Densho Digital Archive
Oregon Nikkei Endowment Collection
Title: Dan Hinatsu Interview
Narrator: Dan Hinatsu
Interviewer: Betty Jean Harry
Location: Portland, Oregon
Date: March 7, 2014
Densho ID: denshovh-hdan-01

<Begin Segment 1>

BH: Today is Friday, March 7, 2014, my name is Betty Jean Harry, I'm a volunteer with Oregon Nikkei Endowment. And I will be interviewing Dan Hinatsu as part of the Minidoka Oral History Project. We're in Dan's home in Portland, Oregon, our videographer is Ian McCluskey. Also present today are Todd Mayberry, Director of Collections and Exhibits at Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center, and Marlene Kato Wallingford, another volunteer. So, Dan, let's start with a few personal details. When and where were you born?

DH: I was born in Portland, Oregon. My folks lived in Oswego, but brought Mom into town because of the midwife and so on.

BH: And you celebrated your eighty-eighth birthday, what, last year?

DH: Eighty-eight? Yes. I didn't celebrate it. [Laughs]

BH: But you had your eighty-eighth birthday.

DH: I had my eighty-eighth.

BH: What name were you given when you were born?

DH: Well, I was born... my dad Sataro and my mother Chiyeko, Chiye. And I was born in 1924, April.

BH: And what name did they give you?

DH: Daisuke.

BH: And are you aware of any significance to that name?

DH: No, it's because of the way Japanese writing is, part of the dad's name, kanji is the same used in my name.

BH: The dai part?

DH: Dai, yeah. No, the suke.

BH: Oh, okay. What was your father's name?

DH: Sam Sataro Hinatsu.

BH: And where in Japan was he from?

DH: He was born in Hinatsu-cho in the city of Hikone. It's a bigger city, in Shiga-ken in Japan.

BH: So Hinatsu-cho...

DH: Is a city. There's also Hinatsu mountain, Hinatsu Street, when I went back there and found all these different Hinatsu names all over the place. That's because the family goes way back during samurai period, and somehow the samurai group, the southern part, like Hikone had a war against the Tokyo group, the shogun period. And they lost, so the lord told them to become a farmer, because that's the next highest to, in the social chain next to samurai, so that's how his family started farming in Kawase.

BH: Did your dad have any brothers or sisters?

DH: He had one older brother and another brother, younger brother, and two sisters.

BH: And do you happen to know their names?

DH: [Laughs] I can't remember, but yes, I have it somewhere.

BH: That's okay. Did your father have an opportunity to become educated before he came here?

DH: Well, yes, he was, he went to grade school. But Mother, she was educated because she was already, when they got married, she was twenty-five and he was twenty-nine.

BH: How did your father decide to come to the United States, to America?

DH: Well, my dad came with his uncle, and his uncle was gonna put him through education in Canada or somewhere. And he came through Canada and went to school there, and then the kids teased him so much that he quit school and then he got a job with the railroad, being an oil boy, oiled all the wheels. And later on, he moved to Whitefish, Montana. There he did some logging, and after working on the railroad, logging, then somehow he went south, came toward Oregon, and he found a place here in Oswego, Oregon. And with his friend, they farmed it with a partner. And then after he established well enough, then he decided to go to Japan and get married. She was waiting for him all this time.

BH: Did they know each other before he came here?

DH: Yes, they were neighbors.

BH: Okay.

DH: Not to farm, maybe.

BH: You mentioned that your dad was made fun of at school. Why was that?

DH: That's because he was older and he was already fourteen or fifteen, and in grade school the kids teased him because he was too big to be in grade school, in first grade.

BH: And that's because he came not knowing very much English?

DH: Yes.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2014 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 2>

BH: Now tell me about your mother, what was her name?

DH: Chiye Miyagawa. She was born in, my dad was born in 1890, and she was born in 1893.

BH: And what sort of work did your mother's family do in Japan?

DH: They had a rice paddy, and the broker in rice, that type of thing.

BH: And you said she had an opportunity to become educated?

DH: Yes, she was educated before, and she waited for Dad to get there. [Laughs] The interesting part of Dad going over to get married in 1918 during the flu epidemic, and he caught the flu on the ship, and during the ship, he got so bad they put him into the morgue area, I mean, where they all were... and then somehow he woke up and he saw all the dead people around him, then they found him down there, so they took him out and they put him in the hospital and it took him five months to recuperate. And then after that, a few months, they got married and brought Mom back here. That was in 1918.

BH: So they were married in Japan and then came over here.

DH: Married in Japan and came. I still have his passport that he came back on.

BH: So tell me, what were your parents like? How would you describe their personalities?

DH: Well, my dad was sort of on the quiet side, but he does a lot of things. He invented a cultivator which has a patent for it, he's got a couple other patents. And he loved farming, everything he did was... I don't know how he learned to do all those things, but he had a truck and tractor on the farm. The second farm he had, he had four horse and two cows, pigs, chickens, rabbit, cat and dog. [Laughs] Yeah, he was pretty well... he was quiet, strict. But when we did something wrong, he'd just give us a big stare and that was it. [Laughs] We settled down after that.

BH: And how about your mother? What was she like?

DH: Well, she's the one that complained a lot. We just sort of teased her and everything, but she raised us well. She kept us in line.

BH: What were your parents like when times were good?

DH: They were happy, and everything was doing well. Then hard times came during the early '30s, during the Depression, people came to stay with us. And then after that, they had the dry years, about three years of it, and everything, he planted, it just dried up. But he sort of managed and kept us going with fruit and everything, vegetables stored in the barn, in the cellar, which kept us going through the winter. So a survival thing.

BH: When you were a kid, did they own the land that they were farming?

DH: No, my dad rented most of the time. Later, he wanted to buy, but people didn't want to sell, and during the Depression, they wanted to sell it to him, and he didn't have the money to buy, and decided he had to use my brother to sign the papers for owning the land, because those days you can't, Isseis couldn't own the land.

BH: But your brother being born here was an American citizen.

DH: Uh-huh.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2014 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 3>

BH: So let's talk about you and your childhood now. Where do you remember living as a kid?

DH: Well, I first remember, the first place that Dad had, it was dark, and water had to be hauled up from the creek down, way down the side of the hill, he brought two big barrels full, like wine barrels, of water, all the way up on the sled, and that's what was our drinking water and washing water. And he had ofuro made, and he had to use that, filled that up.

BH: So that was for bathing yourselves.

DH: Uh-huh, bathing and food.

BH: And this sled that had the big barrels on it, did he pull it by hand?

DH: No, it was all team of horses. In those days, it was all team. He went to market on the team of horses from Oswego all the way into Portland, early market. But later on, after the second farm we had up there, and he had a truck and a car and a Model T Ford.

BH: So where did he sell his produce?

DH: In Portland. They had that early market where all the farmers brought vegetables and everything, whatever they had. And the buyers from different stores and so on came and bought... and they had their... it was all on their own, they had to sell, or if they can't sell, then they had to bring it home. Dad did pretty well, he just sold his things right away. He managed well.

BH: Did you and your brothers ever go with him into the market and come to Portland?

DH: Well, yes. When we're, during the summer, we're lucky enough to get to go. He said, "You can come with me," because he wanted somebody to guard the truck at the market to, being stolen. So he asked me several times, so I got to go and sit in the truck, have breakfast with him. And so it was a real treat.

BH: Oh, going out to breakfast at a restaurant?

DH: Yes.

BH: Oh, do you remember where that was?

