Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community

Mother crying – Hisa Matsudaira (OH0048)


I don’t even remember the day that the FBI came for my father. He, he is an issei and they have dynamite and they had rifles and shotguns and we had a radio, but it was just a receiver set like a Philco big console radio type of stuff in it. It had a short wave band on it. But we could only receive and not send. Those were the things were contraband, what they called contraband to us, or to the government. Whereas other families that lived on the island had the same things but it was not contraband for them. It was just normal everyday stuff that they had to make a living or, or to survive.

Anyway, my father was taken away. This was in March. I remember a letter he had written to my mother. She was standing outside reading this letter by the woodbox and she was crying. I had never seen her cry before. So I thought… so I asked her, “What’s the matter?” And she said, “Oh, nothing.” She said, “I’m just happy to hear from him.” That was the extent of my knowing what my, that my father was away.

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.