Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community

Manzanar snakes – Sally Kitano (OH0076)


We didn’t have any snakes come up through the boards but, some of the neighbors had snakes coming up through the floor boards, because the floorboards were about [motioning with fingers] that far and some small ones were… But we did see… that’s the first time I ever saw these huge king snakes. I never ran into a rattlesnake. But I was told there were scorpions, so we were told to be very, very careful. I used to see dead scorpions but I never saw a live scorpion ’cause I didn’t go play where they were, where they were.

I guess one of the things they did after we got to camp course I saw the building and we walked in and here were eight two by fours going across on the ceiling, and then I saw one light, and a bunch of windows, and of course, the wind when it would come up the dust would come right up into our house. So everything was just coated with dust. And that I didn’t like. Of course, there were seven of us so we had seven cots in the place. My sisters all divided up the place, for a place to sleep and a living area. That’s kinda hard when you have seven people living and sleeping in one room together.

Video Interveiw — February, 2006

Sally Kitano

Shimako "Sally" Nishimori Kitano was 9 years old, in the fourth grade, when she was evacuated. She was the youngest of five children. The Nishimori family did not move to Minidoka with most of the Bainbridge Island Japanese. They stayed in Manzanar.