Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Henry Nishi Interview II
Narrator: Henry Nishi
Interviewer: Richard Potashin
Location: Santa Monica
Date: April 8, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-nhenry_2-02

<Begin Segment 1>

RP: This is a continuation of an oral history with Henry Nishi for the Manzanar National Historic Site. This is part B of our interview. The date is April 8, 2009. And we're at Henry's residence, 3002 16th Street, Santa Monica, California. The interviewer is Richard Potashin. Our videographer behind the camera is Kirk Peterson and our interview will be archived in the Park's library. Henry, do I have permission to go ahead and continue our interview today?

HN: Yes.

RP: Thank you very much. It's good to see you again. And, we're kind of, we're gonna pick up, go back a little bit just before the war and talk about your father's nursery a little bit more, and then we're gonna move back into Manzanar.

HN: Okay.

RP: I'd like to get a sense from you, you told us earlier that, that your father had a rose growing operation in the San Fernando Valley?

HN: Right.

RP: And can you give us an idea of how extensive that was and what happened to it?

HN: Yeah, it was quite extensive. It was 100 acres of roses and they were for, for the retail market. It was sold to nurseries. He was a grower and they were sold, dug up in the wintertime and sold as bare root rose bushes and rose trees and climbing roses.

RP: Where was the, the rose operation located in the valley?

HN: It's the northern San Fernando Valley, place called Pacoima.

RP: Did your, was your father in charge of that or did he have someone else kind of supervising it for him?

HN: Yeah, my uncle.

RP: Aki?

HN: Yeah, exactly.

RP: And he, that was his, that was his baby, was it?

HN: Yeah, uh-huh.

RP: The rose area. And how profitable or non-profitable was, was that rose operation? Did it continue through...

HN: It was, it was profitable in the beginning. Then as competition grew stiffer, of course, it fizzled out. And some of the bigger growers, of course, took over most of the business.

RP: What happened to, to the operation, did you phase it out eventually?

HN: That area, most of that area went into truck farming, vegetables. And my uncle kept, he went into vegetable farming.

RP: On the same acreage?

HN: Yeah, uh-huh. I think he grew a lot of cantaloupe and that type of, that type of thing.

RP: Tell us what you recall about Aki as an uncle, his personality. What struck you about him the most?

HN: Well, he was a very quiet person and I guess he liked, he loved farming. He was, he was a very quiet person.

RP: Did he marry?

HN: Yeah, he was married and had three children.

RP: And where did he live? Did he live in the San Fernando Valley?

HN: He lived on the property. Yeah. There was a home on the property.

RP: And was he successful as a truck farmer on that land?

HN: Well, I would say he made a living. [Laughs] Yeah. Farming, truck farming was, in my opinion, it was, as a farmer, we didn't have too much control as far the wholesale market was concerned. The, I guess it was the brokers that took, that sold the farming... vegetables and the crop, they more or less gave you what, what they wanted to give you. It seemed to me that's the way it went.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 2>

RP: I wanted to go back and talk a little bit about the, your father's involvement with landscaping in the Westwood, Brentwood area. Can you give us a feeling for the styles and the trends of landscapes during the '30s and early '40s? What were people desiring in terms of a landscape? Especially the high-end clients.

HN: The, in that area, because of the, the hire end, more estate type of homes, it was a big demand for specimen trees, mature trees. And a lot of olive trees, olive, and it was a lot of olive orchards that were going out of business. And these were really old olives, maybe fifty, hundred years old olive trees. They're very desirable. And he went into relocating, or moving, moving trees, which was quite an art in those days. There was only two or three other companies moving trees.

RP: Your father went into that.

HN: One was my father, yeah.

RP: What kind of specialized equipment did he have or acquire for, for that job?

HN: Primarily you had to have a big truck. At that time, 5-foot, a 5-foot box was about the biggest, and sometimes, very rarely, 6-foot boxes, which were, I don't know by tonnage how much they weighed. But most of the loading of a big tree like that was done by a power winch. Winched up, rolled up to the, on top of the truck bed. Opposed to today, of course, they use a crane. But in those days they used rollers and a power wench.

RP: Did you actually watch them?

HN: I used to love doing that, watched, help.

RP: What did you do?

HN: Catch the rollers as they slid down the ramp and bring 'em up to the front, front of the, of the load. Just primarily just watching.

RP: And so most of these trees ended up in a, planted in estate style landscapes?

HN: Yeah.

RP: Uh-huh. Was there a, what other types of landscape materials were desirable? For instance, were palm trees big in those days, tropical?

HN: Not too much palms. It was, well, yeah, there was, there was palms. But just general ornamental nursery stock. There was some Oriental gardens going up too, which Dad liked to do, Japanese gardens. There was a lot of tropical material.

RP: So as the West Los Angeles, Brentwood area developed, your father's business grew along with, with that.

HN: Yeah. Because of the, the west side was developing. People were moving out to the west. Of course, Westwood Village was coming up and Bel Air, Palisades.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 3>

RP: I wanted to talk a little bit about the nursery at the VA Hospital, and about how you decided to, the family decided to donate that to the VA.

HN: Oh, Dad had a lease with the, with the government on that particular piece of property. And that was the reason why he was able to start a nursery in that particular area because there was not too much available property for nursery business, especially right on Wilshire Boulevard. But he had that lease from the government, Veterans Administration, which was an ideal location. 'Cause at that time, this is in the late '20s and the '30s when that Westwood area was, was moving very rapidly.

RP: So roughly the nursery, your dad began establishing the nursery on that VA land probably around late '20s, maybe 1930?

HN: Yeah, I think it was about '28, 1928. It was originally... the Veterans Administration had a, that particular plot of ground was a lemon orchard. So in order to clear it, he had to remove, it was an agreement that he remove the lemon trees. And he got a crew in there to cut down all the lemon trees. And he was able to sell the wood for firewood. Lemon was, lemon was a very desirable firewood. So it was completely cleared, which was quite a big task. It started out, I think he started out with 5 acres, then he added five more acres. Then later on it was, at the end it came up to 20 acres from, on the northwest corner of Sepulveda and Wilshire Boulevard.

RP: And what was around the area at that time? Was it, were you surrounded by farms?

HN: No.

RP: Were you surrounded by development?

HN: The, on the east side, which was right across from Sepulveda, it was the, of course, was the VA cemetery. And then to the west of the, of the nursery property, was the housing for the veterans. And then on the, on the south side, of course, was the Veterans hospital. Then that south, southeastern corner was vacant. And I think there they had vegetables there. Right now that's where the federal building is.

RP: You told us earlier, too, that the government didn't supply you with water. You had to, you had to basically drill your own well for water on the property?

HN: The property had a well, which was not being used. So we didn't have to dig a well, but we had to install a pump. And then because of, in the, a lot of the nursery business, everything is, most of it in containers, so you had to have pressure water opposed to irrigation water where you, where you just irrigated. So we had to put, install a, a large, a tank to pressurize the water. Then we had to bring in electricity which, it probably didn't have electricity, which we couldn't tap off the... they had, they had electricity for the Veterans Administration, but for private use we had to bring in our own, own power line.

RP: That's quite an investment of time and money.

HN: Yeah. You had to, you had to clear the land first, of course. And at the very beginning, until we got the water going, we did get water from the Veteran's Administration, their water source, until we were able to have our own. But the nice thing was the engineer at the Veterans Administration, he was the engineer for the, for the grounds, he helped Dad do all of the figuring out what kind of pump to get, pipes. He did all the engineering, electrical, and it was quite a bit of help from the Veteran's Administration. Well, it also so happened, he lived on the property. He had, the engineer's home was on that property. It was towards the back. But, so...

RP: The property of the nursery?

HN: Yeah. There was a portion of the ground, it was one lot actually that was, that, that had the engineer's home on it. So, what had, what happened is he got the, the help from the engineer on his off time to do whatever was necessary and especially... I think he's primarily electrical engineer.

RP: Can you, can you describe what the, what the, that area, the nursery area looked like after ten years or so or just before the war? Visually it must have been very impressive to see this...

HN: Yeah, it was a, the corner, the corner of the, northwest corner was, was landscaped nicely. And across the front of on the Wilshire side was partially landscaped. It was nursery stock in containers. And then along the, the eastern side facing parallel to Sepulveda Boulevard, there were big pepper trees, huge pepper trees.

RP: Were those native to the site or...

HN: Yeah, they were. They were there from... either they were planted, I'm sure way back.

RP: Did your father design and install any sort of demonstration gardens to show what, how these plants looked in an ornamental setting?

HN: Yeah, he had a little demonstration garden in front of the office, office building. He built it with the help of, I think there was some, I think it was, I was a young, young student then, but I think there was some, I remember there was some help, some of the veterans that were there. It was a couple of guys that wanted, they either got paid a little bit or wanted to help. And they built a rock office building. Yeah. You've never seen the pictures of the nursery? I think there was --

RP: I think I...

HN: -- a huge, a big, big long, yeah...

RP: Right... large panorama.

HN: Yeah.

RP: I saw it quite a while ago.

HN: Yeah.

RP: I think I'm ready to see it again. So, so the office building was built of stone...

HN: Yeah.

RP: By veterans.

