Hogan, Hannah (11/16/2017)

Japanese American Service Committee Legacy Center


Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Search this Transcript

[NOTE: This transcript has not undergone a final proofreading and may contain errors. It is being provided in draft form to enhance access to the video recording. As soon as possible, it will be replaced with a final, corrected transcript and will be synced to the video to provide clickable timecodes.]

KeilynKuramitsu: 00:00:00 You are Hannah Hogan?

Hannah Hogan: 00:00:02 Yes.

KK: 00:00:04 Where were you born and raised?

HH: 00:00:06 In Denver, Colorado.

KK: 00:00:10 What was it like growing up in Denver, Colorado?

HH: 00:00:12 Oh, it was so much fun. I remember playing in the alley. And last May, my daughter and her husband and two grandsons, we took a trip to Amache with a pilgrimage. So we stopped in Denver. I wanted to see this spot where my parents who proprietors of Togo Laundry and Grocery Store. So I wanted to see where they, where their property was. It was at 20th and Larmor and it's today the Tri-state/Denver Buddhist Temple. And that neighborhood was as I just remember, Japanese American community was there. And around the corner was my friend. In fact, she was my first friend Mary Ariki and her father owned a Togo factory there,

KK: 00:01:21 Can you tell me about your parents?

HH: 00:01:23 Well, my father and mother both are from Ishikawa-ken, that's on the Sea of Japan. He came very early. I think it was 19, oh 1895. And my mother in 1907. They were married in San Francisco. So he worked as a bank clerk, I heard. And then they used to call them "school boys." And one story I remember, he said he was in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, so that was interesting. And interesting enough, in 1933 in Los Angeles, I was, I remember the 1933 earthquake. So that, all the schools were because of faulty construction, they really were damaged. So we lived in tents for about a year, I think. I mean, we went to school in tents. But anyway, it was interesting that my father had experienced an earthquake and I had also. My mother, of course, she worked at the laundry and, and worked relentlessly, really so hard, and never complained. And, and you know, she was only in her late twenties or -- to own a grocery store and a laundry -- I thought it was very remarkable. Yeah.

KK: 00:03:08 What brought your parents to the United States from Japan?

HH: 00:03:13 I really don't know what. I just know she was an only child and, oh, she came with some relatives who were in San Francisco and they had an art studio or what do you call it? Japanese ceramics that they sold. And that's the only reason why, and then, of course, to marry my father. I don't know whether she's a picture bride or what, but anyway.

KK: 00:03:51 Do you know how they met? How your parents met?

HH: 00:03:54 No, I don't know how they met, but they were from the same "ken," you know, in Japan. And they were probably knew, families knew each other, right. Uh hm.

KK: 00:04:07 And how do they make their way from San Francisco all the way to Denver.

HH: 00:04:12 Probably on a train. I don't know.

KK: 00:04:19 I mean like what brought them--

HH: 00:04:20 'Cause I was born there. I was born in, in Denver. Only my oldest sister, she was born in San Francisco and then I really don't know. You know, why they went to Denver? Yeah.

KK: 00:04:36 So in Denver, did your mom, for example, own a laundry facility there?

HH: 00:04:42 No, I don't know how they happened to open up a laundry and a grocery store. That was interesting to see. And, of course, they knew no, any English so, and I'm sure they didn't know anything about laundries or grocery stores. But the one, the two people I remember was the Chinese young man who worked the ironing and he still had a pigtail, you know. And, and I don't know what you call do, you know, what' you call those caps? And he had a dress. I don't, they don't call it a dress, a gown. And then there was a African American lady, she was, she's the one who pressed the clothes. So that was interesting.

KK: 00:05:35 Yeah. I think you talk about how growing up in Denver. Was it a very diverse community there?

HH: 00:05:45 Well, just, that's all I remember. We just were with the Japanese Americans. There was down the street, there was one girl I think I used to play with and she Caucasian. But my friends were at the church and I have a picture of the Sunday school, and it's all Japanese. So I think that community was very tight at that time. And I know our doctors were all Japanese -- dentist and one of my sister's piano teachers, she was Japanese. So I think they probably stayed together.

KK: 00:06:33 Okay. Do you have any, what are some of your fondest childhood memories of that time?

HH: 00:06:41 Well, one thing, and I was only about four years old and I sang at the Tabernacle, there's a Denver Tabernacle and I think it was a Christmas program. And, oh, I can't even believe that I was up there on the stage singing at the, and that, that was, that was, and I guess it's just, 'cause nobody else was really musical. So, and I did keep that particular interest the rest of my life. So, but I forgot the last words of the song and that, that's, I think that's what I remember that I hadn't been able to finish the song.

