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Interviews

Henry Miyatake

(1929 - 2014) One of the earliest proponents behind the redress movement.

A Common Cause

One thing I think that Puyallup did was bring the whole community together. It's not just JACL, or Nisei vets, or one of the churches or, everybody was there. So it was a collective experience for everybody. 

And to me, it was a kind of a culmination of all the stuff that we were trying to do for redress. Not only do we want to talk about the constitutionality, immoral effects, but have these guys come together with a common cause. Because the government did a lot of things to us that separated us as groups of individuals, the Isseis from the Niseis. Because the Niseis pinpointed all the so-called bad Isseis that were questionable in their character and all this kind of stuff. And it separated the community itself, separated the families. And the parents wouldn't talk about this whole experience with the children. But it enabled them to at least come together and see the stuff, and people talk about it openly and discuss the issues. So to me, that was a really interesting point in the whole redress process.


Puyallup temporary detention center Redress movement temporary detention centers United States Washington World War II camps

Date: October 28, 1999

Location: Washington, US

Interviewer: Tom Ikeda

Contributed by: Denshō: The Japanese American Legacy Project.

Interviewee Bio

Henry Miyatake was born in 1929 in Seattle, Washington. During World War II, he was incarcerated while a teenager at Puyallup Assembly Center and Minidoka incarceration camp in Idaho. In camp, he wrote and defended an essay criticizing the United States' treatment of racial minorities. His teacher refused to accept his paper, resulting in a failed grade and preventing him from graduating.

Although it was a radical idea, Miyatake was one of the earliest proponents behind the redress movement from the early 70s. Along with a few others, he prepared a plan for the Seattle chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) to seek redress from the U.S. government for the incarceration of persons of Japanese ancestry.

Miyatake’s efforts met resistance from the community until the first “Day of Remembrance” was held on November 25, 1978 at the site of the former Puyallup Assembly Center. This event, that Miyatake helped organize, was one of several watershed moments that helped galvanize the Japanese American community on the road towards righting a wrong.

He passed away on September 16, 2014 at age 85. (April 2015)

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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Cherry Kinoshita
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Cherry Kinoshita

Driving Feelings

(1923–2008) One of the leaders behind the redress movement.

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Clifford Uyeda
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Clifford Uyeda

John Tateishi plays a role in changing people's minds

(1917 - 2004) Political activist

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William Hohri
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William Hohri

People have to believe in what they are doing in order to gain trust

(1927-2010) Political Activist

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