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Impressions of student relocation in South Dakota

The answer is no [as to a choice of a college]. I had made an application to go to the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado. I was turned down by the U.S. Navy. The U.S. Navy apparently had some kind of research program going on there. When they learned that a Japanese American was seeking admission to the University of Colorado, they vetoed it. Again, idiotic, absolutely insane, un-American. So a friend of mine was going to Dakota Wesleyan and been accepted there, and said, “Why don’t you come with me and go to Dakota Wesleyan?” So I did. That’s where I ended up.


colleges discrimination interpersonal relations racism

Date: August 27, 1998

Location: Pennsylvania, US

Interviewer: Darcie Iki, Mitchell Maki

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

Interviewee Bio

The Honorable William Marutani was born in Kent, Washington. With the enforcement of Executive Order 9066, Marutani was forced to leave his classes at the University of Washington and sent to Fresno Assembly Center in 1942, and later Tule Lake concentration camp. He was released to attend Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, SD in the fall of 1942 as a pre-law student.

After being rejected by the U.S. Navy for being classified as a 4-C enemy alien, Marutani was finally able to serve by joining the Army where he was assigned to the Military Intelligence Service. Following his service, Marutani attended law school at the University of Chicago and moved to Pennsylvania for a six-month clerkship, where he stayed until 1975, when he was appointed to the bench of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

Marutani became active in the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) and served in many different positions. Marutani was appointed to serve on the nine-member Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) that was created by President Jimmy Carter to investigate matters concerning the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans. Marutani was the only Japanese American to serve on the commission. (April 11, 2008)

Susumu “Sus” Ito
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Susumu “Sus” Ito

Getting a PhD under the G.I. Bill

(1919 - 2015) Nisei who served in World War II with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team

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Tom Yuki
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Tom Yuki

Felt no hostility in Los Gatos, California after the war

(b. 1935) Sansei businessman.

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Mitsuru "Mits" Kataoka
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Mitsuru "Mits" Kataoka

Facing housing discrimination in Rhode Island

(1934–2018) Japanese American designer, educator, and pioneer of media technologies

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Mia Yamamoto
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Mia Yamamoto

Influence of Mexican culture after returning from camp

(b. 1943) Japanese American transgender attorney

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Roger Shimomura
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Roger Shimomura

A conversation with a farmer in Kansas

(b. 1939) Japanese American painter, printmaker & professor

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Fujima Kansuma
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Fujima Kansuma

Dancing in Japan as an American, in the US as Japanese

(1918-2023) Nisei Japanese kabuki dancer

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Fred Y. Hoshiyama
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Fred Y. Hoshiyama

Discrimination in San Francisco

(1914–2015) Nisei YMCA and Japanese American community leader

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Roger Shimomura
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Roger Shimomura

Collection of artifacts depicting racial stereotypes influences art

(b. 1939) Japanese American painter, printmaker & professor

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Frank Yamasaki
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Frank Yamasaki

Encountering racial discrimination at a public swimming pool

(b. 1923) Nisei from Washington. Resisted draft during WWII.

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Jack Herzig
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Jack Herzig

His testimony has more credibility because of his race

(1922 - 2005) Former U.S. Army counterintelligence officer

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Margaret Oda
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Margaret Oda

Gender discrimination in education field

(1925 - 2018) Nisei educator from Hawai‘i

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Mitsuru "Mits" Kataoka
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Mitsuru "Mits" Kataoka

Learned what it meant to be called “Jap” in Heart Mountain

(1934–2018) Japanese American designer, educator, and pioneer of media technologies

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George Katsumi Yuzawa
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George Katsumi Yuzawa

First impression of New York City during war time

(1915 - 2011) Nisei florist who resettled in New York City after WW II. Active in Japanese American civil rights movement

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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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James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Not bringing shame to family

(1926 - 2012) Scholar and professor of anthropology. Leader in the establishment of ethnic studies as an academic discipline

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