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Living conditions at Crystal City, Texas

We went to Japanese school after American school, and then we went to Japanese school all day Saturday and then we went to church on Sunday so there was school every day [Laughs] in one form or another. Lots of activities for kids that were programmed and it seemed like everybody was involved. My friend's father was what they call the police. He used to after sundown, I think nine o'clock, he used to make sure all the young people were in their homes, or something, keep the delinquency down. [Laughs] I don't know what the role of the police was. My father was a butcher.

Everybody kind of seemed to—just I don't know. From my perspective and from what I read and from my sisters and from the tone, it was just a healthier, much healthier place. We were incarcerated. There was no doubt about that and the bitterness of the incarceration was there, but they were able to circumvent it somehow and live a pretty decent, closest to a community family life that was impossible in Minidoka.


Crystal City internment camp Department of Justice camps imprisonment incarceration Texas United States World War II World War II camps

Date: May 27, 1998

Location: Washington, US

Interviewer: Lori Hoshino

Contributed by: Denshō: The Japanese American Legacy Project.

Interviewee Bio

Nisei female. Born February 1937 in Seattle, Washington. Spent prewar childhood in Seattle. Incarcerated at Puyallup Assembly Center, Washington; Minidoka incarceration camp, Idaho; and Crystal City internment camp, Texas. In postwar years, became a teacher, principal, and multicultural specialist for Washington State's Superintendent of the Office of Public Instruction. Developed and directed the Japanese American Cultural Heritage Program and the Rainbow Program, one of the first multiethnic educational programs in the country. She passed away on April 4, 2021 at age 84. (July 2021)

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