Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Michiko Wada Interview
Narrator: Michiko Wada
Interviewers: Kristen Luetkemeier (primary), Larisa
Proulx (secondary)
Location: Laguna Woods, California
Date: November 20, 2014
Densho ID: denshovh-wmichiko-01

<Begin Segment 1>

KL: My name is Kristen Luetkemeier, I'm a park ranger at Manzanar National Historic Site, here with Larisa Proulx of the Tule Lake Unit, for an interview with Michiko Wada. Her caregiver Kris is also in the room and may come and go, and today is November the 20, 2014, and we're in Michiko's home in Laguna Woods. And I just want to confirm before we start that I have your permission to record this interview and make it available to the public.

MW: Yes, you have my permission.

KL: Thank you, this is a good opportunity. I want to start by asking you for a little bit of a picture of your parents. Would you, maybe starting with your mom, tell us her name, when and where she was born, and what you know about her family background?

MW: I don't know too much about her family background, but she was born in Okayama, Japan. And I think she was born in... I can't remember.

KL: The records say 1897, does that sound about right?

MW: Yes, because my father was (born) about 1881, because they were quite a few (years) age difference. And he was also in Okayama, and I don't know too much about his side of the family, except that there is a, I call her a niece that comes here to visit or bring her grandchildren. Whenever they turned thirteen, she always brings them for a week or so for a visit to America, and she brought her eldest son when he was thirteen, and she just left in August with her thirteen year old granddaughter. And so she had three children, and she did bring her grandson, who's the oldest, and so she'll probably come back in a few years when the youngest one turns thirteen.

KL: That's neat.

MW: Very interesting, uh-huh.

KL: What was your dad's name?

MW: My dad's name was Suezo, S-U-E-Z-O, Mikami, M-I-K-A-M-I, that was my maiden name, too. And so he actually adopted his sister's son, because he was going to be a lawyer, to bring him to educate him in America. And I don't remember the year, but that's when they cut the quota and wouldn't let anyone come through from foreign countries, so he got stuck back there.

KL: The sister's son?

MW: My father's sister, so that would be his nephew. But he had to change his name to my dad's last name in order to come here as his son. And so he got married and he had one son, and it's his son's wife that comes here and brings the grandchildren.

KL: Oh, wow.

MW: So it's close enough, although the father was not actually a Mikami, which was my maiden name, (...) it was his sister's (son and) his nephew. But in order to come to this country to study, (he) had to change his name.

KL: Was he successful though?

MW: Very.

KL: I mean, was he able to come to the United States?

MW: No, he did not ever come to the... he died too soon after he had a child, he got married and he had a child, he had a son, one son, but he died too soon. He didn't have a chance to work long enough.

KL: What was the nephew's name, his first name?

MW: You know, I can't remember his name, because I never heard it mentioned.

KL: Do you know what motivated your father to immigrate to the United States?

MW: For better opportunity, I think. But I have to tell you something. When he used to come by, and he would tell me, they would follow the railroad tracks in order to find a town, because the railroad tracks would lead you to some town always. And I said, "What did you do at the town," or, "How would you find anything to eat?" He said they made noise like a pig or a chicken, and then they would understand what they were looking for at the grocery store. Like a pig, like a chicken or like a rabbit or whatever it was. He said that's how they used to buy things. But, of course, they weren't plentiful back then, we're talking about way back, it was way before I was born.

KL: When was it that he came? Do you know around what year?

MW: No, I don't recall.

KL: I found some records that indicate that maybe he came into El Paso in 1907?

MW: Yeah, that sounds like it, because I remember him telling (me) about all the railroad tracks, and they had to follow that in order to find (a) town because they didn't read or write, they couldn't talk to ask anyone, and so that's what he said, and I said, "Well, that's pretty clever." But the same thing, him being a farmer, when I was real young he was a farmer, we were farmers in Watts. And they always had a bathhouse, (where) everyone took a bath, but in Japanese bath, in the tub, you don't wash yourself in the tub, you wash outside the bath and you soak yourself in the tub. And it was my brother's duty, being the oldest to put the fire under that to warm it up so that the men could come back and take a bath. And I remember him coming out of the bathhouse and saying, looking up in the skies and saying, "Tomorrow's going to be a good day," and I said, "How can you tell?" Or, "Tomorrow's going to be a rainy day," and I said, "Dad, how do you know?" He said, "Oh, it's just knowing," that's all he would tell me. No answer in particular. But I guess that's how they predicted it before, and they had to go by their own intuition.

KL: He had that farmer's knowledge.

MW: Yeah, the farmer's knowledge, that's what it is.

KL: How did he get from El Paso to Watts?

MW: I don't know, but he must have been, there must have been other people, because I heard him mention, I don't know who they were, but probably people that did the same thing as he did, migrated out here for maybe a better job, better working, I don't know what it was. Couldn't have been better working conditions, it wasn't that easy. Well, I don't remember too much because I was extremely young, but I certainly had a lot of fun on the farm. That's what I could remember.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2014 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 2>

KL: Before I get to your childhood on the farm, I wonder how your parents decided to marry.

MW: They were all fixed marriages. In the foreign countries long ago, that's what they... the parents or some of the friends fixed you up with someone they knew that was a good person, and that's how they, that's what my mother said. And I said, "You didn't know that?" And then he was (sixteen) years older than her, and I said, "Why would you marry someone so old?" [Laughs] She said that was all arranged.

KL: Did she ever speak about what it was like to meet him the first time?

MW: I asked her, I said, "How could you marry someone you don't even know and never even seen?" She says, "I had to depend on..." oh, and her mother died when she was young, so her sister and brother (...) had to be scattered off, and she was sent to Grandma, my mother's mother, and in Okayama, but she said, "I did what she told me to," and that's what it was. She probably had someone else who arranged it, but then, back then, you didn't disagree too much with Grandma or your parents, only she didn't have a mother, but the father had some sort of business and he couldn't take care of the children. That's the reason why he had to have somebody else in the family take over. And so she didn't really grow up (...) with (her) sister and brother. (...) But I know the sister is gone, she went to Japan to meet her. Her brother-in-law had told her that they're at wherever it was that they were gonna meet. But before she could get there, her sister died, so she never got to talk to her sister. So I don't know who the brother and sister were raised by. And this was... my goodness, you say camp days are long ago, this has been longer.

KL: Did your parents adopt your dad's nephew together, or was that before they were married?

MW: No, I think they had to adopt him together, that's probably why. They were probably married by then.

KL: Do you know when you, did your dad go back to pick her up or did she come along?

MW: No, I think he came first with, like all the fellows. I think it was a little easier that way, I presume, but no, he went back. But there was so much age difference, but you know, back then, that didn't matter, as long as the person was a decent person, that's what they were concerned with.

KL: How was their marriage, do you think? How did they interact with each other?

MW: Well, I asked her that. She said, "When a person is so much older than you," she said, "from young, you learn respect." And she was not an argumentative person or anything, disagreed a lot. So she seemed to have gotten along well with him. But she told me that, when I was having children, and I have four, and she said, "Don't have too many, it's only hard on the mother." And I said, "Oh, Mother, you can help me." And she said, "Yes, I can," but she says, "it's just hard for you." And she said she only wanted two, and here I came (as) the third one. My brother was the oldest, my sister was two years older than I. And then I came along, and then later on she said, "I really only wanted two," and she said, "But my goodness," because my brother died at fifty-seven, my sister died at forty-four, so they were all young when they died. And she said, "No child should go before parents." She always used to tell me that. I said, "Don't worry, Mother, I'll be around." And so I used to, when they were gone and she lived with my sister-in-law, my brother's wife.

KL: Tell me your brother and sister's names.

MW: My sister's name was Toshiko, and my brother's name was Masashi, like the warriors, the samurai warriors. And so I have a grandson that's taken my brother's name as his middle name, my daughter gave it to him.

KL: And then were you the last of your parents' children?

MW: Yes, I was the last one.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2014 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 3>

KL: So you started to tell us about the farm in Watts and your memories of that.

MW: Oh, my goodness.

KL: Would you tell us more? What was that like?

MW: I was very young, but I remember so many little things about it. I don't know why it would come back, and they would always, in a farm you have to irrigate and they put division pool, you want the waters to go on certain aisles and things. And always little pollywogs would form there, and I can't stand pollywogs or frogs. But we used to play with them, and I thought, my goodness, you have to be young. As you get older, you don't like, a lot of the things you don't seem to like, but it was a lot of fun. Because they didn't have, my mother was out in the farm, she didn't have time to be having snacks ready for us, you know, things like that. So we would go to the farm and we would be hungry, so we'll pull a carrot out, anything out, rub it on us, and just eat it. It was nothing, no seasoning of any sort. But that's just something that you do, cucumbers, anything that if you were hungry, there is food out there. So I guess that's why we get used to eating raw vegetables and anything, for that reason, I think.

But there was no sidewalks, it was all dirt, and I would always take my shoes off. And so every Saturday they would go into Little Tokyo, (...) because that's where all of the stores were, not all of them, but some of the stores were, and they could buy things. And that would be Saturday because, you know, on a farm, Sunday's a busy day, because you had to get the crop ready for the next day for pickup. And so that's what they would have to do. And Mother would say -- I'd be walking down and I'd be barefoot, and all of a sudden she said, "Where's your shoes?" "I don't know, I took it off." She said I would take it off and just leave it there on the sidewalk. And she said, "You've got to put shoes on when you come into town." And I can still remember her telling me that, and she said, "Do not take your shoes off," but I did. I think it was very uncomfortable when you're walking barefoot in the sand, which is very comfortable.


