Henry Gary Shiota oral history interview, part 2 of 6, January 31, 1999


Dublin Core


On the day of the evacuation, Henry Gary Shiota recalls the check-in process by the JACL and going to Stockton Assembly Center. At the Assembly Center, the Japanese Americans are assigned Barrack numbers and given medical shots.

There are four members in Gary's family since his mother remarries. Gary describes the barrack structure and living conditions. Gary says it is easy to make friends at camp but going to different mess halls to eat. The structure of the mess halls at the assembly center changes the family dynamic doing meal times. Before camp, Japanese American families would eat together. Now the children look for their peers to eat with them. In addition, the parents are finding jobs in camp to earn extra money.

After a few months at Stockton Assembly Center, Gary and his family go to Rohwer, AK. The trip takes four days, and there are no showers amenities. In Rohwer, there are approximately 9,500 Japanese Americans. Gary says they arrive at Rohwer in October and the Issei parents organize a schooling system for the children.

Gary is a junior in high school, and there are approximately 170 students. He meets different peers from Washington and various parts of California. Before the war, Gary recalls his mother telling him that he is born and raised in the United States. America is his homeland. His mother also instills in him the attitude of shikata ga nai and do not make waves.






Shiota, Henry Gary: narrator, Kawata, Ian: interviewer, and Go For Broke National Education Center: publisher, “Henry Gary Shiota oral history interview, part 2 of 6, January 31, 1999,” Japanese American Military History Collective, accessed May 21, 2024, https://ndajams.omeka.net/items/show/1058024.