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-01-0022

<Begin Segment 22>

KP: So your parents had neighbors who took care of the house while they were in Manzanar.

RK: Yeah.

KP: So they're back in New Jersey in '45, right? Seabrook?

RK: Yeah. During all that, all that time, this family called the Vanloons, they were friends of ours from church, and they, they took care of it.

KP: Do you know if your parents were corresponding with the Vanloons at that time? I mean, how did they let them know they were coming back? Or did they, do you know?

RK: Oh yeah, sure, sure. We corresponded with them while we were in camp. Yeah, we did.

KP: So your parents always knew they had a place to come back to?

RK: Oh, yeah, yeah. We were one of the fortunate ones that we did have that house. Uh-huh. And you know, on the, all the neighbors, they, all their belongings, their furnitures and everything, they just stored it in the house. They had a, that house had a big basement. And they just stored it in there.

KP: So, so all the other Japanese families stored their items...

RK: A few of them did, not all of them.

KP: Oh, a few of them.

RK: A few of them did, yeah.

KP: Oh.

RK: Uh-huh.

RP: And then the other question I have is that, you know we talked to many, many people who went up to Manzanar or the Owens Valley and had no idea where they were going. It sounds like you were different. You had experiences...

RK: Oh no, we, we knew exactly knew where we were going. We were gonna go right near Alabama Hills. [Laughs] We even knew that.

KP: So you...

RK: Because we've been there, that's why.

KP: So you knew what to bring? What kind of clothes and all that stuff? Did you, I mean, did you think about that?

RK: Oh, yeah. We knew it was windy and we knew it was cold and we knew it was hot in summertime. Yeah. [Laughs] You know, it's windy there.

RP: Still is.

RK: Yeah. It's windy.

RP: Still is, yeah.

<End Segment 22> - Copyright © 2010 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.