KL: So we're back after a quick break, and you were talking about growing up on the farm in Watts. And I wondered who your neighbors were or what that bigger community was like.

MW: Well, it wasn't very big at that time, Watts was not big. It's known as a, you know, colored people's community now, but it wasn't back then. Because when my brother had his friends come over, they worked on cars, they were all Caucasian boys. And when my sister went to school, she had a lot of Spanish friends. But when I was going to school, there was a lot of black kids, but I was friends with all of them. You know, they were all nice girls, and they lived around where we lived. And so I had fun there, but I guess it would depend on your age. And when you're young, unless they do something bad to you, you're friends with them. So I used to go to their houses and play with them and so forth. (Because) they didn't have things at the school that much.

KL: What was the school's name?

MW: David Starr Jordan High School. The Starr is spelled with the S-T-A-R-R. They have a same... I think the same name school in Long Beach somewhere, but this is called, I don't know why I remember, David Starr Jordan High School. Now, my brother graduated and my sister graduated, but I didn't, because we moved. And my father had, he had a house, and next to that house they built a grocery store, and that was when I was eleven, twelve.

KL: Where did you move?

MW: It was in Watts, but it was on the outskirt of Watts. And so we had to take the bus to go to school, and it took a long time to walk. And they didn't have a bus, no, they didn't have a (school) bus at that time, so we walked it, and it took a while. If we heard a church bell, we'd better be at a certain point or we'd be late for school, because we're walking miles to school. They didn't have school buses at that time, I'm sure. I know they didn't, they didn't have that service back then. Most of the people walked, we all walked from, went to the fields to walk to get to the gate on the other side to go to elementary school and so forth. But then that was what we had. I remember helping at the grocery store. And my mother was ill and I couldn't figure out why. But now I figure that she was going through menopause, but I didn't know that at that time, and I didn't know anything about menopause, no one ever told me that.

KL: What were your tasks at the grocery store?

MW: Whatever I could do. Oh, I used to love those candies, and finally I got sick and tired. You will, it's amazing, when you see all that sitting there, you're tasting it, but at the end, you just don't want anymore, it's just too much. But I did whatever I could. I remember one thing that I disliked doing and I had to do was these people came to buy liver, and I had to touch the liver. It just made me kind of ill touching it, but I had to cut it. Now that I think of it, my mother must have been going through menopause, because she was always laying down, and she was always not feeling good.

KL: Who were the customers at the store?

MW: Oh, the neighborhood people. It was actually in a neighborhood, not in a busy shopping... well, there was no such thing back then. Well, there was a city, a town, we used to call it a town, Watts town, they did. Because we had to take a bus up to there. And I had another girlfriend that's long gone now, and she didn't ever go to camp. And she, her parents started a grocery store there. And I would meet up with her, 'cause she was going to school to, and go to class with her. But I don't think we were ever late; I don't know how we did it, but if the church bell rang and we're not at a certain point, we better run for it because we're going to be late.

KL: Were there other Japanese American people in Watts there?

MW: Yes. There's not a lot, but there was. And there's different families, we still try to keep in touch now. If somebody passes away, we lost many, many people (...). In case they don't know, (...) they know that I live further away, or they know that I'm not able to do a lot, then they'll call me to let me know, did I see it in the paper or so and so has passed on. In fact, the first (...) time that I went to Manzanar to the museum, they had a funeral that day and I really wanted to go, but I thought I'll never get a chance to go to Manzanar again, which is true. You just don't know, when you get older, you don't know where the next trip can be, and I did go with my son-in-law that took me. And one of the Watts ladies had passed on, but I heard it suddenly because I didn't know she was ill. And then I met her husband at one of the dinners that we had. But just recently I've lost a lot of them, (...) I was the youngest girl there in Watts. And there was another boy that was, I think, a year younger than I, he was the youngest boy. He's gone already with emphysema, and his sister's gone, so the whole family is gone, brother's gone. And another family, the wife is still around, but she's not actually a Watts girl, he married somebody that wasn't from Watts.

KL: Were you guys part of a church or any kind of religious community?

MW: (No). You know what? My father had a house that I don't know where they got the teachers, Japanese language teachers, and they would want all the children on Saturday, to go to this school, and it was to learn the Japanese language. And see, I used to be able to read the newspaper and all, but I can't read it now because it's been too long. But my brother (...) was seven years older than I, and have gone to school longer. And he would be able to read the paper (...). The Japanese newspaper, a lot of my friends take it (still) because they find the obituary (of) some of their friends.

KL: And your dad had a role in the Japanese language school?

MW: Yes, he's the one that started and thought the children should, because I told you he's so much older, probably older than all those people there. And so he gave up his house. And when we moved from the farm, that's the house we went to.

KL: You went to the house where the (language) school was?

MW: (Yes), where the school was (...). And it was in Watts, but it was at the very edge of Watts, so it was quite a ways from the school. School was clear out toward Alameda, but we were quite a ways away. But I think they had a bus but I never took a bus.

KL: What was the Japanese language school's name?

MW: Watsu Gakuen. "Watsu" is, Watts is the city that we (lived) in, gakuen means "school."

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 2014 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 4>

KL: I know we're rocketing through here, but is there anything else from before the United States entered the war after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor that you think is important to share about your time in Watts?

MW: Yeah, I just had a lot of fun. You know, you're seventeen, you will. Sixteen, seventeen, you're going to have a lot of fun, and you'll make a lot of friends at school, and it's just a fun time for me. But being young, I don't think I took anything serious. But when the war started, the one thing that frightened me a lot was when they had FBI people come in, you figure Japanese people are shorter, now these FBI guys are six foot some-odd coming into the house. And I asked Mom, "What are they looking for?" She says, "I'm not really sure." And they wanted to look in all of his cupboards and whatever in the house, and I couldn't understand it at that time. She didn't know. And so the older men in the family were all taken into internment camps in Tujunga. My dad was taken to Tujunga over here, and so that's the reason why we ended up in Manzanar, our friends went to Gila, because that's where Watts people went. But we didn't go with the Watts people because my dad was in Tujunga, my brother said we had to go (to) the closest camp, the only one that in California was Manzanar. And so he went to different places to find out where they were going to be sent. They found out that people in (West) L.A., they call it Sawtelle at that time, and that's where he went to sign up because he found out they were all going to go to Manzanar. That was the only reason we had gone to Manzanar, is because my dad was in Tujunga and it was right in California, I guess in the hopes of getting him out. And I used to tell my mother, "Gee, Dad would never hurt a fly." Well, that's the kind of man he was, he would not. He was just a very gentle man. He was a big fellow, not tall (...), but he was not a thin fellow. And he didn't drink, and so at New Year's he would give us sake in the little container and he said, "Drink that," because that's good luck, and I couldn't stand that. I put my tongue in there and just, oh, shiver, because it was just terrible tasting. But, to this day, I don't care for any kind of alcohol at all.

KL: Were you present when the FBI took your dad?

MW: Yes, I was there at the house, and I thought, "Why are they taking him?" And then I started to cry because you're young, that's the first thing you're going to do is cry. But my mother says, "I don't know." I said, "Dad didn't do anything."

KL: What was your dad's demeanor?

MW: You know the older people like him, there's a Japanese saying, shikata ga nai, means, "You can't help it. It's not something you could do anything about." But then again, they had no idea why (they were) being taken. Because there was no explanation. Well, when the FBI came, unless they spoke Japanese, my father isn't going to understand in English thoroughly, and I started to cry. My mother said, "Don't cry," says, "you've got to be strong." But strong for what? I didn't know what she was talking about. You don't. You really don't at seventeen. (...)

KL: Yeah, how did your mother cope with that? It sounds like your dad was older and more knowledgeable than the rest of the family.

MW: But at least it was my brother and he was older, he wasn't... not worldly, because nobody was at that time. But then when they gave us notice to have to leave, and you can't be out later than whatever time, I've forgotten now, the time, the curfew time. And then it seemed like it was so soon after that that we had to... oh, and then there was a shed in the back and my mother put... 'cause you can't take, you can only take what you can carry, I don't even remember what I took. But anyway, my mother put even her jewelry and everything in there, 'cause I used to ask her, "I would like that ring when I get older," and she said, "Oh, when you get older I'll give it to you, at eighteen I'll give it to you." Well, I remember her putting everything, you know, away into that shed, but you know, I don't know what happened to the shed and the house, the property. We had nothing to come back to when we left the camp, and I thought, "What are we supposed to do?"

KL: What was the property's address?

MW: The what?

KL: The property's address, that home you were living in in '41?

MW: Oh, gosh, I don't remember that. I bet my brother would remember, but he's long gone. See, they were so much older than I that they remembered a lot more. He was driving already, he was not coming home when he should have, my father locked the garage door, things like that. Just like they do now, but that's what he did. And I used to tell my brother, "Shame on you. You should have been home," and he said, "Don't preach to me." [Laughs]

KL: "Wait 'til you're eighteen."

MW: Yeah, that's what he's thinking, you know.

KL: Did you ever visit your dad in Tujunga?

MW: Do I what?

KL: Did you ever visit your father in Tujunga?

