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-01-0020

<Begin Segment 20>

KL: Did you have the job with Johnson Dairy Farms before you left Poston?

MY: Yes, we had to. We had to have a job, and we'd go to where they asked us to go.

KL: You were talking about a dormitory?

MY: Yes.

KL: Tell us more about that.

MY: It was a storeroom, they even had a bathroom. They had a toilet and that bathroom was a washtub and a shower. You know, it was a store made into a dormitory. And so we did our laundry in this tub, washtub, and the shower stall, and you know, we worked seven days a week, no day off. We didn't know any better, that we're supposed to have a day off, but it was, we just did. It was free, freedom, I would say. We weren't in a camp, and it was much nicer being in Detroit than in camp as far as the weather was going, going to go through, and we could eat whatever we wanted to. And I think we did start going to college one time, but we didn't last long because it's too hard.

KL: To work and be in school.

MY: Uh-huh.

KL: Did you stay with those two girls that you came with?

MY: Yes, we all stayed together until I got married.

KL: Who were the other five people?

MY: Okay, the other two, Mary Takahashi, and she's gone, too, now. And Sumi Kawanuma who is gone, too.

KL: And they were your friends from Poston?

MY: Yes.

KL: And were the other five people that you lived with also Japanese American?

MY: Yes, uh-huh, from different camps.

KL: I see. And did you work at Johnson Dairy Farms until you married?

MY: Yes, until, I think until... no, after that I went to work at La Measure Brothers, it was in an office. We were working in an office and it was in Detroit, La Measure Brothers, L-A-M-E-A-S-U-R-E, Brothers. It was a laundry. In those days they had trucks to go around picking up laundry, so we would work in the office where they would call in to have a pickup. And then we would do all the, after that we would have to get the bills ready, you know, a lot of office work. And I guess we did well because it ended up to be all Japanese in the office except for the head lady was Wanda who was a beautiful Polish lady, and she was the boss's, kind of like a mistress. We all knew this, but we did all the work. But it was a learning process.

KL: Did you experience any prejudice or poor treatment in Detroit?

MY: No, not that I know of. Of course we just stayed with our old friends. We went to movies and such and we never had any problems. And we worked hard so they liked us more than anything.

KL: Were you engaged when you left Poston? Did you know that you would marry?

MY: I got engaged in Detroit.

<End Segment 20> - Copyright © 2014 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.