KK: 00:07:34 You were four years old?

HH: 00:07:37 I was four or five. I think so.

KK: 00:07:41 What was the song?

HH: 00:07:41 Well, it was about, I can't sing it now, but I can tell you the words. It was, "when my mom was busy, all the long, long day, then I'll take my dolly Little Anna May. And I'll tell her stories of the Christ child dear." And then I think it was, "just like my mommy sang to me all year." I don't know. My daughter was trying to look it up on Google, but we couldn't find it. [laughs]

KK: 00:08:12 You have a great memory. My goodness. That's from when you were four?

HH: 00:08:16 Four or five. I think I was, yeah. But I can just see myself on the stage of this tabernacle and we forgot to look for that particular institution when we were in Denver.

KK: 00:08:35 Did you have any siblings?

HH: 00:08:39 I had an older sister I mentioned was born in San Francisco and that was in 1910. And then I had a sister Rose who was born in Denver when we first moved to Denver in 19 must've been 1912 or what. And then I, then there were a big span between my oldest sister and then I, and then I have a younger sister, Esther, and then a brother Daniel. He's no longer with us. And Ben is the youngest. So there were six, six of us. Three are still alive.

KK: 00:09:19 What was it like having sisters who were so much older than yourself?

HH: 00:09:26 Well, my sister actually because my mother was so busy, Rose was more like a mother 'cause she really took over and she was like 10 years older. But she really, like I say, was in charge of our household activities and taking care of us, you know, and all the other chores that we had to do.

KK: 00:09:54 Were you close with your siblings?

HH: 00:09:56 Yes. Yes. We were all very close. Right.

KK: 00:09:58 Close knit family?

HH: 00:10:01 Yes. Right.

KK: 00:10:03 And then how about your parents? What was your relationship like with your parents?

HH: 00:10:08 Well, my father was always working, so I just, the only thing that I remember, he just said, "be American" and "benkyo shite." Do you know what that is?

KK: 00:10:24 "Study hard."

HH: 00:10:26 Right. So those are the two things I remember that he just said to "be American." And then the one thing he always put out the American flag, every holiday. And where did he get that idea? It's, it's really interesting again. Yeah.

KK: 00:10:50 Growing up, were you aware of having a Japanese American identity?

HH: 00:10:57 No, not really. No. It's when we lived in, we lived in Denver and it was all Japanese, but you know, I was a preschooler and, and I didn't, we didn't even think about anything like that. And then when we went to Los Angeles, we lived in an African American neighborhood and now I know that it was because of restrictied covenants. But we were, as I mentioned, our next door neighbor, she was African American. Her name was Norma Smith. And she really was such a significant, had a significant impact on our lives because she taught my sisters how to cook southern cuisine and play bridge. And she taught me how to iron a man's shirt and planting the garden. And then, of course, her home was just velvet drapes and curtains. I'd never seen, you know, lovely curtains and furniture, and appliances, and a washing machine. We didn't even have a bath tub or whatever when we lived in Denver 'cause we lived behind the store. So I think we were just in one of these wooden tubs or whatever. But anyway, she was just such a good friend. And there was, I had many, many African American friends and we all, there was, there was no racial discrimination in terms of, you know, play mates or whatever in our, and like I say, all our neighbors and my sisters, they're good friends were African Americans. And then we lived in, at the corner was our church, the Methodist, Centenary Methodist church was down the street. So like I say, most of the community was, it's just when we went to school, that's when we met our Caucasian friends and they were all fine.

KK: 00:13:13 So you can't remember facing discrimination growing up?

HH: 00:13:17 No, not not growing up. As you know, before, before the war, of course, after when Pearl Harbor came, then I thought, "What's going on?" Right.

KK: 00:13:30 So Pearl Harbor happened and did things change for you?

HH: 00:13:35 Yes, because of course, I didn't even know her Pearl Harbor was number one. And I had, wasn't interested in what was really going on. It's high school and we're having so much fun, you know, with all our friends. And I was in all kinds of organizations and, and my favorite subjects were in journalism for the newspaper. And then this school where I attended had a pipe organ and it was a technical school and that really was one of the main activities, you know, of my high school was with the junior organist skills and the poly optimists. Those--

KK: 00:14:31 So you're born in Denver. How old were you when your family moved to Los Angeles?

HH: 00:14:38 Let's see, it's 1920 just before the crash. 1929 was the crash. So I was, I was six, I think, when we went there. Yeah. Right.

KK: 00:14:54 So then you moved to Los Angeles and that's where you're living when Pearl Harbor happened in '41--

HH: 00:15:02 Yes.