DH: It's on the east side, that market, next to that Italian restaurant. I can't remember what it... but it was a good time.

BH: Now, you were born with a Japanese name. How did you become "Dan"?

DH: Well, during the Depression, people came to stay with us because they couldn't stay in the town, and it's hard to have enough food. So they came to our place and they, during the Depression, they could have all the vegetables, food and so on. And so happened, during that early times, we called him Professor, he was a well-educated bachelor that stayed with us. And he gave us names. Says, "Everybody in America should have a hakujin name. So he started with Kaz, he'd call him Woodrow, for Woodrow Wilson. And Norman was Norman Rockwell, then Shig was the Starr, but he didn't like it, so he never used it. And my name was Dan, Daniel Webster, that's where he got Dan. [Laughs] And Victor was Victor Hugo. Sam was given the name at the hospital, Sam and Henry and Kay have hakujin and Nihonjin names.

BH: Now was this professor, was he hakujin or Caucasian or was he Japanese?

DH: No, he was a Japanese man from Japan. He looked like, he had the Hitler mustache, I can remember. We used to tease him about it.

BH: And so he worked on your dad's farm?

DH: Yeah, he worked on Dad's farm, and he ate with us. He must have been late twenties or something, thirties, around thirty. He just loved to stay with us, so he stayed with us for a few winters during the Depression time.

BH: When you were growing up, what were the typical meals at your house?

DH: Well, mostly... well, during the farm, Dad had pigs and so on, the meat came from that, and from the cow, steers he had. And next door they had a butcher, slaughterhouse, and Dad took it over there and had it slaughtered, and he had them pack all the meat and froze everything and made his own bacon, smoked his own bacon. And that's what we had during hard times. He said he all the fruit and root vegetables stored in the shed, I mean, the cellar. He had squashes and so on, that was our okazu Mom could make from the bacon, the meat. That was our survival during the hard time.

BH: So you ate mostly Japanese foods?

DH: Well, yes, mostly... well, Mom did a lot of baking and making pies and stuff like that for us.

BH: She had the fruit from the farm.

DH: I don't know how she figured out how to do it, but I remember it was really good, especially her pies.

BH: Did your family celebrate Japanese holidays?

DH: New Year's. Dad didn't do too much. He must have wanted to go back eventually because his whole family's lived over there.

BH: Did you visit other families or get together to make mochi at New Year's time?

DH: Well, we did our own, mostly.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 2014 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 4>

BH: Was your family connected to the Japanese community?

DH: Well, when we lived in Oswego, we were pretty much away from the Japanese people. Except there were a few who lived in Sherwood and further away. We went to Japanese school in Sherwood, we did that. But when we moved to Fairview, we went to Gresham Japanese school. But through our, mostly through family and other people we met, because Dad took us to judo, so we all were judo people.

BH: And where were judo lessons?

DH: Well, judo lesson was in Portland on Third Avenue, and it was all, where old Matsuma lived, but that was Obukan under the Foster Hotel, that's where we went to judo. And I can't remember, I was eighth grade or something, and then I started, because my brothers already went. So I got to go join them.

BH: Who else was working on their judo skills at that time at Obukan?

DH: The big wheels? Was like Jack Yoshihara, Bill Saito, Sato, Art Sasaki, I remember he was my teacher.

BH: Was your family involved in one of the local temples or churches?

DH: No. Dad went and took us in to Buddhist temple probably once a year, but we just sort of stayed on the side. So I never had too much.

BH: What was your parents' attitude about living in America?

DH: Well, I know my mother wanted to go back when she first came over here because it was so lonely and dark. And Dad, I think he liked to live over here, but he wanted to go back and see the family and tell him how well he was doing. But he never got that chance 'til after the war.

BH: It sounds like you went to two different Japanese schools. What was that like?

DH: Well, that's because when we were, when we went to Sherwood, we lived in Oswego. But when we went to Gresham, we lived in Fairview. We moved to Fairview in 1936, the whole farm and bigger farm. He rented more spaces and acreage and so on.

BH: So did you go to elementary school out in Fairview?

DH: I went to grade school, one room grade school called Hazelia in Oswego, right off the, not very far from Tualatin and Lake. But it was a one-room school, my dad, my brother, he was a boiler, he had to start the fire, the heat for the school and so on. And we walked there to school rain or shine or snow. I always tell my kids we had to walk to school in bare feet. [Laughs]

BH: When you first went to grade school, what language did you speak?

DH: I must have spoken mostly Japanese, because it was to Mother. Dad was always working and he was gone, so... except during dinner, we always had dinner together.

BH: And so you learned English at school?

DH: I guess. [Laughs]

BH: Were there other Japanese families at your school?

DH: No, just us.

BH: Just you and your brothers?

DH: Uh-huh.

BH: When you went to school, did you take your lunch or did you get lunch there?

DH: Yes. Mom made lunch for us. During the bad rainy days, Dad took us on the truck to school. Otherwise we walked.

BH: So you didn't go barefoot in the rain and snow.

DH: No. Well, we had one of those, one boots for everything.

BH: Did your mom fix Japanese food for your lunches?

DH: No, mostly we had sandwiches, different kinds of sandwiches. And because of, out in the country like that, we had, baker came in with, in a big truck, and Japanese people came in from Portland to sell. That's where she bought all the Japanese food and things that she needed.

BH: That was a nice service for the Japanese families.

DH: And the fish man, fish company downtown, they came every certain day.

BH: Is that a Japanese fish store?

DH: Yeah, Japanese man. I can't remember his name. He came in a truck and Mom always bought everything from him. Dad went to the store on the way home. Things Mom wrote down what he had to get to bring home. He did most of the shopping.

BH: What were some of the differences between the American schools you attended during the day and going to Japanese school?

DH: Well, American school we had to work hard. But Japanese school was our play day. [Laughs] I didn't learn anything. It's amazing what we got away with.

BH: Do you remember how many people, how many children attended the Japanese school?

DH: In Sherwood it must have been ten families from all over around there. But in Gresham, it was a big community in Gresham. There were all kinds of young people.

BH: Where was the Japanese school in Gresham?

DH: (Gresham Troutdale) Hall. The basement of GT Hall was the Japanese school.

BH: And was that after school during the week, or was that Saturdays?

DH: Like in Gresham, I think it was just on Saturday. Oh, they did have one on weekdays, I can't remember what day it was. But in Sherwood it was just every Saturday afternoon, which we went when it was nice, but it was too far to drive in the wintertime.

BH: So it sounds like it was a good time for you hang around with other...

DH: Well, for me, I would just run around, so I don't remember too much. [Laughs]

<End Segment 4> - Copyright © 2014 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 5>

BH: Living on a farm, you and your brothers undoubtedly had chores to do. What were your responsibilities?

DH: Well, we all had chores, from the oldest, he had to clean the stable, horse stables and cows and so on. The next one had to either shuck the hay and feed the horses and all the animals, and the next one had to do the milking of the cow, which I got. And so on down, somebody had to feed the rabbits, somebody had to feed the pig, somebody had to feed the chicken and so on. The youngest one gets to light the fire, ofuro fire, bath, you know. And the older guys, they had to chop the wood, because Dad, when he was clearing the farm, he had all these big timber he dragged in to make firewood, and that's what our heating was during the winter, was firewood. Somebody had to chop the wood and so on.

BH: When you were a kid, what kinds of things did you look forward to?

DH: Well, during school, wintertime, we just moved, had a good time. And I thought, because it's a one-room school, well, teachers were teaching older guys, and we had our own thing to do, so scribbling and so on, I guess.

