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Interview: Terry Janzen


Terry Janzen was born in Tokyo in 1930 to a Japanese mother and American father.

This album introduces the following 8 clips from her interview on August 27, 2012 followed by her profile.

1. Father’s Service in WWII

2. Lifestyle in Japan

3. Marriage during anti-miscegenation laws

4. Memories of Poston

5. Post-war School-life

6. Moving to Upland Post-Camp

7. Tomboy

8. Arriving at Poston

* Original interview clips were posted in the Discover Nikkei Interviews section.

** Her story is featured in the exhibition, Visible & Invisible: A Hapa Japanese American History, at the Japanese American National Museum from April 7 – August 25, 2013.

A Collaboration with the USC Hapa Japan Database Project, videographer, Evan Kodani with support of NITTO Tires Life History Project.

Slides in this album 

Father's Service in WWII

I think he was drafted I’m not sure. He must have been about forty four but maybe he volunteered. He might’ve because it might’ve been easier way to get us out. I never really asked him about that by that time. Anyway, they sent him to language school and I ...

Terry Janzen interview #1: Father's Service in WWII
Contributed by: editor

Growing up in Japan

There was one boy that was of a mixed marriage and we kind of hung around together for a while. I remember he found a dead rattlesnake and I took the rattlesnake and I put it in the women’s bathroom, coiled it up. Oh boy, that was my revenge. Nobody ...

Terry Janzen interview #2: Growing up in Japan
Contributed by: editor

Marriage during anti-miscegenation laws

Somehow they talked my father into letting me get married. I was not ready to get married. That was not quite what I had in mind. I was engaged. Once we got carried away with everything, checking a place, we found out the closest place we could get married was ...

Terry Janzen interview #3: Marriage during anti-miscegenation laws
Contributed by: editor

Memories of Poston

Well, there were a lot of scorpions, which to this day I think they’re the worst. I can hold a snake, it doesn’t bother me as long as I know it’s a safe snake and I can hold spiders I take outside, but just thinking of scorpions, it always gave ...

Terry Janzen interview #4: Memories of Poston
Contributed by: editor

Post-war School-life

At the end of the war…right away we got more accepted because there were more kids from Oklahoma and the Mexicans were coming in more so there wasn’t just the white basic—that was gone. So that made it easier. Also I wasn’t one of these kids who wanted to be ...

Terry Janzen interview #5: Post-war School-life
Contributed by: editor

Moving to Upland Post-Camp

One of the first things when we came out of the internment camp. The reason why we didn’t have too much trouble even though the city was trying to get rid of us. The chief of police had a farm next to us. He took us under his arm and ...

Terry Janzen interview #6: Moving to Upland Post-Camp
Contributed by: editor


At that time there was also the dust bowl and we were getting a lot of kids from Oklahoma. We called them Okies. There were a lot of kids—different kids started coming in and there was another girl kind of on the outskirts. She was a fat little girl. Sybil ...

Terry Janzen interview #7: Tomboy
Contributed by: editor

Arriving at Poston

When we got to Poston, it was hot; it was dusty. Each person, we were in a room about this size. We got off the bus and they handed you this sack and said, “Go to the back with it.” So you grabbed this big, huge sack and go out ...

Terry Janzen interview #8: Arriving at Poston
Contributed by: editor

PROFILE: Terry Janzen

Terry Janzen was born in Tokyo, Japan on July 15, 1930. She is half Japanese and grew up in both Japan and the United States. She was incarcerated at Poston for 6 months during World War II. She has been a teacher and a Chair for the Adams County Democratic ...

Terry Janzen
Contributed by: editor

Album Type

Video interview

editor — Last modified Apr 05 2013 11:56 a.m.

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