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Sister’s Trauma from being Incarcerated during World War II

I – I was as a child, much more accepting of everything. I have a sister, Akiko, who went off to become a cadet nurse, and she – she blocked out camp altogether. When I began to get more curious about some things, and I asked her about the camp, she said, “I wasn’t in camp.” And it – you know, I didn’t push her and say, “Yes you were in camp, I was there with you,” I just kind of let it go because I think it was the training of not talking back to your older sisters. So I just kind of said, “Well I remember when you went to cadet nursing school,” which means she had to go from somewhere, she didn’t go from – you know, to let her know I knew that she was in camp. But it’s not like I argued with her.


imprisonment incarceration sisters World War II World War II camps

Date: November 8, 2018

Location: California, US

Interviewer: June Berk

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

Interviewee Bio

Takayo Fischer, born in November 1932, is a Nisei American stage, film, and TV actress. During World War II, as a young child, she and her family were forcibly evacuated from the West Coast and spent time in the Fresno Assembly Center before being relocated to Jerome and Rohwer concentration camps. Fischer later lived in Chicago, Illinois, where, as a young adult, she won the crown of “Miss Nisei Queen.” She has appeared in dozens of major Hollywood films, including Moneyball (2011), Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007), The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), and Memoirs of a Geisha (2005). She also appeared in the stage production of The World of Suzie Wong in New York in 1958 and many productions with East West Players in Los Angeles. (June 2018)

Art Shibayama
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Art Shibayama

Family's deportation from Peru to U.S. after the bombing of Pearl Harbor

(1930-2018) Nisei born in Peru. Taken to the United States during WWII.

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Art Shibayama
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Art Shibayama

Conditions aboard U.S. transport ship while being deported from Peru

(1930-2018) Nisei born in Peru. Taken to the United States during WWII.

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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

Memories of dusty conditions at Minidoka incarceration camp

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

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Marion Tsutakawa Kanemoto
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Marion Tsutakawa Kanemoto

Ransacking of family home by FBI following the bombing of Pearl Harbor

(b. 1927) Japanese American Nisei. Family voluntarily returned to Japan during WWII.

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Marion Tsutakawa Kanemoto
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Marion Tsutakawa Kanemoto

Witnessing father's arrest through a child's eyes

(b. 1927) Japanese American Nisei. Family voluntarily returned to Japan during WWII.

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Marion Tsutakawa Kanemoto
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Marion Tsutakawa Kanemoto

Participating in military drills in school in Japan during the war

(b. 1927) Japanese American Nisei. Family voluntarily returned to Japan during WWII.

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Marion Tsutakawa Kanemoto
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Marion Tsutakawa Kanemoto

Hearing anti-American war propaganda from a teacher

(b. 1927) Japanese American Nisei. Family voluntarily returned to Japan during WWII.

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Marion Tsutakawa Kanemoto
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Marion Tsutakawa Kanemoto

The hardships of life in Japan during World War II

(b. 1927) Japanese American Nisei. Family voluntarily returned to Japan during WWII.

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Fujima Kansuma
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Fujima Kansuma

Neighbor took care of hotel business during the World War II

(1918-2023) Nisei Japanese kabuki dancer

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Fred Sasaki
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Fred Sasaki

Anti-Japanese sentiment at the time of World War II

(b. 1918) Issei businessman in Canada

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Ryoichi Kodama
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Ryoichi Kodama

Affect of the World War II (Japanese)

Kasato-maru immigrants

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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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Aiko Yoshinaga Herzig
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Aiko Yoshinaga Herzig

Lack of political power led to camps

(1924-2018) Researcher, Activist

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Shizuko Kadoguchi
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Shizuko Kadoguchi

Choice to move east or go to Japan

(b.1920) Japanese Canadian Nisei. Established the Ikenobo Ikebana Society of Toronto

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