Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/983/

Responding to the U.S. government

The most meaningful event was December 7, 1941. Cause that was, I would say the turning point in the lives of most Nisei because it was the time when we found ourselves threatened as unwanted people. We found our country against us officially by Executive Order 9066, by the Selective Service System 4C designation and many others. And for some of us we took it as a personal insult.

Now we were not vocal type of people, our generation was a quiet generation; it was unheard of for us to go on a picket line for example, and whatever concerns we express would have been expressed among a small group of us, that “this is not fair”, “something should be done”, and for example the petition drive to petition the government of the United States to let us volunteer was not done in the traditional way where you had big announcements, big advertisement, it was just word of mouth, one to one, and before you know it, there were over a thousand signatures.


civil rights Executive Order 9066 executive orders resistance United States

Date: May 31, 2001

Location: California, US

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

Interviewee Bio

Senator Daniel K. Inouye was born September 7, 1924 in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. He witnessed the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and at the age of 18 he enlisted in the U.S. Army and joined the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

Following the Rescue of the Lost Battalion, Senator Inouye was awarded a Bronze Star and received a battlefield commission as a Second Lieutenant. Later, in intense fighting in Italy, Senator Inouye lost his right arm from an exploding grenade. For his action that day, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation's second highest award for military valor.

Following the war, Senator Inouye became Hawai‘i’s first representative in Congress when Hawai‘i achieved statehood in 1959. In 1962 he was elected to the United States Senate and has been re-elected every six years since then. Senator Inouye, a Democrat, was the first American of Japanese descent to serve in either House of Congress.

In 2000, Senator Inouye and 20 other Asian American veterans were honored in a ceremony at the White House. The medals they had earned in World War II were given a long-overdue and deserving upgrade to the Medal of Honor.

He passed away on December 17, 2012 at age 88. (December 2012)

William Hohri
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William Hohri

The lawsuit set the standard for restoring people’s rights

(1927-2010) Political Activist

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Takeo Uesugi
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Takeo Uesugi

Returning to Japan after studying in New York

(1940-2016) Issei Landscape Architect

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Tom Yuki
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Tom Yuki

Father was convinced the constitution would protect him

(b. 1935) Sansei businessman.

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