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-01-0018

<Begin Segment 18>

KL: Sometimes at Manzanar at least, the blocks kind of have defined identities, like people talk about the Terminal Island block, the Bainbridge Island block, the Venice block, whatever, the loud block, the quiet, what was your block like at Poston?

MY: We were the Boyle Heights block, plus the Terminal Islanders who moved to Boyle Heights, because they had to leave Terminal Island the day after, so many of them came to stay at the church, Baptist church, and that's the Terminal Islanders from Baptist church. And I would say our group was like the Baptist church group.

KL: Your group in Poston?

MY: Uh-huh.

KL: Did the Terminal Island people and the Boyle Heights people mesh very much?

MY: Not too much. They would stay on their own, and no, I would say no. We were very cliquish, I think. In fact, when we went to, when we went there, I remember a man, George Fuji came on our bus and said, "You know, you people from L.A. might find this very difficult, but we hope you get along with all of us." They figured that we're, you know, Boyle Heights had a pretty bad reputation, too, because there were some boys who used to get in fights.

KL: In Poston it had a bad reputation?

MY: No, in L.A. L.A. Boyle Heights people had a reputation of getting into fights.

KL: Even in the '40s?

MY: Oh, yeah. Not all of them, but there was one group who they were not from L.A., they were more from Little Tokyo. But because they had fights in Santa Ana, some of them were sent to Poston. They had some big fights in Santa Anita.

KL: And so the administrators tried to separate them in different camps?

MY: Yes, uh-huh.

KL: Did that group have a name? I haven't heard that story.

MY: No, I don't know that they did.

KL: It was young people?

MY: Uh-huh. And they weren't bad, they just were approached and they hit them back. There's always two sides to every story.

KL: At least, right? When did you, was there anything else you wanted to share from Poston?

MY: No. My time there was very short.

<End Segment 18> - Copyright © 2014 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.