BH: Did you take any family vacations?

DH: Yes. Dad was always good about that. He even drove us to the beach. After harvest time, he'd take us out there for a whole week and go crabbing, swimming, boating, and so on.

BH: Was this the Oregon coast?

DH: Oregon coast. Usually he went to Netarts, because crabbing was good in Netarts. And he did things on his own like matsutake hunting during the, on the coast with friends, his friends. We never got to go, but he used to bring home a bunch of matsutake.

BH: By then... well, let me go back to the farming, I know you have the livestock, and that helped to feed your family. What about, what kinds of fruits and vegetables did your father grow?

DH: My father, in Oswego he had berries and he had a vineyard, grapes. He raised all the different kinds of vegetable and nice strawberries. And his main crop like in the winter was cauliflower and tomatoes and green peppers. That was mostly... he did have root crops, beets and potatoes and carrots, that type of stuff he stored. He sold most of it, but he kept it in the cellar for food.

BH: Do despite the Depression, you were able to eat well?

DH: Uh-huh. He's always, main plant is watermelons and cantaloupe, and so we always, can't store cantaloupe, but we could store these certain kind of watermelons, we called ice cream melons, which was round and white. And we put 'em in the hay in the wintertime --

BH: To insulate them?

DH: And they last for a long time.

BH: You started in Oswego, then moved out to Fairview, where did you and your brothers go to high school?

DH: My oldest brother went to West Linn, then when we moved in '36, he went to Gresham. But my next brother, Norman, he stayed out of school one year to help farm, because it was a hard time. But he went to Benson. The next brother, Shig, he went to Benson because of wrestling, mostly. Then I went to Benson because they're going, and I wanted to take up architect, but I didn't get very far until the war.

BH: It's quite a ways from Fairview to Benson High School.

DH: Well, Fairview didn't have high school, so they paid our tuition, I guess. We just got our bus ticket and we traveled from Fairview all the way in to Benson on the bus.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 2014 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 6>

BH: Okay, so let's shift gears a little here and start to address the impact of World War II on you and your family. How did you hear about the bombing of Pearl Harbor?

DH: Well, the bombing of Pearl Harbor was Sunday morning, we were working in the, one of the boy house. My brother went out and picked all the sprouts, you know, Brussels sprouts, and we had to clean 'em and pack 'em in the little halleck. So that's what we were doing was packing those Brussels sprouts so that Dad could go to market. And we heard on there, "There's bombing in Pearl Harbor," on the radio, because we always had radio on. That's how we first... I said, "Where's Pearl Harbor?" [Laughs]


BH: How did your parents react to their homeland bombing that part of America?

DH: He was sort of shocked. He didn't understand how bad it was, we just heard it on the radio. But when he went to market, I guess he heard all the different stories and so forth. He was upset, and he knew there was nothing we could do, and he knew that eventually the U.S. was going to take over. He still believed in his homeland, but he told us, he said, "You guys are American citizens, so you just, you don't have anything to worry about." That's our way, he told us to, "Be proud of yourself and don't worry, have anybody talk you into doing something bad."

BH: And we've heard stories of the FBI going around and talking to people. What was your family's experience?

DH: Well, FBI came in and took over our house and told Mom to sit in certain room, stay away from everything, and they went through everything. And they took rifles and shotguns and stuff like that, Dad had around, because he used to go hunting and so on. So that was, Mom just cried, and she couldn't do anything. It's terrible, these people coming in, just take over the house. Funny part of it, Dad had the picture, they had a shrine, and under it he had picture or, Hirohito's picture. And then before, right after the war started, he took Roosevelt's picture and put it right over the top. [Laughs] So that was the way Dad did things.

BH: Did you know of any families who had somebody taken away by the FBI?

DH: Yes, we heard people that, Dr. Tanaka, Dad was close to them. We knew they were gone and all the new people were gone. They were in some club, I guess.

BH: So you were probably in high school at this time. How did things change at school?

DH: Well, I lasted through December, January. The teachers gave the guys a bad time, they told us, watch over, we weren't in any trouble. We haven't got anything to do with war. But kids did tell me a few things, bad things, what they were gonna do to me and so on. And after a while, we had, we can't travel more than eight miles or something like that from home. Well, I snuck in to, going to Benson for several weeks, but eventually I quit before the school ended. And right after that, in May we were evacuated.

BH: How did things change within the community? Were people fearful, were they angry, what was going on?

DH: Well, like the farm we were on, people that wanted to come and take over our things, they thought they could reap all the harvest of our things. But Dad controlled that mostly. My brother was there to help.

BH: Now you mentioned that -- go ahead.

DH: Well, they were, some people were mean to us, but most people were, they understood that there was nothing we could do.

BH: Can you give an example of how people in the community were mean, or what some of your fellow students at Benson said?

DH: Well, one of them, my friend, he said he carried an axe in his bag, and he showed me, "This is for you," he says. And I said, "No way."

BH: And this was a former friend of yours?

DH: No, this is a guy from somewhere, lived in town. He was in my first period class. But my teacher lectured the whole class that I wouldn't have any part of causing the war and so forth.

BH: How did that make you feel, that a teacher would stand up --

DH: I just sat there and I just didn't say anything, I was shocked, and I couldn't figure what... he can't do anything to me and I can't do anything to them. I can't say anything or they would get mad at me. But most of my friends in that same class, they sent me things after I was in camp, they would send me annuals and all the graduation and stuff. Then I lost track of them after we moved to Minidoka.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 2014 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 7>

BH: So you missed out on your high school graduation. How did you find out about Executive Order 9066?

DH: Well, mostly through my folks and my brother. They're the ones that brought the sign home and said, "We're going to be evacuated on a certain day." So they're in the big rush trying to get rid of all the things to sell, we had to sell our tractor, truck, and we worked on the farm all that time before evacuation. We finished our cane berries, strung 'em all up, and cleaned the strawberries. He had already planted a few things, and that was for nothing. He'd just, people that took over the farm, all he had to do was harvest and go to market.

BH: Everything was ready.

DH: Yeah, everything was ready for him, and it was gone for us.

BH: So that's how you prepared the farm for leaving, how'd you prepare yourselves, and what were you thinking?

DH: Well, because I had all the brothers with me, the oldest one, Kaz, was already in service. But we knew we had to get rid of things, and we had to burn all the stuff, pictures and all the things that we didn't want, we can't take, we didn't want to leave it. So we burned all the pictures, Dad's pictures.

BH: That must have been a difficult process. What was your mom feeling at the time?

DH: He was sad all the time, so didn't want do this and didn't want to do that, but she was afraid of the FBI coming again, so she said, "Go ahead and do it." They asked, "Can we destroy this?" We had to keep this. Which, actually, we should have kept everything instead of burning. But in those days, you didn't know what was going to happen.

BH: So Kaz was already serving in the military, and where was he?

DH: He trained in Arkansas, and then he was, they were shipped in Wyoming, Fort Warren, Wyoming, and that's where they had all the Japanese guys stationed. And Kaz said all he's doing is picking up cigarette butts and cleaning general's yard and so on, like that, all that time, 'til they decided to form the 442. So until then, he was stationed in Fort Warren doing odd little things.

BH: And then Kaz became part of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and went to Europe?

DH: Yeah, he was a trainer, trained all the new recruits and so on. Then he was already a sergeant, so they moved the whole battalion to overseas except new recruits had to stay and finish their training, but the rest of them all went over together.

