Densho Digital Archive
Japanese American Museum of San Jose Collection
Title: Mollie Nakasaki Interview
Narrator: Mollie Nakasaki
Interviewer: Jiro Saito
Location: San Jose, California
Date: November 1, 2004
Densho ID: denshovh-nmollie-01-0017

<Begin Segment 17>

JS: How did the evacuation financially affect your family?

MN: Well, maybe I shouldn't be saying this, but then I remember one day right after the war broke out, we had to close the shop, we had to close the grocery store, because on the window it said, "Due to bankruptcy, we are closing our store."

JS: Okay.

MN: And then I guess we just gave too much credit to, to all of our farming people.

JS: Okay, okay. But the bankruptcy, did that, did you understand what that was about?

MN: Yes, uh-huh.

JS: Okay. And how did the, how did the evacuation affect your parents, do you think?

MN: Oh, I think, I think they took it very hard, my mother and father. They didn't know what to do, so my sister, she was going with this guy, and so my mother wanted her to stay in Salinas to finish up all of the business and paperwork business for the rest, for the grocery store, so, so my sister married Sumio in Salinas.

JS: This is your sister...

MN: Grace, my eldest sister. And then, so that she could stay and finish up all of the things that had to be done. But I don't know what she had to do, but she had to stay.

JS: Did the evacuation have any impact on you, at all?

MN: No.

JS: I know this is kind of going into the future, but did you ever discuss the evacuation or camp life with your children?

MN: Not, not the first, first four or five years, I never talked about it.

JS: Why was that?

MN: I don't know. I didn't think they would be interested.

JS: Okay. But then...

MN: Then the reunions started. The first San Jose reunion started, and oh, I thought it was just wonderful that they would have... I don't, to this day, I don't remember what day it was for, what day it was. So I talked to my family that this is what happened to us.

JS: Okay. Did you give 'em any... what exactly did you tell them about?

MN: That all during the war, that we had to go to camp, and then, then they would say, "Camp, summer camp?" I said, "No, it wasn't like that." I think when we were first there, they had those guards, a sentry guard looking down on us with the guns. But then after a while, they, they left. I guess we weren't such a threat after all. But for the first few months or so, we had this great big huge watchtower, and then they were, they had the guns on us.

JS: What were their, what was their reaction to what you told them about the camps?

MN: "How interesting." I didn't, they didn't, they didn't know. They just said, "How interesting."

JS: Okay.

<End Segment 17> - Copyright © 2004 Densho and The Japanese American Museum of San Jose. All Rights Reserved.