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Personal Narratives of Evacuation and Relocation of Japanese Americans During World War II, 1924-2018

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Series I: Internees (continued)
Sam S. Ozaki Collection
Collection ID: 75775
Digital content available
Ozaki was interned at Santa Anita Assembly Center (Santa Anita Racetrack), California, and Jerome Relocation Center, Arkansas, before enlisting in the United States Army in 1944. He served with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in Italy and France.
BOX CD/DVD-210 Audio Interview with Sam S. Ozaki, September 19, 2009
67 minutes
SR01-SR02: Topics covered include: initial reaction to the bombing of Pearl Harbor; sent to Santa Anita Assembly Center (Santa Anita Racetrack), California, and then to Jerome Relocation Camp, Arkansas; thoughts on incarceration; loyalty questionnaire; reasons for enlisting; facing prejudice at Camp Shelby, Mississippi; BAR Man (Browning Automatic Rifle) in his platoon; serving with Daniel Inouye; experience with the Lost Battalion; keeping in touch with family; emotions experienced during battle; entertainment; brother, Yoji, also served with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team; recollections of high school friends in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team; career in education; interned with only the possessions he could carry; father taken by the FBI, separated from the family; early education; job in the recreation department while incarcerated; reasons for enlisting; Lost Battalion; liberation of Dachau; impact of service on his life.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-2189 Transcript, September 19, 2009
1 folder
MS01: Transcript of SR01.
Kiyo Sato Collection
Collection ID: 68443
Digital content available
Sato was interned at Poston Relocation Center, Arizona. She left the camp to attend college in Michigan and became a nurse. During the Korean War, she joined the United States Air Force Nurse Corps and served in Texas, the Philippines, and Japan.
BOX miniDV Video Interview with Kiyo Sato, August 27, 2009
57 minutes
MV01: Topics covered include: Early life; reason for joining Air Force in 1951; rejected by Navy during World War II because she was Japanese American; nursing school; prejudice in Texas, 1951; assigned to Philippines; time at Clark Air Force Base (AFB); officers club; sent to Japan; father goes to America; pre-war prejudice in America; brother in 442nd Regimental Combat Team; Japanese reaction to her; goes to father's hometown and meets family for first time; discharged in Japan; awaiting orders; leaves Japan on USS Stillman; land issues while in camps; reaction to how her family was treated; Poston Relocation Center, Arizona; allowed to go East to college; federal investigation of her; Ms. Cox, school teacher saw her off to camps; brother went into Army; how people tried to normalize life for children's sake; father hid things in bedrolls; people brought seeds; young allowed to work outside of camps if they stayed away from West Coast; farming in camps; homelessness issue; locals' reactions to camps; guards' treatment; pranks played on guards; presentations to schools; life in the camps.
Rikio Sato Collection
Collection ID: 57663
Digital content available
Sato was interned at the Portland Assembly Center, Oregon, and Heart Mountain Relocation Center, Wyoming, until he was drafted into the United States Army in 1945. He served in military intelligence at Fort Douglas, Utah; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Snelling, Minnesota; Presidio of Monterey, California; and Fort Ord, California.
BOX CD/DVD-100 Video Interview with Rikio Sato, September 10, 2007
65 minutes
MV01: Topics covered include: family life before the war; renting a farm from the local Indian tribe; difference between Nisei and Issei; family being friendly with the neighbors until Pearl Harbor; not expecting to be evacuated; family getting orders to leave and only having two weeks to get ready; ending up in the Portland Assembly Center, terrible conditions; "I still don't understand why as an American citizen, you should be going anywhere if you don't want to"; just going along with the situation; a lot of people volunteering for the service to prove their loyalty to the government; conditions at the "apartments" in the Heart Mountain Camp; having traditional Japanese activities in the camp; guards at the camp; jobs; working with German prisoners; registering for the draft when he turned 18; Japanese Americans who were drafted and refusing to serve; being trained in Military Intelligence; possibility of being used for the invasion of Japan; parents' feelings about him being drafted; the government not extending any extra incentives or benefits to his family when he entered the military; Japanese American women entering the service; meeting a lot of different people and making friends while in the service; not experiencing any prejudice while in the service; thoughts on the war ending; experiencing prejudice by a local barber upon returning to his hometown; dealing with prejudice; feeling dissatisfied with the amount of compensation received; how his perceptions of prejudice and racism in America have changed over the years; thoughts on the 442nd Regimental Combat Team; thoughts on Tokyo Rose and the lack of Japanese American sabotage; family members who have also served in the military.
Susumu Satow Collection
Collection ID: 42986
Digital content available
Satow was interned at Granada Relocation Center, Colorado (a.k.a. "Amache"). In July 1943, he enlisted in the United States Army, and served with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in Italy and France.
