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https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/908/

The Perspective of Youth

You know, we were only nineteen, eighteen, nineteen when we went to camp. We were very naive. Politically, we didn't know anything. And even though we read about the Constitution and studied about the Bill of Rights, we didn't think of putting it into force. You know, very naive. And that's why it took so long, I think. But I think that having these pilgrimages and then people could see things outside their personal experiences, that it was a constitutional issue, not just a personal one.


imprisonment incarceration World War II camps

Date: September 11, 1997

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Glen Kitayama

Contributed by: Denshō: The Japanese American Legacy Project.

Interviewee Bio

Sue Kunitomi Embrey was born in 1923 in Los Angeles, CA. She grew up in Little Tokyo prior to World War II. At the age of 19 she was incarcerated at Manzanar with other persons of Japanese ancestry. There, she became editor of the camp newspaper, The Manzanar Free Press. After the war, Embrey spent a few years in the Midwest before returning to California in 1948 where she got married and started a career as a schoolteacher.

In 1969 Embrey helped organize the very first Manzanar Pilgrimage and soon after co-founded the Manzanar Committee that spearheaded the effort to designate Manzanar as a California State Historic Landmark and eventually a National Historic Site.

Initially, Embrey was one of the few who broke the Nisei generation’s silence about the internment. Instead of forgetting the past, Embrey chose to educate, first by sharing her experience with Sansei and Yonsei, and later by advising on the planning of the interpretive center at Manzanar that opened in 2004. Sue Embrey passed away in 2006 at 83 years old. (April 15, 2008)

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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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

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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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Hiding what happened in camp

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Issei are hard-working

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Arrest of father

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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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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Yukio Takeshita
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Yukio Takeshita

Involvement in JACL

(b.1935) American born Japanese. Retired businessman.

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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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Roy H. Matsumoto
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Roy H. Matsumoto

Finding work in the assembly center

(b.1913) Kibei from California who served in the MIS with Merrill’s Marauders during WWII.

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Roy H. Matsumoto
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Roy H. Matsumoto

Train ride to Jerome Relocation Center

(b.1913) Kibei from California who served in the MIS with Merrill’s Marauders during WWII.

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Peggie Nishimura Bain
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Peggie Nishimura Bain

Conditions at Pinedale Assembly Center

(b.1909) Nisei from Washington. Incarcerated at Tule Lake and Minidoka during WWII. Resettled in Chicago after WWII

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Peggie Nishimura Bain
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Peggie Nishimura Bain

Making craft items from shells found at Tule Lake

(b.1909) Nisei from Washington. Incarcerated at Tule Lake and Minidoka during WWII. Resettled in Chicago after WWII

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