KK: 00:15:03 And if you were born in '22 and Pearl Harbor is in '41. You were 19?

HH: 00:15:09 Yeah, I think so. Right.

KK: 00:15:11 Were you in school at the time? What were you doing?

HH: 00:15:16 Yeah, I was at Los Angeles Junior College. I was a business major at the time. And junior college really was one of my eventful educational experiences mainly because professor of English, he was the chairman of the department, he would invite the Nisei on these camping trips. And that's when, when I, I mentioned Mount Whitney, when I was able to climb up Whitney. I can't believe it.

KK: 00:15:57 Can you tell me more about that?

HH: 00:15:59 Well, it was August 28, 1941. In fact, Eric is the one who said, why don't you look it up and find out? Because I wanted to see if there was really a document. And so I called this Professor Richardson's son and his, his wife and she went to the library at Berkeley and she found the original, the um, see what, Sierra Club book that we signed our names in. And so she sent, she sent it through the email. So I saw my name on there and the date. That's how I knew the dates specifically and it, and he did write a book about it. And I just remember one thing, when we got, coming back and we got to camp, his wife didn't go, she was in the camp below and I ate ten pancakes. That's all. I haven't eaten 10, I can't even eat one pancake today. But anyway, it was a wonderful experience.

KK: 00:17:09 So what organization did you go with?

HH: 00:17:12 Well, he called it, actually, he had a group called the Jabberwocky, which was just from Alice in Wonderland. And it was mainly for reading and enjoyment. But then he noticed that the Nisei were all kind of segregated on their own. And he was, he was concerned that, I guess, he knew what was going on because there was, the war was in Europe. And he was kind of concerned, they wanted us to broaden our, our relationships with other people. And so he did start the student Nisei Club and that that's, and so he would, we would have fun, but he would always have all these books that introduced us to what was going on in the world. And before that, I didn't pay any attention to that. So that's how I, he had us stimulation, you know, to go beyond our Little Tokyo world or whatever.

KK: 00:18:26 So you did Whitney on August 28, 1941?

HH: 00:18:28 Right. Yes

KK: 00:18:32 And then you're studying business in a junior college. Do you remember the name of your the junior college?

HH: 00:18:38 it was Los Angeles Junior College.

HH: 00:18:43 Los Angeles Junior College. OK. And you're there when Pearl Harbor happened on December 7th.

HH: 00:18:47 Right. Right.

KK: 00:18:48 Were you in your first year? Were you a freshman?

HH: 00:18:50 Second year. I was to graduate in January, I think,.

KK: 00:18:53 Oh, wow.

HH: 00:18:54 So I didn't. And I did receive, they did send me a graduation diploma. It don't, not just recently, but maybe about five years ago I did get a, they sent me a diploma.

KK: 00:19:10 Finally.

HH: 00:19:11 Yes, [laughs] right.

KK: 00:19:13 So what happened, like how did things change for you after Pearl Harbor as a Japanese American woman living in Los Angeles?

HH: 00:19:26 Well, I have to, right. Immediately I had to leave, leave the school because they froze, oh, they froze all our parents bank account. So to help with the financial situation, then I was able to get a job with the Department of Motor Vehicles doing typing license plates. License, um, well, what do you, what do you call it today?

KK: 00:20:09 Is it registration?

HH: 00:20:10 You know, your, your, um, your license. I don't know what you call it today.

KK: 00:20:30 You said, yeah, you heard that clerk typist at the State Department of Motor Vehicles.

HH: 00:20:39 Right, yeah.

KK: 00:20:39 When did you start working there? I'm sorry, I'll give you a second.

HH: 00:20:48 Oh, right after Pearl Harbor, I think. I, I, withdrew from, from my classes. So then I was there until April, April of '42, and then I was fired. And that was kind of a shock.

KK: 00:21:12 So, why, how did they tell you you were fired and what was their reason?

HH: 00:21:17 Oh, this nice young lady came around and gave us a pink slip and just said, "You're fired." And that's all I remember until years later, I received all these letters from a, Patrick Johnson who was an assemblyman in the legislature of California and he wished to pass, introduce a bill, I think. I think, I remember it was Assembly Bill 1710, and that would promote a compensation for illegally firing of Japanese Americans. There was about 300, I think altogether and it took a long time for them to get through, but I'm really thankful for his association with that project. Yeah.

KK: 00:22:28 Was there a huge outcry when you had all of these people just fired and did people challenge anything?

