Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Toshiko Aiboshi Interview
Narrator: Toshiko Aiboshi
Interviewer: Richard Potashin
Location: Culver City, California
Date: January 20, 2011
Densho ID: denshovh-atoshiko-01-0007

<Begin Segment 7>

RP: You shared with us earlier about how one of the benefits of your camp experience at Amache that were, you got to really get to know these people that became your friends.

TA: Yes.

RP: And that in a situation like that where, sort of dire circumstances, you become even more connected with the group.

TA: Yes.

RP: And you share this common experience.

TA: Yeah, our block was such a good block in terms of the age group, because I think we had about eighteen kids who were all high school age. And so one, I know one girl who was so good at dancing. She taught all the boys how to dance, she taught the girls how to dance. So there was kind of a social -- they did have movies at the camp, and what they did was, for instance, 8-K and 9-K, which were right next to each other, one block would start a movie at, say, seven o'clock, and then when that reel was over somebody had to run to the next block and take it to the next block to show that one, and that other place started at 7:30. And that way two blocks could see the same movie. And then we alternated which block started the movie earlier, 9-K would start the next week earlier and so forth. And we did have dances, and then we found out that those country hicks weren't so bad, and we have made many friends, probably because we were all in the same circumstance. And you didn't, and we didn't have any responsibility about cooking food, we didn't have much responsibility about cleaning your house. You did have to do that, but you didn't go grocery shopping. The parents did not like this because the kids wanted to sit and eat together at the mess hall, and in a family situation you would not do that. And so the parents were very, kind of upset that the family balance was being changed and that the children may lose their standards and values that they wanted to instill into their children, because they were very particular about how people acted and so forth, and they thought, "They are going, these children are going to just become, not delinquents but they certainly are not going to be, have this culture of being obedient and orderly and polite and that kind of thing." But I don't think that really happened.

RP: So who did you eat...

TA: I think I did eat with the Yoshimunes. I think I was one of those obedient children. [Laughs]

RP: All the time?

TA: Almost all the time, but had I had a choice I might have chosen to eat some of the other people. But I was really kind of an obedient child.

RP: To get back to the, to your block, and you were talking about how cohesive, where you mentioned that folks from other parts of the camp would come to join your block 'cause it...

TA: Yes. You know Min Tonai, he lived in 9-L and he would come down, and he says, "I'm an honorary member of 8-K," because 8-K is the block where we were. And I think we had about eighteen kids that were all practically within three years of each other, and so we were very close. And so we have had reunions of 8-K people.

RP: Just 8-K people?

TA: Just 8-K people.

RP: Where do you hold those?

TA: We haven't done that for a long time, but... and I can remember one where we did one, and one woman got married while she was in camp and she was telling us about how she had, they had gone to the town of Granada to get married, and she had, I don't know, I think she got some, she made a suit or something and was married in that. I didn't realize that at the time, but she had lived in Barrack 11 before the war and then got married. And some of the people, women, got married to people, the men who were gonna go off to war, and some did lose their husbands, which was kind of sad.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright &copy; 2011 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.