Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Bo T. Sakaguchi Interview
Narrator: Bo T. Sakaguchi
Interviewer: John Allen
Date: November 6, 2002
Densho ID: denshovh-sbo-01-0003

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JA: How did your family react when the order came to relocate?

BS: We just felt, well, it was something we had to do. There was nothing we could do. I guess we considered it part of our, our part for the war effort. Because we farmed to the very, very end, the last day we left, or until the day that... yeah, the day we left we farmed. And the government had arranged a program where people who wanted to farm would come to this agency and they would be put together with people who had farms to sell. And so we sold our farm to a man who was in the construction business, but because of the war they were no longer building houses, so he became a farmer and he bought our crops, our equipment, and I guess he farmed for about a year.


JA: Now, just repeat the last bit about how the farm was sold.

BS: The government set up an agency where persons who wanted to farm -- that they would avoid the draft, you know, becoming a farmer -- would come and we farmers would sign up with that agency saying that we had a farm with so many acres to farm, and they would bring us together. And so we came together with a man who was in the construction business and so we showed him everything on how to farm, how to plant crops, how to take care of the crops, so that he could continue with the farming, because we planted our crops to full capacity of the property on the day that we left, the day he took over. But, you know, farming is a very labor-intensive hard work, and that's probably the reason why the guy didn't continue. But he eventually quit and I don't know what ever happened to him after that.

JA: Tell me about personal effects and personal property, stuff that you weren't able to take with you. How did you deal with that?

BS: Some of the big items, the government said there was a warehouse, so we had stored a sofa, the only sofa we had, a piece of carpeting that it was lucky we had, and maybe a refrigerator and a washer, and those were stored in a government property. But we also owned our home and it was a ranch home, with ranch buildings, and so we stored our old mattresses and old beds and whatever furniture we had that we didn't feel was worth storing, we stored this in the shed and we just locked it and left it. And, when we returned, somebody had broken in, but our stuff was so old and so -- we were poor farmers -- so they didn't steal much or anything. But we were lucky in that we had our own home, we had our own home, that we were able to come back to if we wanted to. But my parents, my father had died by then in camp, and my mother decided she would go back to Philadelphia, where my sister was a medical student, and she was just having a baby so my mother went there to live and help take care of the baby. So we didn't return to North Hollywood. And in the meantime, I got drafted and I was stationed at Fort MacArthur, typing discharges.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 2002 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.