BH: How did your parents feel about Kaz being in the war?

DH: Well, Dad didn't say much. He said, "He had to go in the service, he had to go in the service." He was drafted. It was a hard time for him because Kaz was doing mostly, he was working on the farm already after school, after he graduated.

BH: And as the eldest son, he held a fairly prominent position in your family then.

DH: Yeah, he had to hold the rental papers and all that. After he went in the service, Norman got to do, he had to go to market because Dad couldn't go to market anymore, couldn't travel.

BH: Because he wasn't a citizen?

DH: So Norman went to market, and he battled with the people, he got taken some time, and did all right. Mom and Dad said, "Well, you did okay. You brought some, you didn't bring anything home, back home." [Laughs]

BH: Getting ready to be evacuated, how did you decide what you were going to take with you?

DH: Well, we heard about we had to leave, and we had one luggage to carry our things, so Dad took us all over different places to find suitcase. Because Mom had their own suitcase, we never, kids never had it, so we went out, grabbed what I wanted, so I got my shiny old suitcase. That's what I took.

BH: And what did you pack?

DH: Just mostly... I didn't have too much anyway to pack.

BH: So mainly clothes?

DH: Yeah, my personal things.

BH: How did your Caucasian friends and neighbors react to news of the evacuation and your family leaving?

DH: Well, most of my neighbors, they just wanted to take over. They just came and asked for this, and then they said, "We're not going to pay you, we'll just take it." Some of the, Dad and my brother just held strong and they, at least they got something from it.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 2014 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 8>

BH: And you were scheduled to report to the Portland Assembly Center in North Portland. How'd you get there?

DH: Well, Dad had this truck, he'd already sold the truck, but he made arrangement that he could take it to Gresham and dump it there, and they had, he had to pick it up. So we, on this flat big truck, all our family sat on the boxes and suitcase and so on, and then we picked our neighbor, Japanese Kido family, and we met all together at the Gresham fairgrounds, and that's where we caught the bus and went to Portland center.

BH: Now the site of the assembly center was converted from the old Pacific International Livestock Expedition. What was that like?

DH: Yeah, we were in Section B, I forgot the, all the, we were in the, right above, I think it was horse stable where, have on, during the summer, you have this fume coming up from underneath. It was just horrible.

BH: What was the food like there?

DH: It was like army food. It was just like breakfast with all those dry cereals and oatmeal. Dinner, we had mostly Japanese cooks, whatever they got, so they set up the meal. I guess it was okay, we survived.

BH: So the Japanese people who were forced to be there ended up doing the chores and running the place?

DH: Yeah, selected the cooks and janitors. They had firemen like my brother was a fireman. My dad worked in the carpenter shop under that furniture maker, what was his name? George Nishikawa? No, I forgot his name.

BH: And what was your dad working on? What was your dad working on?

DH: He helped. He helped this guy. He's a famous, famous man. His furniture is worth millions now.

BH: Now because Fairview was too far from Benson, so you couldn't go to school anymore, were you able to continue high school at the assembly center?

DH: No, I was already, it was in May. Some people were still going, they took classes. I didn't take classes.

BH: How'd you pass the time?

DH: Well, we goofed around, doing different things, watching baseball, and they had a bunch of different activities.

BH: What was it like to be around so many Japanese people?

DH: It was strange. All these Japanese people, never seen so many Japanese people. [Laughs] But when I was in camp, my first opportunity I had, they were hiring a bunch of people in Nyssa, Oregon, for, I don't know how many weeks it was, three, four weeks, I think. No, three weeks. So I signed up and went, they took us in a train all the way to Ontario, dropped us off, and we bussed to this camp in Twin Falls, I mean, in Nyssa, they had a farming camp, and that's where they put us in the crew and then we went working for twenty-five cents an hour.

BH: So what happened when the harvest was over?

DH: Then during the week, I think it was a few weeks we worked there and then we were shipped back to the Portland Assembly Center. And by then, it was time for them to move to Minidoka, because that's when I came back and stayed with the family to get to Minidoka on the train.

BH: You talked about your dad doing some carpentry work in the assembly center. What about your mom? What did she do?

DH: Well, she helped to put away things, and she didn't have to worry too much anymore. You're fed, you wake up at a certain time and meet with other people. It was sort of strange for them I guess.

<End Segment 8> - Copyright © 2014 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 9>

BH: Now when you came back from Nyssa, it was about time to head to a more permanent camp.

DH: Minidoka.

BH: Yeah. Did you know where you were going?

DH: No. We were going, they pulled the blinds down on the cars, and we snuck in and looked at, then remember stopping at Pendleton and I said, "Where in the heck is... oh, we know Pendleton," because my brother used to go to Pendleton Round Up. And couldn't even reach out because the soldier won't let us out of the entrance area. So we stayed in there, and finally we rode back and went up to Blue Mountain, came to Idaho, and everything was flat and dry and hot. We finally got to Shoshone, I guess, where we ended up.

BH: And what were your impressions when you first arrived Minidoka?

DH: I said, "Wow, what a place. It's a dust storm."

BH: So where'd you live at Minidoka?

DH: We lived in, we were in Block 39, and we had two rooms. One bigger room for my folks and the younger brothers, and Shig, Norm and I had one room, on the end room.

BH: What did it look like?

DH: It was just a barrack, it's just like our boy house. [Laughs] Nothing, just potbelly stove and two windows. That was it, and cots for sleeping on.

BH: How'd your parents cope with all of that?

DH: I don't know how, but Dad seemed to do well. He always worked, always had friends, always made sure that he had a job.

BH: What kind of jobs did your dad do in camp?

DH: At first he was doing several different things. Then because he was a carpenter expert, he became a foreman on canal lock building, so he recruited me to bring water to them on the big truck. So I drive a big tanker truck out the desert, because they needed water to, they took mud and tempered it with, mixing water, and they add something to that mud and when it dried it was just like cement. That's what they were doing. They made different locks to let the water out and in during our irrigation time.

BH: Did your mom get involved in any activities?

DH: No, she was mostly keeping kids, brothers, younger brothers going, washing.

BH: During camp days there was a "loyalty questionnaire." Can you tell me about that?

DH: Well, we knew what... we didn't want to sign either way, but we all signed yes, we will defend our country and so on. At times we said, "Why should we?" bunch of arguments and so on. "No, you got to. This is America, we lived here, we got to."

BH: That's a difficult situation. Now how did you pass the time at Minidoka?

DH: In Minidoka I kept pretty much busy. First chance we had, during the harvest, I went out with my brother and so on, went out during the harvest, we picked apples and then potatoes and sugar beets, worked in that. Then winter we'd come back in and then I find a job doing things. One year I worked in the warehouse, another year I helped my dad on the irrigation, another year when I came back I worked, I cleaned all the chimneys in the barracks, all the barracks in the whole camp and went in the other.

BH: All those potbelly stoves?

DH: Potbelly stove and there's, it was all chimneys we had to throw our big chain and rack it like this, get all the soot down. And people down in living, they said, "You're doing all that thing coming out, soot coming out?" Says, "We warned you."

BH: And what was the purpose of that?

DH: So it won't cause fire, because that soot forms on the side of the chimney, and if it gets caught, it becomes a fire. So you had to get rid of that.

BH: Preventative measures.

DH: Yeah.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright © 2014 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 10>

BH: So when you were working on the harvest, was that outside of camp?

