Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: George T. "Joe" Sakato Interview
Narrator: George T. "Joe" Sakato
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Denver, Colorado
Date: May 14, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-sgeorge-01-0013

<Begin Segment 13>

TI: Okay, so you make it all the way to the Phoenix area, Arizona, and you mentioned Glendale, so tell me what happened when you got there.

GS: We were, so we happened to be on the south side of the tracks, and there was a, they had a Buddhist church south of the railroad tracks. So we stopped at the railroad, Japanese church there, and they told us, "Well, you're gonna have to move again because people south of the railroad tracks had to go to Poston." Oh, my god, so we had, so these, there was a Buddhist priest there, he would still be able to contact the people on the north side of the railroad. So on the north side of the railroad tracks, there was a grocery store and Nishida Farms about a mile north of the railroad tracks, and one Yamamoto family that lived near Nishida's Farm, they offered us their back porch for us to stay and live in. So then we moved to the north side of the tracks and stayed on Yamamoto farm, and then we worked on the farm with Yamamoto family.

TI: So I'm curious, were other Japanese families doing a similar thing? So if they were south of the tracks, they were just moving to the other side with, with the other Japanese families? Was that kind of happening, or were there some people on the south that actually were, that did go to Poston?

GS: They went to Poston.

TI: So there were some, just, other side of the tracks...

GS: Nakagawas went to Poston.

TI: So rather than finding a place just on the other side, they would end up going to Poston?

GS: Yeah. Otherwise, they'd have to find a family that would take 'em in, and the Nishidas was already filled up with my brother-in-law's brothers and then his family was there. And we also had, Yamamotos had, just had one house, and his back porch, and that's where we lived. So unless there's a family that had a big house and whatchacall it to take 'em in, but I haven't heard about that. And the people in south of Phoenix, they went to Poston. The Nakagawas went to Poston, they had a flower farm, flower shop and a farm growing flowers in south Phoenix, and they went to Poston.

TI: So you were on the back porch, initially, with another Japanese family north of the tracks, and then you said, you were staying at Yamamotos'.

GS: Plus another family was living with, in a little hut, hutment next door to the, still on the Yamamoto farm, then they were working on the farms, too, with Yamamotos.

TI: So the Yamamotos were trying to help as many people as they could, could help.

GS: Right. So he was helping three, three of us families on his farm. Nishidas had about four, five on, he had a little two-by-four fabricated houses, then the, at least you didn't have to have insulation and stuff like that. Had one wall and that was it, that was the outside, inside wall was the, but they lived... 'cause at least in Arizona it didn't get cold, so you live with this, live in a, on the porch and stuff like that.

<End Segment 13> - Copyright © 2008 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.