HN: Uh-huh.

RP: And so did get quite a bit of support from the VA in terms of designing and constructing this office?

HN: Oh yeah, yeah.

RP: Was there anything else that you recall they helped you, your father with?

HN: Yeah, the... once Dad was established there, the VA helped him quite a bit as far as obtaining the lease. Because I think at the beginning it was like a, I'm not sure, but it was a three-year lease that they were able to do. But they more or less assured Dad that, that every, when the least came up that he'd be pretty much assured that he would get the re-lease for another three years. And I think it was a three-year period.

RP: And then ironically the government created internment and release.

HN: Yeah. They were, they were really good to Dad. In fact, when he was interned, they vouched for him and I think that helped a lot for his early release back to Manzanar.

RP: Now when you say "they" vouch for him, you say the VA itself? I mean was it...

HN: Well, they, they...

RP: Specific individuals.

HN: Yeah. I remember the, the head of the VA at, at this West L.A. VA was, I remember the name and I remember the person too, Colonel Brigham.

RP: Colonel Brigham?

HN: Brigham, yeah. And there was a captain... oh, I don't remember the name now, but there was... several of the officers here, they all wrote letters saying that Dad was a trustworthy person and recommending release.

RP: That really, according to what I've seen, really...

HN: Well, eventually they were all released, but...

RP: Right.

HN: But I think he was released much earlier because of, because of the endorsements from these kinds of people.

RP: Uh-huh.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 4>

RP: So how long did it take your dad to, to really get established there at that site?

HN: I think it took about three, maybe... I remember back in 1931, '32, on the weekends and when I'd go to the nursery with Dad -- we lived in Hollywood -- and 'course, I went, on the weekends, Saturdays especially, I'd go with Dad to the nursery. And I remember back '31, '32, I was in junior high and I remember the nursery was pretty well-established. So, in the three or four years it must have taken to, to develop the nursery.

RP: And did he put you to work on those weekends?

HN: Watering.

RP: You were the water boy?

HN: Yeah.

RP: Uh-huh. A lot to water.

HN: Lots of water, yeah. And we had to water because of the well.

RP: Did you have a system or did you just go with a hose from can to can and...

HN: Yeah.

RP: That was it.

HN: Yeah. We didn't have drip irrigation in those days.

RP: Too bad. Uh-huh. Did your father pay you a little money for, for what you did or was it just considered part of the family...

HN: Oh, I'm sure we got allowances.

RP: What do you remember other members of your family doing at the nursery? Your sisters...

HN: We didn't live there, but we still lived in Hollywood. And eventually towards, just prior to, to evacuation, which was back, nineteen, I think 1940, Dad bought a lot in West L.A. and built a home. Like I said, we had moved in. The home was completed in November of, I guess, 1940, yeah, 1940. And then in December, of course, he was, he was taken right after when the war started, December...

RP: Seventh.

HN: 1940.

RP: Forty or '41, wasn't it?

HN: Was it '41? '41, yeah.

RP: So you moved into the house just about a month before he was taken.

HN: Yeah, yeah. So we, we left a brand new home there. And the nice thing that happened was that the mail, the mail carrier that was delivering mail to our home, he asked if he could rent the home while we were gone. And of course we took up, we took the offer. Dad wasn't around of course, but my mom and, and we decided that, yeah. Which was very fortunate because they, when we came back -- well, I was in the army then but -- it was like when we had left it. It was brand new. And then also had another friend. He was an attorney, a Caucasian person. Said he would take care of paying, paying the payments on the house and whatever... just took care of everything. So we were very fortunate. We trusted people and there were good people that had no problem whatsoever. So we were able to come back when, when we... like I said, I wasn't here but when they notified these people, the Fosters, that's their name, that they were coming back, they promptly looked for another home. And when they came back, it was, they were just able to move into practically a brand new home.

RP: The attorney...

HN: Yeah.

RP: He, had he worked with your dad before? Or was this just somebody...

HN: No, he was, it was just a recommendation from somebody. He, we had no, we had no... but, just by referral. And yeah, he...

RP: He made the payments?

HN: He had... he took care of all the, all whatever money we had and he used that money whatever expenses that, that was, that were needed to pay the taxes, pay the mortgage payments, utilities. And, and actually there was, whatever friends we had, Caucasian people, they were very good to us. There was a lot of unfortunate people that people took advantage, I mean... which was, you know, kind of, you would expect. But we, we were fortunate. It was just, just a very lucky, fortunate situation.

<End Segment 4> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 5>

RP: Henry, lead us through the, the process of, of the donation of, of your father's nursery to the VA.

HN: Yeah.

RP: Yeah, tell us a little about it. It sounds, to me it sounds like your mother had a great deal to do with the eventual decision...

HN: Oh yeah, she had to make all, all of the decisions, of course.

RP: But she consulted with, with the kids?

HN: Yeah, uh-huh.

RP: And so what... he put a, a estimate of a price on how much the nursery was worth at the time of evacuation and why you didn't try to find someone else to lease the nursery or buy the stock. And instead you chose to donate the nursery.

HN: Yeah. In estimating something like that at that time and being as young as I was, I would say, on today's market, I would think it was at least a million dollars worth of inventory. But back then, probably, I don't know, maybe twenty, thirty thousand dollars.

RP: Did you attempt to find a buyer for the, the stock? Did anybody come forward and offer you X amount of dollars for what you had there?

HN: No. They wanted, they wanted everything for nothing. So we decided... at the very beginning when we knew that we were gonna be evacuated, we decided that well, whatever we can, we'll just start liquidating whatever material that, nursery stock. And then, of course, then we decided well heck, with the rest of it we'll ask the the VA if they, if they would just, if we donate it if they could use it. And of course they said, "We could use the nursery because we need it for the, for the cemetery, need it for the, for the grounds, whatever." And so that's how that came about, the donation, they offer, we offered and they, they said they were willing to take it as a donation.

RP: Were you involved in the process at all in terms of deeding over or the nursery stock? I think this article mentioned that you were, you know, had involvement with...

HN: Well, it was just a verbal agreement.

RP: Uh-huh.

HN: Yeah. Yeah. Because at, at... otherwise we would have kept on trying to liquidate as much as possible until, until we left. But by donating this, we just gave it to the... and, and left the property.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 6>

RP: How much time did you have to make these decisions and considerations? Was it weeks or...

HN: I don't think there was too much time. It might have been a week. It might have been ten days. I, I don't remember. Yeah.

RP: And, most of the family was in support of this, this course of action that you took?

HN: Oh yeah, yeah. So we were pretty well-prepared to leave. The other families... it was another family that, that we took -- well, they were friends of ours -- we took... says, "Okay, you just come, come to our house until evacuation." Because they had to leave their house and of course our uncle and their family, they came to live with us.

RP: And you were all together.

HN: It was just a matter of two or three days or a week maybe.

RP: You were all together. You left together.

HN: We were all together 'til the time that we were going to evacuate. And it was, so happened that it was just... the point of pickup for that particular area was right across the street. So...

RP: From your home?

HN: From our home.

RP: Where was... was it at a church or a...

HN: Well, it was at, on the corner of, of... our house was on... what was that name of the street now? Not Purdue, but the next street, Corinth.

RP: Corinth.

HN: Corinth, yeah. Corinth and Olympic Boulevard. The, that intersection, the northeast? Yeah, northeast corner was a vacant lot. And that's where, that corner was a designated area where we were all to meet to be picked up to go to, go to Manzanar.

RP: Can you describe the scene that you saw that day while you were waiting?

HN: Well, it was early morning. And, being young, it was kind of a festive thing. [Laughs] And it wasn't, it wasn't solemn or anything like that, it was just, we had to leave. And we were... I remember that that was the same time that I was supposed to report to the draft board for where I was... and I went to the draft board -- probably it was day before or whatever it was -- and reported and said and told 'em what the situation was. That I have, have the draft notice and I also have the notice to evacuate. So, I gave them the choice, "What do you want me to do? You want to draft me or do you want me to get evacuated with..." I guess the draft board decided, "Well, you'd better get evacuated." That's how that came about, but eventually I got drafted out of the camp.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 7>

RP: Did you have any inclination to enlist at all after Pearl Harbor?

HN: I didn't... I didn't volunteer. But I knew the draft, they were still drafting people. And it was, I guess, when... oh, I had left camp after a couple of years. I went to Omaha, Nebraska. I was working for a, a dairy processing plant in Omaha, Nebraska. That's when I got the draft, draft notice and I went to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, to be inducted, which I was inducted. But for whatever reason, they didn't want, I guess each, it was whatever the person who was in charge, put me on inactive status, instead of being, being active right away. They gave me the physical and, but I wasn't put on active, active duty. So I returned to camp. Then soon after that, then I was, I was noticed, got notice for active duty. And I got inducted at Salt Lake City.

RP: Fort Douglas?

HN: Fort Douglas, yeah.

RP: At the time you were being evacuated, I guess we've heard a few stories about other Niseis who wanted to enlist at that time, volunteered to join the military and they were, they were turned away primarily because of their ethnicity. "We don't want any of you people at this time." Sometimes the language was a little stronger than that. Did you feel that that might have been part of their decision in terms of well, "Go ahead and evacuate," rather than. "We don't really want you," but...