DH: We signed up and got outside of camp. First camp, first winter, first harvesting time we went to Pocatello with nine other guys with us, bunch of young guys. The farmer gave us a truck, and Mino, he was driving, and he didn't even know how to drive and he stuck the truck in the, almost in the... and I was riding on the front fender, and I almost fell in the ditch. [Laughs] It's amazing how we survived that.

BH: I think we have a picture in the legacy center of you and Umeno in the truck, yes. So who else in that group of nine...

DH: It was Masami Takanaga, two Yamaguchi brothers, John Nozaki, Bobby the cleaner.

BH: Nishino.

DH: Nishino. Who else was there? Tanbara.

BH: So you were out there working on a farm. Did the others have farm experience like you?

DH: Most of them were city kids except the Yamaguchi boys. But I finally drove the truck after that, 'cause they wouldn't let Mino drive. I did other things for the farmer. I could harness the horses and saddle the horses. Other guys didn't know how to do that, but I could do that because we had horses. So I'd get to ride on the range, rounding up cattle and so on for the winter. Finally got it in before the snowstorm, and that's when we left back to camp.

BH: So you lived on the farm that you were working on with these nine guys.

DH: Yeah, nine guys. Somebody had to cook, I had to milk the cow because nobody knew how to milk the cow. [Laughs] The farmer gave us the cow and the truck and what to live on, where to go to the store to buy. So every time I had to drive him to the store, to Blackfoot to get food for ourselves.

BH: Now were you paid wages working on this farm?

DH: I think we worked on... yeah.

BH: Then winter set in and you went back to Minidoka. What were the winters like out there?

DH: Cold and windy and muddy.

BH: And you had those potbelly stoves to keep warm?

DH: Potbelly stove, with the coal, we had to go out and they'd dump the, bunch of coal in the corner of our block, and we had to go get our coal and sort of scramble to get the best coal we could get. Otherwise we had to clean out the potbelly stove, because if it's not very good coal, it just leaves all that stuff.

BH: So did you have... I know you had those friends on the farm. What'd you do for fun at camp? How did you pass the time?

DH: Oh, we had our things. We weren't a gang or anything, we were just a group of guys. We did some terrible things, and we stole some chicken, watermelons, for pastime.

BH: Where did you get the watermelons?

DH: Well, they had farms, after irrigation, they had farms. Chicken farm, pig farm, and so on.

BH: Within the camp?

DH: In Minidoka.

BH: Okay, okay. So did you ever get caught stealing chickens or watermelons?

DH: No, we knew how to get there, because there was a different canal, not too deep a canal, but we could cross. They can't see us until we get there. Only thing is those people trying to steal the chicken, they missed picking them, and they're making all that noise. [Laughs] And those guards come out there with a shotgun and they're blasting over our heads just to scare us away.

BH: Were they successful? Did you get scared?

DH: Yeah, we got scared. But we cleaned 'em and made our own chicken. [Laughs] In our rec. room, we had rec. room, we had a potbelly stove there, and somebody went to get a pan. We had our own chicken, fried chicken.

<End Segment 10> - Copyright © 2014 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 11>

BH: Now here you were with all these Japanese American families in camp, and you had a brother who was fighting in the war. What were the feelings of the Isseis, your parents' generation? What were they thinking?

DH: My dad figured, he was proud of all the, my brothers in the service and so on. He had these flags out with the stars, said, "I got so many sons in the service," and so on. He managed pretty well. My mom did okay because my dad kept her in line, too.

BH: Were there families that you knew of who lost sons in the war?

DH: Later, yes. Not few, in the early part. Like my good friend, I wrote him a letter, and he came to see me before he left when he was in camp, and I was ready to go to work out in the railroad, so I wrote him a letter, and it never got to him. It came back to me. I still have it.

BH: That's how you knew he had lost his life?

DH: I never opened it. I just don't know what I wrote in it.

BH: So how were families notified in camp?

DH: They had military people come in and notify them.

BH: I heard something about stars in windows?

DH: Yeah. The stars represented how many sons you have in the service.

BH: So did you ever think about why you and all those other Japanese Americans were in camp?

DH: No, I figured that they were there because of the war. And I know I can't do anything myself to fight it, so I went along with it. But the first chance I had, every harvest, I was out doing different job, different farm, different places. I even worked on the big ranch where they had huge horses. And I had to harness, just like Wells Fargo, the team of horses, I had to harness them all up. I remembered how to do this because we had a harness with the horse. So I had to figure out which one goes where, and this one goes... four horses, and I drove this wagon on top of this, and we were hauling the hay back in the barn. Before that, I had used a team of horses to cut the hay, rake the hay, all with horses, and farm didn't have the tractor. They were still in horse stage. So I did that. We worked on different farms, different times, we worked on the orchard picking peaches, doing sugar beet harvest, driving trucks. So I had different experience.

BH: And you weren't in camp the entire time, you were allowed to go out, but you always had to return.

DH: During the winter I returned and found a job doing something in camp. But we always had, we had dances on Saturday. So they, Harry Inukai was there, and he had all the equipment. So every Saturday we just posted our own things, and all the people from different blocks came over.

BH: So what did Harry have? Music?

DH: Yeah, he had records and music.

BH: Okay.

DH: And big speakers, boxes, and so on.

BH: Why do you think it was that people didn't talk about why they were in camp?

DH: Well, none of us said too much about it. We knew we were there. We knew we can't do anything about it, do bad things like go steal gasoline and stuff like that for our cars. Other than that, we were, had fun because we were all same age group, all young Nisei guys. We did our things and just played poker and everything like that.

<End Segment 11> - Copyright © 2014 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 12>

BH: Now, there's a replica of a Minidoka barracks at the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center that you built.

DH: Yes.

BH: Tell me about that process.

DH: Well, I can't remember who asked me, but they asked me. So the only thing I had is pictures, and I knew what the, how the house was built, because I had a little bit of knowledge from the school, from Benson. So I figured everything, scale-wise, I brought it down to the scale, size, I built on. I took all the different plywood, I mean, cardboard. It's one of those art board. And all the timbers in there were toothpicks and matches, balsa wood. I made all the rafters exactly the dimension, I mean, scaled down to that size. And I put 'em, then I, for tarpaper I used black paper, construction paper, and I pasted all the slats on it. Then they wanted to see how it looked inside so I had to cut out, made a cut out for 'em out of timber and joists all met together. So it was, took a little while, but I spent a few hours pasting many things together, putting glue on. I don't know, it's still sitting there.

BH: I bet it took more than a few hours. Visitors remark about, because it gives them a picture of what it's like.

DH: Trouble is, they didn't give me any plan or anything. I had to go, "Here's a bunch of pictures from the old album, you know, where the windows are, and I figured, door's a certain size, so I figured that, then how high the roof was pitched, and how wide everything was.

BH: What kind of memories did that bring back working on those barracks?

DH: Well, I knew a lot of 'em because I did crawl under when we're doing things. Our rec hall was the same way except it's open. Most of it, the dining hall, they were all built the same type of way.

BH: Did working on the barracks remind you of being in Minidoka?

DH: No, I tried to remember what it was like, because I wasn't there that often. Most of the time it was just during the winter, and everything was all locked up and so on and so forth.

BH: What was the general mood in camp when people learned that the war was over?

DH: I'm not sure. I was out and already working out in the railroads. But I knew Dad called me and says they're ready to get relocated, so I quit the railroad and went back to camp. And had this car, which my brother left when he left for Detroit. I took that car, filled up what we can load up, and had one of the trucks, shipping trucks, took all the big things, and I drove from camp to Fruitland, Idaho, and that's where we relocated because he had a job at nursery. Since he was a farmer, they figured that's the only way they can find a place for them to stay, so we went to Fruitland where he got a job, had a house, stayed in a house, paid the rent.


