Undergraduate studies interrupted following Pearl Harbor

Growing up outside of Portland’s Japanese community Undergraduate studies interrupted following Pearl Harbor Difficulty getting work during World War II Starting an import business after World War II Opening the Made in Oregon store at Portland Airport

Transcripts available in the following languages:

It was the most devastating feeling that I ever had. I was at the University of Oregon dorm and called at the dorm called Sherry Ross Dormitory. All my friends or, you know, classmates just didn’t know what to say to me. It was just dead silence. When I walked in downstairs, you see, and listened to the radio – of course that’s all we had, we didn’t have television in those days. It was a terrible experience but two of my friends, you know, or so…came up and hugged me and said, “Sam, we know that you’re not the enemy or anything like that.” And broke the silence.

So comes 1942, talking about the University of Oregon. I was one more active person saying that, you know, we didn’t want to…we wanted to finish our Spring term. Spring term. We were on a spring basis. Not semester. And went to the president and asked him to ask…that was General DeWitt that was in charge – to allow us to finish our Spring term. And that president…which I never…that’s why I don’t support the University of Oregon anymore. The president says, “No. That would be a very unpatriotic thing to do.” So that was really devastating. So we didn’t finish our Spring term.

Date: December 8, 2005
Location: Oregon, US
Interviewer: Akemi Kikumura Yano
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum.

college discrimination university of oregon World War II

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