HN: I wasn't familiar with what was happening but I, from what I heard from friends that were already in the service, they were stationed like in Camp Roberts. And I guess primarily they were in Camp Roberts. They were, I understand, a lot of them were, they were kinda put on... I don't know what you'd call it. But they were kinda, what would you call it? Confined. That's what I heard from some of my friends that were in the army. They were not free to just do whatever they want. They were actually confined.

RP: Confined to menial responsibilities...

HN: Yeah, yeah.

RP: And in some cases I think they weren't even allowed to have guns.

HN: That was only in California of course, but I don't know if, I think in other states, I mean if, I think the draft went on as usual. But each draft board, I think, had their own ideas as to what, what to do. I don't know if they were told to, given any instruction, specific instructions to do whatever. But I think, I think it was more like each draft board had made their own decisions because... yeah, 'cause I don't understand why when I was inducted they put me on inactive duty. They must have had a reason for it, but...

RP: How long did you spend in camp before you were...

HN: I think I came back to camp and it was a matter of two, three weeks.

RP: Then you were put on active duty.

HN: Yeah.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 8>

RP: Henry, let's move into the camp experience a little bit.

HN: Yeah.

RP: Last time we kind of left off talking about you and a group of other sort of nursery owners getting together and starting this nursery at Manzanar.

HN: Yeah.

RP: What... did the idea come from you or was it planted by the War Relocation Authority, that, you know, we've got this site here that's barren, doesn't have much plants growing and we have dust storms, hey, why don't you guys who have some landscape and nursery experience start a nursery.

HN: Well it was, it just so happened that, that a good friend of mine, well, two or three good friends of mine, their dads were in the nursery business. And primarily Joe Kishi, who was actually a person that started, wanted to start the nursery. It was his, his idea. And, and it was another friend of mine, that he was from Santa Monica, Sho Komai, his father had a nursery. And then there was another nursery, his son, the Fukuharas, Frank Fukuhara, then of course Joe, Joe Kishi says, "Why don't we start a nursery?" Well, he's the one that went to the office and said, "Can we start a nursery?" And he got permission to start.

RP: How did you guys start?

HN: We just, we got together and decided, well, if we gonna start a nursery we need a lath house. You can't do it out in the open because of the heat in the summertime. So, they gave us that permission.

RP: Did you have the... excuse me. Did you have the ability to decide where that lath house was or did they say, "We'd like you to build it here?"

HN: Oh, I think there... see there was this guayule farm, and so I guess it was just natural that it would be next to the guayule farm. And we all had, being in the nursery business, we knew how to build the shade, lath houses. So we requisitioned. We decided, we figured out how much lumber we need, what kind of lumber we need. And we requisitioned for it and we got, we got the lumber and we built, built the lath house. And of course we decided to, what could we grow? And there was this, well the locusts. There was so much of locust seeds available we, germinated... it was just really easy to germinate. We had thousands of locust seeds. And we sent for other things, too, seeds. But primarily... [pauses]

RP: Sorry, Henry. So, you had no shortage of locust seeds. What else did you, did you decide to propagate as some of your nursery stock?

HN: Once the... actually, none of us had too much experience. We were pretty all, all pretty young. But most of our, most of our dads were not around either because they were interned elsewhere. When we... of course, we had enough experience that... and then, and the locust of course was so easily propagated that we had thousands of plants and once they came up from seed, we were busy transplanting these to, from smaller pots to one-gallon cans. I don't know if we went any further than gallons 'cause I had left afterwards, but we had probably, maybe not in the hundreds but even in the thousands of, of plants of locust.

RP: Did you, you propagated them primarily from seed or did you try cuttings as well?

HN: Well, we got seed. But we also, in order to, to be active, we tried digging up locust trees. And it turned out that in the wintertime, when they were dormant, they were pretty easily, they were very easy to transplant, dig up almost bare root and plant and they would, they would take very easily. So we did dig up bigger, more mature locust plants. And whatever we had there were, anybody that needed 'em for, for the block or for their apartment, I guess, they came to the nursery to get... if they wanted to plant locust trees.

RP: Would you also plant them in a particular block or...

HN: No, no.

RP: People would come to the nursery, take what they needed, and they went and planted them.

HN: Yeah, yeah.

RP: So how large a container of a locust did you --

HN: I only remember up to a gallon can, a gallon container. And maybe later on, they transferred to fives. But, like I say, I wasn't around so... I was there just at the beginning.

RP: What did you use for cans?

HN: I think, at that time, they used, you know, used vegetable cans. That was, in the nursery business at that time that was the... of course, today we have plastic, but that was the, the metal tin gallon cans. Five gallons were, 5 gallon tin. And I think, yeah, there was a lot of cans that came to the, to the camp for food. Yeah, whatever, for tomatoes... they all came in gallons.

RP: And you...

HN: So they saved all those cans and that's what they used, yeah.

RP: How about your water for the nursery? Did you just tap off of...

HN: We just had a, they had...

RP: A line...

HN: ...a water system there, yeah.

RP: Was there any problem in, in not having enough water?

HN: No. No, there was, there was always plenty of water, always plenty of water.

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

<Begin Segment 9>

RP: So, besides the black locust, do you remember propagating pine trees or wisteria or any...

HN: I don't remember our... I don't remember what else. I know there was other things that we, we had. But, I didn't stay to the end so I don't, I don't remember what. I'm sure the nursery was there until the end.

RP: Uh-huh. You had the lath house.

HN: Yeah.

RP: Did you have any other facilities that comprised the nursery? Did you have a little, any cold frames for starting seedlings or anything else that was constructed?

HN: Of course we had the... we built the lath house, we built the potting benches. And I, and we made a seed bed for... we planted right, kind of in a raised, raised bed.

RP: For seeds?

HN: For seeds, yeah.

RP: Uh-huh.

HN: As soon as they sprouted, then we transferred them to gallons.

RP: How about your mixes, soil mixes? What did you use for a potting medium?

HN: We used just a regular, just what was available, I mean, the natural soil there. We didn't have any amendments. We just used the topsoil.

RP: The topsoil?

HN: Yeah. Especially there was a lot of areas where there was a lotta, a lot of organic material.

RP: A little blacker soil?

HN: Yeah, yeah. As opposed to just sand. [Laughs]

RP: Well, it drained really well, didn't it?

HN: Yeah. It was, that valley is, that's really good soil.

RP: Uh-huh. Did you... I guess... would you have had fertilizer available to you at all?

HN: Oh, yeah. I think just about anything that we needed, what we requisitioned for, we were able to get. I think it's because of that, because of the extensive farm that, that they had, I think that was no problem for the little bit that we needed as far as when it comes to fertilizers. I don't think we ever used any kind of insecticides or anything like that. There was no need for it, but it was just a matter of good soil and watering is, is about...

RP: There was a lot of manure available at the chicken ranch, too.

HN: Yeah.

RP: So did you, since you were right next door to the guayule project,

HN: Yeah.

RP: Did you get to know those guys at all and did you share information back and forth? Did they ask you to do any planting for them?

HN: No, as I remember we didn't, there wasn't... they were busy doing whatever they were doing. I think they were more intent on... they were more serious people than we were. We were just having fun. [Laughs]

RP: Can you...

KP: Can I ask a... the lath house, was that yours or was that the guayule... I mean, were you both using the lath house?

HN: No, guayule people, they built their own lath house. We built our own. It was entirely separate. Yeah, we were just close together, yeah. I don't remember how, what the square footage was, but it was a pretty big area that we had.

RP: Your lath house?

HN: Yeah, there was that, that southwest corner of the camp.

RP: Did... what was I gonna ask you. Can you describe the, as you saw it, the change in the way the camp looked from the time that you arrived there to the time that you left? Even during the summertime when people began building gardens and putting in lawns and that kind of thing...

HN: Oh, there was a big, big change real quick. 'Cause most people, they had time on their hands, so planting vegetable gardens or planting landscaping, that's what they did. That's what they did. That was... and one person did their yard nicely, the next person would say, "We gotta build, we gotta do something, too." It was just kind of a chain reaction, I think. 'Cause everybody's... it got, especially block gardens, I think it actually got kind of competitive. Do, we'll build a better garden than Block such and such. [Laughs] Yeah.

RP: Were you involved with any of the building of any of those block gardens?

HN: No, no.

RP: But you watched 'em kind of take shape.

HN: Yeah, yeah. There was... once it got rolling, everybody wanted to plant. The soil was good. There was plenty of water. And there was plenty of material to, especially locust trees. You're already mature trees that you could dig up. And I don't remember doing any like that but they must have been, they must have been given permission to go out of camp to, to get locust trees because there wasn't no locusts actually on, on the property. Well, there was some, yeah, but of course in order to, in order to build, build the camp itself, I think they had to clear the ground almost entirely. So they, I would imagine all those people that had those big locusts had, had to go outside of camp to get them.

KP: Can I ask a question? You said that, that when your dad was in L.A. he was one of a couple people who were actually moving big trees.

HN: Yeah.

KP: So in camp, was that kind of your specialty or were a lot of people interested in moving trees at that time or was that something you led the way...