BH: Dan, let's go back and talk about this famous furniture maker that your family knew, George Nakashima, is that right? Okay. So tell me how you were acquainted with him and the work that he did.

DH: Well, in the Portland Assembly Center, he was in the assembly center and he was teaching people in the cabinet making area. And my dad was there and knew him, so he was working with him, and my dad said, "Come and learn something from him," so I went over and, like a class, I guess, I was told to take this board and clamp it on this wood clamp and plane it smooth. And that's what I did all day, plane that board 'til it was... [laughs] he looks at it and says, "Go ahead, more," he says.

BH: What kinds of things did he build besides cabinets?

DH: He designed things, too, like Epworth pews, that's his design. He was well-known before he went in camp, because he went to architect school in India and so on. And he loved to build furniture. It's all handmade, and he used nothing but Japanese tools, old fashioned tools, and all those kind that you scrape and the kind you planed and the kind you drilled, all Japanese type of things, all hand, everything is hand done.

BH: And no nails?

DH: No nails, it's all wood. I don't know how he figures it out, but it's well-known. There's museum pieces.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright © 2014 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 13>

BH: Now, we were talking about after the war. I understand that you volunteered for military service, but you were classified 4-C because you had older brothers in the service. So then what did you do?

DH: And I had my folks to take care of, but that's why they put me in 4-C. Then I figured I won't go in the army or anything, so I took odd jobs, like working in the railroad for I don't know how many months. It was an experience because I got hurt with a rock chip in my glasses, so the foreman, he put me on this rail car with a big engine in it. I got to drive that and haul the workers back and forth from different camp, I mean, from our camp, you know, it was all boxcars where we stayed in. And then we repair a certain area, we had to go several miles and then I dropped them off and I headed into a side track and wait for them, or I go back and haul ties and nails and all those things, load up and take it back to the foreman. So I had a good job with the railroad.

BH: So what line was this?

DH: This was SP&S, when it was Spokane and... it started from Portland, it goes from Portland on the Washington side, and all the way up to Spokane. So where I worked, it was near Walla Walla.

BH: And you lived in boxcars?

DH: Lived in boxcar with a bunch of guys. Then kitchen was a boxcar. And that's where I got my first social security card.

BH: Because you were working.

DH: Yeah.

BH: So tell me about your eye injury.

DH: Well, you were using picks to get the rails onto the ties, and then you hit it wrong, you get piece of metal or piece of rocks flying, and went right in my eye and broke my glasses. So I got this job, since I can't... people on this cart, they had a cart that goes back and forth, he was an inspector or something. He drives his own cart, so he picked me up and went to the hospital in Pasco. And I had it, went through, he cleaned it out. Then the next couple days, he had me stay at his house, and he had goose dinner recipe because he picked up a goose that got hit by the train, he said. I don't know, I don't think so. He fed us the goose, roast goose. And a couple days later he took me back to the boxcar.

BH: And what were your brothers doing?

DH: Well, Shig was already in the service. Only brother I had... Victor was already in service. My brother had, was in Detroit. He didn't pass his physical, so he was, he went to Detroit to go to school, so he was in Detroit.

BH: And were the younger ones with your parents?

DH: Yes, they were still in school.

BH: And your parents decided not to return to Fairview after the war?

DH: No, he had more friends in Ontario area that he met in camp. And he had a sponsor, a place to stay and a place to work. So he decided he's got to get out because they're closing the camp pretty soon. So in, I think it was March, and brought 'em out to Fairview. Not Fairview, I mean, Fruitland, sorry.

BH: Then at some point, you got drafted.

DH: Yeah, after a while, I was helping Dad on the farm trying to get things organized. And then I get my draft notice and I had to go in the service. [Laughs]

BH: So where'd you report for training?

DH: I went to Fort Lewis, and then I went to Arkansas, and then I was in Louisiana and that's where I got hurt. Then they put me in the hospital there, and then they took me out because I had surgery there and it didn't work out. So they sent me to San Antonio, Brooks General Hospital in San Antonio. And I was there most of my career. [Laughs] Because I almost lost my arm.

BH: That was quite an injury then.

DH: Yeah, I had something like thirty-some surgery, different kinds of surgery, nerve, bone, and muscles. But I made it through. But after I got a, discharged me, and the same year after I got discharged, a friend of mine, we were in a car wreck, and I reinjured my arm. So I went into Boise Veterans Hospital and spent almost two years there. When they got rid of me, they wanted me to get out of there, so they put me on this rehab, gave me an aptitude test and so on and said, "You belong to this school. We're going to take you." I said, "Where?" "University of Idaho." I said, "What?" So I was there for summer school. I was good in one thing, but I was bad in the other thing, but he said, "You stick with it." So he signed me up again for the fall semester. We were on the semester system. And I barely made it through that. I got more As than Ds, but I made it through. [Laughs]

BH: And what were you good at on that aptitude test?

DH: They said I was good at, they wanted me to be, they had a good architect school there, because they heard that I went to Benson architect school. Or be some kind of artist or any type of work that you could do with hands and so on. So I said, "I don't care. I don't think I'll be there very long, so I'll take you up on it." So I stayed, and I made it through first year, and second year I did well, third year I got some great, four-point, so I stayed there. In fact, I went to school for five years, almost five terms.

<End Segment 13> - Copyright © 2014 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 14>

BH: So after graduation, then what?

DH: Graduation, I, they wanted me to continue my grad work, graduate work. I took a lot of classes. I have something like thirty-six hours of graduate work. They wanted me to be a teacher, and I said no way, I can't be a teacher. [Laughs] So I was good at drawing and stuff, so they wanted me to go into advertising. So they sent me to Spokane after I graduated. They found me a job there, so I went there and I dragged my friend with me, and we both got interviewed. What do you know? He got picked instead of me. [Laughs] Because, I think it was because of the race-wise. They wanted a nice good-looking hakujin blond boy to take over. So from there I went to Seattle and I had a couple of jobs at different agency and an offer at Boeing art department. But I had to wait something like, almost a month go to back. I didn't have enough money to stay there, so I came to Portland because my brother had a garage and I could stay with them, so I stayed with them and I found odd jobs freelancing, and eventually I got hired by Meier & Frank, freelancing, though. I freelanced with them for several years, and then when May come, they came and they said they don't take freelancers anymore, they want people on staff. So I got on staff, and I worked from 1954 'til I retired. But the last twenty years, I used my own camera. Because we went in, instead of drawing, we'd gone into photographing. So I used my camera, made, took some product shots, and I said, "This is what I can do." So they said they really liked what I did. So they gave me a bigger space, and I said, "I can't work with my own camera, I need a bigger format." So they gave me the opportunity to go find a new camera, so I bought three new cameras, big format. And I said, "We need a bigger place where I can work." So they eventually built this studio, one studio which was curved floors and everything, I had 'em specially built for my, the way I wanted it. And I bought all the lighting, and I bought everything, and I started working. And in a couple years, they wanted to do more in house. So I asked him, well, we had to take over this display department and build a studio. So I had 'em build five studios. One for myself, and another product one, and two fashion shoot. So I bought all the equipment, Hasselblad, bought ten Hasselblad, all the other type of camera. In fact, I had one lens that was about four thousand dollars at that time. I said I wanted a zoom lens, this Hasselblad zoom lens. They got it. So I had to get a lot of promotional work, lot of promotional work at zoo and stuff like that. I started doing fashion and jewelrys and that kind of thing, and it was too much. I had these models, I couldn't work with models. [Laughs] So I said, "I'll do all that product merchandise, and we'll hire a fashion studio. So we hired four fashion photographers, ended up with two at the end. Did everything in house, color and everything. We just did the work, just complete work, and sent to Oregonian and they'd just print it straight off of our work.

