Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Rokuro Kurihara Interview
Narrator: Rokuro Kurihara
Interviewer: Richard Potashin
Location: Glendale, California
Date: May 10, 2010
Densho ID: denshovh-krokuro-01-0013

<Begin Segment 13>

RK: And the school was great. No, no problem with the school, the high school? Teachers were good. And it was a tough school, too. Just because we were in camp, boy, these other guys, they studied just as hard as you did. So, pretty tough school.

RP: You had kids from a lot of high schools all over L.A. so.

RK: Oh, yeah, uh-huh. And I'm willing to bet most of 'em went to college, too. You know it? After that.

RP: Did you, did you feel challenged there? Did you, was your education challenging? Did it, did you feel like you learned something while you were there?

RK: Oh definitely learned something there. Definitely. Because all our units and grades counted. I applied all over. Had no problem getting into any, any of the schools, and neither did anybody else either. So, that part was good.

RP: Did you have a favorite teacher?

RK: Favorite teacher... yeah, our speech teacher. I remember him. The reason why I remember, he was blind. I forgot his name. Great teacher. Yeah, he's the only one. And then I remember, well, even my brother taught a little bit. They taught their math and chemistry. And, and did you know a fellow named Shimpei Nishimura? Did you? Did you know him?

RP: I didn't know him, no.

RK: He was, yeah, he was the head of the guayule.

RP: Guayule.

RK: Guayule project. He was the, he was a Cal-Tech graduate. And he used, he used to teach chemistry and all that.

RP: High school?

RK: Uh-huh. Brilliant guy, brilliant guy.

RP: And you were, we were talking earlier about Block 6, and you were kind of located around a, a number of interesting features of the camp.

RK: Yeah.

RP: One of which was the guayule project.

RK: Yeah.

RP: And, can you, do you remember --

RK: You know like, Bairs Creek was there, too, the swimming hole was there. [Laughs]

RP: Was that, was that something that was used by, by everybody or just kids, small kids wading around?

RK: Well, it was used by everybody, but mostly kids, huh. Yeah. Place to hang out.

RP: Did you go over and visit the Guayule lath house area?

RK: Oh, all the time. All the time. Matter of fact, he, Shimpei, he tutored us in math and chemistry and physics and things like that. 'Cause I think he was a Cal-Tech graduate, you know.

RP: There was also the, next door was the Manzanar nursery.

RK: Yeah.

RP: Guayule area.

RK: Yeah. Mr. Yokomizo, I think he worked there.

RP: He worked there. How about the golf course?

RK: I know the golf course was sand, huh? It was all sand. The greens were all sand. That's about all I remember. But they played on it and the Oshios played on it. My neighbor, he played there. So, we used to bang, bang a couple of balls there, too.

RP: Did you?

RK: Yeah.

<End Segment 13> - Copyright © 2010 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.