HH: 00:22:36 I don't remember anything. I just remember we were fired and that was it. And of course we went to, about three weeks later we had to go to Santa Anita. So everything was kind of a shock, I think, you know, it happened so fast and we just have to accept it. What else was there? I wasn't like Fred Korematsu who, you know, he was so brave to go ahead and do what he did.

KK: 00:23:10 So the forced removal for your family, that was in April of 1942?

HH: 00:23:16 Yes.

KK: 00:23:19 Did you, was it unexpected or had you heard of other Japanese American families being removed from other areas?

HH: 00:23:26 Well, December 7th, the minister, Japanese, and our Japanese school teacher and he was a minister and his wife, the FBI came. They lived right in front of, the house in front of us and they came and just hauled them away. I didn't know where they were going. And my sister Rose was close to Edmond. He contacted her and said, "Oh, , please bring me my shoes and please go look in my desk drawer and bring me so much money and bring me the slippers for my wife." And so it was very sad. And then we had telephone calls, different neighbors being picked up and they were mainly people who were like, the one fellow was just the treasurer of the, of the church there. And so it was very, very anxiety, an anxiety period at the time. Right.

KK: 00:24:36 So how did your siblings and your parents react? Were they terrified at maybe being picked out?

HH: 00:24:44 Oh my father was, you know, he's a, so he, I remember he packed a little suitcase and had it by the door and then I said they're not going to pick you up, 'cause he, he was, he was a gardener. They picked up most all the people that are like, one of my friends, her father was head of an insurance company and they took him and the people that worked in the, all the, what'd they call it. And in Japanese Town in the fruit market, they were, they were, so there are so many of the people that are, their fathers were taken. It was very, very sad.

KK: 00:25:31 How did you guys hear about the forced removal? Were there signs posted or how did you know--

HH: 00:25:39 We had that sign you have out there, that was on the telephone post to tell us where to go and when to go. And so we just had to get ready and pack. And so the only thing I remember is, which was important to me was, my sister had worked so hard and bought me this piano and that, I don't know where it went. But anyway, someone took that. But mostly I remembered this man coming down the street and trying to, you know, pick up whatever was out there. Some people had them on the lawn and they just went for like 50 cents or I dunno, a dollar. That it was really-- But everybody just, what could we do? You know, it was just such a frantic time.

KK: 00:26:38 How much time did your family have?

HH: 00:26:41 Well, we just had, well, February was when the 9066 bill, you know, what do they call it?

KK: 00:26:52 Executive Order

HH: 00:26:52 Executive Order 9066 and then we may, may, so we had three months. But one of my friends, she lived in Terminal Island, so they just had like 48 hours.

KK: 00:27:10 What was it like for you to have to leave your home and your life behind to face such an unknown future?

HH: 00:27:17 Well, you know, a lot of that is just sort of blurred and we just like in a daze and we have to go. So we just packed our clothes and whatever, like, well, we were just asked, we could just take one bag anyway, so. And then some of the things, our next door neighbor Mrs. Smith, she ,much of our, not, maybe furniture, too. She kept in her garage and I don't know where. My sister took care of much of that. But it, it was just a frenzied time. That's all I remember.

KK: 00:28:05 So you had a neighbor look after your belongings when you guys left?

HH: 00:28:09 The next door neighbor that I mentioned. Yes, she did.

KK: 00:28:13 Did, was your family able to somehow not be financially completely financially destitute because of this kind of chaos? They tried to sell everything, like were they able to maintain something of a profit?

HH: 00:28:33 No, not at all. We just had to go in to Santa Anita. That was the first place that we were asked to go. Yeah.

KK: 00:28:50 So Santa Anita is the race track--

HH: 00:28:53 in Arcadia, California.

KK: 00:28:58 What was Santa Anita like?

HH: 00:29:01 Well, they go racetrack and I didn't even hear of it. I didn't even know about racetracks then. But the horse stable, well, one of my friends, she lived in the horse stable but we were way at the end 'cause I think we were one of the last streets to, to go. And so we lived in "Y. It was like A-B-C-D.-E-F, so "Y" was at the end of the--. It might be like Colorado Boulevard. It's, are you familiar with Arcadia? Oh, you're not from the West Coast, okay. Right. But anyway, it's at the end, the end of the racetrack. That's where they put ius you know, barracks there. And the only thing, I just remember one, there was a riot and I'm not sure what it was. I think it was the,, someone just said, "Oh, there was a Korean, a spy." But I, I don't know but that was probably just rumor, whatever. But I think maybe they had the, you know, they were doing those nets -- camouflage nets, and I think they, they were striking for better food and hours, and whatever. But the only thing I remember is all of these soldiers coming through the, going up and down and taking our like knitting needles and knives.

