Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Mary Nomura Interview
Narrator: Mary Nomura
Interviewer: John Allen
Date: November 7, 2002
Densho ID: denshovh-nmary-01-0010

<Begin Segment 10>

JA: Do you remember anything -- I guess you were maybe really young -- but anything about the "riot" event there?

MN: I don't remember myself, personally, but my husband told me that he was at some kind of meeting because of that riot coming up, some kind of discord, and he said that a jeep came by, and someone got panicky, and they were all in a big mess hall. And he says from the front of the mess hall where the meeting was being held, there was a swarm of people trying to get out because they thought they were going to get in trouble because the jeep came by. And he says it was amazing that no one was trampled that time, but he said they all tried to get out of the place because they didn't want to be caught at a meeting where they weren't supposed to be. But that's the only, I think, inkling that I know of, of the riot, and after that, the fact that the ones who were injured were taken to the hospital where my sister worked and so she told me about those people who were brought in.

JA: Tell me about whether you knew any boys who went into the military service, who were drafted or volunteered.

MN: Quite a few. Yes, there were a few that were -- we have pictures of them being sworn in by the military as they were -- they were all volunteers. And they just volunteered because it was asked of them. My husband was drafted. He was supposed to go in, but he was a 4-F, he had a bad leg, and so they didn't want him. But, yes, quite a few of them, quite a few of the Manza-Knights, that club my husband was advisor to, had the members going to the service, the military at that time.

JA: Did you ever see any irony in the fact that they were...? [Laughs]

MN: Oh, yes. [Laughs] I heard stories about why would they volunteer when we were put into those camps forcibly and taken our, taken our lives away, but that's what it was about.

JA: Okay.

<End Segment 10> - Copyright © 2002 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.