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Seagulls

The seagull thing was one of, another pastime because what we do is, is you get the string and, and thread, and you tie a piece a bread. Tie it with the string and you maybe put about a dozen or two mixed in with the other bits of bread. The seagulls that come about flying, they would swallow it.  And they won't regurgitate it because they haven't got the intelligence so they're like fish -- you gotta bring them in.

And uh, we opened the wings and...not, this not oil paint, now we're using, this is poster paint. So it washes off in the rain. We used to paint the hinomaru, you know, the red circles and release them, you know? So we had about 24 of them flying around the camp. And everybody would be saying "Oh my" and so they'd be clapping; they'd be... They'd raise the morale a bit.

Now the army, the military didn't like that. So they shot them. From the air. From the watchtowers they 'em all. All of them. Some ran away, maybe.  So that was... so we stopped that, um, the catching of the seagulls, you know. My, my mother found out that my brother and I were doing it so she told us don't do that again, you know? 


amusements 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)

James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Life in camp as teenager

(1926 - 2012) Scholar and professor of anthropology. Leader in the establishment of ethnic studies as an academic discipline

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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Hiding what happened in camp

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Camp as a positive thing

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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Archie Miyatake
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Archie Miyatake

His father describes the importance of photographing camp life

(1924-2016) Photographer and businessman.

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Yukio Takeshita
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Yukio Takeshita

Involvement in JACL

(b.1935) American born Japanese. Retired businessman.

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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

Train ride to Jerome Relocation Center

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

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Richard Kosaki
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Richard Kosaki

442 soldiers visiting U.S. concentration camps

(b. 1924) Political scientist, educator, and administrator from Hawai`i

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Roger Shimomura
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Roger Shimomura

Receiving a negative reaction from father upon asking about World War II experience

(b. 1939) Japanese American painter, printmaker & professor

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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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Pat Adachi
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Pat Adachi

Family life in a Japanese Canadian internment camp in Slocan

(b. 1920) Incarcerated during World War II. Active member of the Japanese Canadian community

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Paul Terasaki
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Paul Terasaki

Difference between experiences of youth and older people in WWII camps

(b.1929) Pioneer medical researcher in tissue transfer and organ transplantation.

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