BOX miniDV Video Interview with Susumu Satow, January 31, 2006
55 minutes
MV01: Topics covered include: military service, locations of assignments; high school baseball, outfielder, family of 11; enlisting in Army; Japanese American experience; news and media; assignments, camps; internment at Granada Relocation Center, Colorado (a.k.a. "Amache"); working on local farm until volunteered for military; training at Camp Shelby; 442nd Regimental Combat Team, Italy; part of a 81 millimeter mortar squad, Europe, Rome, regimental combat team; wounded in France with shrapnel; Bronze Star, radio lineman, assisting wounded staff sergeant at forward outpost and called in artillery; coming home by ship; working as an apprentice at McClellan, radar electronics; coming home, to Chicago; news report; hobbies, golf, gardening.
Helen Terada Shintaku Collection
Collection ID: 439
Digital content available
Shintaku was interned at Poston Relocation Center, Arizona. Prior to the war she was training as a nurse at Perez Valley Hospital in San Diego, California. While interned, she worked as a nurse's aide in the camp. She was released from the camp to continue her training at Episcopal Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
BOX AC-12 Audio Interview with Helen Terada Shintaku, May 2, 2002
18 minutes
SR01: Topics covered include: Early life and family; Pearl Harbor; nursing training at Perez Valley Hospital; family's reaction to internment; Poston Relocation Center, Arizona; mother suffered a stroke; working as a nurse in camp, lack of medicine; strike in camp; internees and workers suffering heat stroke; writing to hospitals that needed nurses; meeting husband; leaving camp for Episcopal Hospital, Philadelphia; leaving nurse's training to get married; getting her parents out of the camp; depression while in camp.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-39/1 Transcript, May 2, 2002
33 pages
MS01: Transcript of SR01.
BOX FD-2 Electronic file of manuscript, May 2, 2002
1 floppy disc
CF01: Transcript (MS01) in TXT format.
Curt Shinichi Sugiyama Collection
Collection ID: 91060
Digital content available
Sugiyama was interned at Gila River Relocation Center, Arizona, as a child. In 1946, he and his family were released from the camp and moved to Michigan. In 1958, he enlisted in the United States Army and served with the Medical Service Corps at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Following his discharge in 1962, he pursued a career as a social worker.
BOX audio cassette Audio Interview with Curt Shinichi Sugiyama, July 4, 2013
56 minutes
SR01: Topics covered include: Internment camp; parents had been American citizens for years; no bitterness on his parents or his part; they moved to Michigan after release from camp; in 1958, applied for a commission but was inducted into the Army before the commission came; started boot camp at Fort Ord in California; only there a few weeks when commission finally came through; boot camp was of drill instructors teaching "Boots" to obey orders; life experiences; went to Fort Jackson, South Carolina; assigned to a medical service unit; caring for both Army personnel and family members; worked with medical team of psychologists, social workers, and psychiatrists; worked in mental health clinic with new recruits who were having difficulty adjusting to military life; worked with military families; crisis intervention; dealing with patients alcoholism; functional alcoholics able to do their jobs because of military structure (SOPs-standard operating procedures) but not able to handle life outside military; service very helpful for reinforcing skills he had learned in graduate school; University of Michigan; served there three years; about to be discharged but all was frozen; sent to Fort Ord for six months until discharge; good memories of his service life; happy to be in his chosen profession; crisis intervention and working with families; spent rest of his career as a social worker; believes military is necessary but war is not necessary; Japanese saying "If you can't help it, just deal with it.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-02435/1 Printed matter, 2013
1 folder
MS01: A part of a newspaper article and narrative that includes Sugiyama and other internee's experiences.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-02435/2 Photographs, 1959-2013
7 photographs
PH01: B/W print, Sugiyama and wife Jean on wedding day, San Francisco, California (1959).
PH02: Color print, Sugiyama at the time of the interview, Atlantic Beach, Florida (07/04/2013).
PH03-PH04: B/W print, Japanese internment camp, Gila River Relocation Center, Arizona (1944).
PH05-PH07: B/W print, Eleanor Roosevelt, accompanied by Dillon Myer, National Director of the War Relocation Authority, visiting the Gila River Relocation Center, Arizona.
Harry Tanabe Collection
Collection ID: 13251
Digital content available
Tanabe was interned at Central Utah Relocation Center (a.k.a. “Topaz”). He enlisted in the United States Army and served with the Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) on Okinawa.
BOX audio cassette Audio interview with Harry Tanabe, May 27, 2004
8 minutes
SR01: This interview was conducted by Veterans History Project volunteers on the National Mall in Washington, DC during the National World War II Reunion: Tribute to a Generation, May 27-30, 2004. Topics covered include: served in the Pacific; Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC); 3rd Marines; interrogate and interpret radio messages; Okinawa veteran; lost his sense of smell; experienced discrimination as a Japanese American soldier; attended Officer Candidate School (OCS), but didn't get 2nd Lieutenant bars; wounded on Okinawa; debriefed Japanese officer prisoners of war (POWs); stench of death; volunteered to join the Army to get out of Central Utah Relocation Center (a.k.a. "Topaz”).
