Reparations

Growing up "American" Losing his sister in camp Getting an English Name Introduction to Film Seagulls Leaving Tule Lake Getting Started in Animation First Short Film Teaching English in Japan Animations for the Government The Red Baron Paintings reflecting on camp Reparations

Transcripts available in the following languages:

So $20,000 was going to be the price for all surviving people from the camp, you know. And uh so I says okay I'm gonna get that $20,000 and I'm going to spend 18 of it to buy a, a Cadillac, you know. And the $2000 I'm going to use to take the Cadillac out of the sea, you know. And I was gonna drive it over the Pacific Palisades to no, what do you call it, skin diving in Palos Verdes, you know. And but before I do that I'm going to paint graff...on, on the door so this is what four years did. I got paid four years in camp. And I have, I had a lot friends who to this day in the critics, the press, people, you know. I would call them and say I'm going to push...I'm going to drive a Cadillac into the sea, over the cliff. A brand...and a brand new one. Okay would you guys want to see this? You know. And uh and then have them come over with the television station or whatever it is. And I was uh I was gonna do that and walk away. [Laughter] And I just told this to my wife - and we didn't have much money then and she said God no, don't do that, please we need the money. The whole thing we gave it up.

I*:  But you didn't want the redress money?

No, no I mean I wanted it but I, I didn't like what it stood for. And even to this day when the money came, $20,000 is not much because we just had to pay off some people we owe. We never even saw that money. So in some ways I didn't see it, you know. We had a debt to be paid off you know. So uh it just went from one pocket to another, you know. 

* "I" indicates an interviewer (Chris Komai).

Date: June 29, 2012
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Chris Komai, John Esaki
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

camps money redress

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