HH: 00:30:54 Oh. And I did go through, I was doing a journal and someone said, "Oh, you better cross out all the names you have on there." So I remember going through that journal and just crossing out names of people that I, just day to day, whatever, what's going on. I was just making an account of it.

HH: 00:31:17 But the happy part was that I did work in the milk station with my friend Kiku Fukuyama. And we were milk station mates there and that was enjoyable part of it. And then, of course, the other thing was the food was terrible and people were always sick and I really was very sick from all of that. So whatever contamination from the, from the food, because I'm sure the water system wasn't the best of all because they just, they just built it, in what, a couple of months. Right there on the racetrack.

KK: 00:32:00 What kind of food were you eating?

HH: 00:32:05 I just don't remember. I just know it was bad. [laughs] It was awful. It's mostly starch. Oh, one thing I do remember, they thought because we were Japanese that we liked rice. Yeah, we do like rice, but they just gave us rice pudding. And it was just, they must've just made it with water and rice and a little bit, not sugar probably 'cause it was rationed and NOBODY ate it. I could remember it because we never, I never even was familiar with rice pudding, you know, so. But people would go to, the young kids would go to different, there are about six, mess halls and so they would, they would know what was the good one and go to the right one, you know, whatever. That, that I remember. And I guess maybe the quote "better cooks" were over there, whatever.

KK: 00:33:04 I'm wondering, how did you know what to pack? How did you decide what you wanted to bring with you?

HH: 00:33:09 I don't remember--what.

KK: 00:33:14 Do you remember if it was difficult for you at all? Trying to figure out what to bring? Was it an easy process? Difficult?

HH: 00:33:21 No, I really don't remember. I've marvel that we packed whatever in one bag. So I really don't remember what we took with us.

KK: 00:33:37 So after living in Santa Anita for a few months, you then went to Granada, Amache in Colorado, It's interesting that you were born there and lived there and then they send you back.

HH: 00:33:57 Right, right. Yes. [laughs] And of course this wasn't Denver. It was southeastern, southeastern Colorado, which was so cold. I think it was below zero during the winter and thunderstorms. And the sand was the worst. I had never seen sand. And it would blow and then the rain would come and it would plaster all the sand right on the windows and you couldn't see out. And that was really just so uncomfortable. Yeah.

KK: 00:34:34 So what were some of the worst aspects of living in camp there? Obviously the weather is terrible,

HH: 00:34:42 Right. But I think it was just the, the everyday, going to the-- Well the showers were all just all one, you know, without any partitions or whatever. Everybody would try to go at night, but then people, you know, 'cause they didn't want to go during the day to be seen, but then people were going at night and, you know, just sort of, I think I just kind of blocked all of that out. And my father did work cleaning the latrines though. That's all I remember. That that was his job.

KK: 00:35:24 Are there any other specific stories or descriptions you have about living at Amache?

HH: 00:35:31 Well, I think that there were two things that I'd never done before, of course. And one was I volunteered to be the secretary for the block manager. Of course, they're all Issei. And so somehow I translated the Japanese into English and I still do have the, that notebook that I wrote all the minutes in there. And then the other was I thought, well, I'd love to get a job. And there was an opening for a secretary in the home economics department. So I worked as a secretary there and the director was Mrs. Moore and she was just so lively and friendly and she really put a little bit more light in our lives really. And one of the things that every call that was so much fun was that when she somehow said, "Oh, you could go to Lamar and go to the theater to see "Gone with the Wind." Do you know "Gone with the Wind" with Clark Gable?

HH: 00:36:57 So when we went there in May, I wanted to see the theater and we did try and it's still there. Yeah, theater is there. And then she did, when I was going to leave the camp, she took me to the dry goods store there, too. She said chose any dress you'd like. So of course, of course I chose the most expensive one, which is like $25, which is a lot then, and I still can see it today. It was a two piece plaid real really, 'cause I didn't have any clothes, you know, decent enough to go to school. And then, um, oh yeah, those were the two things. I think that she really helped to me keep my, what is it, sense of depression, you know.

KK: 00:38:00 She helped with morale, maybe?

HH: 00:38:04 Right. Yes.

KK: 00:38:06 What was her connection to the camp? Was she the supervisor for the home economics department? Was she hired from the, by the military?

HH: 00:38:18 I don't know what that was.

KK: 00:38:18 Was she Japanese American?

HH: 00:38:22 No, I guess each state had its own director of the, of the center. And because the teachers were all from Colorado, you know, some of the Nisei were there, but then they had hired teachers from, who came to the, to the school. Yeah.

