Educators Smithsonian Education
Letters from Japanese American Internment
Louise Ogawa
Margaret Ishino - Fusa Tsumagari - Louise Ogawa - Tetsuzo Hirasaki

Sept. 27, 1942

Thank you Miss Breed, for asking questions because it has helped me a lot — for then I know this letter has something of interest to you. Now to answer them — yes, we do have chairs and tables. Father made them out of scraps of wood which we found here and there. They may not be the best but they are substantial. We also have pillows which we brought from San Diego. But we do not have mattresses. We use some of our blankets as mattresses. In Santa Anita we were issued a spring bed and mattress, but here we were just issued a cot. Many people who are skilled are making beds. They say a wooden bed is much better for your posture. The cot sinks down in the middle while the wooden bed stays straight.

The movies are just grand. We see one every Saturday evening. It is shown outdoors. The screen is placed right in front of the oil tank and we sit (bring our own chairs) or stand and enjoy the movie.

The police and the post office and fire dept. is run by Japanese Americans. As yet I have not seen any persons connected with the army. There are no fence around this camp as there was in Santa Anita.

School has not begun yet and I do not know who the teachers are. But I shall write more fully about it after school begins. Yesterday we saw how a teacher's room is going to be furnished. There was a nice bed with a spring and mattress, nice Spanish style bedroom set, a soft chairs, lamps and linoleum on the floor. I was almost tempted to sit on the soft chair, sit before the large dresser and lay on the bed.

I received a letter from a friend who is now in Lamas, Colorado. During the days they were on the train, they had — fried eggs for breakfast — fried chicken, fried turkey, cookies, cakes, and canned fruits. When I read about this, my mouth watered and I certainly envied them. If I can only eat fried eggs and fried chicken just once more — maybe, as the saying goes, if I am a nice girl my wish will soon be granted.

The food here is grand. Every Sunday morning we have 2 pancakes, 1 boiled egg, cocoa. I think that's a grand breakfast. This evening meal was the best we ever had here 1 piece of steak, 1/2 sweet potato, lettuce, rice, veg. salad and catup. If you are interested I shall keep the menu for one week and inform you of it.

Most sincerely,

Louise Ogawa

Louise Ogawa photo

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