Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Bob Fuchigami Interview
Narrator: Bob Fuchigami
Interviewer: Richard Potashin
Location: Denver, Colorado
Date: May 14, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-fbob-01-0021

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RP: One of the... there was a great big effort to sort of normalize this situation and create a sense of normalcy in the camps, for, to keep people occupied and not, not cause any problems in the camp. And one of the things that you got established in was the Boy Scouts.

BF: Oh, sure. They, they... in time, they did try to make the, the camp Amache as, as so-called normal as possible. And so they did start things like Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and Y, YMCA clubs and, and they did form intramural teams. And one of the things I joined was Boy Scouts, because my brother, my oldest brother was an assistant scoutmaster and another brother was a senior patrol leader and, so we had a troop composed of boys from, basically from Southern Colusa Counties. Other communities had their scout troops and we had maybe three or four scout troops. And the one from L.A. had a drum and bugle corps, and so they were sort of the pride of Boy Scout groups. And ours, of course, didn't have much. We were... some of the guys were able to get uniforms. I had a neckerchief and that's about it. And our... because of the conditions, we didn't do much in terms of meeting the scout requirements. So we spent a lot of time marching. You'd march up and down and back and forth and I learned how to, how to do a right face and a left face and about face and to the rear march and, a lot of that. It wasn't a, if you had to compare it to some other things, you might say, "Well gee, why stay in the Boy Scouts when that's all you do?" But, later on we, we were able to work out somewhat things for, for... one of the requirements you had to go on a ten-mile hike. So we'd, couple of us got passes, went out to the Arkansas River and back and that was about five miles each way, that meant ten miles. We met the requirement. There were other things where you could get a merit badge in bookbinding or bugling. Yeah, they... it wasn't quite normal but we made do.

RP: You also mentioned the scout laws and the rules set a course for you and it kind of tied into what was emphasized at home. Can you expound on that a little?

BF: Yeah, in Boy Scouts they have the scout oath and things, scout, set of scout laws. And you learned, memorized those and just, you learned to make the knots for the... and I, I guess I would... it set a, the scout oath and laws served as a, as a guideline for me in terms of how one should conduct oneself. And they, they fit in quite well with, with what we were told to do growing up: to be responsible, to respect others. So, so I learned, learned that the laws were, were the, were things to honor and, and obey. So I, I still remember those. If you say scout laws, it just rolls off the... trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, reverent. And it's, it's still there. You don't forget it, it's like pledging allegiance. And, they... I don't have to go to church, 'cause those scout laws are the things that they... it gives you the equivalent of anything they might teach you at church. And, and... I'd say, "On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and country and obey scout laws. To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight."

RP: You got it.

BF: Yeah.

RP: Bob, can you share with us some of the things that your brothers and sisters and parents did as far as work in camp?

BF: As, as far as?

RP: Of jobs that your parents had in camp and your siblings?

BF: Sure. Well, my oldest sister Mary was elected to the town council. the community council, It was sort of the governing group. They didn't have a whole lot of power, but they served as a, as a sounding board for the, for the community.

<End Segment 21> - Copyright © 2008 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.