KK: 00:38:55 And then you, yourself, you worked as a teacher, right? For Shizu Fukuyama?

HH: 00:39:01 Oh, it's three nights a week. I would go over and she's just, lived two units down. And she wanted to keep in touch with her son and he was like, he was one of the first ones to volunteer for the Army service. So she didn't know how to type. So I taught her to type and then brush up on her English so she could send letters to, you know. And her daughter Fumi did write a book or put together all the letters that he sent her throughout his, when he was in Camp Savage. And then then he was in military MIS, but she was determined because she said, "I just have to keep in touch with my son" so she would, you know. And one of the letters, it's so interesting, she's to him, she had typed, you know, "A-S -D-F" and said here's my typing lesson. And she wrote, sent that letter to him and I, I have that.

KK: 00:40:20 So you, when did you leave camp?

HH: 00:40:26 I left in May '43 to attend school. That the American Friends Service Committee and the Japanese, no, the American Service Committee and the Nisei Student Relocation Council formed, monetary tuition scholarships so we could attend school. And primarily the schools that were affiliated with the churches accepted the Nisei, yeah.

HH: 00:41:01 So I was able to go to Kansas, Baker University, which is near Topeka. And again, everything was kind of isolated and my roommates were just, and their families were all so kind to me so I had no problems. Just the one thing when I was waiting on the um, the Goat the day, I don't know if it's a bus or train from Colorado to Kansas and I was sitting on the platform. And the lady sitting next to me and she just said, "Are you Indian?" I didn't know what she was talking about, but I guess there's a, there was a school in Lawrence, which was the all-Indian school for Indian children. And I didn't even think about segregation or anything at that time. And then there was a sign that said "Colored" and "White" and again I didn't know what that was. And it was an indication of the toilet facilities. And like I say, I don't remember which one I went into though. So that was my first experience of some kind of discrimination at the time.

KK: 00:42:28 Um, your father, you're studying in Kansas, you're studying sociology, economics, and things like that?

HH: 00:42:36 Sociology was what I, that was my, and, and home economics. I think those two. Right. And the thing is, when I was ready to graduate, that Mrs. Hedrick, the family that I had stayed with the first semester. "What are you going to do?" "I don't know. I guess I will be a social worker." "Oh, you can't." And you're going to have to have a Master's. So she said, why didn't you take education courses? So I stayed another semester so that I could take more courses to meet the educa-- certification requirement.

HH: 00:43:21 But, so in October, what happened to your father at the end of 1943?

HH: 00:43:30 Oh, let's see. I was only at school about a month and then he, he, he unfortunately, he had rectal cancer and he died in Amache. So I was, of course I went to the funeral, but I wasn't able to return any other time. That was the only time. That's the reason why I had to spend all my holidays for the two and a half years with families of my roommates. And of course everyone was really very supportive and I was very grateful that, that I had someplace to go because I couldn't go back to camp or to the internment center.

KK: 00:44:15 So in the two and a half year, did you see your mother or your sibllings at all?

HH: 00:44:20 No. No, I didn't get to see any of them.

KK: 00:44:24 Was it difficult for you?

HH: 00:44:26 Well, yes, but, you know, I was so busy because I was working full time and taking a whole load so I didn't really have time to worry about, I guess, just trying to get an education and pay for my schooling. But, but like I say, if it weren't for my roommates inviting me to their homes, you know, I probably would have really been quite depressed about it, you know.

KK: 00:45:01 How... Go ahead. Sorry I'm making you talk so much.

HH: 00:45:02 [Laughs and takes another drink of water.]

KK: 00:45:02 I'm curious about how your, I'm wondering how your father's death affected you and the rest of your family?

HH: 00:45:24 Well, you know, it's during the war and everything was just, we didn't know what was going to happen. And, of course, I had two older sisters who were, especially Rose, she really was like the head of the house and she really did a lot to help us keep going and it, it was hard for my mother, you know. Right.

KK: 00:46:00 We hear a lot of stories about the inadequate medical facilities that the camps had. Do you know if, if that had anything to do with your father's passing away?

HH: 00:46:16 Well, my sister worked. She was a medical secretary in Santa Anita and in Amache so she did know what was, probably had some inkling as to what was going on. She said that he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. That was the first, and so that might've been, you know, I'm sure there were many other people who, who did experience a similar kind of--

KK: 00:46:56 Can you remember anything else your sister might've mentioned to you about what the medical facilities there were like? What the environment was like to work in?

