“I was in a relocation camp in Arkansas,” she says. “People were starting to leave the camp to go to college. Word got around that Oberlin College had a student body president who was a Nisei [person born in America of Japanese-immigrant parents]. I just figured that was a friendly place. And that was the sole basis for my decision to go there.”
Oberlin became that friendly place very early on, answering the call when West Coast college and university presidents contacted peers at Eastern and Midwestern institutions asking them to accept Japanese American students who were being forced to leave their campuses.
An October 1, 1942, editorial in the Oberlin News-Tribune explained the college’s perspective on the decision to admit transferred Nisei students:
“True to its best traditions, the Oberlin community bids these Japanese Americans a completely friendly welcome. They were born in the United States—in California, Oregon, Washington, New Jersey, and Hawaii. They all have excellent records of scholarship, character, and citizenship. They have been excellently recommended by friends of Oberlin, and Oberlin College vouches for them.”