Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community

Help from nurse from Winslow clinic, restart farm – Michi Noritake (OH0011)


We had a nurse that, a couple houses north of us, she was a wonderful nurse at Winslow Clinic, and we became friends. She helped us a lot, by finding someone that, reliable person to come and help us fix the windows or broken doors or whatever that needed fixing, she used to let us have him come and help us, his name was Mr. Leighman, and the nurse was Sally Alderman. And to they were very good about looking after us, she especially was helpful.

And our neighbors were all willing, happy that we came back. That time we came home it was September, and it was, it was dry summer, they said, and on, the strawberries are all wilted. The dirt, the soil was just like sand, just really, oh, it was sad. Everything was wilted, I remember. And we had to start all over again, and I still wonder how did we ever, you know, with Mom and Dad, how did we ever get going, I always wonder. But we did. We had a horse, but I don’t know what happened to the horse. So really, you know, we had to start all over again. And we had this nice field that we cleared, Grandpa cleared and — I always call him “Grandpa” but it’s my dad. [Laughs] And he cleared, and then we had beautiful strawberries. We worked hard on it again, and I sometimes wonder how did we ever get started, get going? But we did.

Video Interview — February 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.

Michi Noritake

Michiko Amatatsu Noritake was 22 years old at the time of evacuation. She is the second youngest of four sisters. Michi was fired from her job right after Pearl Harbor. Before evacuation, the FBI took her father and he was eventually sent to a Department of Justice Internment Camp. At the end of the war, as the Amatatsus were preparing to return home, Michi was in Twin Falls and she ran into her father who had been released from internment camp and was coming to re–unite with his family. Michi sometimes refers to her father as "grandpa." She also calls New Mexico, "Mexico."