Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/1352/

Losing his sister in camp

She got leukemia, a form of leukemia that uh she had to be hospitalized. And it took her a long time for her to die.

The hospital was outside of the camp proper, and uh where you had to go through a fence and guards to get... go to camp. So you couldn't visit. My mother was always there as I recall.  And my father was there quite often.  So we were left alone, most of the time. And it affected not me more than my younger sister because she never had a mother, you know. So, she blamed it on her sister for...being as a kid that is thinking terms of the jealousy factor, as competition.

But anyways she was um in hospital for a while. There's two things that they reckoned with prolonged her death was that uh she had a blood transfusion there. Just about everybody in that block gave blood, you know. And then the church was praying for her. That was the story I got. So the...my father told them, and mother said, I don't think...I think she's suffering too much so don't pray.

Well my mother never recovered. I'm sure she didn't. My father was um he was a real tough guy. In the sense that he knew what situation he was in. He never really showed this, saw this. He retained his dignity and his strength to not fall apart. And he kept saying now we must go on and all this kind of... You know, it was ganbatte. You know, he was really not um sort of you know in a state that he couldn't reorganize, keep the family together.  He kept it together.  I know it, I know I, he...he was quite upset...quite angry but it never showed  He had to go along with the Japanese tradition. He had to be Nihonjin and not go into... you know fall apart.

So that was what... and then when my sister and broth..died... my..my sister died she was cremated.  And then I understand a lot of them were buried too, right. But this is uh..my sister told me this the other day they were buried in a junkyard. You know?  And uh in unmarked graves, you know, which they used to do in Germany, you know, with... with the victims, you know.


California concentration camps families Tule Lake concentration camp United States World War II World War II camps

Date: June 29, 2012

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Chris Komai, John Esaki

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

Interviewee Bio

Jimmy Murakami (1933 – 2014) was inspired as a child to become a film animator by watching the Disney cartoons that were shown to Japanese Americans confined at the Tule Lake concentration camp during WWII. After attending Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, he worked as an animator for UPA. He later founded Murakami Wolf—a company that produced many well-known commercials in the 1960s and 70s—and became a feature film director of When the Wind Blows and The Snowman. After establishing residence in Ireland in recent years, he passed away in February of 2014 at age 80.  (June 2014)

Yuzawa,George Katsumi
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Yuzawa,George Katsumi

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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Yuzawa,George Katsumi
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Yuzawa,George Katsumi

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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Yuzawa,George Katsumi
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Yuzawa,George Katsumi

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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Yuzawa,George Katsumi
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Yuzawa,George Katsumi

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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Houston,Jeanne Wakatsuki
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Houston,Jeanne Wakatsuki

Impact of Pearl Harbor on her family

(b. 1934) Writer

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Houston,Jeanne Wakatsuki
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Houston,Jeanne Wakatsuki

Initial impact on life at camp

(b. 1934) Writer

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Hirabayashi,Roy
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Hirabayashi,Roy

Celebrating traditional Japanese New Years with family

(b.1951) Co-founder and managing director of San Jose Taiko.

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Hirabayashi,Roy
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Hirabayashi,Roy

Learning Japanese at school and at home with family

(b.1951) Co-founder and managing director of San Jose Taiko.

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Herzig,Aiko Yoshinaga
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Herzig,Aiko Yoshinaga

Results of being more American than Japanese

(1924-2018) Researcher, Activist

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Herzig,Aiko Yoshinaga
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Herzig,Aiko Yoshinaga

Family separated in the camps

(1924-2018) Researcher, Activist

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Sogi,Francis Y.
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Sogi,Francis Y.

Visiting family in Japan

(1923-2011) Lawyer, MIS veteran, founder of Francis and Sarah Sogi Foundation

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Kobayashi,Bert A.
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Kobayashi,Bert A.

Family first

(b.1944) Founder of Kobayashi Group, LLC

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Kobayashi,Bert A.
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Kobayashi,Bert A.

Being accepted as biracial family

(b.1944) Founder of Kobayashi Group, LLC

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Akutsu,Gene
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Akutsu,Gene

Reaction of Japanese American community toward draft resistance stance

(b. 1925) Draft resister

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Akutsu,Gene
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Akutsu,Gene

The role of the media in influencing people's opinions

(b. 1925) Draft resister

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