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-01-0024

<Begin Segment 24>

TI: Okay. So from Camp Shelby, you were then moved to, I think, New Jersey to get ready.

GS: New Jersey, Camp Kilmer, New Jersey.

TI: And so, and I think I read where you took a trip to New York City. Why don't you, why don't you talk about that?

GS: So me, Tanimachi, John Tanaka and Sho Tabara and another fellow, we all went to New York City, and we're looking up all these big high rises and stuff, and so we says, "Why don't we check the Waldorf Astoria to say that we stayed at the Waldorf Astoria?" So we each put ten bucks apiece, cost us forty dollars to go to this Waldorf Astoria, and we only stayed there for five, three or four hours looking out the windows and stuff like that.

TI: Oh, so you didn't even sleep there that night?

GS: Didn't even sleep there that night. [Laughs]

TI: You just wanted to say that you stayed at the Waldorf Astoria?

GS: Waldorf Astoria.

TI: And whose idea was this?

GS: I guess it was my idea. [Laughs]

TI: [Laughs] So that was a pretty expensive three or four hours.

GS: Ten dollars apiece, we're only making twenty-one dollars a month.

KP: I think we know what he's good at.

TI: Yeah. So what, what do you, what'd you think of when you went into this room? I mean, what was, what was the curiosity? Why did you, why would you guys want to go?

GS: Oh, well, we stayed at the Waldorf Astoria, and that's the biggest, fanciest hotel in New York. And we could say that we stayed there, you know.

TI: Here I was going to ask you, so how did four men sleep in one room, but you guys didn't even sleep there.

GS: We didn't sleep there. [Laughs]

TI: Oh, that's, that's another good story.

GS: Had to catch the train to go back to Camp Kilmer.

TI: So any, any other impressions of New York City? I mean, how did people look at you as Japanese soldiers walking around...

GS: Well, they kind of wondering what we were doing, and they looked at us and, well, "These are soldiers, got the uniform on." So one time I went to, I knew a girl who was living on Fifty-Seventh Street in New York City, the west side. So I'm waiting for the subway to go, and I got there in time for people getting off work, wrong time to be there. I'm waiting for the train, and see this one train comes by and next thing you know, they shove me in and I was on the train, express train. So I told them, "I gotta get off at Fifty-Seventh." "Well, when we get up to 120th, you catch the train coming back," to take the local coming back. [Laughs] So that was my first experience riding the damn subways. I got forced in there and then turned around, had to catch the train coming back.

TI: Oh, that's good.

<End Segment 24> - Copyright © 2008 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.