Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Masako Yoshida Interview
Narrator: Masako Yoshida
Interviewer: Kristen Luetkemeier
Location: Monterey Park, California
Date: August 14, 2014
Densho ID: denshovh-ymasako-01-0010

<Begin Segment 10>

KL: Let's... I want to hear about that, but I want to ask you first about what your memories are of December 7, 1941, hearing the news that Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.

MY: Okay, when it happened I remember we had to have blackouts, and we couldn't go far, we couldn't go to school anywhere, because we could only go a mile away or something like that. We couldn't go past a mile away, so naturally our parents could not go to work, and the money they had would be dwindling. But we managed to live, and my father did not want to go 'til the very end, that's why we went to Poston. Other people, my friends all went with their different, to different camps. In fact, most of us all got split up.

KL: Did your parents think there was a chance they might not have to go?

MY: No, but my father was the kind that, well, if we have to go, we have to go, but he's not going to go until the very end when they make us go, and that was our area. They took each section by areas, and we just didn't go until they said it's our turn. And you know what? I don't even remember how we went to the train station, but I remember we went to the train station.

KL: Did you stay in your same house?

MY: Oh, yes. Because where would we go? But I know people from Terminal Island and stuff had, came and stayed in the church and the Japanese school and things like that.

KL: At the Union Church?

MY: No, Baptist Church in Boyle Heights. Union Church is one of the first that had to go. See, they took sections and that was the Little Tokyo section, early, because I remember going to see my best friend who went with her family and her sister who was married. That's what they did, the joined the families together and they left together. And then another friend... see, they cut up Los Angeles a lot. But I remember when they had blackouts, you know, okay, I was sixteen at the time, barely seventeen, and my boyfriend lived close by, we'd go around knocking on windows and saying, "Hey, pull your shades, it's a blackout." It was fun to us, that was funny. But we didn't go anywhere, we just... that was our entertainment I guess. And then he went to Manzanar and so I came, so my parents, my father would not leave 'til the end, that's how we went to Poston.

KL: What was your boyfriend's name?

MY: I'm not going to tell you.

KL: Okay, that's fine.

MY: I did not marry him. But he was my high school... he went to Manzanar. He is now gone, he's died.

<End Segment 10> - Copyright © 2014 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.