MW: Well, we did before we left, they let us go through before we left.

KL: What was it like?

MW: We were at the fence, just like in Manzanar, like there's a fence all the way around, we were standing by the fence 'cause you couldn't go in. We stood by the fence and my dad came and we talked. I don't really remember all the things that we talked about back then, but I'm sure my mother have tried to reassure him. So my brother, I don't know what they did, but I know my brother and there were some young people that were trying to get their dad out, too. And I'm sure they went to the administration trying to either write letters or call or whatever, they couldn't call, there was no phone that they could use. Because they had an administration at the front of the camp, but I never went there because I had no business there. My mother worked at the mess hall in Block 1, which is right next to there. So she saw a lot of (happenings).

KL: In Manzanar.

MW: Yeah. But she's not going to talk to all of them. She wouldn't know what to ask them.

<End Segment 4> - Copyright © 2014 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 5>

MW: But the one thing that saddened me there, and we had just gotten there, and when you get off the train now, they won't let you pull the shade up on the train, the shade's down. You get to the camp, you get in this bus, dusty old thing, and we're going to the desert, and I didn't know where we were going at all, I had no idea. And then before we get off, I told my mother, "Who are those people? They look like, from somewhere else." They had goggles on because of the sand storm that they have. Boy, did I find out about the sand storm. But they had goggles on, well, they looked real foreign. What kind of people? I didn't know who they were. And so that's what greeted you when they told you to get off the bus. And I see these sentry guys, well, I didn't know how many there were, there was such a big camp, your eyes just can see just so far, because everything wasn't built at that time. But that was weird, I don't know where, and then they said, you're assigned to whatever number barrack that I had. And then you go in there and my lord, there's nothing there, and there's holes all around from, they didn't put any tarpaper on the outside. So whatever holes that there was in the wood, that's what it was. And there's a potbelly stove, I didn't know that's what they called it, I said, "What is that thing in the corner there?" It was the potbelly stove. You had to get charcoal from I don't know where, my brother and they got it, and that's how you kept the room warm.

And like that, at the museum, they have two barracks there, and the first one this lady showed me, I said, "Oh, no, it wasn't this nice." I said, "Oh, no," because they had plasterboards already. I said, "Oh, no, you have to have holes, natural holes in the wood," you know. And she showed me the other one, I said, "This is it. This is what we came into." But later on, because of the sandstorm and sand coming in, you're choking to death inside, really you are. I used to be outside, my mother said, "What are you doing outside?" What's the difference whether you're inside or outside? So then they requested (...) tarpaper so the guys could put some tarpaper on and prevent the sand from coming in. And then you went to work at another block, because in a block, they have to have an office and a manager and a secretary because they have to have, like they had nothing, soap, laundry soap, facial soap, toilet paper, whatever. They had to distribute it, so they brought it to a central place and then they distributed it and gave it to how many people in that particular area.

KL: Do you recall what block you were in?

MW: Fourteen. Why do I remember? I don't know. The block is one thing I remember. The fire station was thirteen. Isn't that funny? That's the only thing... I don't remember the other blocks.

KL: Do you remember the rest of your address, what building and apartment in 14?

MW: No, I don't. I asked that fellow when I was there, and he may have told me but I can't remember, (but) I think he knew.

KL: I couldn't find it.

MW: You couldn't find it? It was in the middle. You know, there's two on the end and two in the middle, and as you're facing a barrack, one side, we were the first one, 'cause there's two in the middle of the barrack and two on the end. We weren't on the end, we were in the middle, but the one on the left side if you're facing the barrack.

KL: You said your mom worked in the mess hall in Block 1?

MW: Yeah, she did.

KL: When did you come to Manzanar?

MW: Nineteen... I remember, forty-three.

KL: Forty-two?

MW: Forty-three. When was the war, '42?

KL: '41.

MW: Oh, '41? Then it's '42.

KL: Do you know what month it was? If you don't, it's okay.

MW: No, I don't remember that. Isn't that strange?

KL: It's okay.

MW: I'll ask one of my girlfriends, she remembers everything. I don't know how she remembers everything, the one that I told you was active with the reunion and things like that.

KL: When did you next see your father?

MW: Oh, my goodness, I was trying to think. Was it a year or over a year? Well, we couldn't... you know, back then, for graduation, we had winter and summer graduates here. That's what they used to have. And I'm a winter graduate because my birthday's December. But we couldn't graduate... yeah, we couldn't graduate because we didn't finish the class yet. They took us in between the time before the semester was over, so they asked us to write to our school and ask for books, send the books so you could complete that particular grade or class. And so that's what we did, and they did send us the books, we sent it back. But remember, you're out there, so you'll play baseball, tennis. Tennis, we said we wanted a tennis court and they brought this big old barrel thing, that's the one you're supposed to put water in. My girlfriend and I looked at each other and we said, "We can't even move it empty, how in the world are we going to move it with water in it?" I said, "We can't do that," to flatten that ground up so you could play tennis. That was very strange. So they did finish it eventually, so we did play tennis there. But we had recreation, played baseball, so you had to have gym of some sort as one of the classes, you had to have some activity. So when we wrote that up and had some, the teacher or whoever was teaching it, had them sign it, that passed as a gym class. So that's how we got to go to the next class, or if anybody had a next class. But then right after that, I think we went around spring is when we went in. Why does April sound familiar to me? Something like that.

KL: That would make sense.

MW: And then summer, we had to work on the books from school, and then we went to class in the winter, they got some teachers in.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 2014 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 6>

KL: So what grade were you in when you were sent out of Watts, when you came to Manzanar? Were you a junior?

MW: I think I was... I thought I was in the, because I graduated, supposed to have been winter of '43. I think that was our winter because I'm a December birthday.

KL: And you attended school in Manzanar for a semester?

MW: Yes, for a very short time, though, just a semester or so. Because I had all of these girls and I used to tell my mother, "Mother, be thankful if I'm right in half of the class." I said, "Boy, these girls are really smart. That's going to bring the average up a lot." So I said, "If I'm in the middle half," I said, "Mother, be happy." I used to tell her that, you know.

KL: Where were you? Where did you fall?

MW: I was in the middle. (...) And like Toy and my girlfriend that's passed on now, Ruth, well, she's married, Kikawa, her maiden name was Saito, and they were very, very smart girls.

KL: Did you meet them in Manzanar?

MW: No. Ruth, I knew her from before the war, and Toy I met in camp, she was in my camp. She was very active, so she would gather the people around, and girls, and we had a club called Mademoiselle, and that's when, it hasn't been too long ago now. But what they used to do was Toy's sister-in-law in Venice, she would have all of these girls that were in the club of Mademoiselle, get together. What we'd do is take whatever kind of food we like (...). Everybody will bring food, and I wish I could... oh, I wish I had that. I don't know where I put it. They had a cake that they put on something like, "Be thankful we survived," or whatever it was. And I thought that was so neat, but she had it every year at her house. But one by one, as we got older, somebody got sick, somebody passed on, you know, and so we had to just cut it off.

KL: You said it before we turned on the tape, but what is Toy's last name?

MW: Oh, Toy is Sato, S-A-T-O. And Ruth's maiden name... no, that's her maiden name. Sato is her married name. Her maiden name was Ioki, I-O-K-I.

KL: Oh. Is she related to Sus?

MW: Yeah, that's his sister. Sus is... is Sus active?

KL: I've seen him at the reunions.

MW: Oh, really? That's his sister. Not the oldest, but...

KL: And they're from West L.A.?

MW: Yeah. (...) That's the sister-in-law, that's where we used to meet.

KL: So tell me about studying. You said you arrived at Manzanar, and then there were a couple months where you studied on your own with your books from your old school.

MW: Well, yeah, we had to wait until the books came, and I wasn't sure whether they were going to send them to the school. So we wrote back to the David Starr Jordan High School in Watts, (...) and they did send us book, and we did send it back. We got credit for sports through the activities that we played there. And so that's how we did that. And then there was always, you get that many people in the camp, there's always someone who's a sewing teacher, whatever, teacher, there's different things, just like there'd be nurses and doctors, the same thing, and seamstress and things like that. And so that's how we had gotten credit for that type of thing, because you got to have credit for, I think, back then was, you had to play sports or some kind of activity, outside activity.

KL: Once school started in an organized way, how was it compared to Watts? How was it different? You said the students academically were tough.

MW: Oh, they were high.

KL: How were the teachers?

MW: Oh, the teachers were nice. They were very nice, and they seemed like they were quite understanding. We never talked about anything to do with race or anything, that was never discussed because everybody knew where they were. They knew what was... no, they knew what was happening to them, we didn't know about other camps, because you never got news of it. We did when my sister-in-law's cousin came and he was in the service and he's got this uniform on, and I'm thinking, holy cow, he's got a uniform on. But he wanted to see where she was staying and I guess he got the pass from the main office because they have to go through there before they can come and visit. So it was an interesting thing. You know, when you're raised (...) and you don't have any kind of discrimination, you never had it. So you don't know anything about it, you really don't understand it. But most of the people, the young people that I met there, they were not thinking deeply about discrimination or things of that sort.