HN: Oh, when we say moving trees like in, when you move deciduous trees, especially like locusts, it's practically just pull them out of the ground. It's bare root. But when you, when I say moving trees, actually boxing them, boxing meaning making a box around a root ball, and it was the two major companies, tree movers, it was Hampshire Tree Moving Company, which was in West L.A. then there was Superior Tree Moving Company, and maybe there were a couple others and my dad.

RP: So was the, it sounds like the nursery that you established in Manzanar was a real learning experience for you as well as the other guys involved with it. Was it? A learning experience for you? Did it enhance your horticultural abilities and knowledge?

HN: Yeah. Having that background and it... and we all had experience because our parents were in the business. And none of us that were on that project, we were all experienced, not experienced nurserymen but, but was in, exposed to a lot of agriculture, ornamental agriculture.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 10>

RP: Do you remember when your father came back to camp, what that was like to see him again?

HN: Well, it was, it was nice to see him, of course. And, yeah, it was...

RP: Did he talk much about, or at all about what had happened to him in the three months that he was gone?

HN: No. There was not much talk about, about that. It was...

RP: Did he seem like the same dad that you knew before?

HN: Oh, yeah. Yeah. I, you know, Manzanar, being what it was, the location compared to the other, like Amy, she was in Wyoming, which was, compared to, compared to Manzanar, Lone Pine, that's why they'd call Lone Pine... what did they call it? It was, it was much more luxurious as far as weather-wise. 'Cause like Heart Mountain, Wyoming, was just practically cold all year round, freezing cold. We enjoyed... it was hot in the summer months in Manzanar. But it was bearable.

RP: Did you go out of camp at all to fish?

HN: No, I didn't.

RP: Did you go out at all at any time?

HN: I wasn't, I wasn't interested, I wasn't interested in fishing at that time. It was only afterwards that I got involved in fishing. Yeah. I knew that there were people that really liked fishing and snuck out of camp to go fishing.

RP: Your father comes back into camp, returns to camp, and he begins growing a rose garden in one of the firebreak areas. Do you recall that at all?

HN: I don't, I don't remember that. I wasn't there, no.

RP: And then he began working the, the government said, "We'll pay you if you build a large park," Pleasure Park area, in Manzanar.

HN: Yeah, it was a, it was a sanctioned project, so immediately it was, it was a job. It was, it was a project, so anybody that worked got on the payroll which was twelve dollars, $12, $16, and $19. Yeah.

<End Segment 10> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 11>

RP: This is tape two of a continuing interview with Henry Nishi. And Henry, we've been talking a little bit about the nursery that you and your friends set up in the camp. Where... did you receive any other help from other internees in the camp with your nursery? Did people come and volunteer their time or were they paid?

HN: No. We had our own crew and that's all we needed. And...

RP: And how many, how many did you have besides your, the guys you mentioned?

HN: I think there were six of us all together.

RP: Joe Kishi, you...

HN: There was Sho Komai.

RP: So Sho Komai, and who were the other three?

HN: And it was Frank Fukuhara. You know Frank.

RP: Uh-huh.

HN: Yeah. And there was... I can't think of their names here. There was... I know there was six of us anyway. There was six of us.

<End Segment 11> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 12>

RP: Another project that you got going in the camp, actually kind of an interesting landscaping project, too, was the development of the golf course in the camp. Can you tell us how that all began?

HN: Well, you've heard of Mr. Hori. He was a golfer, and his son was a golfer. And there were some older people that were golfers. And they wanted to build a, either a driving range or a little golf course to play golf. And it just so happened that it started right around our, our nursery, so we got involved. [Laughs] And actually, Joe Kishi was not a golfer but he, he really, he liked golfing and he became a good, good golfer when he came back. He got the franchise from the City of L.A. for the golf carts, for the, for the L.A., L.A. city golf courses. Yeah, he was able to get that golf cart business which was, I guess, was... and he had a, he opened up a wholesale nursery up... he had a Allied Nursery Exchange.

RP: This is after camp?

HN: Huh?

RP: After camp?

HN: After, this is after camp. And then, but the golf, the golf business was a very, I don't know what you call it, lucrative. It was... of course, he had, he had the contract from the city to furnish all of the golf carts for the city, city courses.

RP: So it all started at Manzanar for him.

HN: For him, yeah. Yeah.

RP: So did you guys volunteer to help Mr. Hori set up a course or...

HN: Yeah, yeah. And then in turn he, he taught us golf. We took lessons from him. Yeah.

RP: Did he supply you with his, with golf clubs and equipment, or did you...

HN: No, but he told us how, how we can get, what kind of equipment we needed. And we ordered all that stuff through Sears. And I think we used to buy golf balls from him, or eah, I think he used to buy, get golf balls from some, whatever, and he would supply us. We'd pay for the golf balls, but he would supply us with golf balls. Because we used to use a lot of, lose a lot of golf balls. They go over the fence and we couldn't go after 'em.

RP: You'd be going outside the camp.

HN: Yeah.

RP: So tell us how the course was constructed and built.

HN: Well, the space that was, was, that we needed was all on the perimeter, inside perimeter of the camp, which was plenty of space there. But it was just in, along the, the western, western edge of camp between the barrack, between the barracks and the barbed wire fence. So it was along that western edge side and then returning back.

RP: Southwest corner?

HN: Yeah. And we'd come back on the, on the southern side and then back across there was a lot of, a corridor between the guayule lath house and our lath house. So I think the ninth hole was from the southern line over back into, to the, between the two lath houses.

RP: That was originally a nine hole course?

HN: Yeah. First hole started from that point towards the southern fence line over, was that Bear's Creek? Yeah, over Bear's Creek. Then to the, to the south, southwest corner and on the western, western corridor of camp, then returning back. Because it was four holes, I think we had four holes going and five holes coming back. Yeah, nine holes, yeah. It was just sand, sand greens. You sift the sand, oil it, and before you put you had to roll it.

RP: Where did you get the oil from?

HN: It was out of, from the, the auto, the truck, what do you call it, the pool.

RP: Motor pool?

HN: Motor pool.

RP: So they give you their, their spent oil?

HN: That's, the used oil. Used oil, yeah. There was plenty of it.

RP: So you had to, to remove a lot of shrubs, didn't you? Didn't you have to clear off the...

HN: It was, it was, yeah... there was some removal, but it was pretty much cleared because, like I said before, the whole area had to be cleared for, when they built the camp. I think the whole area was just bulldozed and cleared.

RP: Did you have any leveling equipment or grading equipment that was used or was it just your hand labor?

HN: Just your natural terrain. Yeah. The only part that we worked on was, was the sand greens itself and the starting point, which was just an area.

RP: Was it relatively just a flat course or was there any...

HN: No, just flat.

RP: And what would a typical hole be in terms of yards?

HN: I think the shortest, shortest was probably around 80-90 yards. Maybe a longer one as long as 150 yards. That's about it. We had not much use for a, for a driver. It's mostly from a nine iron to a, maybe we used a two iron.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 13>

RP: And how did you take to golf at Manzanar?

HN: Oh, it was, I liked it. It was, I liked it. Golf, you start... golf is a, is a game if you get started you get, you get hitched to it. But I know when I got back, I got interested in fishing. And I liked to, I liked fishing and it was a question of what do I like better, go golfing or go fishing and I decided fishing was cheaper.

RP: How much did it cost to order clubs from Sears and Roebuck in those days?

HN: Gosh, I don't remember but you know, I mean it's, I guess it would be just relative... the golf course, like even today, the golf course, golf clubs, equipment is not cheap. But, so it was, in those days... now of course it would be cheap, but it was, it was expensive.

RP: Uh-huh. You, I'm assuming that you were paid by the government to run the nursery in camp?

HN: Well, when you say paid, everybody that had a job was paid. Whether it was on the $12 level or the intermediate was $16 and if you were the head of the project you got paid, or a foreman, you got paid $19. So you, we were all paid as, except for Joe Kishi, who was, who started it, he was the foreman or supervisor, he got $19 and we got $16 as skilled labor. And if you were just a, just a laborer you got $12, I think it was $12. I think it was three, three pay scales. But everybody, whatever they did, whether it work in the kitchen or maintenance or truck driving, everybody got paid.

RP: You said a lot of golf balls went over the fence. Probably landed in Bear's Creek.

HN: Yeah. [Laughs]

RP: I remember hearing a story about some kid that used to go out, go in there and fish the balls out and then sell 'em back to Mr. Hori. You know, give you five cents for every ball that you, that you get.

HN: I didn't know about that.

RP: So was there actually, was there actually a hole that went across the creek?

HN: Yeah, the first hole was starting... and it was a short hole but it was over the creek. So the green was just on the other side of the creek. Between the creek and the fence line.

RP: Would you say that the golf course was used pretty regularly?

HN: Oh, yeah.

RP: So people who had never golfed before took it up.

HN: Yeah. And surprisingly, some of the older Issei people, they were golfers, like Mr. Hori.

RP: They took it up, too. Did you have a clubhouse building or anything...

HN: No, no.

RP: I know that the golf course wrapped around that southwest corner of the camp.

HN: Yeah.

RP: And you had a guard tower right on that corner.

HN: Right on that corner, yeah.