Then came the time to retire, and I knew that computer camera was coming in. I didn't want to go into that, so I retired. [Laugh] After that they just closed the studio because it went all in house, out of house, photography-wise. It was all photographs after that, no more artwork.

BH: You had quite a career there.

DH: Yeah, we had, I had... I didn't get along very good, but I did a lot of drawings.

BH: Now which brother was it that had the garage? Was that a mechanics garage?

DH: Yeah, he was my older brother. Before the war, he went to OIT, which was a technical school. He finished there and got his degree, and then the war came, and then he, that's how he got on the cannon company somehow, because of his background. And when he came back, he worked for a bus, he was a bus driver and all kinds of odd things, and worked for mechanics. Then he had an opportunity to buy this place on Burnside and started his shop. He was there until he had a heart attack.

BH: What was the name of the shop?

DH: Motor Clinic. And Frank Yasui was working with my brother for several years before he quit and went to Esco.

<End Segment 14> - Copyright © 2014 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 15>

BH: Now, your late wife Masuko Endo Hinatsu.

DH: Masako.

BH: Masako, thank you. I always knew her as Massie. Masako Endo Hinatsu was interviewed for an oral history interview several years ago. How did you meet Massie?

DH: Well, when I came to Portland in '53, I knew a lot of these people because of the camp and so on. So a friend with Kenny Namba and so on, they had a dance on New Year's and I was invited, so I went, and there she was. [Laughs] Marian brought her. And we became friends, and we sort of dated several times.

BH: And it sounds like you dated for quite some time. What was Massie doing?

DH: Yeah, I met her in '53, and she was teaching at Gervais, and then she went to Willamette High School in Eugene, then she came to Portland and worked in Roosevelt High School. So we got married in '55, but I met her in '53. Then we didn't have kids 'til she finished teaching, it was in '58, when Stanley was born. Then she retired, or she quit.

BH: Now it was difficult for Japanese Americans to have teaching jobs in Portland at that time, I understand.

DH: Uh-huh. And she was lucky that she had an interview with this person here in Portland before she went to Japan. She went to Japan that year, and because we got married, so she wanted to work in Portland. So that's how come... well, she wasn't, we weren't married yet. We were engaged and she went to Japan that summer. She stayed there a whole summer with her mother. And during that time, she already interviewed at Roosevelt, but they told her she didn't have a job when she was there. And the principal, Mr. York, found out, and he said, "Nobody's picking my teachers, because I'm picking her for my teacher." So he sent a nasty letter to the placement lady in Oregon State, and that's how she got her job teaching. She was the first Japanese teacher in high school in Portland, Oregon.


BH: After you and Massie were married, where did you live?

DH: Well, the first few months we stayed at Massie's home. But it was so crowded and everything that we, before we got married we looked around at different places, but we never did find anything. Because a lot of places won't take us. So after we got married, we got desperate and started looking closer in town, and we found a place, this man and woman had an upstairs unit, flat, they called it, upstairs flat. And he said, "Okay, we'll take you," so that's how come we got this room. Otherwise, we'd probably be still searching for a place to stay. [Laughs] They didn't take us because we're Japanese. It's amazing.

BH: When did you move to this house in northeast Portland?

DH: We stayed in that house in Irvington after Stanley was born for a year. Then in '58, we found this lot here, and I met this guy that was a friend of mine. He had this area, he's the one that found this area. He said, "Yeah, we got a corner lot if you want to look at it." So we came to look at it and said, "Okay, that's good." We'll have them build a house for us. So we put in a requisition of what we wanted for this house. I wanted a basement, but it was too expensive for us at that time. So I said, "No, we'll just go buy the house that you have planned for us." And we'd add a bathroom here and took out a few things, and we had it built. I wanted a lower hearth, but they built it a five brick house, hearth. That was okay. And then the fireplace has both side opening, which is a mistake because it keeps smoking, back smoke comes out. So we very seldom used it after that.

BH: Tell me about your children. Stanley was the firstborn.

DH: Stanley was the firstborn, he was born in '58 before the spring, I think the day after spring. Sally was born on St. Patrick's Day, the 17th, the following year. Michelle was born on my birthday, on April 3rd, 1960, and Diana was born on Father's Day the following year, 1961.

BH: And Stan is the only one who has children.

DH: Stanley's the only one who had children, three children.

BH: And their names?

DH: And the oldest is Elizabeth Anne, (Alison Suzanne), and Audrey. Alison is sort of handicapped, but Audrey is a gymnast. She loves her gymnastics.

BH: And Elizabeth?

DH: Elizabeth is a nurse for several years now. But she's been traveling here and there.

BH: Now if you're like most Niseis, you've been reluctant to talk to your kids about your wartime experiences? Why do you think that is?

DH: I don't know. I never talked to my kids about... well, a few things, but not what we did in camp. But our way how we felt about being in camp. I was more ashamed to be in camp, trying to make good times out of it. So I didn't say too much. They asked, you know, I told 'em just what they wanted to know, and that was it. I didn't elaborate.

BH: How about with your granddaughters? Have you talked a little bit more?

DH: Not much more. They ask just certain things, you know, when things come up, they say, "What did you do?" or something like that. You just answer once and that's it. I didn't elaborate on times of camp. But it was a good experience for me, because I met a lot of people, done so many things, and probably made me more all around.

<End Segment 15> - Copyright © 2014 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 16>

BH: You mentioned Massie went to Japan just before you were married. How about you? Were you able to take any trips to Japan?

DH: Yes. She went to Japan in 1952 or was it '53? I went in 1990-something, and we went over in September and I think we stayed 'til past Thanksgiving and came home middle of December. Second time we went, several years later, we stayed longer, because we traveled more in Japan.

BH: Were you able to visit relatives?

DH: Yes, we met her relative, all her relative in different city, Fukushima and Sendai, both places. Also in Toma, I think it was. The minister, he was Massie's cousin. And then we went to my side of the family in Kyoto, met them. And from there we went to, towards Hikone and Kawase, and I met my parents' side. My parents' side is quite different. The people that live there now, he's a principal and his brother is like a principal. And his father was my mother's younger brother. Because of the grandma that lived there... what was her name? She didn't have a boy, so she took my mother's brother and brought him to, married into that family and changed his name to Hinatsu. That's where two boys that I stayed with were Hinatsu, but they're actually my mother's side. But the real mother of the two boys was my father's sister.

BH: Looking back now, what are your fondest memories of those extended trips to Japan?

DH: We had a great time both the relatives and then in Fukushima, Massie's cousin knew his friend was a travel agent. So they set up this travel, like when we went to Hokkaido and all the northern Japan and different places, and the second trip, we had same kind of deal, you know. He sets up a deal that we go to a certain town and then the taxi picks us up, takes us all around where you want to go, then he'd drop us off at the Japanese inn. We stayed there, and then after couple days there, taxi comes and pick us up and take us to another town, or have a new taxi man come and pick us up. And it was all arranged. He did this tremendous job, it was just, all we had to do was just go there and he'd hold up the sign, and they'd come and pick us up, and said, "We're going to take you." One time when we, after Hiroshima, I think it was after Hiroshima, we went to this place and they, this guy picked us up, and says, "Oh, okay," and the next thing you know, we're going up the mountain, up, up, up, practically a dirt road by then. And it was this little tiny Japanese inn, had onsen, and we stayed there, and the food was fantastic. And like the ladies here, like Misa, she lives in that area, Hakone. She says, "How do you ever find a place to stay like that?" I said, "I don't know, but they took us up there." It was beautiful.

