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Asako Tokuno: Eviction
With her pregnant sister-in-law due later in the month, Tokuno received eviction notice in August of 1945.
Interview outtakes from THE WAR:
"said that we had to leave because his son was coming home from the Pacific. His son had been injured, and he didn't want any Japs in his his apartment building. And so she gave us notice. And I said, 'But my sister-in-law is pregnant. She's expecting in August, end of August.' You know, he was adamant. And so we looked in the papers, and St. Paul was just, there was no place to be rented. There was ... we went after ad after ad looking at places. They were just little, you know, places not really livable, I, to me. We, we, my sister-in-law and I both went to check them out. She was pregnant, and it was such a chore, so finally I said, 'You know what. I'm going to go over and talk to this...this fellow.' Well, first of all, I went in the front. And his wife, it was a Sunday, and it was a beautiful day. And his wife and her friends were sitting in the front. I said, 'I'd like to talk to Mr. Lauer.' 'Mr. Lauer is in the back. He's watering.' And so I walked to the back of the garden, and he wouldn't turn off the hose at first. He saw who I was. And he, on top of that, he was very hard of hearing. So I said, 'Mr. Lauer. I need to talk to you.' And I told him, I said, 'You know, my husband is in the ... Pacific. He is with the military intelligence.' I said, 'He's fighting side by side with wh...your son and others like your son.' And I said, 'I'm sorry that he was injured, but you just have to understand that we're on the same side, and my husband'... you know. I made this plea. And Hey, you know, a couple of times he wanted, you know, he couldn't hear. And then finally he turned off his hose. And he listened. And didn't say yes, no or anything. He didn't comment. And so I went away thinking, 'Well, I tried my best.' And I left, and um didn't hear anything after... We just, we were able to stay. You know. So I thought, 'Well, it must have worked.' "