We never talked about the war, we never talked about... and my brother couldn't, they didn't take him in the service because he had to be the head of the family for us. So I know that's the reason why they didn't take him. But, well, like my husband was the same age as I am, so he went. They draft you anyway back then when you were eighteen, they just draft you. And so he never got to see any action even if he was in Italy because they put him through one of those paratrooper school, and I said, "Where were they going to drop you? You look just like the enemy." I said. "Where were you going to be dropped, why would they want to put you..." He says, "I don't know." So he got delayed going to Italy. Now, he was with the 442, he was in that group, but he went to Italy late, and so he didn't get to see any action of any sort.

KL: Who is your husband?

MW: George Wada. He lived in Huntington Beach. Because my maiden name was Mikami.

KL: I see. Was he in Manzanar also, George.

MW: No. And his father took them out from, they were at Rohwer, (...) and went to Colorado with all the boys and farmed over there.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 2014 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 7>

KL: You were telling me a little bit about the graduation or lack of graduation from high school in Manzanar. Would you tell us for the recording what your memories of graduating at Manzanar are?

MW: Well, it seemed odd to be graduating in the mess hall. There wasn't that much space, and there wasn't that much room for parents to come in, you know, parents when they came. Although everybody didn't come. And I can't remember how many people we had in the graduating, but when you put the winter and summer together, it became big. That's why that picture is quite a bit of students there. But that was because we had all of the winter and summer graduates together.

KL: Tell us about the picture. I know it's repetitive, because you already told me, but just to capture...

MW: You mean the picture, the group picture?

KL: Both.

MW: Out on the firebreak, we call it firebreaks because between the barrack, there's so many barracks that consist of a block, and then they had to be open, almost two block opening. So I worked in another block beyond that. Well, when the wind blows, you're jumping up and down like a jackrabbit to get through where the opening is because (the) pebble just constantly hit your leg. You're just jumping up and down and you look like a jackrabbit going across, but that's the only way to get across if you happen to want to go just when the wind is blowing. But funny things (happened) to it, it even took a roof off the toilet, we laughed so hard. It just lifted it up and dropped it, oh, we laughed so hard. It was men's, it wasn't a women's.

KL: Was that in Block 14?

MW: Uh-huh. No, it wasn't Block 14, it was another block, I can't remember exactly, but that's what it did. And we laughed so hard, you know, you're kids, we think they're all funny. But they had a men's latrine, one building, and the barracks were all like this, and right in the middle was a laundry room and a women's bathroom, men's bathroom, that's how it was. And then like when we first went -- I don't know that I ever told you or not, but when we first went there, we go to the bathroom, there's absolutely no partition of any sort. There's just toilets just one after another. And I said, "I can't go to the toilet." Well, you have no place else, you've got to go. So finally they did put a partition between the toilets. Nothing in the front, but on the side. (...) I don't know about men, but women, that's what they did. And so that was terrible. That's, I think, one thing most of the girls didn't like. But in the shower, too, I don't know whether I told you, in the same building, in the toilet where the latrine was, same building, I said, "Where do you take a shower?" They said, "Open that door." It was a big room like this with showerhead, showerhead, showerhead. And I said, "Does everybody take a shower in here?" "Yes." "Where do we put our clothes?" "Outside the door." There's hooks on there, you take your clothes off where the toilets are, hang it up, go in there naked, get one of those showerheads and turn 'em on. Take your own soap, which was distributed because nobody had any, and they were terrible. That was the most embarrassing, I think, for anyone. And so people would take it late at night, early in the morning, they would try to be where there's not (many) people.

KL: What did you do?

MW: Huh?

KL: What did you do?

MW: I didn't like it, but at the end, there's nothing you can do. If you have to go, you have to go. But shower you tried to, but there's always someone there. You get that many people in a block, how many people were there in a block?

KL: It'd be fourteen times four times seven maybe. So close to 7, 650.

MW: There was a lot of people. And for one bungalow of bathrooms, you know, that's just not enough for all the people. You always have to wait, or my mother and they would go, they always used to take a bath at night. You just have to just try to figure out when to go when people aren't there.

KL: Do you remember your block manager?

MW: Oh, god, I thought his name was Hori, Mr. Hori, H-O-R-I.

KL: What was he like?

MW: He was a big fellow, very nice fellow. And I worked, I can't even remember the person that I worked with, in the block. I worked in another block. Well, you don't know what to do. You're going to get the same sixteen dollars a month anyway, no matter what it is you're doing. Whether it's a job in the office, I don't know whether they had any. Now, see, I knew I took some office, like typing and shorthand, but I don't know whether I could do it anymore, hadn't done it for so long. So when I came back out, and I had to look for a job, how do I tell them I know what to do? You don't know what you can do. And so somebody said something about a state exam for typing, and so I thought, well, let me just take an exam. If I fail, I fail, that's all. I would just try to get in something, and so I passed it.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 2014 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 8>

KL: What was your job in Manzanar?

MW: Office work. Because in the block office there's so many people or so many homes, and when they have toilet paper or soap or whatever that had, because they couldn't go out and buy it. They did have, they told me later, but we don't have a car. Somebody said, "Well, go look at the hospital they have." I said, "Do you know how far that is? You've got to walk." And it's not paved road. And so they used to say also, they had a canteen. I said, I've never been to a canteen." But evidently toward the main office and all, that they did have. But they used to... I don't know why they would be making netting and things for the war when they were in camp, but that's the job they gave 'em. It's better than nothing, you get sixteen dollars a month, so you take it.

KL: What block were you working in?

MW: I was working in 10. I think it was 10, gosh, I can't remember. Was his name... well, Mr. Hori was, I thought...

KL: The name I know from Block 14 is Mr. Ikari or Mr. Itari, or Mr. Ikari?

MW: Mr. Itarti?

KL: No, I'm sorry. Mr. Ikari.

MW: Oh, Ikari. Oh, I don't know. That doesn't ring a bell to me.

KL: But sometimes they changed.

MW: Well, yeah, see, because I worked in the block office after I graduated, then when I went to Tule, too, do you think I could remember that man's name? But it was right across from the mess hall. And so he would say, "Let's go get a cup of coffee." Well, we just walked over there into the mess hall to get a cup of coffee, but that was in Tule. But this one here, there was no mess hall. It was at the end of the block and you're toward the other end of it, you're not going to walk over there, let me tell you. And then you don't know who the cook is. My brother used to, later on (...) deliver food to the various mess hall, and he said, "Boy, that mess hall is something, it's sure got a good cook." But he said, "Don't even try to go because the food there is for the people in the block." See, so they don't want people from another block to come. But you know, like anywhere else, there's some good cooks and bad cooks. Oh, you get the bad cooks and they're really bad. (...) In the mess hall they had over there a barrack (next to the museum), and they took me there and I walked in and I said, "My gosh." I said, "I remember everything about this mess hall," exactly where they're serving the tea, exactly where the cooks were. I don't know why when I walked in, I stood there and I thought, "It hasn't changed, this is exactly what it was that I remember." And they used to have, like the men (in service) used to, or people used in camp, that metal plate, metal cup, you have to hook it on. Well, you'd be walking with the hot tea to your bench of some sort, that thing will flip over. Oh my god, and it was hot, that tin is hot. You put hot water in, it's really hot. Boy, a lot of people got burnt from that. We had to be real careful but that was terrible, even the plate. It's an oblong plate like this, and it has a handle, and it hooks on, you just lift it and hook it on. But you know, that thing, after a while, it's got to wear out, or it would undo itself. It was a mess in that mess hall. And if you had kids taking it, a lady had to just take just the tea, just the this and just the that if they had kids, because they couldn't have the kids do it, it's too dangerous, even for us. And we used to all jump because it would be so hot. But that mess hall is exactly what I remember.

KL: That's good to hear.

MW: It's amazing. I walked in there and I said, "Oh my gosh, this is what I remember." And if it was before, if you asked me, I would have forgotten how the tea was set up, where the cooks were. But when you go in there, the big old pots like this, that's what they had. [Laughs]

<End Segment 8> - Copyright © 2014 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 9>

KL: Mess halls were very involved in what was called by historians the "Manzanar Riot" that happened in December of 1942 where there were a number of beatings and Harry Ueno was arrested.

MW: I don't remember the beating. You know, my mother told me, "If people gather, do not go there." Are you kidding? You're eighteen, you're curious as a devil, you just got to go see what's happening. And so that's what I (did). And all I know was some guys, people got shot, and oh my goodness, I ran home. My mother said, "I told you not to go." So I don't remember much of it except I know the people, three of them or so, they got killed. And the next day, for a week, we had to wear a black band on our arm, it was given to everybody and everybody had to wear 'em out of respect for the people that were killed. But they didn't have anything, there was nothing they could do, they didn't, you couldn't take anything in there. I don't know what they could have possibly had. The (guards) are way up there, there's no way you can, there's a fence before them, so I don't know how they would have thought that somebody could climb up there or maybe they thought they had a machine gun, I don't know. I didn't see any, but I don't really know that. But boy, that quieted that camp, I mean, really. And I know what it is, it's the older people are telling the younger ones, "No more." When we had to wear the black band on our arm, everybody did. Everyone was given a black band and they're supposed to wear it. But I don't know who the people were that was killed. I know there were some young people, but I don't know whether there were older people or not. It was a shame.

KL: The two who died were both young, a young man named Jimmy Ito who was probably about your age, and James Kanegawa who was a little bit older.

MW: Oh, that's right, that name.

KL: Did you know Jimmy Ito?