RP: And then one in the middle.

HN: Yeah.

RP: It's just sort of a very surreal site to, you know, be golfing and then here's a MP in the guard towerwith a gun watching you guys or just... kind of a strange...

HN: I think we were able to just ignore it. [Laughs]

RP: Yeah, he probably ignored you, too.

HN: Yeah, it just... you know, it's like at the beginning, at the beginning I think they were very... because everything is kind of new and so it was... guarding the camp was pretty, pretty severe and strict. But as time went on. I guess the military personnel there got much more lenient because they just got used to the people and there wasn't, they felt there wasn't much of a threat. But I think within the beginning, the security people were more alert because everything was kind of new to them. It was new to us.

RP: You related a specific experience when you were playing golf with a guy and he sliced a ball outside.

HN: And he went after it?

RP: Yeah. Tell us about that.

HN: Yeah, yeah, fortunately he didn't get hit but I know that the guard that was up there, he was aiming for him because it was just... the bullets were coming right next to him.

RP: How far out, outside the fence was he, just...

HN: He just crawled under maybe ten, fifteen feet to retrieve the ball. I just happened to be there.

RP: And you watched?

HN: Yeah, yeah.

RP: How many shots would you say that he fired?

HN: Oh there was at... there was four or five, maybe half a dozen shots.

RP: And what was the closest?

HN: It was, but not... I don't know whether it was the guard intentionally tried to miss him but they were, they were close though. I would imagine he was aiming for the person.

RP: And how, when did this happen? Was this early in camp?

HN: Yeah.

RP: Like within the first five or six months?

HN: I think later on it got to a point where people just went out hiking and they would just... I think it got pretty relaxed. At the beginning, you know, everything was up in arms.

RP: When you saw this situation, you know there's a friend of yours being shot at, did you have a reaction? Any strong emotions about that or how did you feel about it?

HN: I think it was a natural reaction where if you crawl under the fence, you're liable to get killed. 'Cause what are those guards up there for? Keep you in. That's what their orders are. So, yeah, it was just, I think it was very fortunate that he didn't get hit.

<End Segment 13> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 14>

RP: Do you have any recollections of the Manzanar "riot" or incident where...

HN: Yeah, I knew that it happened, yeah. We saw it happen and we knew it was going on. Out of curiosity we, we tried to run down there to see what was happening. We didn't know what it was going, what it was all about. At least I didn't know what it was all about, but there was this confrontation where it was some of these guys who were, for whatever reason, they were up in arms.

RP: Some of the tensions and the anger was directed at people that had been called inu, collaborators, some of 'em were Japanese American Citizens League presidents, other people who were seen kind of as stooges for the administration. So were you aware of any of that, these political rivalries that were going...

HN: There was, yeah.

RP: Or were you somewhat...

HN: I think in general, the people, we thought of them as, they were younger Japanese-born persons.

RP: Kibei.

HN: Kibei, yeah.

RP: And what was your relationship with them? Did you kind of stay away from them or...

HN: We kind of did, yeah, we kind of stayed away from those people.

RP: They were different in your eyes?

HN: What's that?

RP: They were different in your eyes than, you know, Niseis that hadn't gone to Japan or... like yourself.

HN: Yeah, just a natural, you know, when you associate with people, you associate with people that, more of your, what you're willing to associate with. And I think that Nisei people and Kibei people, they, it wasn't, there was no real reason for them to be, or anyone to be against them or for them. But, yeah, there wasn't too much mingling between the two groups. Unless, you know, they were close friends. 'Course, we had Kibeis and Niseis in our block. We all got along well.

RP: Do you remember, you said you lived in Block 22, do you remember a gentleman by the name of Harry Ueno?

HN: Ueno?

RP: Ueno, Harry?

HN: No. Harry Ueno. I've heard of the name yeah.

RP: He started that garden in Block 22.

HN: Oh, yeah.

RP: And he was, again...

HN: Did he live in that block? I don't think I...

RP: I think he worked in that mess hall.

HN: Yeah, I don't think he was, he wasn't, he didn't live in Block 22. Most people in Block 22, I can remember the names of the people that lived there. And I don't remember him living there. 'Cause our, I don't know how it was in other blocks, but our block, Block 22 was a block that was, we had people from west L.A., we had people from Santa Monica, we had people from the valley, and we had the group from downtown, the Boyle Heights. And it was a block where, the people wound up in Block 22 because, like in our case, we had too big of a group and they couldn't put us with the rest of the west L.A. people, so they put us in Block 22. And I think that's what happened with other people from, like, San Fernando, 'cause they were kinda, didn't fit in with the blocks where they were supposed to go to. And I don't know how the downtown people got... I think they were just spillover from another block where most of the downtown people came. And then we had... so there was a mixture. But we got along pretty good together. We were kind of a tight group, Block 22.

<End Segment 14> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 15>

RP: What do you remember about the Block 22 in terms of gardens and other maybe recreation facilities that were built in the block? Some blocks had a basketball court or a volleyball court, chin-up bars... what do you, any significant things you remember about that?

HN: Our block, each block had a... I don't know, was it a recreation hall or actually it was a, it was a laundry room or sort of...

RP: There was a recreation building, yes.

HN: It was a recreation hall? We had, our group, we would, we would always join together in the evenings in the rec. hall and we had, we had parties. We had dance parties, and you remember what's his name? Takemoto?

RP: Iwao Takemoto?

HN: Iwao Takemoto. He was, he did all the, he did all our walls inside the rec. hall with his drawings. And we had some, a lot of younger people, younger than I, that liked music. We had a lot of records. We played music, had dances. We would always meet in the evenings and weekends. And that was just exclusively Block 22 people. Not that we didn't allow other blocks to come in, but whenever we had a get-together it was mostly just exclusively our block. It just ended up as kind of a, as a tight group.

RP: What did Mr. Takemoto sketch on the walls? Were they cartoon figures or...

HN: Cartoons, yeah.

RP: The whole building?

HN: Huh?

RP: The whole building?

HN: The inside, yeah. Yeah.

RP: On the, on the plasterboard?

HN: On the plasterboard.

RP: That must have been amazing.

HN: Yeah, it's just too bad we couldn't have saved that.

RP: Yeah, more, sort of the boards, have all the boards and...

HN: Yeah, it was...

RP: You might have to redo one of our barrack buildings, you know.

HN: Yeah.

RP: With all the sketches.

HN: Yeah.

RP: That's too bad that they didn't save those. Hmm. Did you know him at all?

HN: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

RP: He was in Block 22.

HN: He was in the building right across from us. You know that painting that we gave you guys? I think that one that was on that side was his building. But anyway, my daughter got to know Iwao Takemoto quite well because she worked for Warner Brothers on the preservation of animation art. And for whatever reason, she got to know Iwao. I think it was because of, I can't think of those guys that were in animation art. Well, he was an animator, actually. Anyway. through them, because she was in that business, she knew... in fact she was, I saw her the other day, she had lunch with, with his wife just a couple weeks ago.

<End Segment 15> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 16>

RP: Do you remember any other, other folks in your block, people that stick out in your mind?

HN: I don't know what happened to him, but I think they're in southern California, but they went to Tule Lake, Tamuras. They were, I think there was three boys.

RP: Were they the baseball players?

HN: Baseball players. They were very athletic. They were... yeah. But, and remember I was telling you that the fire engine, the older one was a fireman. And I remember he used drive, I don't know if it was that truck there, but used to always, he used to always travel around in that, with the truck in the camp. The one I knew, the youngest one was George. And the one in between was Jim, Jimmy. And the older one was...

RP: Barry?

HN: Who?

RP: Barry?

HN: Barry. Yeah, he was the fireman.

RP: He was the fireman.

HN: He was the fireman yeah.

RP: So he would just drive his truck around the camp just sort of patrolling or...

HN: Patrol, yeah. And then, then there was a Ishida family. They lived in our same building. And he volunteered, but he came back.

RP: He volunteered for the military?

HN: Yeah, yeah.

RP: Ishida?

HN: Yo, Yo Ishida.

RP: Okay.

HN: He was a sumo, sumo wrestler. Yeah.

RP: In camp?

HN: Huh? No, from before, before camp.

RP: Before.

HN: They had, they had a sumo... he's from downtown. There was a lot of people that that was their hobby, sumo, sumo wrestling.

RP: So you were in Block 22, building 4?

HN: 22-11.

RP: 22...

HN: 11.

RP: 11.

HN: Apartment 1.

RP: Apartment 1.

HN: Yeah, 22-11-1. You know, our address, our home address is 2211 on Corinth.

RP: On Corinth?

HN: Yeah. We happened to be in 2211.

RP: That's pretty eerie.

HN: Yeah.

RP: So did you, did your dad or you landscape around your barrack building? Did you plant locusts?

HN: It wasn't until... when I left, we didn't have no landscaping. But I know afterwards it was, they did, I don't know whether Dad did it or not but it had quite a bit of landscaping. 'Cause, you know, towards the end then everybody was landscaping, from what I understand.

<End Segment 16> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 17>

RP: Were you around for the "loyalty questionnaire"?

HN: The what?

RP: When the government issued the "loyalty questionnaire," were you still in camp?