Carolyn Hisako Tanaka Collection
Collection ID: 7154
Digital content available
Tanaka was interned at Poston Relocation Center, Arizona, as a child. Following the war, her family moved to Fresno, California, and she eventually attended the Fresno General Hospital School of Nursing and became an emergency nurse. In 1966, she enlisted in the United States Army Nurse Corps and served with the 24th Evacuation Hospital, Long Binh, Vietnam.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-655 Memoirs, August 2001
105 pages
MS01: An unpublished manuscript by the veteran about her 18 months in Vietnam as a United States Army Nurse and later civilian career in public service. Topics covered include: Life in Guadalupe; internment at Poston Relocation Center, Arizona; Edison High School and nursing school; Army Nurse Corps; service in Vietnam; life after Vietnam; nursing administration; Vietnam Women's Memorial; volunteerism.
Carolyn Hisako Tanaka Collection
Collection ID: 45225
Digital content available
Tanaka was interned at Poston Relocation Center, Arizona, as a child. Following the war, her family moved to Fresno, California, and she eventually attended the Fresno General Hospital School of Nursing and became an emergency nurse. In 1966, she enlisted in the United States Army Nurse Corps and served with the 24th Evacuation Hospital, Long Binh, Vietnam.
BOX miniDV Video Interview with Carolyn H. Tanaka, January 12, 2005
37 minutes
MV01: Topics include: Growing up for first six years in Guadalupe, California; father born in Guadalupe, mother born and raised in Fresno, California; father was a farmer, rented land with grandfather while living in Guadalupe; met mother in California and brought her back to Guadalupe; Japanese sent to internment camps after Pearl Harbor attack; moving to Dinuba, California, in order to be sent to the same internment camps as family; did not forget the impact of being detained at Poston Relocation Center, Arizona, for three years; the 442nd Regimental Combat Team; America made a big mistake in Japanese internment camps; younger brothers enlisted in the Army; older brother a veteran of the Korean War; felt a sense of duty to join the military; joined the Army Nurse Corps because it was the only guarantee that she would be stationed in Vietnam; attached to the 24th EVAC Hospital in Long Binh, Vietnam; becoming Head Nurse; ten years older than most of the nurses; difficulty of learning how to take care of the wounded in war, comparison to caring for wounded in the civilian sector; saw areas of improvement in the hospital and took notes in black book, utilized those notes upon becoming Head Nurse; most memorable moment was taking care of Rory Bailey, a soldier who suffered severe face wounds from a rocket explosion; didn’t make too many friends due to being busy in the emergency room; spoke with Rory Bailey on the phone and talking a lot about sports; wrote to People Magazine about paying for Rory Bailey’s trip to Washington D.C. for Vietnam Memorial event on Veteran’s Day in 1993; fundraising for Vietnam Women’s Memorial Project; writing the book “Road Runner.”
Taketora Tanaka Collection
Collection ID: 10120
Digital content available
Tanaka was interned at Tule Lake Relocation Center, California, and Central Utah Relocation Center (a.k.a. “Topaz”), as a teenager. In June 1944, he was drafted into the United States Army, and served with Company A, 100th Battalion, 442nd Regiment Combat Team in Italy, France, and Germany.
BOX miniDV Video Interview with Taketora Tanaka, July 10, 2003
41 minutes
MV01: Topics covered include: drafted out of Central Utah Relocation Center (a.k.a. “Topaz”); loyalty questionnaire; early days in service; experiencing racism from white troops; travel on freight trains; rifleman and BAR ammo bearer; casualties within unit; medals; keeping touch with family; food and supplies; unit made up of Japanese Americans from Hawaii and the mainland; recreation; pranks pulled on soldiers on guard duty; really liked his commanding officers; memories of day war ended; guarding prisoners of war (POWs); return to the United States; education; working to support family; educating students about internment of Japanese Americans.
Taketora Tanaka Collection
Collection ID: 43935
Digital content available
Tanaka was interned at Tule Lake Relocation Center, California, and Central Utah Relocation Center (a.k.a. “Topaz”), as a teenager. In June 1944, he was drafted into the United States Army, and served with Company A, 100th Battalion, 442nd Regiment Combat Team in Italy, France, and Germany.