MW: No, but the name is familiar. It seems like I... I could have seen them in class and not remembered.

KL: How did you feel about the black arm band?

MW: We felt terrible. That we didn't... of course, we wore it out of respect, but we really felt terrible. So now when that kind of thing happened, then you're going to have older people, parents and all, telling you, "That's enough." I know that's what happened, no more killing, no more anything, no one should get hurt, no one's done anything. So I think that's what... that's what happened, because it was quiet after that.

KL: Where were you during the shooting?

MW: I was with the crowd.

KL: By the front, by the sentry posts?

MW: I was on the side a little bit more. I was with some friends, and oh my goodness, I ran home. I knew what was going to happen, I knew what I was in for, my mother would have heard about it. And you know, and me running home, she would know.

KL: What was that night like after you got home?

MW: Quiet, very quiet. I think the older people must have given all those young people, their families, a talk or two. That's what it was. I'm sure because that's what Japanese people do, their parents would talk to them not out in public as much as they will at home. And they will quiet them all down, I know that, even afterwards, if there was anything disruptive, they would quiet 'em all down, because that's how my parents were.

KL: Was your dad already back with you when that happened?

MW: No, he wasn't back yet at that time, it was too soon after we had gone in. I'm trying to think how long did he stay, was he gone? I can't remember. Does it tell you anything on there?

KL: The records say he came on June 7, 1942, which seems like it's not right, because the riot was in December of '42.

MW: Yeah, that's too soon.

KL: And you thought '43, so it could be an error, it could be wrong.

MW: It seems like it.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright © 2014 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 10>

KL: We're continuing an interview on November the 20th, 2014, with Michiko Hada.

MW: Wada.

KL: Oh, Wada. Oh, thank you for correcting me, I had that wrong.

MW: I thought it sounded different.

KL: So we're gonna... this is tape two, and you also, I think, one of the things that followed quickly after the Manzanar riot was this registration form, a questionnaire, selective service for men and leave clearance for women.

MW: You know, I don't remember too much about that but I remember only doing as my brother said. I'm sure he asked my parents or whatever. And that's the only thing that I remember (...) about the questionnaire, or you were too young. There was something involved in it that I don't remember signing, or filling out forms of any sort.

KL: But you talked with your family about it?

MW: I think we did, but I don't quite remember too much about that.

KL: Do you recall what your brother's guidance was?

MW: My what?

KL: You said your brother kind of guided you in your answers?

MW: Well, because he was guided by my parents, too. They talked over it I think to see... that's the same thing that happened in Tule. And my brother was sent to, I forgot, Bismarck, whatever it was, place like that. And then when he was there, I found out later that he talked all the young guys into, "You can't go back, you got to stay here, you guys are citizens here." And all of you, all of us, will have to change our mind. And I remember him telling me later that he had to persuade (them) to stay. You had nothing over there, you really didn't have anything. Your ancestors or your parents, but you don't have them with you, they're not going to know. We don't know the country. I've been there for a visit, but I've never lived there (...).

KL: What were his thoughts in Manzanar about the questionnaire or returning to, or going to Japan?

MW: Well, for me, they didn't ask me too much, but I wouldn't have wanted to. And then with him, you know, the thing is, you get caught up with everybody talking about it. You get caught up, just like nowadays, you just get caught up in everything. And then once you're able to think straight, then it's not what you thought. And that's exactly, I know that's what he told me, I said, "I don't understand all of this going back and forth. Why were there so many other young people?" And he said, "Well, when you stop and think about it very close, and not all this thing is going on, then," he said, "you'll think more clearly." And he said that's when he told them they cannot go back, they have to stay here. They don't know anything about that country except in books, what we learned in books or what we were told. And so I know that he persuaded lots and lots of, like the Tanaka boys and all that, that I knew real well, they were all with him, but he tried to persuade as many young people as he could that that wasn't what it was, that's not what you think it's going to be.

Because I had a girlfriend that did go to Japan, and she said it was just terrible. The food wasn't enough at that time, and so you start to lack certain things in your body. And she said it was just terrible because there wasn't enough different foods to eat, to even buy, there were just none. And so she said it was terrible. It's a mistake for anybody to try to go to another country, even if it is their parents' country. The parents were there, but you've never been there, you don't know, you really don't understand it, truly. But I know what they were thinking as far as... and that was a terrible thing, I think, to put us in when the people that was, most of the people didn't do anything to deserve that, you know. And that was four years out of our lives, especially when you're a teenager, that's pretty hard. But you survived, because your parents are telling you you can do it, you can, and you have to. And they try to take... that's the thing that, to me, I always thought that my parents were sure wise to be able to tell us things, that they thought that was the proper thing. It may not be, but they thought that it would be... of course, all parents do tell you what they think is the best way or the proper way.

KL: Did your brother have a job in Manzanar?

MW: Yes. He used to... all I can remember is him driving trucks from the warehouse and taking food and different things to different blocks, to the mess halls, and that's when he used to tell me So and so with so and so block has a real good cook, so that's why he knew. But he would take food -- so we had nothing, otherwise you had no snacks to eat on, because there's nothing to buy. And so he would bring us something, a little box of I don't know whatever. And so that's how we got some treats.

KL: Do you remember any of his friends in Manzanar, or if there was a group he was part of or anything?

MW: No, I don't remember all he hung out with. You know, another thing, too, as the war, I guess, got toward the end, and then we were giving... I've got to tell you one thing. That we were given peacoats, which the men know all about, it's a real warm coat. But they were so big, they would hang on us, because we were kids. Well, not that young, but we were still kids at that time. But then when you get in a place like that where there's that many people, there's always, I remember I told you seamstress, and my mother was a good seamstress, and they would order things, they used to call it "Monkey Ward," Montgomery Ward. And then Sears would send (...) the catalog, and women would (...) order threads and things like that. And they would take these jackets all apart and cut it to your size and put it back together again. It was really something. They took the red lining, whatever, that were left, put it on the collar so it'll make it more feminine. But it was a warm jacket, and I knew men were giving that peacoat, they call it that. And it is warm but it's heavy, but Manzanar was cold during the winter.

That was another thing, I don't know how we survived those cold and hot... and when it was hot, it was hot. It was a desert, so it was really hot. But it's amazing that there is, how they can put things together, fix things up with what they have. And everybody gets together and share whatever it is they have, or whatever they could order. There was a fellow that I worked with that lived in Independence, his father would deliver things. That's what he told me he remembered, he was about seven or eight. His father would deliver things and he'd get to ride and go with him. And he said that the ladies would say, "Please buy some baby shoes," and things like that. And so the next time he came in, he would have those shoes, and he would take it to... I don't know what he delivered, but he was able to come into the camp. And because he lived in Independence -- not as he got older, of course -- but his family's gone now, but he was five generations, he said, (in Independence).

KL: What was your friend's name?

MW: Dick Carasco. That's the fellow that lived over there, and he was my boss (when I worked for an architecture firm).

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

<Begin Segment 11>

KL: So I just have one more sort of topic about Manzanar. Did your father ever come to Manzanar?

MW: Yes, he did. He was able to come back. We really had a... we couldn't celebrate it because we had nothing to celebrate with, but they did come. It wasn't just him, one of my friends, I told you the father was there, he came back. I can't remember all the people that came back, but they were able to come back. It wasn't like going back to the home, but it was... I'm sure he was in a similar type of... I don't know. Although where he was was not a desert. I used to pass that desert going to Vegas before. [Laughs] But, well, that's where... my husband told me this, he remembers a lot more going, because we don't go to Vegas, women don't go. My father didn't want us to, not golf, because I was a golfer, to (gamble). And he was against that, women should never gamble. He would tell me he'd be in a pool hall, and I said, "What's a pool hall?" I've never seen a pool hall. Well, anyway, that's what he used to say. And he said, "Don't put any nail polish on and lipstick on." And I used to look at my sister and said, "Well, that's not going very far," so we took it with us to school and put it on when we got to school. That's what we'll all do. But that's that age. I can still remember my sister telling me. "You're going to get heck, you better take it off before we get home." So that was when you're young, that's what you do.

KL: But you did celebrate when your dad came?

MW: We did celebrate. I don't really remember what we celebrated with, probably whatever my mother had collected or my brother had brought back, a little bit. But my dad used to say, "Don't celebrate, we don't need to celebrate." He used to tell me, I used to say, "But we're just happy to see you back home," you know. Well, he didn't know what kind of condition we lived in. And because of the sandstorm, everywhere is sand, it's just barrack on stilts and things. And so they would ask for seeds, of lawn seeds, they would plant lawn seeds so that there wouldn't be dirt, so much dust and things all over. I mean, it was amazing the things... and they asked for tarpaper to put on the outside. I mean, you know, the beams are open (...), you can hear someone sneeze, you can hear everything because it's open. It's just a barrack and it's just wide open on top so they had to put plasterboards, they had to do all of that. But they were pretty handy, those old men, you know, it's amazing. But that's what everybody had to do.


LP: Back after a brief break, I wanted to continue with some of the questions about your father. So you talked about celebrating, but did you notice him changing at all as a result of...

