Father’s Optimism

Parents First Exposure to Animation December 7th, 1941 Father’s Optimism Tanforan Assembly Center Dusty Weather at Topaz, Utah Mother in Camp Father making shell brooches at Topaz Father’s Postwar Barber Career First Encounter with Walt Disney Disney Drawing Tests His mentor, Iwao Takamoto The Dopey bank that survived the war

Transcripts available in the following languages:

One of the things about my dad, being Nisei, he was very optimistic. You know, the rumor around Japantown was, oh, sell everything. Get what you can, we’ll never come back. All these stories about Nazi Germany and what was going on in Europe. One of the rumors that we would hear was, what’s going to happen. If Japan won the war, or if US wins the war, what’s going to happen? Either way, we’re all just going to be lined up and executed, so we’ll never comeback.

But my dad, he always thought that, yeah we’ll be back. In fact, he was so optimistic that one of his best friends was a Chinese family. And so he offered Chuck, to live in our home, which he had just purchased in 1939. And so Chuck and his family, and had a daughter about my age at that time. They came and lived in the house. And so after the war, when we came back to San Francisco, we had a home to come back to.

Date: August 26, 2015
Location: California, US
Interviewer: John Esaki
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

forced evacuation nisei World War II

Nikkei Heroes: Trailblazers, Role Models, and Inspirations

Read the Nikkei Heroes stories and help select the Nima-kai community favorite >>

Get updates

Sign up for email updates

Journal feed
Events feed
Comments feed

Support this project

Discover Nikkei

Discover Nikkei is a place to connect with others and share the Nikkei experience. To continue to sustain and grow this project, we need your help!

Ways to help >>

A project of the Japanese American National Museum

Major support by The Nippon Foundation