Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Min Tonai Interview I
Narrator: Min Tonai
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: September 2, 2010
Densho ID: denshovh-tmin-01-0024

MT: What happened is that the guards then, then the edict came down because now what happened is every has hot plates and so forth and cooking there that it was shorting the lines, the fuse box, and so people were buying, first they were requisitioning and they were using so much of it that they had a hard time getting it, so and each room had a bulb and wouldn't have any bulb, or if you had a hot plate you can't operate. So they would now, you didn't know this, but they were shorted out by putting a penny in there and then putting the screw back, the fuse back in. And that was dangerous because you could burn down. So the edict came down saying they're gonna confiscate all the hot plates and they're gonna confiscate the food, and then decided they will also confiscate any knives over x number of inches, four inches, whatever it was, and any scissors over that. Well, normal sewing scissors are over that, so now they're gonna take all the sewing scissors away and everything else away and they're gonna take all the food away. And people were pretty upset about it. Well, initially they would search with people in there, then some of the guards took advantage of the situation and would kick people out of the room. They would search for money. They're slashing mattresses, going through, dumping all the, all the drawers or suitcase, whatever they have, looking for money.


TI: And so what was the aftermath? After all this happened, how did things change?

MT: There was basically a lockdown, initially kind of a thing, you couldn't do a lot of things. And then things kind of quieted down right away. They were fairly, the people were fairly, or not the people they thought were spying on them and reporting things. They did not, aside from the civilian guards, they did not challenge the MPs at all. Nobody challenged the MPs. The quarrel was with the administration, not with the MPs.

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