sort of float to the top in the sense that they are going to be among the people who make decisions or who help make decisions and somehow are in on the real action. And during the evacuation, there was the question of who got to eat in the... on the train, who got the best sleepers or whatever, the best treatment, that sort of thing. And it all seemed to be -- and this, some of it was rumors because I never saw it, but the rumor was that the JACL leaders always got the best treatment, in the case of, even during the worst of times, there were always some people who got the best locations in camp or whatever. [Laughs]

FC: I heard the Kibei were especially singled out for suspicion.

PT: That's correct.

KK: Well, I think certain people felt that way because many of the Kibei were quite outspoken in their allegiance to Japan.

FC: Were any of these Kibei who, I guess, supported Japan's side in the war, did they support this actively?

KK: No, I think they kept pretty much, if they did it was in writing or not in any overt way.

FC: They weren't building weapons or drawing maps and sending 'em up by balloons to Japan?

KK: I think Japan itself did not trust people to spy for them unless they were in the military, under the direct control.

FC: Very good. Very good.

<End Segment 8> - Copyright © 1995, 2005 Frank Abe and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 9>

FC: How many, could you describe how many barracks in a block, how many blocks in a, whatever it was, a section?

PT: Well my memory's vague, but there were at Heart Mountain ten thousand people, there were thirty blocks and there were probably, probably eight to fifteen, not that many, could be depending on families, maybe around ten people per barracks. So I forget how many hundred barracks there were but there were hundreds.

KK: Let's see. I tried to remember by the numbers so there were twelve, twenty-four barracks to a block, and...

FC: Thirty blocks.

PT: Thirty blocks, but I don't remember how many...

KK: Then it depends on the family...

PT: That's right, size of the family.

KK: Size of the family. We were five of us in the family, so there were only four, four of us in, no, there were five of us when we moved to camp then one sister was born in camp. So within the camp we moved. We were in 17-11-C, or D, I forget, then we moved to 17-14-...

FC: How tall are you by the way, Kats?

KK: I'm 4' 8", I think.

FC: So you must cut quite a figure when you went to Cody to work on the paper, or to put the paper to bed, or to do some shopping?

KK: Oh yeah, people always stare. [Laughs]


FC: -- violence.

KK: From outside?

FC: Fear of violence from any quarter. Other groups inside camp? Was there, did you fear, "Oh, if I mention resisters they're all going to get together and storm me?"

PT: I never had that sense. It's interesting, there was, there was some concern about some young teenage males we call yogores, who went around in gangs, but that was about the extent of it.We had pretty good police force there made up of internees.

KK: Most of them could do martial arts pretty well, so they maintained order. [Laughs] Yeah.

FC: Very good. So you would say the conduct of the camp was fairly humane?

PT: Well, it was orderly. There was, they fed us, they clothed us, they gave us fourteen dollars a month for working.

FC: Did you have to pay tax in there?

KK: I don't recall.

PT: [Laughs] I don't remember if there was income tax in 1940.

KK: Sure there was. [Laughs] But I don't know, things seemed to be pretty normal in that sense of everyday life. You got up, you had breakfast, although you had to go to a mess hall to eat, but then you went to school and you had your regular classes and you had after-class clubs, Tri-Y and pep club.

Male voice: You were schooled on camp grounds.

PT: Right.

Male voice: They were Japanese teachers?

KK: Some were Japanese teachers, yes.

Male voice: In other words, they would truck in teachers?

PT: That's correct. My sister was a UCLA grad, and so she's qualified as a teacher and was a teacher at Heart Mountain.

FC: So the white teachers did not live on camp ground.

PT: No.

KK: Some did, but they, they were bussed to...

PT: Separate quarters.

KK: Yeah. They didn't live in camp in the sense that they shared barracks or anything, they had different quarters.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright © 1995, 2005 Frank Abe and Densho. All Rights Reserved.