Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/1799/

Winners and losers

So, I think it was 1941, Showa 16th year in July, when at that time the publication of foreign language newspapers was restricted. And because of that, since the overwhelming majority of Japanese couldn’t understand Portuguese, ultimately they were no longer able to understand the news from the Japanese language newspapers. Around that time the Pacific War started and the only news we were able to get from Japan was what we could hear through the shortwave broadcasts. And then when the war ended, people started to debate whether Japan had lost or won. And, it’s unimaginable today, but “winners” (i.e., those who believed Japan won the war) and “losers” (i.e., those who believed Japan had lost the war) began to emerge.

It was really the so-called intelligentsia of Japanese society, the ones who could speak Portuguese or English that understood that Japan had lost the war. But groups like Shindo Renmei labeled those who said that Japan had lost as traitors. And so, thinking about it today, it’s really crazy what happened next. If I remember correctly, 23 people among the so-called “losers” (those that acknowledged Japan had lost the war) were killed and 150 to 160 people were injured. So, the Brazilian government had to get involved and well, they arrested those people and sent them to “Anchieta Island '', an island prison off the northern coast of Sao Paulo State.

On the 100th anniversary in 2008, there were people who came out saying “I killed so and so”. One such person had left a note like that tied around their belly and it’s now on display at the Immigration Museum. 


Brazil Kachigumi (victory group) Makegumi (accept defeat group) World War II

Date: September 19, 2019

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Yoko Nishimura

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

Interviewee Bio

Masato Ninomiya was born in Nagano Prefecture in 1948 and moved to Brazil at the age of 5 with his family. He currently maintains a legal office in São Paulo, and in addition to working as a Law Professor at the University of Sao Paulo, also serves as Special Assistant to the President at Meiji University and as Visiting Professor of Law at Musashino University. Since its founding in 1992, he has served as President of CIATE (Center for Information and Support to Workers Abroad), Advisor to the Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) for Central and South America, and also a Committee Member of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Additionally, he is considered a Nikkei community leader in Brazil, supporting various activities such as improving the working conditions of Brazilian Dekasegi, and the education of Japanese-Brazilian children. . (May 2021)

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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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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George Azumano
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George Azumano

Discharged from the U.S. Army after Pearl Harbor

(b. 1918) Founder Azumano Travel

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George Katsumi Yuzawa
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George Katsumi Yuzawa

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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George Katsumi Yuzawa
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George Katsumi Yuzawa

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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George Katsumi Yuzawa
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George Katsumi Yuzawa

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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George Katsumi Yuzawa
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George Katsumi Yuzawa

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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Gene Akutsu
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Gene Akutsu

Reaction of Japanese American community toward draft resistance stance

(b. 1925) Draft resister

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Gene Akutsu
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Gene Akutsu

The role of the media in influencing people's opinions

(b. 1925) Draft resister

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Gene Akutsu
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Gene Akutsu

Living conditions in prison while serving time for resisting the draft

(b. 1925) Draft resister

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Gene Akutsu
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Gene Akutsu

Talking to children about decision to resist the draft during World War II

(b. 1925) Draft resister

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Gene Akutsu
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Gene Akutsu

Deciding whether to answer "yes-yes" on the loyalty questionnaire in order to leave camp

(b. 1925) Draft resister

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