Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Ruth Sasaki Interview
Narrator: Ruth Sasaki
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Ontario, Oregon
Date: April 22, 2014
Densho ID: denshovh-sruth-01-0011

<Begin Segment 11>

TI: So after several months, then people started moving to Minidoka.

RS: Yeah. Then Minidoka's ready, and so that's when we left. I can't even remember when we went, what part of the time we left. But we all got on trains, trains with the blinds down so you don't see out. I don't know what that was for. But we went by train to Minidoka.

TI: And do you remember what you were thinking while you were on the train? Like did you know where you were going at that point?

RS: No, we didn't.

TI: Where did you think you were going?

RS: Someplace east of the Cascades.

TI: And did your parents ever talk to you about what was going on at this point? I mean, here you'd been at this Portland Expo center for months, and now you're going on a train to someplace else. It must have been a little confusing for a lot of people.

RS: Yeah, I think... well, I think they were confused, too, because I don't think they realized, too, what was happening, you know, to us. But I think they, I think deep inside, I think they knew that was the best, whatever's happening was the best for them in the family. I mean, it's not like going into a concentration camp and being mistreated. That's one thing about the Japanese, we were all treated good.

TI: And do you think, when you think of your parents, when you think of your parents when they were, at first, Portland, how was it for them? You mentioned how many of the Isseis would go out and talk.

RS: They never said much, not to me.

TI: But I'm that when they were... before the war started, they had to work pretty hard.

RS: Oh, yeah.

TI: And now, all of a sudden, they had a lot more, maybe leisure time where they didn't have to worry about farming, cooking, raising kids, where they could just maybe relax a little bit more.

RS: Yeah, I think so.

TI: Did you see a change in them during this time period? Did they seem more relaxed?

RS: Yeah, there was. They didn't worry about the money or anything coming in or going out. But I think what hurt them was probably where they had to leave everything behind, that's what hurt them the most, I think.

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