Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/913/

Interviews

Fred Korematsu

(1919 - 2005) Challenged the constitutionality of Executive Order 9066.

Manhunt

I assumed that, that worst was gonna come before me, and I knew I wouldn't be a free man. They're not gonna let me have that, make it that easy for me, because, you know, I was even classified as an "enemy alien" by the draft card. And so I knew that as soon as they realized that I'm there, free, that they were gonna catch me.

I*: Were you afraid of being arrested?

No, I wasn't, because I didn't feel that I was, I did anything wrong. And if anybody did wrong, it was the law. Because I figured it was unconstitutional what they were doing.

* "I" indicates an interviewer (Lorraine Bannai).


World War II writ of coram nobis

Date: May 14, 1996

Location: Washington, US

Interviewer: Lorraine Bannai, Tetsuden Kashima

Contributed by: Denshō: The Japanese American Legacy Project.

Interviewee Bio

Fred Korematsu was born on January 30, 1919, in Oakland, California. Korematsu was working as a welder in San Francisco when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. After Executive Order 9066 was issued in 1942, he resisted and made an attempt to leave the state of California. He was apprehended and arrested for failing to report for evacuation. Korematsu was one of several who challenged the constitutionality of Executive Order 9066 in the courts and his case made it to the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld the order in 1944.

Following World War II, Korematsu moved to Detroit, Michigan, where he married and raised a family before returning to California. In the early 1980s, his case was reopened after the discovery of a document indicating that in the original 1944 case, the federal government had withheld evidence to the high court. U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel vacated the conviction in 1983. In 1998, Korematsu was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Fred Korematsu passed away in 2005. (April 15, 2008)

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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