Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/513/

First impression of New York City during war time

Well, I am from the big city so I felt very much at home. The only thing that bothered me was that we were at war with Japan. And the Chinese people wore their tight fit ones and had big badges that said, “I am Chinese.” So we wouldn’t be mistaken as Japanese. And there was a brown out in effect, not a blackout but a brown out. And everything was going on as usual.


discrimination interpersonal relations racism World War II

Date: November 15, 2000

Location: New York, United States

Interviewer: John Esaki

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

Interviewee Bio

George Katsumi Yuzawa was born in Los Angeles, California in 1915. He and his family were incarcerated at the Amache concentration camp in Colorado in 1942 through 1943. After their release in 1943, Yuzawa resettled in New York City. His family joined him in New York City in 1944. Soon after, he volunteered to join the United States Army for which he served two years in the Military Intelligence sector. After his discharge, he operated an import and export business in New York City. Eventually, he closed his business to assist his father?s florist business.

Yuzawa was an active civil rights activist in the 1970s and '80s in the New York chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) where he protested and filed lawsuits against people who denigrated the Japanese with signs in front of businesses and public transportation. Two major campaigns that Yuzawa spearheaded was the Kenzo Takada controversy and the ILGWU (International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union) anti-Japanese subway poster campaign. As a result of these campaigns, Yuzawa and other fellow Nisei activists formed the Asian Americans for Fair Media, Inc. He was also active in the Redress Movement and helped coordinate the 1981 CWRIC (Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians) hearings in New York City.

Yuzawa helped organize the first sakura matsuri (cherry blossom festival) at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. He also founded the non-profit organization, Japanese American Help for the Aging, Inc. (JAHFA) to provide seniors with bilingual assistance, in senior housing and other services. He has devoted the last quarter of the 20th century to supporting the needs of senior citizens in his community.

He passed away on October 2011.(October 2011)

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Henry Shimizu

No immediate impact after Pearl Harbor

(b. 1928) Doctor. Former Chair of the Japanese Canadian Redress Foundation.

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Masako Iino
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Masako Iino

Interest in Japanese migration studies (Japanese)

Tsuda College President, researcher of Nikkei history

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Henry Shimizu
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Henry Shimizu

Treatment of Japanese fishermen in Canada during World War II

(b. 1928) Doctor. Former Chair of the Japanese Canadian Redress Foundation.

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Henry Shimizu
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Henry Shimizu

Japanese Canadians get the right to vote in 1949

(b. 1928) Doctor. Former Chair of the Japanese Canadian Redress Foundation.

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Henry Shimizu
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Henry Shimizu

Japanese newspaper supported by Canadian government during World War II

(b. 1928) Doctor. Former Chair of the Japanese Canadian Redress Foundation.

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Venancio Shinki
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Venancio Shinki

Memories of my infancy: Japanese 1, Japanese 2… (Spanish)

(b. 1932-2016) Peruvian painter

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Venancio Shinki
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Venancio Shinki

Mistreating the Japanese community (Spanish)

(b. 1932-2016) Peruvian painter

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Venancio Shinki
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Venancio Shinki

Prejudice in Japanese school (Spanish)

(b. 1932-2016) Peruvian painter

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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

Okinawan discrimination

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

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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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PJ Hirabayashi
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PJ Hirabayashi

Experiencing discrimination as a child

Co-founder and creative director of San Jose Taiko

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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Camp as a positive thing

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Rounding up Issei and Nikkei

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