MW: He was always a little quiet, but then he didn't talk much about where he was. And so we figured he didn't want to, so we didn't ask too many questions (only), what he wanted to volunteer. As in the conversation all of a sudden he would say something, then we would ask some questions. But otherwise, they were pretty mum about it. I don't know whether they were told that, they had nothing to say, they were embarrassed, I don't know what it is. Because I felt bad for my dad because he was young when he came here and he worked so hard. And he obeyed the law like you wouldn't believe, and that's why he had us, so strict with us, things to do. And he really didn't converse much about the camp, I wish that I had pushed him a little more, but I didn't. I thought that was not something I should ask if he isn't going to volunteer. And in a Japanese family, that's what it is; you don't do that, especially to older people, meaning your parents. And my mother was younger so she would tell me, "Now, don't say anything like that," or something like that, but my dad wouldn't. He was very tolerant and he just let us ask or say things. But he was quiet, he didn't really say much at all. I never did get anything (out of him). My brother would tell us when he was in Bismarck and all of that. Not much, but he did tell us about talking to the young people and things like that, but my dad wouldn't at all.

<End Segment 11> - Copyright © 2014 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 12>

LP: So after the questionnaire was issued, at what point did you become aware of what the answers that your family had given meant? Did you know that particular answers meant that people would be moved to Tule Lake?

MW: I found out much later. I didn't really realize that at the beginning at all. And I don't know the reason, I think I asked... see, the thing (...) in Japanese culture is you don't ask a lot of questions if your parents decided on something, too much. You do ask because I'm nosy and I want to find out, so I would ask. My sister would never ask things like that. But I knew that was their culture was not to question their parents constantly. But I was being... I was just curious. To me, that's what it was, so I would. But they didn't talk too much about it. It's all what I can remember. But knowing them and knowing their culture and knowing how they were, I knew my dad wouldn't tell us much unless I was pushing him a lot, but I didn't, because that was out of respect, you didn't do that, so I didn't. But he did eventually with other men came back, so they were happy about that.

LP: So when did your family leave Manzanar and go to Tule Lake, do you remember?

MW: No, I don't remember that. It seemed like it was doing more toward the winter months somehow. And I don't really... I don't know why it is I don't remember too much about Tule. Is it that I had (put) it out of my head? Well, now, see, my brother and they were all ready, they had put them into, went to South... was it Bismarck, South Dakota?

LP: South Dakota.

MW: Uh-huh. So they were already there, and that's when they told us, when we had moved to Manzanar. And my sister-in-law, his wife had two children, they were both born in Manzanar, I can't remember when the other one was born, maybe '43, '44. Because I think we left in '44, wasn't it, to Tule? Or was it '43? Well, I don't know. It could have been the end of the '43 or beginning of '44. See, and for me, I couldn't figure out why we were moving to another camp, which wasn't exactly any better. I think we had more room, that was about the thing, because my sister-in-law was married, they had one entryway to get in, and then there was a room here and room here. That was the only thing, because my sister had gotten married but her husband was Kibei. You know what a Kibei is? He was a Kibei, so he was sent to... where was that? Not Dakota, New Jersey? There was another camp out there for guys like him who were raised in Japan. He was born here, went to school a little bit, raised in Japan, and brought back. We used to hate people like that, because the guys would always think they were better than us when we came back. And we would just make fun of them and all of us young people that were born out here. Because they wanted their way, and the guys always thought that they were head, that girls shouldn't... that we hated. So we were always trying to cut him off and things like that, which was mean, but that's, when you're younger, that's what you do.

LP: What point was your brother separated from your family and sent to Bismarck? Was that around the time that your dad was arrested?

MW: No, my dad came back to Manzanar, so he was back already. But I think after we've been to Tule that he was taken. And then I couldn't understand that either, why would he... I said, "What did you put on it?" Well, you know, he's not going to tell me. I'm not going to understand, that's what he would say. Because I'm just a little kid, that's what he would always say, so I didn't ask him. But I knew that's what it had to do, but I wished I had remembered or had seen the form or whatever he signed, or read some of it, but I didn't. I had to leave it up to him, my mother told me to just leave it to him, so I did. But then that was dead wrong, what he was thinking, because where is he going to go? He doesn't know my mother's side or dad's side. Nobody's ever met the cousins, aunts or uncles or whatever he would have left. And so I thought that was strange at that time, but I didn't quite understand it, and I didn't ask my sister-in-law because she had two kids and she was too busy so I just didn't ask. But it was really a strange time, and I couldn't... it made me feel like we were too disloyal (...). Why are they going against it, why are they asking such dumb questions, and that would make you mad enough to put "no." And I thought, "Why would they do that?" But there was no answer, so you just let it go. I think that's what most of us young people (did) at this time. But when we were in Tule, the one thing I remember is we had to go to a Japanese school, there was a teacher that taught at that time. And I'm thinking, why do we have to go to Japanese school? We were already out of high school, you know, and I was thinking, "Why do we need to know any more of that?" But I didn't go long enough even before the war or during Tule to be able to read the paper. I can still... my niece would send some things, and then they'll have hiragana written on it, the easier part of it And I can just about figure out what it is. She had given me, it looked like a real lightweight wafer thing, and I opened it, and it's dry. And inside there was green things, and I thought, "What is this?" I thought it was cookies, she had given me a bunch of cookies. But it's too thick, and when I broke it open, there's dried green things in there and some other color things. And I thought, you know, this is not a cookie, this is something... and then inside there was a small packet (...) that looked like a sauce of some kind. And I had to figure it out, and I had to sit there and think and think and think. Then I found out that if they have a sauce, it's a soup. It's a little packet, it's a broth, and you put hot water in, and then you put all the dry ingredients, and they puff up. And the outside looked like light wafer cookies, there's no taste to it. You put that in there for taste, and everything starts to get the flavor of whatever flavor they had. And I thought at least I can read that much. I had to try to figure it out, because the children didn't know. I sent them to Japanese school but they didn't study very much. I know what it's like, because that's what we did when we were young.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright © 2014 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 13>

LP: What block were you in at Tule Lake, do you remember?

MW: No, I don't. We were right next to a mess hall, we were way up... I think they told me some of the people had already just moved. Otherwise there wouldn't have been enough room for us. I don't know how many people went from Manzanar, but I couldn't understand that. I still didn't understand that "no-no" and things that they had. Because I don't remember the questions because I never filled it out, so I don't really remember. But it was the strangest thing to be asked and to be sent to another camp. That's not what I really wanted at all. Because then Tule is entirely different than Manzanar, it was cold up there. And like I say, you don't have the clothes. And back then, women didn't wear slacks, we wore skirts.

LP: Something I was thinking of earlier when we were talking about the weather at Manzanar, had you ever seen snow prior to being in camp?

MW: Yeah, we used to go to the mountain, Big Bear. You had to go drive to Big Bear to see snow. That was because it never fell, well, if it did, it melted. And it was so seldom that you hardly ever remember. So I really don't remember it snowing ever, but it could have a little bit.

LP: What was the Japanese school like at Tule Lake? I know there were a few different ones. Some people remember them being very rigid, other people really enjoyed that.

MW: Well, the school was... the teachers were pretty strict. But then I had gone to the Japanese school before the war, too, you know, my parents sent me. Like I told you, my dad, it was his (house) that he gave up for them for the school to be held there. Anyway, and so, to me, there was a lot of... it wasn't like the time when I went when I was younger. It was already things, lot of the things I knew, but then there was a lot more things I didn't know. But I'm not gonna be able to learn, in that short period of time, to learn to read and things like that, like my brother did, 'cause he went for a long time, 'cause he was older. But being next to the mess hall was kind of fun, even if I worked in the block office, see, you could take breaks so easily, and grab something down there at the mess hall. And the cooks get to know you, so they would treat you very well. But it just... the people there were really different. I guess maybe it's a difference when you go to school with the kids and enjoy their company afterwards, you know, whatever we did, sports we did. But those... and it's because when you've known 'em for such a short time and they came from all over the area, everywhere, I don't even remember where, but they came from all... not around my area. Well, you know, when you come from a little town and it's a lot of difference, the little town, even now, if you're back east somewhere, and the little town, then you come out to big L.A., it's overwhelming. It's almost like that.

LP: By the time you were at Tule Lake you had already graduated high school, correct?

MW: (Yes).

LP: So the school that you were going to was just for the...

MW: Japanese language. I worked in the block office, too, 'cause I had experience in it. So I worked in one of 'em that we were in. And I wish I could remember, do they ever have records of what block I was in?

LP: Yeah, there are similar records that would be for Manzanar.

MW: In Manzanar?

LP: Uh-huh.

MW: Really?

LP: Yeah. Some of them have been scanned, and like is a resource sometimes for people, but the original records are kept at National Archives facilities. And the one that tends to have War Relocation documents is actually in Maryland. But we could probably help you kind of...

MW: How did Maryland get to the point of.. you know, that's a faraway place.

LP: Yeah, I think it's a bigger facility, there's a Washington, D.C. facility, too, I'm not sure what the criteria was.

MW: That would be a place I would never think of.

<End Segment 13> - Copyright © 2014 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 14>

LP: I wanted to ask, one of the, sort of, big features of the site today is the jail and stockade. Had you ever heard of either of those places at Tule or do you know anything about them?

MW: About what?

LP: The jail and the stockade?

MW: Oh, vaguely I've heard people tell me that. And I don't remember where it was located, it was back east somewhere. New Jersey? No.

LP: No, Tule Lake there was a jail.

MW: Oh, Tule Lake? Yeah, I heard something about the... what did you call it?

LP: Stockade?

