Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Susie "Jinx" Fujii Interview
Narrator: Susie "Jinx" Fujii
Interviewer: Betty Jean Harry
Location: Portland, Oregon
Date: May 20, 2014
Densho ID: denshovh-fsusie-01-0008

<Begin Segment 8>

BH: In Tule Lake there was a "loyalty questionnaire." Do you know how any members of your family responded to that questionnaire?

SF: Well definitely, Mom and Dad told Mutt, the oldest, that he will not be going to the army, so he was listed as one of the "no-no boys."

BH: Why do you think your parents felt so strongly?

SF: Well, you know, you think about it, and you go over there and fight, you don't know what section they'll be. You'll be taken as, you could be taken as a Japanese, a Japan fighter. So that's one of the reasons that they said no.

BH: Do you think there were any other reasons that you were aware?

SF: The other reason is they put us into a camp, so why should he go fight for them?

BH: Now, after the "loyalty questionnaire," some families moved to other camps. What happened to your family?

SF: Well, when we found out that we have to, they're going to close Tule Lake, I think Dad requested that we go to Minidoka because his brother lived there, was there. So we moved to Minidoka.

BH: Do you remember how you got from Tule Lake to Minidoka?

SF: I never even thought of that. It must be by train.

BH: What were your first impressions when you got there?

SF: You know, another camp. It didn't look as organized. They moved us into the Washington group, so I made a lot of friends. You know, this whole camp thing didn't bother us, me, that much. One good thing about it for me, I made so many friends from all over, so after the war we'd come back, and we have some friends to go visit. So that's one good thing about it. The others, this is what they're gonna do, and so we just accepted it.

BH: Describe your barracks at Minidoka. Was it similar to Tule Lake?

SF: It wasn't as crude... well, not crude. It wasn't, in Minidoka it was a little more refined or added. In Tule Lake it was just the barracks just put together real fast.

BH: What was the food like?

SF: The food, where?

BH: Either one.

SF: I can remember at Tule Lake, we all go to the mess hall, and you don't have to sit with your folks, you can sit wherever. And I was sitting with my neighbor lady from Brooks, and we had fish that day. And we were all eating, and my neighbor lady would be eating her fish, and all of a sudden, inside the fish, maggots. [Laughs] And that cured me. I didn't eat fish for a long time. There's a lot of things I stopped eating after I went to camp. I stopped eating sashimi for a while, I stopped drinking milk. And I don't know, maybe outside of camp, maybe everyone else didn't have milk, they had that powdered milk. That, I don't know.

BH: Now, your dad was a warden at Tule Lake. Did he have a job at Minidoka?

SF: Minidoka, I don't know.

BH: As a warden, what were his responsibilities?

SF: I really don't know what his responsibility was. I just remembered them saying that he got a little bit more pay. [Laughs]

BH: So was he, do you know if he was a warden over a certain area or people or anything like that?

SF: No, that I don't know.

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