HN: I don't remember.

RP: Where they asked you, you know, whether you would be willing to serve, not willing, but would you serve in the military and then what your loyalty was. Question 27 and 28?

HN: I don't remember that. I'm... no, I don't recollect that. I don't know whether... I might have, but I don't know.

RP: You don't remember answering questions, "yes-yes" or "no-no"?

HN: No.

RP: But you were around when people were sent to Tule Lake?

HN: Yeah.

RP: You mentioned Mr. Ishida.

HN: Yeah, yeah.

<End Segment 17> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 18>

RP: When did you, why did you decide to leave camp, Henry? You said you were, went to...

HN: Omaha.

RP: Omaha.

HN: Yeah.

RP: Why?

HN: Well, we were allowed to leave whenever, if we wanted to, so I took the opportunity to leave. And prior to that we were, every season we were going out to the farming, beets and potatoes. We harvested potatoes, harvested beets. In the spring we did the thinning. We thinned the sugar beets. We worked for a family in Idaho... what's the name of that city? One of the bigger cities in Idaho. We went back there several seasons, two seasons. Well, the spring season we went and summer season, the fall season, for harvesting. And I think we went another spring, following spring we went for thinning. But that harvesting, that year happened to be a cold one. But I remember the farmer coming out. It was bitterly cold and snowing and we said, "Well, we can't be working in this," so we stayed in. He came and rapped on the door and he said, "We gotta get the, get the potatoes out before they freeze." I remember that.

RP: Did you go out with a group of guys?

HN: Yeah, yeah. With that same, the same group.

RP: The nursery crew?

HN: The nursery group, yeah, we went out.

RP: Oh, so you guys were pretty tight.

HN: Yeah, yeah.

RP: And you got out of camp for a couple of months, or whatever it was.

HN: Yeah, then plus we got paid. We made some money.

RP: More than $19 a month?

HN: Yeah. I forgot what it was, but it was hard work. It was hard work. Especially the harvesting was...

RP: The sugar beets?

HN: Because of the weather. It was cold. Those sugar beets, some of those beets are big and heavy.

RP: Almost as big as you.

HN: And the truck is way up there. You gotta...

RP: You gotta haul...

HN: Yeah. And the potatoes, we tried to make 'em light. You're supposed to get about a half sack, and you put 'em, they keep 'em in the row that you harvest and then you come back and the guys come back with the truck. Then we, you call bucking, bucking onto the... so we tried to keep it light so it wouldn't be so heavy. But, the farmers, they liked to have a full load.

RP: How, so how were you treated by the farmers?

HN: Oh, good. Good. Yeah.

RP: Did you go into any of the local towns or communities and...

HN: I'm still trying to think of the name of that, the city that we...

RP: Blackfoot?

HN: No. Not Idaho Falls. It's... starts with an "R."

KP: Rexford? Rexford?

HN: Rexford, yeah.

RP: Give that guy a prize.

HN: Yeah. It was Rexford, yeah. We went into town a couple of times and it wasn't fun because, you know, it's... the people out there are... well, the farmers, of course, who we worked for, we got to know them. But in town it was kind of, it didn't feel very, very good about it so we didn't go into town. Because the farmer said if you want to go, take the truck, go into town, which we did a couple times. We went to a pool hall and, and I remember I got to a point where I said, "Hey, we better get out of here. It doesn't look good." So we walked out. I think if we'd have stayed, we'd have gotten in a fight.

RP: Were you being verbally abused or...

HN: No, not verbally abused but you just kind of...

RP: You just didn't feel welcome.

HN: Didn't feel good, yeah.

RP: That's good to go with your instincts sometimes like that.

HN: Yeah, yeah.

RP: So you went out --

HN: But the farmers, out, you know, we were, we were harvesting their crop and they got to know us, we got to know them. So...

RP: And you worked for the same farmer...

HN: Huh?

RP: You worked for the same farmer for several seasons?

HN: Yeah, yeah. I think, I think they, when they asked for help, I think they requested if we could get the same group or... whatever reason, we ended up in the same farm.

<End Segment 18> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 19>

RP: What did your, what did your sisters do in camp?

HN: They left pretty early. They went, they wanted to go to school.

RP: Mary went to Nebraska.

HN: Mary and Midori, yeah, they went.

RP: Midori, too?

HN: Yeah.

RP: How about Setsuko?

HN: She stayed. 'Cause she, she was working... she had already gone to school.

RP: College?

HN: Business college. But Mary and Midori, they wanted to go to, they wanted to go to... they ended up, well, first they ended up, they went to a... the reason why I went to Omaha, because they, they went to school in, it wasn't in Omaha but it was right near Omaha. Yeah. Then they went, then later they went to the East Coast. Yeah. They went to, they went to a good school in the East Coast, I think, someplace.

RP: So you went out to Omaha because they were there?

HN: Yeah. Both of 'em got... I think Midori got her doctorate over there. I think Mary got a masters over there.

RP: What did you do in Omaha for work?

HN: It was at a dairy.

RP: The dairy.

HN: Yeah. Milk processing.

RP: You ran the machines or...

HN: Pasteurizing.

RP: Oh, you pasteurized.

HN: Mostly running it and then had to clean 'em. They were huge, you know. You had to walk in, go inside and scrub 'em down. I mean, they were huge. They're like as big as this room almost. Not, you know...

RP: Did you go out of camp with anybody else, a friend, or did you just travel alone?

HN: When we went to, when I went to Omaha, well, I went a couple a times after harvesting a crop. Had a little money in our pockets. Instead of coming directly back to camp, we went to Chicago, just to see how, what things would be like as far as job opportunities. And we know there was jobs out there, so we came back. Then we went out to find work. We went to Chicago and I didn't like Chicago. I said, "Nah, I don't want to stay in Chicago. It's too cold." I came back to Omaha. Omaha is a little bit smaller city and a little quieter, so I stayed there. Until I got, I got called for the draft. And when they put me on inactive duty, I didn't want to go back to work, so I said, "Oh, I'll just go back to camp and wait." I didn't stay... I came back but I didn't stay very long.

<End Segment 19> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 20>

RP: So how did you end up getting taken for Military Intelligence Service? Were you initially with a different unit?

HN: When we were, when we were enlisted, there was a questionnaire, "Would you be willing to go to the Language School?" Evidently I wrote "yes" because when I had, when I finished basic training, I had orders, our whole group had orders to go to the point of departure on the East Coast to go to Europe. Then they got, at the last minute I got orders, change orders to go to Fort Snelling in Minnesota. I went. So that's how I got there.

RP: What do you remember about your training at Fort Snelling and just life in general there? What memories do you have?

HN: Well, we had... always going to school all day long, from morning to night, evening. I forgot, about three or four o'clock, I think we came back. But early in the morning we had to march to the classrooms.

RP: And did you concentrate on a specific area? I know there were writing propaganda and interrogation and all these different little areas...

HN: It's just a language school.

RP: Just...

HN: Just plain, just, just strictly language school, yeah.

RP: Minneapolis is a pretty cold place.

HN: Oh, boy. Yeah. Fort Snelling is a beautiful, beautiful military installation, and old buildings. Right, I remember it was right near that, right near the bridge. You go across to the other side of the bridge was Twin Falls... no...

RP: Twin Cities?

HN: Was it Minneapolis?

RP: St. Paul, Minneapolis?

HN: St. Paul, yeah.

RP: So it was very much like going to school, wasn't it? You got tested and examinations, that kind of thing?

HN: Yeah.

RP: Did you have buddies? Did you make, have any close buddies in MIS or....

HN: Yeah, yeah.

RP: Who were they?

HN: I can't even remember those, remember his name. But it so happened that when we got back and living here in Los Angeles, Amy's relative had a party and we were there and one of the people there that I met, he mentioned his brother's name. I said, "Oh yeah. That was about my buddy at Fort Snelling." And there were some other guys. Another... when we came, when he got discharged he came back. He went to work for the postal department. He was a mailman.

RP: So when you were going to MIS school, was the war nearly over? Is this 1945 or...

HN: While I was in school, just before graduation, it was over. But we were still... I got sent to Seattle to go overseas to Japan, the occupation at that time. But when we got to Japan it was just after, just after the war had ended. Yeah. It was still, it was still in rubbles. Like we came in to Yokohama, that's the docks. We went by ship. It was flattened out, just flat. And we were... from Yokohama we went to Tokyo because that's where General Headquarters are. General Headquarters is where they kept the military MIS. Which was right in the heart of Tokyo. Tokyo itself was untouched because I think they purposefully kept all the... we stayed at the NY, NYK building, which was a Japanese shipping company. It was right... and Dai Ichi Hotel was just down the street. That's where General MacArthur was. And there was another hotel there, it was... oh, the hotel that General MacArthur stayed was one of a famous architect that... the American architect. He designed that building anyway, that architect. And right on the other side was the Imperial Gardens. And we were just a block away from the main Tokyo, Tokyo station. You just go there, you could go just about anywhere from, on the subway or the trains.

<End Segment 20> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 21>

RP: And what were you assigned to do for MIS in Japan?

HN: We were all billeted at the NYK building and it was strictly the MIS group. And it was, what it was was just all of us were there. And any company regiment or any group that needed interpreters, interrogators, requisitioned for it and then they would ship us out.

