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Family welcomed at Crystal City

We had a warm welcome. A warm welcome as we approached the main gate, the entrance to the camp. There were people all on either side of the street waving at us, saying, "Welcome," and then clapping, it was the people that were already there. So that was really nice. And my mother, at the time, she felt that it was safe for the family, because she saw all the faces were Asian.


Crystal City internment camp Department of Justice camps Texas United States World War II World War II camps

Date: September 20, 2019

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Tom Ikeda and Yoko Nishimura

Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum and Denshō: The Japanese American Legacy Project.

Interviewee Bio

Jimmy Naganuma was born in Callao, Peru to his Issei parents in 1936. He was eight years old when his family were forced to board a ship, to be incarcerated at Crystal City, Texas, during World War II. They remained there even after the war had ended, without a place to go. They were able to leave via a sponsorship by a reverend in San Francisco, California, where they were able to find jobs and housing.  (June 2020)

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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