Building 640 at the Presidio in San Francisco

Building 640 at the Presidio in San Francisco
Information Source for the Military Intelligence Service Historic Learning Center

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Students Share Their Experience at NJAHS: Eiko’s Story

I have just finished transcribing Eiko's interview where she talks about her life before the war, in the internment camps and her life after the war. Eiko didn't have much of a childhood, her mother was a hypochondriac and so she had to raise her two younger brothers. She completed high school while interned in Tule Lake and was part of their first graduating class. Her family was then moved to camp Jerome in Arkansas, after the no, no questionnaire. A few months later Eiko's family was moved again to Gila, Arizona. She had a job in all three camps, working as a trey girl in the camp hospital and as a dish washer to help support her family. Because Eiko had a job and took care of her brothers she didn't have much of a social life within the camps.
Once they were released her family moved to Los Angeles to be closer to her fathers brother. She then worked as a housekeeper for a Jewish family and gave most of her earnings to her family. Eiko was introduced to her husband through her friend's brother and were engaged about three months later. Eiko and her husband Jimmy have four kids and have been married sixty-two years. Jimmy was also interned at Tule Lake and they both have attended several pilgrimages to the camp.
I really enjoyed transcribing Eiko's story, I've learned a lot from her experience and have a better understanding of what it was like for her and many others that endured the internment camps.

-Sophia Salazar

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