HH: 00:47:07 I just remember she really enjoyed it. I mean working with the with the doctors and she was able to continue that when we went to Chicago and she did. I think the experience in camp did help her to, for her secretarial, medical secretary position in Chicago at Saint Luke's Hospital. Then she, she was always very positive about the, there many, I just remember all the Nisei doctors that were there. She would talk about them.

KK: 00:47:54 How did your family end up in Chicago?

HH: 00:48:00 I think it was just jobs were announced, openings were quite available and so she did say, "Well, let's go to Chicago." And my other sister was married and she also went to Chicago and it was very, a welcoming city. There was a hostel here and housing, you know, opportunities for housing. And I think that was just, and we didn't have anything to go back to in LA because we didn't, we just rented, rented a house.

KK: 00:48:52 Did you ever keep in touch with, was it Mrs. Smith you neighbor who had kind of stored your belongings,

HH: 00:49:01 Right. Oh yes. She, she kept in touch with us all throughout the war and, and then we did receive some of our things that she had taken care of.

KK: 00:49:18 Okay. We're almost done. I'm so sorry this is going so long, but I believe your story is super fascinating. Um, did you reunite with your family in Chicago from Kansas?

HH: 00:49:30 Yes, I did. I didn't come until, I think it was January or February '46 and then I was really sick when I came and partly was from the contamination of the foods, I think from the, from the living conditions in the camp. So I did have a, so I was really very sick and tired, too, from working and taking courses so.

KK: 00:50:04 Okay. So even, you know, years after you left the camp, you were still, your health was still being effective because of the conditions?

HH: 00:50:13 Right. Yes.

KK: 00:50:18 Can you tell me about living in Chicago? We can end talking about your life in Chicago. So resettlement in the city. Um, yeah. What it like first coming here and trying to establish a home?

HH: 00:50:30 Well, mainly, housing was such a difficult, a difficult problem because it was still restrictive housing and we just lived in Woodlawn and the building where we lived and it was all the owners, whoever owned the building had cut them up into like three families. So we all shared one little old dinky, I don't know if you even call it a bathroom, I just couldn't see , uh, how. Bathtub and a toilet was just all dread (?) and no light. The light bulbs were just, you know just kind of dangling. And it was quite uncomfortable and that's where we had a, there was a fire and kids were playing with matches and we just had two rooms. So there was like five or six of us and just a kitchen and bedroom (unclear). And my mother had things stored under the bed. That's how much much of our things were burned in the fire. So that, that, that was very uncomfortable. But it took so long just to find decent, decent housing. That was the hardest thing. But jobs were very plentiful. So that was a plus.

KK: 00:52:05 What did you do once you came to Chicago?

HH: 00:52:11 I had to, continue education classes 'cause Chicago their certification was a little bit, I guess you'd call it, they required more classes than the Kansas certification. So I had to go to school and take some more classes, teachers college and then, then I was able to do a child care program at night at the Institute for Psychoanalysis. And finally I did, was able to teach in the City Colleges of Chicago training, training teachers for early childhood. But before that I worked at the University of Chicago Laboratory School. That was really a challenge and the director who was there, she really taught me more than I could get in books I think because it was very practical and the children were quite highly gifted children. I really enjoyed that experience the most.

KK: 00:53:26 May I ask how you met your husband?

HH: 00:53:29 He was a teacher in the same school that I was teaching. We were teaching in a special education school and he was fifth grade and I was in the kindergarten and that's where, yeah. But unfortunately he died very young, at the prime of his life, and so my, my children were just late teenagers and that was very hard.

KK: 00:53:58 Were you ever discriminated against for being with someone who wasn't Japanese American?

HH: 00:54:06 No, not really. His family was a good Irish Catholic family and there were so much, a big family. He had like eight brothers and sisters and then seven half brothers and sisters and everyone, really, family picnics and holidays. And he was a wonderful cook and a baker. So we really enjoyed our early, early lives living in, we lived in the South Side of Chicago at the time.

KK: 00:54:45 So if you were in public together as a family, did you ever experience--

HH: 00:54:51 No.

KK: 00:54:52 -- any maybe offensive comments?

HH: 00:54:56 No, I think we were lucky that we didn't.

KK: 00:55:00 That's good. Yeah, okay. So we really talked a lot. I'm going to ask maybe two more questions. I'm wondering what you think. Uh, sorry. Really quickly, you said that you felt like Chicago was a welcoming city. What made you think that or feel that way? What was it about the city that seemed welcoming to you?

