Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community

Andrews’ home in Twin Falls – Brooks Andrews (OH0057)


That second house became the real center of the ministry among the internees there that were in Minidoka, because it became a hostel. It was a place… we had, I remember two young men who lived in the camp would stay with us during the week, in town because they were able to secure a pass because they had some sort of job in Twin Falls. And so they stayed with us during the week. One of the men’s names was Jack Kudo, and I can’t remember the other name now. But they were able to stay in town at our house, do their job, come home. And then on the weekends they would go back into the camp to their, to their families. And I remember in my dad’s writing he said that at that particular house we had as many as one hundred sixty–seven people each month coming and going through our house there. And some of those people were, besides having maybe a job in town, some of them were young men who were transitioning into the army to fight with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

Others were maybe able to secure a pass or the okay to move out of the area to an area out of the exclusion zone on the West Coast. So we had people coming and going all the time. But to me it was, well, this is business as usual. It’s nothing… it’s hard to explain and get across to people unless they’ve lived it, and lived in the environment in which I was brought up in. It’s hard to understand how natural it was for, for the events that we had coming and going in our house, to happen. Because we were involved in ministry and this was part of what God had called us to do. So it got to be quite a circus at times, but we always had a great time. I remember we had, we had weddings there, of, usually it was a young soldier who was going into the service and he got married before he went in the service.

And we would have… Dad oftentimes would go into camp for maybe a funeral service or sometimes a marriage there. And then the local First Baptist Church in Twin Falls was where we were able to secure the okay to do baptisms there. And the strange thing about this was that for us, for my dad, being that it was an American Baptist church, in Twin Falls, the Japanese Baptist Church in Seattle is an American Baptist church denomination. But we had to get the okay from the leaders of the First Baptist Church in Twin Falls to do baptisms there. And, which I thought was odd. You’d think, okay, this is a sister church, these are people who are being born into the faith, why do we have to go through this paperwork, to get that okay?

Video Interview — October 2006
To see this interview in its entirety, go to the Densho website archives. You will have to register to be allowed access to their archives. Once in the archive, visit the Visual History Collections: Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community Collection.

Brooks Andrews

Brooks Andrews is the son of Reverend Emery Andrews of the Seattle Japanese Baptist Church. At the time of World War II, Brooks was four years old. Before the war Rev. Andrews and his family would frequently travel to Bainbridge Island for a joint service with Reverend Hirakawa, of the Lighthouse Baptist Church on Bainbridge Island, and also for Sunday picnics and outings. During the war, with all the Japanese Americans gone, Rev. Andrews moved his family to Twin Falls, Idaho to continue to minister to his congregation. Brooks grew up playing with children from the Japanese American community.