BH: It sounds like a wonderful trip. Did anything about your trip to Japan surprise you?

DH: Well, like onsen in Beppu, what surprised me was those different kind of onsen. The red water, green water, it wasn't dyed, that's the natural water. And the water with bunch of snowflakes in it, it's just bubbling it, and you could stay in any pool that you want to. That was different. But all the, there's only one place like that in Beppu, I think, where that different color water and so on.

<End Segment 16> - Copyright © 2014 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 17>

BH: Now after you... now the war was over, you've, kids are born, did you get involved in any Japanese Americans organizations?

DH: When I first came to Portland, my brother got me into Oregon Nisei Veterans. So I got in, I designed their logos and did all their annual cards, you know, for our banquet and so on. And I joined the JACL. And later on I joined the Nikkeijinkai.

BH: Now why was it that your brother and you were in Oregon Nisei Vets instead of the regular veterans association?

DH: Well, I'm in DVA for a long time, which I was life member. But I didn't want to join the Foreign Wars or American Veterans. Because I thought I might as well just back one organization. I enjoyed helping them out.

BH: Probably knew more of the people.

DH: Yeah, met more young guys. They had their own parties and so on, so it was okay.

BH: Tell us about Nikkeijinkai. What's that about?

DH: Well, I've been a member for a long time. I helped out, and I think they do a good job watching over different projects and different, like cemetery, they take over, help take over and they hired gardeners and did everything to improve more areas. Nisei Vets had different program on Veterans Day and Labor Day and had different group where we met all different cemetery and laid flowers. JACL, they had parties. [Laughs] Because I just was on, mostly I was on scholarship committee, and try not to get on the other thing. I had too much to do myself, so I didn't want to join too many clubs.

BH: Now the scholarship committee you're referring to, is that the Japanese American community scholarship for...

DH: Well, that's where we end up. Before we, GT JACL, they had their own. But somehow I got involved to get it into a community scholarship, and I gave scholarship to non-Gresham parents, and then I got the holy... he said, "You're supposed to pick them." I said, "No, we're picking the best scholar for GT, you know. We got the best scholar." But they didn't like it, because they had to pay more than they thought they were going to pay.

BH: And the cemetery that you're referring to that's the Japanese section, near Rose City Cemetery?

DH: Yes. They worked on it trying to make it better because they have only certain, so many plots. But now the lawyers and so on, they got together and they figured they'd move the fence so they can get another row of plots in there. So it's still open.

BH: And what about your church involvement?

DH: Oh, yes. Massie took the kids in when they were young, barely walking, and because she's, the whole family's in Epworth. And eventually George Azumano's wife, first wife, Ise, she kept bugging me and bugging me and finally got me to go to church, so that's how I started. [Laughs] Then I think Reverend Chet got me my Baptism.

BH: Chet Edwards?

DH: Uh-huh. So I'm there.

<End Segment 17> - Copyright © 2014 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 18>

BH: Looking back, how did you balance being of Japanese descent while growing up in America?

DH: I don't know. I didn't feel that different except in applying for a job or something like that, when it comes up. But other than that, I got along well with them.

BH: Now how do you think -- go ahead.

DH: Well, a lot of friends we met, they were always with us. Like one couple that used to live right down the street, he was always talking about Japanese people. Because he was in prison in Korea, he fought in two different wars. He was always talking about his Japanese friend that he knew when he was in high school, and he met him in the prison camp. So he went and passed chocolate and things to him in the prison camp, and he was a Japanese guy that was in the prison camp.

BH: How do you think their wartime experiences affected your parents?

DH: Wartime experiences affecting my parents? Well, like my mother was, it was, I think it helped her, because she didn't have to go through worrying about all our kids and so on, because in camp, you know, you get fed, surviving without no problem, because they're always there at that time. After camp she did okay, because my two young brothers was there and was going through high school.

BH: You mentioned when she first came here, she felt isolated living on the farm, and then was able to...

DH: Oh, yeah, when she first came, she was so lonely, and because they didn't have any electricity, just a little old lamp, candle burning, and nobody there because it was a farm and Dad was still working out, she said she wanted to go back to Japan. [Laughs] That's the way then, but later on she was carrying her son, so she managed to do well after that.

BH: The camps over the years have been referred to by different names, relocation camp, internment camp, lately incarceration camp. How do you feel about these terms?

DH: Well, some of it isn't that bad sounding. I don't mind just saying "relocation camp." I can't think of being incarcerated, because I wasn't. I got to go out and do my things, so it didn't bother me.

BH: How do you think your life has changed because of the war?

DH: Well, life changed because after I graduated from high school, I don't think parents had enough money to send me to college, even if I made it. Whereas working, and the service, and the opportunity to go to school, which made me, I think the war helped me because of that. Otherwise I'd probably have been a farmer or something. Which is nothing wrong to being farmer, because my brother did so well. [Laughs]

BH: There are efforts now and in the recent past to educate more people about camp experiences, including the establishment of the Japanese American Historical Plaza along the waterfront, and the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center. If your parents were around today, how do you think they'd feel about these efforts to educate people about the war?

DH: I think Dad would be really proud to hear about all the different things being, happened to the young Japanese people. Well, young like my age young. But Sanseis and Yonseis, I don't think it makes too much difference, because they hadn't had a chance to go through things like what we went through.

BH: So what can we learn about what happened to Japanese Americans during World War II, the Isseis and the Sanseis -- Isseis and Niseis?

DH: Well, I'm not sure if it helped any, any differently than if we didn't go, or didn't have the war. But I enjoyed... either way I think I would have been okay, except I probably wouldn't have gotten a college education, though, that's different there. But if I did go to war, maybe I would have. So I'm not sure.

BH: When 9/11/2001 happened, some people were making parallels between what happened to Japanese Americans in World War II to what might happen to Muslim Americans and Arab Americans. Do you want to comment on that?

DH: Well, actually, there isn't too much different between Pearl Harbor and 9/11. The scare, and the people getting behind, government-wise. For the individuals, Japanese, Muslims and those people suffered because of... even though they're American, they were treated differently because of their heritage. It's not right. But it got by.

BH: So what are your hopes for your grandchildren and future generations?

DH: I hope these... I keep telling her I'm still waiting. [Laughs] Hope she gets married and have a family. Hope they do well.

BH: You've had a life of a lot of ups and some downs. Some good things have happened, there have been some difficult times. What's important in life?

DH: Well, mostly how successful you are, how well you're doing family-wise, and your kids are doing well. I think it's very important, we go through these different periods, keep us going.

BH: I've asked you a lot of questions in the course of this interview. From the time you were born to looking ahead to your grandchildren's generation. Are there any questions that I didn't ask, or anything that you'd like to add to anything you've said?

DH: I can't remember. [Laughs] No, I think we had enough of this.

BH: Okay. Thank you very much, Dan.

DH: You're welcome. I can't remember too much anymore.

BH: I think you've done an outstanding job of telling your story, and I thank you.

DH: Thank you.

<End Segment 18> - Copyright © 2014 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.