BOX VHS-454 Video Interview with Taketora Tanaka, March 13, 2005
35 minutes
MV01: Topics include: drafted into Army while at the Central Utah Relocation Center (a.k.a. “Topaz”); love of country despite being housed in internment camp; the concept of “haji” (shame) among Japanese families and its impact on Nisei soldiers, doing their best in military; scared when arriving in France; serving as a rifleman during the Gothic Line (German defensive line) breach; promotion process; staying in contact with family members via mail; the use of mules during war; one chocolate piece from rations equaled one full meal; touring France and Italy while on leave; visiting Switzerland after the war; story of a soldier who had to bury a German soldier; pictures of his time at the internment camp; no privacy at the internment camp; FBI agents would take leaders of Japanese communities to interrogate/question them; Medal of Honor recipients in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team; discharge from the Army at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, not wanting to re-enlist; visiting girlfriend in Detroit, Michigan immediately upon discharge; wanting to go to college after the war but had to go to a trade school in order to help the family financially; closeness of soldiers stemming from being in combat together; being part of the Nisei Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) organization; the horrors of war; having to deal with Anti-Japanese sentiment after the war; businesses having evacuation sales.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-1253/1 Biographical information, undated
2 pages
MS01: A brief summary of Tanaka's life experiences and accomplishments.
BOX-FOLDER OVZ-115/1 Maps, undated
1 page
MS02: Copy of United States map of all camps (Assembly vs. Relocation vs. Internment)
BOX-FOLDER MSS-1253/2 Printed matter, undated
2 pages
MS03: Copy of loyalty questionnaire; Medals/Citations received for the 100th Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-1253/3 Photocopy of photographic print, undated
1 page
PH01: United States Congressional Medal of Honor recipients.
George Mazumi Taoka Collection
Collection ID: 35055
Digital content available
Taoka was interned at Santa Anita Assemby Center (Santa Anita Racetrack), California, and Heart Mountain Relocation Center, Wyoming. In May 1944, he enlisted in the United States Army, and served in the Pacific Theater with the Allied Translator and Interpreter Service (ATIS). Following World War II, he continued to serve in the Army Reserve, retiring in 1976, with the rank of Major.
BOX audio cassette Audio Interview with George Mazumi Taoka, January 5, 2006
50 minutes
SR01: Topics covered include: returning to Japan; Stanford University; 1941 research in Japan; interview with Japanese secret police in Japan; interview with Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in United States 5/1941; Pearl Harbor attack; hysteria toward Japanese in the United States; relocation of Japanese from West Coast; marriage; relocation to Santa Anita Assemby Center (Santa Anita Racetrack), California; shipped to internment camp 9/1942, Heart Mountain Relocation Center; release from camp; University of Toledo; draft number, enlistment 5/1944; racial issues, Aniston, Alabama, Fort McClellan; Philippines, Manila, Japanese resentment; Japan, post-war occupation duty; visit family in Hiroshima; discharge; post-war, graduate school, Columbia.
Jack Taoashi Tashiro Collection
Collection ID: 27114
Digital content available
Tashiro was interned at Tule Lake Relocation Center, California, as a teenager, before being drafted into the United States Army in 1944. He served at the Military Intelligence Service Language School (MISLS) and with the Allied Translator and Interpreter Service (ATIS), at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, and in Tokyo, Japan. He was interviewed jointly with his wife, Marie Tashiro, who was interned at Poston Relocation Center, Arizona.
BOX miniDV Video Interview with Jack Taoashi Tashiro and Marie Tashiro, February 22, 2004
70 minutes
MV01-MV02: Topics covered include: father came to the United States in 1898; returned to Japan to get married; settled in Portland, Oregon; father died in 1937; mother took Tashiro back to Japan for school; returned to Portland in 1939; was playing baseball when Pearl Harbor was attacked; attended Japanese school; participated in kendo; sent to Tule Lake Relocation Center; worked on farms in eastern Oregon during the summers; mother sent to Minidoka Relocation Center, Idaho; drafted in November 1944; trained at Camp Blanding; sent to Fort Snelling, Minnesota, Military Intelligence Language School (MISLS); sent to Tokyo on August 3, 1946; took part in War Crimes trials; assigned to Fukuoka for one year; discharged in January 1947; attended University of Oregon; met wife in Minneapolis in 1946; job offer from the CIA; job with Office of Technical Services; secret writing and clandestine photography; assigned to Japan for four years; worked in Vietnam learning how to identify Viet Cong; Deputy Director of Office of Technical Services; retired in 1979 and opened his own security firm; occupation of Japan vs. Iraq War.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-2744 Transcript, February 22, 2004
1 folder
MS01: Transcript of MV01-MV02.
Yasu Teramura collection
Collection ID: 96325
Digital content available
Teramura was interned at the Portland Assembly Center, but was released to work for the Farm Security Administration in Eastern Oregon, while his family was moved to Minidoka Relocation Center, Idaho. In 1944, he was drafted into the United States Army, and served as a cook with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in France and Italy. After his discharge, he returned to Oregon and a career as a farmer.
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