Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Ko Nishimura Interview
Narrator: Ko Nishimura
Interviewer: Kristen Luetkemeier
Location: Campbell, California
Date: July 14, 2015
Densho ID: denshovh-nko-01-0010

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KL: When you went to Manzanar, was your dad sort of an early choice for guayule, or did he get recruited from Manzanar, do you know?

KN: He just went to work with my uncle Shimpei, that's all. Because he knew how to grow plants, and he could run experiments.

KL: So Shimpei recruited him after your family... your family's going to Manzanar had nothing to do with guayule.

KN: Yeah. Actually, I can't remember if Shimpei was living with us. Because don't forget, guayule was on Block 6.

KL: The lathe house, but there was some stuff on the north side, too.

KN: The laboratory was one of the bathrooms converted, right? I remember going over there, right?

KL: Or an ironing room or something.

KN: Yeah, it was in the middle of the block. Good community room they converted.

KL: In Block 35?

KN: No, Block 6

KL: Block 6, okay.

KN: I'm pretty sure it was Block 6. I don't remember anything on Block 35.

KL: Okay. You remember it being centered on Block 6.

KN: My dad had a '41 Ford because he ran the water project outside the reservoir.

KL: I didn't know that.

KN: He had a '41 Ford, a sedan, so I remember the only way I got to Block 6 was with his car.

KL: Yeah, the reason I was asking about how your dad came to guayule is because I wondered if Dr. Emerson was somehow involved.


KL: This is tape number two, we're back for a continuing interview with Ko Nishimura on July 14, 2015. And we were talking about your arrival at Manzanar. What was your address in Manzanar?

KN: I don't know, but all I know is we lived on the most northeastern block, I mean, the barrack of the block. We were right next to the highway, and we were closest to the guard tower.

KL: Okay. So that would be building 8. It's interesting, because something I read said you were in 35-5-2, but maybe you moved, or maybe this thing I looked at was wrong. But you were the farthest northeast.

KN: Yeah. You could check to see because... see where the Itos lived.

KL: Okay.

KN: The Itos lived on the next block from us. I'm pretty sure we lived in... I may be mistaken, but that's what my memories are.

KL: You could very easily be right, too. I mean, people moved around, so maybe building 5 got reported and then you moved to eight within two weeks or something, who knows.

KN: We could have. I have no idea.

<End Segment 10> - Copyright © 2015 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.