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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)

Peggie Nishimura Bain
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Peggie Nishimura Bain

Getting citizenship back

(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

Response to loyalty questionnaire

(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

Difficulties finding apartment in Chicago after leaving Minidoka

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

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Richard Kosaki
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Richard Kosaki

Under suspicion after Pearl Harbor

(b. 1924) Political scientist, educator, and administrator from Hawai`i

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Richard Kosaki
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Richard Kosaki

Change in attitudes after World War II

(b. 1924) Political scientist, educator, and administrator from Hawai`i

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Art Shibayama
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Art Shibayama

Thoughts on the post-9/11 atmosphere in the U.S.

(1930-2018) Nisei born in Peru. Taken to the United States during WWII.

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Roger Shimomura
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Roger Shimomura

Grandfather's arrival in the U.S., experiencing discrimination

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

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Roger Shimomura
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Roger Shimomura

Dealing with racism within army unit in Korea

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

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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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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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Frank Yamasaki
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Frank Yamasaki

Making the decision to resist the draft

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

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Marion Tsutakawa Kanemoto
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Marion Tsutakawa Kanemoto

Hearing anti-American war propaganda from a teacher

(b. 1927) Japanese American Nisei. Family voluntarily returned to Japan during WWII.

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Fred Sasaki
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Fred Sasaki

Family background of Fredrick Yoshihide Sasaki

(b. 1918) Issei businessman in Canada

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Fred Sasaki
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Fred Sasaki

Anti-Japanese sentiment at the time of World War II

(b. 1918) Issei businessman in Canada

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