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Loyalty questionnaire

When we first heard about the loyalty questionnaire they said that if you didn’t answer there was gonna be a $10,000 fine or a ten years imprisonment or both or something like that. Which we found out later was all bogus, you know that it wasn’t true. And uh, when I read those two questions, there was only two questions that were controversial. The question 27 that said will you go on combat duty to the most dangerous [inaudible] wherever ordered. And then the second question was will you be loyal to the United States. And the second part was will you foreswear allegiance to the emperor of Japan.

Well, I thought that both questions were ridiculous. Especially under the circumstances we were in. And so uh, I answered it “Under the present conditions and circumstances I am unable to answer these questions.” And uh on second-question 28 on the loyalty thing I just put “No.” Or no, I put the same thing under the present conditions I can’t answer these questions because uh I was you know we were under arrest.


civil rights loyalty questionnaire World War II

Date: May 9, 2006

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Lisa Itagaki

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

Interviewee Bio

Frank Emi was born on September 23, 1916 in Los Angeles, CA. He ran the family produce business until life was interrupted by war. Emi was sent to Heart Mountain, Wyoming with his young wife and two kids.

Emi, along with many others, openly questioned the constitutionality of the incarceration of Japanese Americans. He helped form the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee and protested against the government’s actions by organizing a draft resistance. Emi was not even eligible for the draft because he was a father.

The Fair Play Committee argued that they were willing to serve in the military, but not until their rights as U.S. citizens were restored and their families released from the camps. The government convicted Emi and six others leaders of conspiracy to evade the draft. He served 18 months in jail. 86 others from Heart Mountain were put on trial and imprisoned for resisting the draft.

Following the war, Emi and other draft resisters were ostracized by Japanese American leaders and veterans. It was not until the fight for Redress, some forty years later that the Fair Play Committee was vindicated for taking a principled stand against injustice.

He passed away on December 2010 at age 94. (December 2010)

James Hirabayashi
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James Hirabayashi

Life in camp as teenager

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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Didn't have rights that whites had

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Yuri Kochiyama

Californians didn't know about evacuation

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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Conditions of assembly centers

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Yuri Kochiyama

Visit to assembly centers by E. Stanley Jones

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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Hiding what happened in camp

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Yuri Kochiyama

Issei are hard-working

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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Arrest of father

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Camp as a positive thing

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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Yukio Takeshita
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Yukio Takeshita

Involvement in JACL

(b.1935) American born Japanese. Retired businessman.

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Grayce Ritsu Kaneda Uyehara
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Grayce Ritsu Kaneda Uyehara

Importance of education in achieving redress for incarceration

(1919-2014) Activist for civil rights and redress for World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans.

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Wakako Nakamura Yamauchi
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Wakako Nakamura Yamauchi

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

(1924-2018) Artist and playwright.

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Roy H. Matsumoto
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Roy H. Matsumoto

Finding work in the assembly center

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

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Roy H. Matsumoto
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Roy H. Matsumoto

Train ride to Jerome Relocation Center

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

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Peggie Nishimura Bain
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Peggie Nishimura Bain

Conditions at Pinedale Assembly Center

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

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