Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Victor Ikeda Interview
Narrator: Victor Ikeda
Interviewer: Richard Potashin
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Date: November 6, 2007
Densho ID: denshovh-ivictor-01-0029

<Begin Segment 29>

RP: During this really difficult time, were you, did you step up and did you have to assume some more responsibilities in helping your parents out, or how about your sisters? How did they...

VI: Well, my older sister had a lot of responsibilities, I think, helping out the family.

RP: She had her own issues with the beauty shop.

VI: Right, yeah. She had just started that, too, so she had her own issues. She took lot of the brunt of all the problems and all the responsibilities. And I kind of always, felt kind of bad about it -- of course, I was, what, fourteen, and at fourteen, you don't think, anyway. You're just kind of a teenager that just go with the punches. But I know she did a lot for the folks, lot of responsibilities, worry about 'em.

RP: But she, was she still single at that...

VI: At that time, yes.

RP: And was she still living at home, or had she moved out?

VI: No, she was living at home.

RP: She was living at home, but running her business.

VI: Right.

RP: How about your other sister?

VI: Well, she was in school, so I think she'd just gotten out of, no, she was... I think she had just gotten out of high school. So most of the responsibility, I think, went to my older sister.

RP: Did you, you mentioned earlier about some folks, friends particularly, came to you about this time and offered their support?

VI: At school?

RP: At school. What, can you give us an example of maybe what would they tell you?

VI: They tell you, "I don't see why it's happening to you," us personally. They don't say, "I'm sorry it's happening to your group," but they always related everything between he or she and me kind of a thing. And they felt that they were sorry that things were happening. But what happened is after a while, lot of us kind of quit going to school. I mean, we may go, but we'd skip classes. Because we could see the handwriting on the wall, especially after the executive order, we knew we were gonna leave so why, why go? School became kind of a second thought toward the... for me, anyway. Now, other people are, were probably more, more active, but I was...

RP: So you withdrew from school?

VI: Yeah, kind of. Even if I went to school, your mind wasn't there. Attended in body, not in mind.

RP: Not in mind, uh-huh. Did you get a chance to see Japantown in the weeks before people began evacuating? There was, I've seen a few pictures of it last night.

VI: Place was closed up...

RP: And all the storefronts boarded up.

VI: Boarded up. No, I think we were more concerned about ourselves so that we really didn't go. And I can't remember if Japantown was off limits right away or what. I know the waterfront became off limits pretty quick. No, at that time, I didn't see all that or didn't notice it. If I was living right there I might have, but see, we had moved uptown because of the apartment.

<End Segment 29> - Copyright © 2007 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.