MW: Stockade. And I said, "What's a stockade?" I had heard, but I really didn't understand it. And they said, well, you know, when people are bad. Like what? How could they be bad in here, what were they gonna do? They killed their own. I used to think that way. So I didn't think too much of it, but I had heard when I was in there, and I remember my sister used to work for a photographer. And I never could figure out how she had gotten that job, but anyway, that's what she was doing. My sister-in-law had two kids, so she had to stay home. But I had heard but I never knew anyone who was in it. Tule Lake's been there a long time, wasn't it, before Manzanar?

LP: It was one of the... it was a camp at first, just like Manzanar and all the others, and then after that questionnaire, it was converted into a segregation center.

MW: They were segregated, a lot of people. I used to say, "Why do they segregate so many people?" I used to wonder. Because it was so different than Manzanar. Manzanar was kind of, everybody was the same kind of thing.

LP: The jail, so some of the people that I've been interviewing throughout the trip, one person in the Bay area, his brother was put in the jail and he was part of the Hoshidan, did you ever, when you were at Tule, hear of that group or know anyone that was in the Hoshidan?

MW: No, I never heard of it, I didn't even know. But I had heard of segregation, I heard of stockade, I have heard things like that but I never questioned anything or asked anyone, because nobody seemed to know, so I didn't. And there were a couple of guys that were mail, delivering mail and things, used to always talk to me. And they're the ones that would take me in their truck to go wherever. But I didn't do much looking around and things like that at Tule as much. We were busy going to school and working, we didn't have too much time to mess around or to go around and see. They didn't have things like we started having dances because there's a recreation department in one of the buildings, the whole building was left open and it was a recreation. And what happened like in Manzanar is they had this Maryknoll Catholic school which was all Catholic, east side of L.A., and then they would be, they said I think all of them were Japanese students. And then when the war came, they emptied the school all out. So the father and the sister, the father especially, used to come into Manzanar and bring different things like the records to play for the people, the entertainment for young people, and everything like that. They would bring movie screens and movies, we would sit outside on the dirt, but it was outdoors. And they brought things for the young people. Because all of their students were in camp, they're all Japanese in the east side, Boyle Heights, that side of L.A., and they were all Japanese people. And so they were a big help in bringing things. I don't know who else brought 'em, but it had to go through the administration, but it was still entertainment.

Because young people had a hard time, it was so hot in Manzanar, all the young people started to dig underneath the barracks to stay cool. And it's amazing how they can dig without the barrack falling down. I guess they didn't go sideways enough. But it was a lot cooler, and we would all sit down there and talk and kid around or whatever, like what young people do. And so we didn't really... well, you could, you could go to different places, it was too hot to walk out there in the desert, and there's nothing but walk, there's no way to get a ride. Nobody had a car, unless like my brother had a truck that they had to deliver things, but he could never take people on it, so he never did. But it was just a... it was different, Manzanar and Tule. Tule was not as friendly. I guess people were in for different reasons and things like that, and they probably had their own ideas of what they thought was fair or not fair.

LP: When you were at Tule, did you ever get to see the hospital or the administrative area, do you remember any of those species?

MW: No, I didn't. My sister-in-law went to the hospital, because she had a couple of kids. I noticed that she had gone before, but I never had the desire to go with them, but I never did go to the administration. I guess we were in school, we were working, and it was just busy all day. And then I could have gotten a ride from those mail truck guys, they said they would take me, but I didn't have the desire to. So I just never took an interest. I think that's why I don't remember Tule as much, because I didn't take any interest in it. I was ready to leave. And the war wasn't over yet... when did the war get... '44 or '45? '45? Yeah.

LP: One of the bigger things that comes up with sort of recreation for people at Tule is art and what people would do to pass the time in that way, in the popular craft, people would make was pens and different things out of the shells. Do you remember shells on the ground at Tule? It was a former lake bed.

MW: Yeah, there was. Yeah, I remember that. Why is that? Is that a water bed?

LP: It used to be, it's a former lake bed.

MW: Oh, lake bed. It had to be, because there was a lot of shells. That's why you don't go barefoot, you know, 'cause it would hurt. So we just never did go barefoot.

LP: What about arrowheads? That was another thing, because of native people in the area, people in camp used to collect arrowheads and make different things with them.

MW: No, I never did see someone collecting arrowheads, but I know there was a lot of shells. I used to think, "This is odd," it looked like it should have been a riverbed of some sort, but I had no idea that that really was.

LP: What about other kinds of artwork? People used to gather wood and polish it and do sculptural things. Did anyone in your family ever build anything?

MW: No, they never did. I've seen them, but I've never seen my family do much of that type of thing. And then the thing that is now, my brother was gone.

<End Segment 14> - Copyright © 2014 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 15>

MW: You know, my father in Tule was... where was he? Was there another camp that they... was there one in New Jersey?

LP: Santa Fe?

MW: Huh?

LP: Did he go to Santa Fe?

MW: Yeah, I've heard of Santa Fe. Who was in Santa Fe? Somebody... what was Santa Fe?

LP: Your father?

MW: No, not my father, but who was in, I mean, what kind of camp was Santa Fe?

LP: it was a Department of Justice camp, it was similar to Bismarck in South Dakota.

MW: You know, 'cause Santa Fe is so familiar, I've heard of that. Now, you know, I can't remember, was there another one? Okay, so Santa Fe and Bismarck?

LP: Yeah, there were a few. Off the top of my head, I'm not sure what they all are.

MW: I'm trying to think, you know, I don't remember my dad being at Tule. Now, why was that? It all had to do with those questionnaire things, and I didn't see the questionnaire, so I don't really remember much of it.

LP: Did your brother or your dad... it doesn't seem like they talked a lot about their answers on the questionnaire or anything, but did you get a feeling about if they were interested in being sent to Japan at the end of the war or renouncing their citizenship?

MW: No, I was surprised when my brother was sent to Bismarck, and I said, "Why in the world would you want to go somewhere like Japan?" It may be your ancestor, but you don't know anything. And any country, going (to) is difficult. How do you make a living? So I thought it was strange, but I didn't question it. Because we're not supposed to question everything, you know. As much as I was inquisitive, my mother told me I was too inquisitive, but I did want to know. It wasn't in a bad way, it was just knowing, trying to find out. But it was just too much things and they just never would tell me.

LP: Were there rumors in camp, not anything your parents or your family might have said, but things that were just kind of being passed around, as what it meant for people being sent?

MW: No, I didn't. I didn't get that, because there were some young boys, but they're not interested, evidently. And the people in there where I was working didn't say too much when I was there unless they said something when I wasn't there, I don't know. But there wasn't much said, that's why I didn't quite understand. I didn't understand Tule; I didn't know what that place really was. It was so different than Manzanar, and I wasn't sure. I never did know. And then all I know is when they said we could leave, I told my sister-in-law -- oh, that's what I remember. My mother had left earlier, and she went to stay with a friend, 'cause now they lost their house and the property and everything in the shed was gone (...). And so they had nothing there. So she was staying with some friends. And so my sister-in-law and I with her two kids, was gonna leave, we said, "Where do we go?" Well, they had all these hostels set up in churches. All that meant was wherever the church's hall is, they had blankets or sheets or whatever it was separating the next cot to the next cot. And then when we got back, told my sister-in-law, "How in the world are we supposed to stay here? Everybody's snoring, how do you sleep?" And so we kind of laughed about that, but that's when one of my friends, I don't remember who it was, came in and said, "You know, only way you're gonna get out of here is for you and your sister..." oh, my sister was there, too. She was married already, but her husband -- see, that's it, Santa Fe sounded familiar, I think her husband was in Santa Fe, why, I don't know, 'cause I don't know what people they took over there. I didn't understand all of it, and I had nobody to really ask. And so anyway, when we were in the hostel, this lady came and she said, "You know, you people are not gonna ever get out of here unless you have a place to stay. And the only way you're gonna get food and shelter is going (into) domestic." And I said, "I hate domestic. When I get married I'll have enough domestic then." But she said that's the only way. And so all my friends, all the girls, they went all over Beverly Hills, (...) and they had these people wanting the young people to come. So they had the flyers all over the place.

And I went to work for one in Beverly Hills, and he was a doctor and she was a doctor and she had two boys. Oh, those two boys gave me such a headache, and I'm not used to taking care of little kids. In fact, I used to tell the lady, "You know, there's something spoiled in the refrigerator." Guess what it was? It was those moldy cheese whatever you call them. And so I had never had 'em, I've never seen 'em. My mother didn't... Japanese people don't eat much cheese, so that's why I'm not too crazy about cheese. I'll eat some American cheese, but if they're really smelly like the one that's molded... so I told her that they were spoiled, (...) "I've never seen (cheese like) that, I just thought it was spoiled."