HH: 00:55:33 Besides, just, I just mentioned that the housing was difficult, but I thought the people wherever we went, except just this one agency when I first applied, the man said, "I think you'd have better luck in Wisconsin." And that's the reason why I went and took additional courses. So I thought, well, I could, you know, be more prepared for teaching. Yeah. But in general, the whole city was, and the people that I met, wherever I work, everyone was very friendly and you know, there was no discrimination. I know maybe my friends have mentioned it, but I haven't, I didn't really experience any kind of racial epitaphs to me, maybe in the back they might, but, you know, not to my face or whatever.

KK: 00:56:27 Okay. Just two more questions. I'm wondering has, has the incarceration of Japanese Americans, has that affected you and, and, and if so, how has that, the legacy of the camps really manifested itself in your own life and also, perhaps, in your children's lives?

HH: 00:56:56 Well, I think one of the things that I remember, it's talking about Mr. Richardson, our teacher that he always said to read, read, read,; be aware, know what's going on in your community or know what's going on in the world. And then also the, the significance of whatever goes on. And so that's what I've tried to do. And I think that helped to give me a more, a positive feeling because I did have a lot of support. So I know all Americans aren't like whatever happened to us at that time. And I just feel that if you just remain bitter, it's not helpful in general. So I think that's probably what has kept me going because of the support that I had early, all my life.

KK: 00:57:55 Okay. Um, my last question is a positive one. Sorry, all of these the questions have been so sad. But, I'm wondering maybe what your hopes are for your grandchildren and their children's children and it just helps for future generations and what you want to see existing in this world. And also if you have any advice for people.

HH: 00:58:22 I would say that to remember their, the remarkable journey of their immigrant grandparents. That would be one thing. And as I mentioned before, to know what's, to know what's going on around, around you, and also to just remain positive and know that America is ultimately a place where fairness and justice remains. And I think that would be something that we need to, especially today, what's going on today. And then, oh, and lastly, to retain some kind of creative venture or hobby in your life, so that will last a lifetime and then you won't be bored and depressed.

KK: 00:59:39 You have a creative hobby.?

HH: 00:59:41 Yes, I, well, I've always, music has been, as I said, I started when I was like four or five and yes, music, music is something that I really appreciate so much. And then I do, right now I'm in the middle of scrapbooking. Are you familiar with Creative Memories? It's, it's, it's all, and I tried to and that I could incorporat so art activities, that keeps me really busy.

KK: 01:00:17 Great. Okay. Not to sell, stay busy. Is there anything that I didn't ask you that you wish I asked you or anything you want to mention that I didn't touch upon?

HH: 01:00:30 Oh, you know, I saw the pictures of when it was---the exhibition and they just reminded me when you were asking me about the school and summertime. I'd worked at Excelsior Springs, Missouri and, you have a picture of three fellows there that were, I said, "Oh my goodness. I know those guys." Yeah. So I was a, sold water. In those days. I don't know what it was like, a penny? And it's supposed to be really magic water that will help you to lose weight or keep your bones strong.

HH: 01:01:16 And the other was, I was a night clerk at the-- and I was supposed to use, what do you call it, the--They don't have that kind of system anymore. You had to plug in the, do you know what I'm talking about? The telephone system. A switched board, but you plug into the different rooms and I just remember forgetting to plug in this, supposed to wake this guy up and he came through that lobby. Oh, he was so mad and I just turned around and pretend like I even-- But anyway, that picture reminded me of that summer that I worked in Excelsior Springs and it was so hot and, but it was all Nisei. They had hired bus boys and I think they were elevator operators, those fellows. Right. So that was an interesting memory then.

KK: 01:02:22 So in between the school years, over the summers, would you work at different jobs?

HH: 01:02:28 Yes. Right. And one year I worked in Boston. It's "Fresh Air Camp" with the children from, let's see, I can't remember now, the name of the town. But anyway, it was called South Ethel ,and it was by the Goodwill Industries. And the lady that was, her father was head of Goodwill so we were counselors and I'd never been a counselor before. But anyway, that was an interesting job in Massachusetts. Yeah. That summer. And I think that's when I was able to go to the Boston Symphony, summer. It was, they were playing and Leonard Bernstein, he was just starting. He was only in his twenties, I think. And he, that was one of his first jobs, and I didn't know of course who he was. But today I said, "Oh, I heard Leonard Bernstein when he was just a kid." [laughs] That was really interesting.

KK: 01:03:43 Well it sounds like you've had just a lifetime of adventures. You've been through a lot. Is there anything else you wanted to add before we wrap up?

HH: 01:03:55 I think you covered the waterfront.

KK: 01:03:59 Sorry. I know we had to do a lot of work, a lot of talking. Okay. Well, I'm going to turn this off. Thank you,

HH: 01:04:04 Okay.