RP: Huh. You were kind of on call.

HN: Huh?

RP: You were kind of on call.

HN: On call, yeah.

RP: And what did you get sent out to do?

HN: A couple of times we went down to Sugamo prison with an American attorney, interrogate prisoners. And these attorneys, these lawyers were strictly lawyers for the defense. We had to convince these people that we're working for the defense, not for the prosecution. But then later on, I got assigned a regular job where we every day go to all of this where we interrogated Japanese prisoners that were coming back from Siberia. We tried to get whatever information we could on Siberia. Oh, they really suffered in Siberia, because of the weather, bitter cold. They were building that Trans-Siberian...

RP: Railway?

HN: Yeah. And coal mining.

KP: They were prisoners of war of Russia?

HN: Japanese prisoners.

KP: Of war of Russia?

HN: Yeah. They were sending them back to Japan. And then we were interrogating... they were, I don't know how they picked them, but they would pick whatever and they would send 'em to Tokyo for interrogation. And every day they would assign us to... well, we'd go to this one interrogation room. And we'd have to interrogate sometimes, mostly just one a day, at least we'd try to stretch it out to interrogate one. If we finished early they'd give us another one.

RP: Were they, were these POWs willing to talk to you?

HN: Oh, yeah.

RP: I mean, did they share information?

HN: Yeah, yeah.

RP: You were mostly interested in, you know... what kind of information were you looking for? About Russian military installations or...

HN: What were they doing? What was it like? What... and it's mostly, they were either coal, in the coal mining, or on that, working on that railroad. I think that railroad went all across Siberia to Vladivostok. And we got whatever information we could find or get. And we'd do at least one a day. I think these guys that got picked... I don't know if they got... I think they probably, the military must have gave them enough money to come to Tokyo. I guess they got a little money for meals, had transportation back to home. I'm not sure, but I think, I'm sure they didn't come on their... I think they got, they got money.

<End Segment 21> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 22>

RP: During your time in Japan, did you have an opportunity to meet with any of your family, relatives?

HN: I went down to -- my parents, they were from Wakayama, which is south towards Osaka -- I went down there a couple of times. And it's in down south, Wakayama is, the sea coast is really beautiful. 'Cause they had... well, where my parents' house the -- not my parents' house, but their parents' house was more inland. But it was next to, next to a creek, a river where they had... we call them trout, but they're not trout. There's a Japanese... it's like a trout but it's a delicacy, the freshwater fish. And then they had, they were citrus, tangerine farmers, so the tangerine orchards.

RP: It must be relatively mild climate to grow tangerines.

HN: Yeah. But the sea coast, southern part of Wakayama, the sea coast is just really like a resort place. That's why U.S. military had their, a lot of resorts down there where if you want to do...

RP: R and R?

HN: R and R, yeah. Mostly for officers though.

RP: Uh-huh. So you actually met relatives on your mom and dad's side?

HN: Yeah.

RP: And how did they receive you?

HN: Oh, good.

RP: Must have been very interesting to be in Japan, too, back where your father had come from and...

HN: Yeah.

RP: You could have never imagined that you would end up in Japan during the war.

HN: Yeah, but it was, especially when we landed in Yokohama, because it was, it was really flattened out. It was burnt or bombed. And it was pretty sad because you'd see all these kids begging for food. But they... it's just, I was only in Japan for about eighteen months all together. But from the very... when I got there and from when I left, it had changed a lot. It was a very quick recovery, you know. Then when I went back on vacation, it was about ten years after, 'cause I didn't go down to Hiroshima or any place like that, but it was like, like there wasn't a war. Everything was built back up. Of course, Tokyo was not hurt too bad.

RP: They had that large fire bombing.

HN: That was Hiroshima.

RP: Well, in Tokyo, too.

HN: Oh, Tokyo, yeah.

RP: Got hit pretty hard.

HN: Oh yeah, yeah. But there was, the areas that I visited, they were untouched.

RP: Uh-huh.

HN: But the Yokohama area was just... because that was more of a...

RP: Military...

HN: You know, yeah, it was industrial.

RP: Uh-huh.

<End Segment 22> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 23>

RP: Henry, you returned back to west Los Angeles after Japan?

HN: Yeah.

RP: And you mentioned earlier, you know, that your dad's house was still there to move back into.

HN: They were living in it, yeah.

RP: Uh-huh. And what was your dad doing after he came out of camp? Did he start a nursery again or...

HN: He started, as more as a hobby, he was raising bonsais. And it kind of turned into a little business where he actually sold some. And then he did some landscaping, too.

RP: And where did you settle?

HN: When I came back, I went to work for a nursery as a salesman.

RP: Which nursery?

HN: What's that?

RP: Which nursery?

HN: Frank's Nursery.

RP: Frank's. And that was, was that on Wiltshire?

HN: Yeah. It's on Wiltshire.

RP: Uh-huh. Is it still around?

HN: It's now Armstrong.

RP: Oh, is it Armstrong?

HN: Yeah.

RP: Is it the one on Wiltshire and...

HN: Centinela.

RP: Centinela.

HN: Yeah.

RP: Okay. How long did you work for them?

HN: I worked there about five years.

RP: Uh-huh.

HN: We did a real good... well, they had the flower business and the nursery. It was a big nursery. Frank's Nursery was from Oakland. They had a big nursery in Oakland. And they opened up this nursery here, which Mr. Goka bought. I worked with Mr. Goka for about five years.

RP: So did you experience any difficulties in resettling yourself in the area?

HN: Back here?

RP: Yeah.

HN: No, no.

RP: How about the rest of the family? Did they also drift back to this area? The sisters who had gone to school and college?

HN: When they came back, when they came back, they came back real early, right after the war. But they came back because, well, they wanted to come back, of course, but they had a family that was willing to house them and get them started. Because they were were gonna continue school. But this family turned out to be really, really helpful. And that was... I don't... do you, do you remember Karl's Shoes?

RP: Karl's Shoes... I don't know. That doesn't... bells aren't going off.

HN: There was a chain of shoes.

RP: Karl's shoe stores?

HN: Yeah.

RP: That's startin' to sound more familiar.

HN: I think the son, the son married, was it Debbie Reynolds or... something like that, yeah. And then the other... and another daughter, her name was, I think it was Sarah or something. Anyway, they practically adopted Mary and Midori.

RP: So they did housework for the family and then continued to go to school?

HN: Yeah, yeah.

RP: They adopted them.

HN: They did, they were treated like adopted. And they were, they were really... so when Dad and Mom came back, too, of course they had a home, but whatever help they needed, they were willing to do whatever. But they, you know, Dad had the home and he still had some money which the lawyer didn't take. [Laughs]

RP: Yeah.

<End Segment 23> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 24>

RP: You also had, you continued or got into fishing and made quite a few trips up to the Eastern Sierra.

HN: Yeah.

RP: But you also had an involvement with the Boy Scouts and...

HN: Yeah.

RP: ...led a number of trips, hiking to Mount Whitney.

HN: Trip, yeah.

RP: Were you in with Tom Ikkanda on that?

HN: Yeah.

RP: Tell us about that. What was that like to... you return to the Owens Valley where you had been incarcerated...

HN: Well, every year, every summer vacation, the biggest trip for the Boy Scouts was, was the summer vacation trip which is a ten-day trip. And every year we'd go to Lake Maimie, which was just above Lake Mary in Mammoth. That's where they had the group camping. And we did that every year as long as my kids were in Boy Scouts, which was like four or five years. But Tom was devoted to the Boy Scouts. He was scoutmaster for I don't know how many years.

RP: So you hiked Mount Whitney?

HN: We hiked Mount Whitney twice, I think. But he used to take up a group every year, up Whitney.

RP: What was that like?

HN: It was nice. You know, if you're a real hiker, you went... it's not, for a hiker it's not a real big hike. It's, it's like a freeway going up there. [Laughs] We did it the easy way. Come to the halfway mark and camp overnight and the next morning go to the top and come back down. But the hikers, the hikers that are real hikers, they go up and down in one day. You know, from the trailhead which is way up there by, above, up by Lone Pine.


RP: This is tape three of our continuing interview with Henry Nishi. And Henry, when did you first get interested in fishing in the Eastern Sierra area?

HN: Lake Crowley.

RP: In the late '50s, you said?

HN: Yeah.

RP: Uh-huh. And you still go up there to fish every year?

HN: Yeah.

RP: What is it about the area that really attracts you every year?

HN: Oh, opening day is very exciting. Because it's the opening of the trout season. The quality of fish, the quality is so much better than the other places because the other places... Crowley Lake is, I guess it's a situation where the elevation is... the food content for fish, trout, is ideal. Everything is ideal for trout. Trout grow very rapidly and they're beautiful fish. And as far as, if you like to eat fish, it's much better tasting because of the, I guess the quality of the water, the whatever is in the water. And it's not... generally, when you talk about fishing and these roadside lakes up in Mammoth, they call it "put and take," the Department puts in the trout and you go and fish 'em out. I mean, there's very few natural fish left anymore. But Crowley is different because it's planted in September with a lot of fish and those fish grow. By opening day, they get to be about a pound and over, a pound and a half. And they're almost like getting native fish because they're acclimated and they have a whole season to grow in. Opposed to other lakes where they were just put in the day before or a few days ago, they just came out of the hatchery. So that's what I like about Crowley, is more, it's more fun place to fish.

