Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Carol Hirabara Hironaka Interview
Narrator: Carol Hirabara Hironaka
Interviewer: Richard Potashin
Location: Sacramento, California
Date: October 18, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-hcarol-01-0013

<Begin Segment 13>

RP: How did life change after Pearl Harbor? Did people treat you differently?

CH: Well, we had all these curfews that we had to abide by. And we had to be in by six o'clock or something like that. And then if you have to go to a doctor, you were out of the five mile, or seven mile zone, so I don't know how people did go, or they probably didn't go. We did have one doctor in Florin, so people went to him at his home, I believe. Though his office was in Sacramento.

RP: How about... I think Tom mentioned this, that going to high school was beyond the five mile limit.

CH: Oh, yes.

RP: But if you went by bus, you...

CH: Yeah, we were okay by bus, 'cause you saw about, total route was like fifteen miles. It goes up and down the street.

RP: Your father's business, was it affected at all? You told me that he had his fruit picked up and shipped out. You didn't have to go travel.

CH: No.

RP: You also mentioned about that you recognized after Pearl Harbor, there was a lot less interracial mixing and that people stuck closer within their own groups?

CH: Right, yeah. Like my family, it's totally interracial. [Laughs]

RP: Was there a concern about what was going to happen next to you?

CH: Next what?

RP: Was there a concern on the part of the family about what was going to happen next to Japanese Americans?

CH: I don't know if the family... you know, my folks and my grandpa, they never discussed anything with us. So it's very hard for me to tell you that, what they're thinking of and all that.

KP: Can I ask a quick question? And that is, you said that there was kind of a lot of contention between your grandfather and your father. After Pearl Harbor, did you see that change or did you see it get worse, or did it stay about the same?

CH: That I can't remember now.

RP: Another comment that you made was that you saw harsher treatment of Buddhists than Christians in terms of Japanese.

CH: Yes. It seems to be that, I guess the culture is more closely related to the Buddhism than Christianity. Christianity is more --

RP: Accepted by the mainstream culture?

CH: Yes, uh-huh. So that's, we thought that was one of the reasons. We just said that they were picked up.

RP: Oh, in terms of Isseis being picked up. And you alluded to the fact that this gentleman, Mr. French, was it?

CH: Yes.

RP: Assured you that that wouldn't be the case with your grandfather or father.

CH: And you know he, there's one son, he's the same class as I am, and I wanted to see him and talk to him about it. He didn't show up at the reunion, so I don't know.

RP: So your religious, religious preference might have afforded more protection, being Methodist or Christian. I've heard that from other people, too, that their fathers were not picked up because they were Christian, they were Methodist or Protestants.

CH: But in my grandfather's case, I don't know why.

RP: But he was, he jumped around.

CH: Yeah. [Laughs]

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