Longing to be an imperial soldier as a youth (Japanese)

Birthplace My image of America as a child (Japanese) Longing to be an imperial soldier as a youth (Japanese) Boarding house life and the Issei (Japanese) My father’s venture into the hotel business (Japanese) (Japanese) My children’s education Luckiest Issei The situation after the war (Japanese) “Junior Issei” (Japanese) Working in America Struggles with English (Japanese)

Transcripts available in the following languages:

(Japanese) Until the beginning of the Pacific War, I was never bullied or singled out as American-born or Japanese-American. But two days after the attack on Pearl Harbor – in Japan, that was December 8th, so it would have been December 10th – I passed by a classmate in the hallway at school, and when I said, “Good morning,” he said back, “Hey, it’s an American spy! Go back to America!”

Right after I entered elementary school, war broke out between Japan and China, then, when I was in sixth grade, the attack on Pearl Harbor happened. Japan was swept up in a current of militarism; everyone was gung ho for nationalism. So, no doubt about it – I was to become a solider. That is my wish, I said. I took the entrance exam for the military academy and was about to enter when the war ended.

Date: January 31, 2012
Location: California, US
Interviewer: John Esaki, Yoko Nishimura
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

Japan kibei Pearl Harbor pre-war

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