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Influence of veterans

The World War II, I think that made it possible for many of the AJAs in America, in the United States, here in Hawaii…to be able to rise to the cause, that made it possible for them to prove their loyalty to their country. And they did it in very superlative fashion. The way it impacted me was, I was too young to become part of that group. But, I got impacted by what they tried to do when they returned. They not only fought in the battlefield, but they came back and wanted to fight as civilians—wanted to have a better life, a more fair life, for every person in the United States. And as a result, I became part of that group. And I think I was greatly helped by the efforts of those veterans who had come back to want to create a more fair and more just society.


armed forces retired military personnel veterans World War II

Date: December 15, 2003

Location: Hawai`i, US

Interviewer: Art Hansen

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

Interviewee Bio

George Ariyoshi was born in Honolulu in 1926. He overcame a childhood speech defect to enter the Military Intelligence Service language school after World War II and served the United States in Tokyo’s ruins. Returning home from occupied Japan, he moved to Michigan where he received undergraduate and law degrees.

He married Jean Hayashi in Hawai`i and, between 1954 and 1986, held elective offices there as a Democrat. He served three terms as Hawai`i’s governor, the first Japanese American nationwide to govern a state. By his own definition, Governor Ariyoshi was “a social liberal and a fiscal conservative.” The title of his 1997 memoir, With Obligation to All, summed up his personal and political philosophies. (December 2003)

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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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Conditions of assembly centers

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Visit to assembly centers by E. Stanley Jones

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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