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-01-0005

<Begin Segment 5>

JA: Did there ever come a time when it settled in that this was started to feel like home, or...

MN: I guess being that I was still in high school and made a lot of friends and stuff, it got a little bit more tolerable and more comfortable for teenagers. It must have been very hard for the adults, the parents, and the older children. As for the little guys and for teenagers, I think it was, became a lark to be able to have so many friends around us, to make new friends, and get to do different things. Maybe that's what you call camp life, I don't know. Camp life right now is, you would say camp, they're going to camp, they're going to do things together at some place far away. But at that time, it was just all confined between barbed wires, but it was just something we learned to accept and made the best of it.

JA: Did you ever give second thought to the towers and the armed guards?

MN: Well, I knew they were there, but I had no intentions of riling them up, so I really didn't. I know my, my nephew said that he and his brother was doing something and something fell over on the other side of the fence, and the boy, my nephew went through the fence to go get it, and a sentry came down and took his bayonet, hooked him up by his suspenders, and put him back over the fence. And my nephew says that was something he didn't have to do, to scare the daylights out of a little kid. He must have been about five or six, five years old or so, and my nephew was about seven. He said, "That's something I'll never forget. "The sentry didn't have to do that. He could have just told us to go back, but no, he came down and took his bayonet and stuck him over the... That's something that's unheard of, uncalled for.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 2002 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.