Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community

Living off the land – Hisa Matsudaira (OH0047)


You know we had indoor plumbing and which many houses at that time, people did not have at that time. Life there was like life for almost everyone on the island. Almost everyone on the island were living, like, from hand to mouth. Everyone had to find their own food more or less and grow their own food, and hunt.

Our uncles would go hunting for pheasant and deer and quail. My father would and we would go fishing and clamming and getting octopus and seaweed and gathering things from the sea as well as going into the woods to get mushrooms and ferns and, and different things along side of having chickens and growing our own vegetables and things.

We had a horse to feed. That would be helpful with the plowing and things like that. Yeah, so it was pretty much the same as everyone else on the island. People didn’t mind if you went on their beach to gather clams, dig clams, or whatever. Everyone on the island kind of shared. There were no really rich people on the island. Everyone kind of just got along well, I think partly because of that. Because they knew that everyone else was working hard to make a go of it.

Video Interview — April, 2007

Hisa Matsudaira

Hisa Hayashida Matsudaira was six years old, in kindergarten, when her family was evacuated. She is the second oldest of five children. Her father was interned in a US Department of Justice camp in Missoula, Montana when they evacuated.