Anyway, I was there, and then I had asked her... and sure, you get room and board then, you take care of the kids. And so I asked her one time, after I was there for a while, if I could go to a night class. I was near Hollywood High School somewhere, and could I go to class and just take the class after I'm done, after the children were asleep or whatever it was. She said sure, so I used to take the bus and go, and I thought, "What could I do?" I didn't know what to, what do I look for? Office work to do what? I'd never done anything in an office. And so I thought, okay, regardless of what, just take the job. Just take it and learn, all you can do. And so, like I said, I took the (state) typing test, I knew I could type, (...) but beyond that, I didn't know what else I could do. So anyway, I told the lady, she said, "I'll pay you overtime, I'll pay you (more), so stay with us." I said, "I'd like to, but I need to do something for myself and I don't know what I can do. I need to go work." So I walked the streets out on Seventh and Hill and all over out there by Broadway. We walked and went into everything. And so the people walking, people we didn't know, would say, "If they say they'll call you back, just keep walking." So that's what we did. But somebody did call me back at my mother's house. Back then they didn't have cell phones or anything, you know. And so I called them back and they said, "The reason why we didn't let you know right away is because we had to ask the employees if there was any problem with having a Japanese worker." And I said, "Oh, okay." So they said that they'll hire me and so I took the job. I did everything, and I thought, "Learn everything." And so I have a girlfriend that lives not too far from here, just about five minutes from here. She's a Caucasian girl, she came to work at that place when she was eighteen, she (just) got out of school, and she's looking for a job. And I said, "You're not going to find a job with a good paying money, you have no experience." I said, "Take this regardless of what pay they give you and learn, that becomes your experience. I'll teach you what I know." She was over the other day, can you imagine? That's almost, that was in '45 or something. We've been friends ever since, amazing.

<End Segment 15> - Copyright © 2014 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 16>

LP: We have about five or so minutes left. So I was wondering, could you talk a little bit about leaving Tule Lake, what you remember, and then skip forward and maybe talk a little bit about redress?

MW: Oh, well, you know, when we got out of Tule. (...) We came back to Central Station right there in L.A. And then they took us, a friend came over and they said, "You have to stay at a hostel," what's a hostel? Well, like I told you, it's in a church. But because they had so many people in the hall, they just put a blanket or sheets or whatever to divide it, and then a cot was there. And I took... my sister-in-law was there, and I was trying to be responsible for her and two kids. And I said, "This is no place for you to be staying." But mom's with friends, and my brother was, I think he was in South Dakota still at that time. I said, "Will you stay here until my brother comes back?" But I said, "My sister and I have to go look for work, we can't stay here." And so that's when we went into domestic, and that was the first thing we had done (after returning).

LP: Do you remember the name of the church or the location of the church?

MW: I think it was... what church was that? Was it in Gardena? Could have been the Gardena Buddhist Church. I've forgotten where it's located now. Well, you know, they did have all churches everywhere... later on I had gotten a girlfriend to room with me because it was too expensive to be by yourself. Anyway, she was from Oxnard, and when we went to see her parents, we slept on the stage in the church. They had cots all up there because the whole family was there. And so they didn't have a house either, so that's where everybody went that didn't have a place to go (...). Sure, they took my mother, but they couldn't take my dad, they didn't have that much room. And everybody had a rough time at that, and that's why you find so many young people, old people doing gardening. It took less money to buy tools and it was something you just knew what to do in the yard, so it's the same type of thing. And it was fast money that way, to earn something. And so that's when my brother and my mother and they bought a home, a small home. But I couldn't stay there because they had only two bedrooms and they had six people already. And so that's when I decided I needed to go out and look for something. (...) And then what did you ask me?

LP: At what point did your brother and your father get reunited with your family?

MW: Oh, they came back, I'd say... a short time after. I was still in domestic at that time. And they must have all ganged up and slept in a room, because all the friends, everybody tried to take anybody in they could, because they knew what they were going through as much as they went through. So everybody helped out, even the friends that you knew for a short period of time, if there was any kind of room, they would let you stay there. Because they knew you wouldn't stay forever.

LP: How much time passed between you leaving Tule Lake and you seeing your brother and your father again?

MW: Oh, I'd say a year. I think the longest would be a year. Because everybody just had to work. It's amazing how everybody kind of helped each other. (...) You've got to help friends help people, it's something you must do if you can, in any small form. And help is, it doesn't have to be in a big form, it just doesn't have to be. You know, lending your hand to someone who's almost drowning is a hand. Better than your whole body getting in there if you're going to drown.

<End Segment 16> - Copyright © 2014 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 17>

LP: What about redress? What about the formal apology and the money and everything?

MW: Yeah, we got that much later, much, much later. My parents were gone by that time, and my two nephews, two that was born in Manzanar, had gotten it. Well, you know, it was a little too late, everything was. But it was at least a compensation to keep you above water, I think. That's what I thought, because they needed help like when we got back, it was really, really rough. Now, you don't have blankets and things, you just had, you had to make sure you had one with you, but you go into a hostel, they don't have (...) blankets, there just wasn't any, they didn't expect that. Well, in the church, you can't expect to have that many things for that many people, and I'm talking about a lot of people. Every square inch was taken up. (...)

LP: When you're... all the things that you remember, your mother storing the jewelry and different things, did your family go back to see?

MW: No, there was a friend of my sister-in-law that was a Caucasian (person). And they would, whatever they could find, I remember a small radio coming back. I guess they were allowed back then, after we were in there for a while. And they went back many times, evidently, to that shed, they couldn't find anything more. So they brought what they could or what they saw. And I don't know where my mother kept the jewelries or anything, because she was gonna give me a ring that I dearly wanted, but she said, "Well, I'll put it here until after we come back," thinking we're gonna come right back, not knowing. And so all of those, everything else that was in there was gone, I don't know all the things she put in there. Because you can only take what you can carry, and that wasn't very much that we could carry.


LP: So your parents didn't get to see redress, but some of the research that Kristen did, there were some naturalization documents. Do you recall your parents becoming naturalized?

MW: Yes. But my brother took care of that because I was gone by then, I wasn't at home, I had an apartment working at that time. And so I remember, I said, "Mother, whenever they say you can take your citizenship, do that." They tried, but they couldn't, they were not allowed. So they had to put a lot of things in my brother's name, but he was also very young at that time, so they had, I think, even in their friends' children's name, things like that. They had put a lot of things... and I said, "Mother, whenever they're gonna let you take the citizenship, take it." And they did take it when it first came out. So they both had it before they died, so I was happy about that.

LP: What do you think that meant to them besides just the actual getting the citizenship? What was symbolic or what was the specific...

MW: I think they had the satisfaction of finally (accomplishing) what all their children wanted. I have a feeling that's the thought that she had, my mother had. I don't know about my dad, he was awful quiet, he didn't say too much, but I can kind of tell from the way he reacts or the way he says a few words, he was very quiet, he was not an outspoken guy. But the satisfaction of finally... and I know at that time he wished that his nephew was here and he was able to accomplish that part for him, I'm sure. And he was a very good lawyer, but then he studied too hard and he died. At that time, he was married, he had gotten married. I remember my mother going for a wedding, I said, "Whose wedding is it?" So I had to have been awful young or they would have taken me. But I just barely remember that. And I didn't know the situation at that time, that he was trying to adopt his nephew to bring him here, but I found that out later.

<End Segment 17> - Copyright © 2014 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 18>

LP: How did the experience of being at Manzanar and Tule Lake and in general, just the World War II period, how did that impact you as a person and the rest of your life, and what kind of...

MW: You know, the one thing that I used to tell my children and everything, the one thing that I wanted them to do is to be fair. It doesn't matter what color they are, it doesn't matter what religion, doesn't matter what race they are, but be fair. Always try to be fair, it doesn't matter what it is you're going to do or you're not going to do, but be fair about it. I said that's the one thing that I think was lacking. And because anybody else, you had to be American Indian or whoever it is to be born here, you're all from somewhere else. Why not be fair with it? This is what I think... the main thing I wanted to teach my children was that, and not to discriminate. Just because the color of the skin is different doesn't mean a thing. I said, "Take that person individually and assess that way without going by the clothes, the color, none of that matters, it really doesn't." So now they have so many different people from different countries. But still, that goes to anyone, it doesn't matter what. To me, that's the only fair thing. So that to me is the most important thing.

LP: Was there anything, Kristen, that you wanted to add? Is there anything that you had wanted to bring up that you didn't, or is there anything you...

MW: No, time certainly goes fast. [Laughs]

KL: Thank you so much.

LP: Yeah, thank you.

MW: Oh, they really go so fast, it's amazing. And I'm surprised that they want to go into this much detail at this late stage. And I have a friend that he refused to go in the service because his parents were in camp. And he got thrown into jail and all that, but he's a brilliant guy, his father was a judo teacher, and my mother used to... his wife happened to be my mother's classmate in school. Can you imagine way back then? It's a weird way how it came about, and I said, my gosh. So one of my girlfriends that was in the same block with me, Ruth Saitow, that was her maiden name, and spell it, S-A-I-T-O-W, Saitow. Well, what it is, she lived in the back house, her and her sister, and they had older parents. So I would go to see the people in the front (house) with judo teacher, they had just that one son. And so I would go play with those girls, and that's how I knew (them). But then they were in the same block as I was (in Manzanar), so it was real interesting.

LP: Was that at Tule Lake or at Manzanar?

MW: No, Manzanar. I don't remember Tule Lake. Tule Lake was not... I guess because it's not something you were first, when you first went, that's the biggest surprise of all, because you had no idea what to expect. Well, I had no idea in Tule either. I didn't like Tule in the sense that they were not friendly people. I guess I'm getting older, too, I must have been eighteen by then. Well, I was eighteen. And it was just, when was Tule? When did the people, did they get from other camps, do you remember?

KL: We can show you because I've printed out a lot of documents, the roster.

LP: Yeah, it was in late '43.

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