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-01-0009

<Begin Segment 9>

BH: So in Tule Lake you were involved with softball and tap dancing and flower arranging. What about in Minidoka?

SF: Well, Minidoka we went ice skating. They would freeze the pond, so we went ice skating. And I can remember in Minidoka it was also summertime, there was a, they call it the swimming hole, and I wasn't too good of a swimmer at that time. But I can remember some kid had a garden snake, he was ready to throw it in the water. Boy, I sure learned to swim real fast. [Laughs] I swam across. The other activity, oh, we go to dances a lot, in the mess hall.

BH: Who'd you hang around with?

SF: Well, in Minidoka, there were a lot of gals my age, and so we kind of hung around together. There were about seven of us gals, and we would all give each other a nickname. I saw them after the war for a bit, and after that I kind of lost track.

BH: Do you remember their names or their nicknames?

SF: No, I don't remember all of them, so I won't say.

BH: What were the winters like in Minidoka?

SF: Winters in Minidoka? We had snow. It was cold, but that's... I don't know, that's about it. I could remember the movies that we went to. Something like every Friday night we would have, they would show movies. We didn't care what kind of movies. Each of us would buy our little bag of pine nuts, and we would go see the movie and eat our pine nuts at the theater if you want to call it theater. And after the show we stood up and you can crunch, crunch all over. [Laughs]

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

SF: Yeah. Only thing that they were... at first I thought, well, they're afraid that we may help the Japan people somehow or the other. Because like a long time ago, before the war, we used to, all the foils, we used to roll it up in balls and we would send it to Japan.


BH: Tell me more about aluminum foil.

SF: Oh, well, since we were young, you know, the candy foil wrappers, we would save 'em and roll it into a ball. And after the ball gets so big, then I guess Mom sent it to Japan.

BH: You were talking about why people, or what people thought about being in camp. Did anybody ever talk about it, being in camp?

SF: You mean when we were in camp?

BH: Yeah.

SF: No, we didn't talk about when we were in camp.

BH: Why do you think that was?

SF: Well, I think here again, this is what they did, and so we have to live the life. We had to go on living.

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