Discover Nikkei Logo

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/955/

Challenges of finding a summer job

I want you to know, first of all, being outside was not easy. As long as I was on the campus, things were fine. When summer vacation came, it was time for me to get out and do some work and earn some money.

So Tom and I went up to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and I could not get jobs. Incidentally, I want to back up and tell you that at Dakota Wesleyan, in the evening, when I was in Mitchell, South Dakota, I attended a course on welding at some school, and I learned how to weld. And the reason I learned arc welding is that, in my spring vacation, I wanted to go out and get a job as a welder, which brings me up to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

I went up there, Tom and I, and there’s a company up there by the name of Harnischfeger. It’s still there. They were building tanks and so forth—military equipment. They gave me a test for welding, and I passed because I had trained in that. But when they heard that I was a Japanese, when the personnel manager found that out, they refused to hire me.


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)

James Hirabayashi
en
ja
es
pt
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

en
ja
es
pt
James Hirabayashi
en
ja
es
pt
James Hirabayashi

Past ties to present situation in Middle East

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

en
ja
es
pt
Barbara Kawakami
en
ja
es
pt
Barbara Kawakami

Helping soldiers

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

en
ja
es
pt
Barbara Kawakami
en
ja
es
pt
Barbara Kawakami

Okinawan discrimination

An expert researcher and scholar on Japanese immigrant clothing.

en
ja
es
pt
Yuri Kochiyama
en
ja
es
pt
Yuri Kochiyama

Didn't have rights that whites had

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

en
ja
es
pt
Yuri Kochiyama
en
ja
es
pt
Yuri Kochiyama

Californians didn't know about evacuation

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

en
ja
es
pt
Yuri Kochiyama
en
ja
es
pt
Yuri Kochiyama

The day Pearl Harbor was bombed

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

en
ja
es
pt
Yuri Kochiyama
en
ja
es
pt
Yuri Kochiyama

Father as prisoner of war in hospital

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

en
ja
es
pt
Yuri Kochiyama
en
ja
es
pt
Yuri Kochiyama

Patriotism versus loyalty

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

en
ja
es
pt
Yuri Kochiyama
en
ja
es
pt
Yuri Kochiyama

Idealism before war, being red, white and blue

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

en
ja
es
pt
Yuri Kochiyama
en
ja
es
pt
Yuri Kochiyama

Camp as a positive thing

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

en
ja
es
pt
Yuri Kochiyama
en
ja
es
pt
Yuri Kochiyama

Rounding up Issei and Nikkei

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

en
ja
es
pt
Wakako Nakamura Yamauchi
en
ja
es
pt
Wakako Nakamura Yamauchi

Her experience as a Japanese-American schoolchild in Oceanside, California, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor

(1924-2018) Artist and playwright.

en
ja
es
pt
Wally Kaname Yonamine
en
ja
es
pt
Wally Kaname Yonamine

His parents' experience with Japanese resistance toward intermarriage with Okinawans

(b.1925) Nisei of Okinawan descent. Had a 38-year career in Japan as a baseball player, coach, scout, and manager.

en
ja
es
pt
Roy H. Matsumoto
en
ja
es
pt
Roy H. Matsumoto

Treatment of Kibei after return to United States

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

en
ja
es
pt

Discover Nikkei Updates

NIKKEI CHRONICLES #13
Nikkei Names 2: Grace, Graça, Graciela, Megumi?
What’s in a name? Share the story of your name with our community. Submissions now open!
NIMA VOICES
Episode 16
June 25 (US) | June 26 (Japan)
Featured Nima:
Stan Kirk
Guest Host:
Masumi Izumi
PROJECT UPDATES
NEW SITE DESIGN
See exciting new changes to Discover Nikkei. Find out what’s new and what’s coming soon!