Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Yukiko Miyahara Interview
Narrator: Yukiko Miyahara
Interviewer: Kirk Peterson
Location: San Diego, California
Date: April 10, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-myukiko_2-01-0008

<Begin Segment 8>

KP: So you went to Santa Anita and you drove there?

YM: Yeah. Our group were... I don't know where we started from. I think it was near San Pedro. I don't know, I don't remember. But we lived in Torrance and everybody had to drive in to where we lived. So my husband sold his car and then he drove the truck in and my uncle drove his car in. And we drove to Santa Anita.

KP: And where were you put in Santa Anita?

YM: Well, I was lucky, I had a jockey's room, and so I had a floor and ceiling. But my aunt and uncle was next door to me and they had the first stable of our row.

KP: What was, what was that like?

YM: Oh, terrible. It was, they had like a tar on the floor. And then when it got warm, you know, the bed stuck deep into the tar. And it was miserable. And it had those, that open door, you know where the horses used to put their head out? And then they just added a, a top to that to make it two rooms like. But, but we didn't live there too long because they needed more space, and since we were registered as one family, they made us move. Wanted us to go into the stable together or go to a new barrack that they just built. So we took the barrack. And so we had six of us 'cause I had my aunt's brother and my aunt and uncle and then the three of us. So six of us.

KP: So, who was... you said that at one point you had to, to go try to beg rice from people. What, what were your other food options when you were in Santa Anita? What was the food like?

YM: Oh, the first meal, I'll never forget 'til I die. It was like a rice was like soup and we some kind of hash. That was our dinner. It was awful. I'll never forget that.

KP: You also had a three month old baby at the time?

YM: No, when I took him into the camp he was only an infant, about three months, huh? Little over a hundred days.

KP: What did you, what did you do for formula, or how did you...

YM: Well I nursed him mostly. So they had what you call a baby station and they give you a little cup of baby food and milk if you needed it. But I didn't need the milk because I nursed him. But I, they used to give a little cup of baby food, not a whole can, just...

KP: And where was this baby station?

YM: Well, it was between the barracks in Santa Anita.

KP: So it wasn't with the mess hall or anything.

YM: No, no. They had a, what they called a baby station.

KP: So it sounds like the barracks was a big improvement for your aunt and uncle, but for you...

YM: Yeah. But then they still ran out of room so they partitioned everybody's apartment in half. So I gave my aunt and uncle the bigger side and we had the smaller side. We barely got our bed in. That was all the space we had. But at least we got a real bed. You know, I mean, with a mattress. While we were in the stable we had straw and we had to stuff that, what did they call that? And we had those canvas cots. It was terrible.

<End Segment 8> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.