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-01-0023

<Begin Segment 23>

RK: You know where Mount Williamson is? That's the most photographed, most painted mountain in the world, I think. Everybody painted it. [Laughs]

RP: Did you, did you hike up towards that mountain at all?

RK: We, we hiked up to the foothills, sure we did. Yeah, yeah, we sure did.

RP: Did you know of other men that, that would go up there to fish for golden trout?

RK: Not that far. Did you come across a fellow named Matsuyama? Jiro Matsuyama? See, he sort of worked for the water people, so he had access to get out.

RP: Right. Yeah, he became kind of an unofficial fishing guide.

RK: Yeah.

RP: Everybody wanted him to take them up because he had the car and he could go out whenever he wanted to.

RK: Yeah he still lives...

RP: He lives in Carpinteria.

RK: Carpinteria, yeah.

RP: Yeah, but he's one of the guys who's been, has talked about his fishing stories.

RK: Yeah. He's a big, even now, he's a big nurseryman.

RP: Uh-huh. So, when you went out to fish, did you go with some of your buddies?

RK: Yeah, well, I went out with this fellow named Tom Sano.

RP: Oh, the fisherman.

RK: The fisherman, yeah. He's the guy who used to go up there way before the war.

RP: Oh. So he would have fished some of the creeks around Manzanar, too, before the war?

RK: Oh yeah, yeah, sure he would.

RP: Interesting.

RK: But you, see, he went beyond Bishop. He went to North Lake, South Lake... the Mammoth Lake area, Owens River.

RP: You said that the guards would pretty much just let you go out of camp. Did you have to have a pass?

RK: We, we didn't have no pass.

RP: You just went out.

RK: Yeah, you sort of got friendly with the guards, huh. They'd say, "Well, come back before evening." [Laughs]

RP: Did you have any other conversations with them?

RK: All the time.

RP: Yeah?

RK: All the time. They go back and forth and talk to you. See, we were in Block 6, huh.

RP: Right near the...

RK: Yeah, right there. Yeah.

KP: What would you guys talk about? Do you remember?

RK: Anything in general, yeah.

RP: How did they seem to you? What was their attitude about being at Manzanar?

RK: Their attitude?

RP: Yeah, about what...

RK: Yeah, I really don't know. It was probably a good duty for them, huh? Better than goin' to war.

RP: [Laughs]

RK: Yeah. It really is better than going to war. It's a good duty for them.

KP: Do you remember when they stopped putting guards in the guard towers? Do you remember that?

RK: You know, I don't remember that. I know they had the guard towers. But I never knew they stopped. But that, that was a good duty, too, yeah. Nothing to do either. But I do remember the riot, though. That I remember, the riot.

<End Segment 23> - Copyright © 2010 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.