Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Kazuko Miyoshi - Yasuko Miyoshi Iseri Interview
Narrators: Kazuko Miyoshi, Yasuko Miyoshi Iseri
Interviewer: Kristen Luetkemeier
Location: Manhattan Beach, California
Date: June 26, 2013
Densho ID: denshovh-mkazuko_g-01-0029

<Begin Segment 29>

KL: Have you been, tell me about your visits back to Manzanar. When did you first return to Manzanar?

KM: We used to pass it on the way to Mammoth when we skied. And then one year when it was open to the public, Sylvia and I were coming back from Mammoth, not skiing, but by then we found out it was cold in the winter where we skied. So we had gone up for, to visit friends, and we decided to stop there. And the road is very bumpy and rough, and I had a Buick, which is not your best car to take in there, not being four wheel drive and all. And so we took that self-guided tour by ourselves. It was nothing... we just had to say, I think this was block so and so, this and that.

KL: What year was that? Do you have any idea?

KM: In the '90s.

Off camera: First time we went there was no road. There were a lot of rocks, and it was not a self-guided tour.

KL: It was earlier than the '90s?

Off camera: Oh, yeah, it was like in the '70s. And the only thing that was there, we went back to find the obelisk at the cemetery.

YI: I don't remember when I first went back. Ask Joe. [Laughs]

KM: Papa went.

KL: Joe, do you have a memory of... did you guys go back there together?

Joe: I think we first started going to Mammoth in the '70s. Only thing there, we stopped at the guardhouse.

Off camera: The guardhouse.

YI: Yeah, that's all that was there.


YI: In the '70s... well, we've been back several times, and of course, we got that archaeological report for our cellar, what was left.

KL: Oh, you did?

YI: Yeah, Richard.

KL: Richard Potashin?

YI: Yeah, he and the person that was in charge of the dig itself...

KL: It was probably Jeff Burton.

YI: Yes. They made a report, what they found, and mostly, of course, it was just broken toys and pieces of pottery and stuff like that that was left behind. But they had to fill that void that was in the ground, so there may be other things in there, too. But yeah, it's kind of the only place that I can see... Kuni says, my brother sees the porch part, but I don't see that.

KM: Yeah, I didn't see that.

YI: And then there's a tree there.

KM: That was his spot.

YI: So people in Heart Mountain think that Manzanar was, Manzanar was... compared to what they had. And I don't know about people in, like, Gila Bend or Poston. They had it harsh, too.

KM: The attorney, I mean, the judge, Lance Ito, his father said that it was really a hardship in Heart Mountain, that they hardly had enough food to eat. I don't know how true that is. Is that true, Joe, there wasn't enough food?

Joe: There was enough food. Maybe he didn't like to eat.

YI: [Laughs] Maybe he didn't like the food. They said there was plenty.

KL: Maybe he was tired of mutton and apple butter.

YI: I think there was plenty, because it's a camp. I mean, they can't not feed you.

<End Segment 29> - Copyright © 2013 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.