RP: Have you returned to Manzanar?

HN: Did I what?

RP: Have you returned to Manzanar? Visited the camp?

HN: Yeah, yeah.

RP: And what does it bring up for you in terms of memories or feelings about your time that you were there?

HN: Well, it's a very memorable time because we made good friends there. We had a good time there. I mean, we had, we made it because we didn't have to worry about, about anything except staying there. [Laughs] And we had good friends, we had fun. So it's just, it was really... of course, if you think of it as a place that you were confined to because you had to be... but we didn't make it that way. We were gonna be there, might as well enjoy it.

RP: You turned it into a positive experience.

HN: Yeah, yeah.

<End Segment 24> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 25>

RP: Last summer you came back to Manzanar for a very special reason, and that was to help excavate the garden that your father had designed and constructed.

HN: Yeah.

RP: And actually you were, I think, the best shoveler of the whole group. [Laughs] You made a comment last time we did our first interview about, you didn't really have a high opinion of your father's landscape designs, some of his gardens and things like that.

HN: Well, it's... this is something that he loves to do. But I, in my opinion, that's what he likes to do. He could do this every day of his life. It'd be fun to him. I didn't think he had that real artistic, natural artistic instinct to create. He had, he had ideas, good ideas, and he could execute his ideas. But, you know, some people have that artistic ability and some people don't. I mean, it's just... and I don't think... he didn't have that certain artistic ability. But he knew how to construct things, how to make things grow. Like I had, I had a lot of teachings in, and working with a real artistic person, Mr. Kawana, Koichi Kawana. See he was a, I thought he had... he was a real artist, but he had no idea how to do it. That's why I worked with him.

RP: What I was getting at is when you saw what we uncovered at your father's garden, did your impression or opinion change at all?

HN: I think it did. The concept was really nice. Had good material to work with, nice rocks. Placing rocks, it is an art. There's... some people can do it nicely, some people just can't do it to make it look right. The rocks up there are nice. They're really nice rocks. And the whole, the scheme of the garden is nice. I think he could have done a better job of placing the rocks. But it's just a matter of that artistic ability, that natural ability to do in a nice arty way. That's just a lotta people just can't do that. It's like a lotta people can't paint nicely, but they like to do it.

RP: They have the technical abilities but maybe not the artistic abilities.

HN: Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

RP: Uh-huh. Did it surprise you what you saw as the garden was excavated?

HN: I was surprised at the, at the scale of the garden. It's pretty big. I didn't realize it was that big. 'Cause I didn't spend the time to be there, to have the time to see it develop. But the overall scale of the garden and the layout of the garden is nice. And you have, when you have the material, when you're working with rock and you have nice rock, that's another, it's easier if you've got good rock to do a good job.

<End Segment 25> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 26>

RP: Oh, one final story.

HN: Yeah.

RP: That was what you shared with us last time was, you know, you finding your old buddy, Al...

HN: Yeah.

RP: Can you share that story about how you, both of you kind of got reunited again? You and Al.

HN: Yeah.

RP: Al was a schoolmate of yours?

HN: Yeah.

RP: Uh-huh.

HN: A schoolmate and lived in the same neighborhood, went to the same schools from grammar school to junior high to high school. We were in the same class, we graduated the same time. Hung around together, a group of us. But primarily lived right in the neighborhood where we lived. That also went to the same grammar school, junior high. And of course when I got out of high school, I went up north to go to school, and lived up north. I just came home for the summers for short time. I didn't keep in touch with my high school buddies. Then we got evacuated. When I got back I was busy going to work and I didn't look up my buddies. But he, not only Al, but others tried to get a hold of me. But I was just too busy to look them up. And as time went by, just accidentally, he found one of his, one of his accountant, which is... which would be like a wife to my nephew, happened to mention my name. And that's how, how it came out that we got together again after sixty some odd years. Sixty or so.

RP: Actually, it's seventy years.

HN: Huh?

RP: Seventy.

HN: Seventy years, yeah.

RP: What was his last name, Al...

HN: Stitch.

RP: Stitch.

HN: Yeah.

RP: And that reunion was actually filmed, wasn't it?

HN: Yeah.

RP: It was on television?

HN: Yeah.

RP: You were on TV?

HN: Yeah.

RP: Huh. Well, you gotta at least send him a Christmas card.

HN: Well not only Al Stitch but it was another very good... in fact, Bud Pedrotta was an also, very close friend. He came to the reunion also, which was...

<End Segment 26> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 27>

RP: So, when you look back on your life, Henry, over ninety-one years now...

HN: Yeah.

RP: did Manzanar, what role did Manzanar play in shaping your life after camp? Did you take any lessons from it? Knowledge... did it change the way you see the world?

HN: It was just a segment in our lives that... well, I guess you would think that we would be bitter about something like this, but no, it's... or anger. We can understand it. I can understand it, why this all happened. But the world is changed enough... world is becoming much better in that respect. It's the hatred that people have for other ethnic groups. And I think that's really rapidly changing. And it has changed. But in our... some of the things that... just as a segment, our family, my dad, being in the nursery business, which means that a foreigner is competing against the natives of, the white people in America. So there was a big hatred only because it was competing in business with... and then because of the, because of that hatred and that... when they had the California Nurseryman's Association, they wouldn't allow... the Nurseryman's Association was supposed to be an association for all retail nurserymen, but Japanese were not allowed to be a member. Consequently, the Japanese formed their own association which you call the Japanese Nurseryman's Association. Of course, now it's, all that is... it's all changed. I was in the landscaping business. We had the California landscapers, California Landscape Contractors Association. But we didn't bar anybody from, because of their...

RP: Race. Was it your father specifically that was prevented from, was excluded from the organization?

HN: Yeah.

RP: Were you excluded from any organizations after the war?

HN: No, no.

RP: Is there anything else, Henry, that you'd like to share with us before we complete our interview?

HN: I don't know.

RP: Thank you very much.

HN: Okay, thank you.

RP: On behalf of Kirk and myself and the Park Service. You shared some very important stories today.

<End Segment 27> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 28>

RP: Why don't you come over here. Stand over here and tell me a little bit about what you did here, Henry. This was... yeah, there you go. Good. Tell me what you... what was your inspiration for this?

HN: Well, this is, this front yard was all lawn.

RP: Uh-huh.

HN: And because of, trying to conserve water, I thought maybe we... took out the lawn. Made partly a dry, dry pond, stream bed, and drought tolerant plants. Save water, save a lot of work mowing, caring for a lawn. Plus, this is a lot more fun to look at and work in rather than just a flat lawn.

RP: Did you, did you get any inspiration for this garden from anything you saw at Manzanar?

HN: Well, yeah. Especially when you go down to Manzanar and the desert... I've been down several times down into, to Arizona, Phoenix, and I see all the landscaping there which is mostly rocks and gravel. I liked that feeling.

RP: Uh-huh. So you were, you brought some of those...

HN: And then, yeah...

RP: You were inspired a little bit by those landscapes?

HN: Exactly, yeah.

RP: Uh-huh. So where did you get the rock from?

HN: These are... I had to buy these rocks. This is local granite, boulder, from San Fernando Valley.

RP: Oh.

HN: Yeah, granite, which I like.

RP: And did you design it?

HN: Yeah, yeah.

RP: Your wife helped you too.

HN: Yeah, she helped put in the boulders.

RP: She put in the boulders?

HN: Yeah, she says she does a lot better job than I do, placing boulders. [Laughs]

RP: We were just talking about your dad and how... about his art, how he arranged boulders. But how's your wife at arranging boulders? Pretty good?

HN: Yeah, she has a feel for it.

RP: Does she have an artistic sense?

HN: She knows when a rock is not placed right.

RP: Ah, uh-huh. So were some of the plants you have out here... you have some lavender and what else have you planted out here?

HN: Well, this ground cover is thyme.

RP: Uh-huh.

HN: That's a creeping thyme. That's a very drought tolerant. 'Course, the succulents, the color, is, takes very little water, is very colorful.

RP: Uh-huh.

HN: But the festucca is of course that blue festucca.

RP: Blue festucca, yeah. The little clump?

HN: The clumps?

RP: Yeah.

HN: Drought tolerant.

RP: Oh, okay.

HN: The trees of course we had planted [inaudible]. It's a plant that does well close to the, close to the coast.

RP: Uh-huh. That's a Maytens tree isn't it?

HN: Maytens, yeah.

RP: From Australia. Uh-huh, what's this over here?

HN: This, this is that...

RP: This shrub?

HN: This green plant?

RP: Yeah, is that a hibiscus?

HN: It's a hibiscus yeah.

RP: Oh, okay.

HN: That's also very drought tolerant.

RP: Pretty drought tolerant? Uh-huh. Let's look around here. Oh, how about that red flowering plant over there.

HN: It's a Marguerite daisy.

RP: It's a Marguerite?

HN: Yeah.

RP: Huh. Wow.

<End Segment 28> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.