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Captured by Guerillas after bombing of Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor – that time was December 8, 1941, and I was about three, I think three and a half? And then, I remember we were captured by the guerilla – about three days after Pearl Harbor. Well, we didn’t know about what happened, but we – guerillas captured us, and then placed in captive watch, and I had scariest memory of – you know, the guerilla guard man, he flashed a bayonet that was attached to the gun, and I was so scared. I remember that. And the war became – I said – we were rescued ten days later, and then the – we had a peaceful time, but the war became more serious, and American airplanes started to bomb Davao, and so we had to evacuate.


Pearl Harbor attack, Hawaii, 1941 Philippines World War II

Date: July 12, 2017

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Mitsue Watanabe, Yoko Nishimura, Leighton Okada

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

Interviewee Bio

Sawako Ashizawa Uchimura was born in Davao, Mindanao, Philippines on March 25, 1938 as the first daughter of Katsujiro and Ura “Mie” Ashizawa. She was 7 years old in 1945 when her family had to leave the Philippines after Japan’s defeat in World War II. Her family lived in Shizuoka for the next 10 years. ​Later the family received r​​esidency status in the United States ​and arrived in Los Angeles ​in March 1956. Sawako went to Alhambra High School and later studied at Pasadena City College. She eventually found a generous mentor who helped support her through her education at San Jose State University and became a​​n occupational therapist. Currently she is volunteering at the Sakura Garden (Formerly Keiro Retirement Home). (March 2018)

George Ariyoshi
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George Ariyoshi

Prom during the war

(b.1926) Democratic politician and three-term Governor of Hawai'i

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George Ariyoshi
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George Ariyoshi

Influence of veterans

(b.1926) Democratic politician and three-term Governor of Hawai'i

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Jean Hayashi Ariyoshi
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Jean Hayashi Ariyoshi

Day Pearl Harbor was bombed

Former First Lady of Hawai'i

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Kazuo Funai
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Kazuo Funai

Japan vs. the United States (Japanese)

(1900-2005) Issei businessman

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Kazuo Funai
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Kazuo Funai

Company in Tokyo burned down (Japanese)

(1900-2005) Issei businessman

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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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Robert Katayama
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Robert Katayama

Being ordered to keep a diary that was later confiscated, ostensibly by the FBI

Hawaiian Nisei who served in World War II with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

Bombing of Pearl Harbor

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

Helping soldiers

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

Brother leaves for war, survival

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Didn't have rights that whites had

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Californians didn't know about evacuation

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

The day Pearl Harbor was bombed

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Father as prisoner of war in hospital

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Patriotism versus loyalty

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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