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-01-0050

<Begin Segment 50>

RP: Did, did you have any difficulties in sharing your stories with your kids?

VI: Well, the kids never asked, you know. And we never said anything, even the camp life or something. But every so often, when all the young kids got together, and they'd be sitting around, we'd start talking. And we'd start talking, and they'd sit there listening. Like Tom really didn't know too much about it until he started listening and he got involved. The more he got involved, the more he learned, and he got to a point where he probably knew more about the 442, the Military Intelligence, about relocation, because he got interested. But for the longest time, we didn't speak about it. And now, I think the Sanseis are kind of getting interested because now they got kids... about what grandparents did. But it takes a little time, 'cause everybody got their own little niche that they, you know, protect.

RP: And then your son went on to establish Densho?

VI: Yeah. Yeah, I've got one son that's a doctor in Sacramento, and Steve has been working thirty-something years for Boeing, and Tom, and John works for the FAA. And Karen, my youngest, she's quite a story. She worked her butt off, she studied, got into Arthur Andersen, worked her way all the way up in Arthur Andersen, she finally became partner. The year she became partner and bought into the partnership, the Enron thing happened, and Arthur Andersen collapsed. So everything she had worked for -- but now she's working for a consulting company and doing real well. But she was kind of an interesting story, too.

RP: So overall, how do you evaluate your camp experience when you're looking back from this point in time? Did you learn any valuable lessons from the experience?

VI: Well, you learned lessons of tolerating, rolling with the punches. But in a way, I say to people, "We were in camp, we had evacuation, we went to war, we went all through that. We are the only generation that went through something like that." And there's no other generation that went through such a different phase, and it's experience in life itself. I look at my kids, you know, they went through school, went all the way through. When you compare that with the Isseis that went through one, but we had to go through the war, the relocation, the whole bit, and then try to make a living, raising your kids. And that's probably an experience that I cherish.

RP: Thank you, Victor.

<End Segment 50> - Copyright © 2007 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.