Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Laurie Sasaki Interview
Narrator: Laurie Sasaki
Interviewer: Richard Potashin
Location: Richmond, California
Date: April 16, 2010
Densho ID: denshovh-slaurie-01-0008

<Begin Segment 8>

RP: Was there any thought by the family of relocating out of California before the door was slammed shut by the military?

LS: Should we leave the area?

RP: Right. There was an opportunity that --

LS: Right.

RP: -- the military gave Japanese Americans to leave voluntarily and go somewhere else.

LS: Right.

RP: Utah or Colorado.

LS: Right.

RP: Could be in New York.

LS: Right. No, we did not, because my father was not there and my oldest brother wasn't there. And so, you know, the two leaders in the family were gone. So, no, we did not think about leaving the area. There were several families who did leave like for Denver and things like that.

RP: When we were talking last week you mentioned about a plan to go to Ann Arbor.

LS: Oh, that was after, that was in camp, when we were supposed to leave camp. My sister was teaching at the language school in, at the University of Ann Arbor. So we were going to relocate to Ann Arbor. But that never happened.

RP: You said that your older brother was already in the military. He had joined. Do you know if he was drafted or volunteered?

LS: He was drafted.

RP: Uh-huh. Before Pearl Harbor?

LS: Before Pearl Harbor.

RP: So already in the military. Do you know where he was at the time that you were being removed?

LS: I remember visiting up in... we visited him in San Luis Obispo. There was a camp there.

RP: Camp San Luis? Camp Roberts?

LS: Camp Roberts. He was in Camp Roberts. I remember going up there.

RP: You visited him up there?

LS: Yep.

RP: What was that like, do you recall?

LS: Cold and windy. [Laughs] Yeah, I don't remember very much. It's just that we all got in this car, you know, naturally the car is right... and packed this Japanese lunch and went up there to see him.

RP: And when would this have been? This visit?

LS: It must have... you know, it had to have been after December 7th because when we got there I remember that we couldn't get a hotel room in San Luis Obispo 'cause they didn't want Japanese. I do remember that. Yeah. So, there was prejudice already at that time.

RP: Was that your first experience with that, with prejudice?

LS: Yeah, probably, yes, I think so.

RP: I was curious whether you had visited him or he had an opportunity to take a furlough and come down and help you sort of organize.

LS: No, not at that time. But he did, he was able to come to camp when my father was very ill. So I think he was on, just about ready to be shipped somewhere and, but they allowed him to come to camp to visit my father. But that was the only time that he came back.

RP: When was the next time that you saw your father, Laurie?

LS: You know I'm so bad about dates and years and time, but to me it seemed like he was gone for a long time. He was sent to Bismarck, North Dakota, and we would get these letters from him occasionally and maybe it was only a year. I don't know. It just seemed like it was a long time. But they did send all the men home, so they all came back to Poston, I mean the people who were in Poston. So he did, he did join us in Poston.

<End Segment 8> - Copyright © 2010 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.