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World War II Incarceration

We went, at the beginning of the war we went to Santa Anita racetrack. And we stayed there for the nine - nine months, and as Catholics probably we would have gone with the Catholics community to Manzanar, but because my father was a doctor, he had to go wherever they sent him. We were very lucky, my godmother is Polish and her husband is Japanese so we were able to store some things at her house, we were able to store some things at the Mary Knoll Sanitarium, and then my mother or sister told me it’s someplace else, so no, nobody, no doctors took anything with them. It was just all provided by the government. When we did go to Santa Anita, because our last meal was at Monrovia, and then the sisters drove us to Santa Anita so we were fortunate not to have just one suitcase, just like many of the doctors that came from every other place. We were sent to Jerome, Arkansas and we stayed there and then when Jerome closed we went to Rohwer, Arkansas. We were in camp three and a half years and perhaps we could have left earlier but my father did not want to leave until it was okay to come back to the west coast.


Arkansas California concentration camps Santa Anita temporary detention center temporary detention centers United States World War II World War II camps

Date: February 3, 2010

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Eiko Masuyama, Carole Fujita, Yoko Nishimura

Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

Interviewee Bio

Margaret Kuroiwa is the third daughter of Dr. Daishiro Kuroiwa from Saga-ken, Japan and Agnes Haruyo Ogawa Kuroiwa. Her father was a prominent Issei physician who worked at the Turner Street Southern California Japanese Hospital, and was one of the five doctors, along with Dr. Tashiro, to file the lawsuit against the State of California. His practice was in Boyle Heights and in the Taul Building in Little Tokyo. He also treated tuberculosis patients at the Monrovia Sanitarium. She and her 4 sisters were born at the new Japanese Hospital on First and Fickett. (April 11, 2010)

Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Conditions of assembly centers

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Visit to assembly centers by E. Stanley Jones

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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Grayce Ritsu Kaneda Uyehara
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Grayce Ritsu Kaneda Uyehara

Importance of education in achieving redress for incarceration

(1919-2014) Activist for civil rights and redress for World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans.

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Wakako Nakamura Yamauchi
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Wakako Nakamura Yamauchi

Her experience as a Japanese-American schoolchild in Oceanside, California, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor

(1924-2018) Artist and playwright.

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Roy H. Matsumoto
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Roy H. Matsumoto

Finding work in the assembly center

(b.1913) Kibei from California who served in the MIS with Merrill’s Marauders during WWII.

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Roy H. Matsumoto
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Roy H. Matsumoto

Living conditions in the Santa Anita Assembly Center

(b.1913) Kibei from California who served in the MIS with Merrill’s Marauders during WWII.

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Frank Yamasaki
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Frank Yamasaki

Loss of happy-go-lucky adolescence in Puyallup Assembly Center

(b. 1923) Nisei from Washington. Resisted draft during WWII.

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Frank Yamasaki
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Frank Yamasaki

Memories of dusty conditions at Minidoka incarceration camp

(b. 1923) Nisei from Washington. Resisted draft during WWII.

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Frank Yamasaki
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Frank Yamasaki

Making the decision to resist the draft

(b. 1923) Nisei from Washington. Resisted draft during WWII.

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George Azumano
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George Azumano

Discharged from the U.S. Army after Pearl Harbor

(b. 1918) Founder Azumano Travel

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George Katsumi Yuzawa
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George Katsumi Yuzawa

Reaction to a 1942 speech by Mike Masaoka, Japanese American Citizen League's National Secretary

(1915 - 2011) Nisei florist who resettled in New York City after WW II. Active in Japanese American civil rights movement

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George Katsumi Yuzawa
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George Katsumi Yuzawa

Death of sister in October 1942

(1915 - 2011) Nisei florist who resettled in New York City after WW II. Active in Japanese American civil rights movement

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George Katsumi Yuzawa
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George Katsumi Yuzawa

First impression of New York City during war time

(1915 - 2011) Nisei florist who resettled in New York City after WW II. Active in Japanese American civil rights movement

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George Katsumi Yuzawa
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George Katsumi Yuzawa

Neighbors' sympathy after Pearl Harbor

(1915 - 2011) Nisei florist who resettled in New York City after WW II. Active in Japanese American civil rights movement

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Gene Akutsu
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Gene Akutsu

Reaction of Japanese American community toward draft resistance stance

(b. 1925) Draft resister

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