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-01-0007

<Begin Segment 7>

JA: Tell me about school. You were in high school?

BS: I was in the eleventh grade. It was, it was very devastating and very painful to leave the camp -- to leave the school to go to camp. Because there you were, you know, you were a Japanese extraction, so therefore... and General DeWitt, the nitwit, said, "A Jap is always a Jap," so what chance did we have? And so, whenever you go through stress you have a lot of anger, guilt, fear, bargaining, depression, we went through all that, I'm sure. But it was hard leaving the school because these were kids that I grew up say from the third grade on, kids I had known through, up to the tenth grade and I sure hated to leave the school. Plus I just got into the Service Club and that was something I was looking forward to at school, had to leave that. And then we go to camp and, of course, we went to camp in April but they had no schools for us. Schools didn't start until September. I think by then they had gotten the board of education set up and so we had schools and classes. Of course, they weren't the best in the world, but we had a few teachers who were very kind and caring and generous who encouraged us to study, to continue on, because I remember several of my high school classmates used to say, oh, lose fight, lose fight, this is so... I guess so depressing, lose fight, but she, this teacher said no, you gotta continue, you gotta study. She was a very nice teacher. I wish I would have kept up with her. Her name was Janet Olinsi Goldberg, a nice lady, nice lady.

JA: We have a picture of her.

BS: You do?

JA: From then, yeah.

BS: She was a very nice lady, she encouraged us. She was our senior advisor, I think, at the time.

JA: Was, were there any difficulties in terms of books or equipment? Did the school have everything they needed to --

BS: Well, I'm sure we had texts. I remember having textbooks. Whether we lugged them home or not I don't remember. And as far as our science classes were, my chemistry teacher was a, probably a junior or senior at UCLA majoring in chemistry, so he was our chemistry teacher. And our physics teacher might have had some experience in teaching, but he, he didn't have a teaching credential. And so our equipment was very limited. Nothing that you have in, in your regular high school or regular universities, but they tried, they tried. But it was hard to study in those days.

JA: What about extracurricular activities? What did you do?

BS: Extracurricular activities was nothing too much, you just hung around with your classmates, and you just hung around and talked. You couldn't go anywhere, except maybe walk around the block or walk around the perimeter of the camp. So we didn't get into trouble. In the evening, they had the radios, you know, the radios would play. During the day there was so much static you couldn't play a radio, but in the evenings you'd play radios. So I used to stay home and listen to, they used to have the Weekly Hit Parade, they used to have other radio shows that were interesting so I'd stay home and stay in my apartment, and I would knit. I'd learned to knit from my mother, so I knit several shirt, sweaters back then.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 2002 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.