Joe Yasutake Interview Segment 1

Memories of Crystal City internment camp, Texas: "I feel like I'm goin' to a prison." (ddr-densho-1000-136-1) - 00:07:09
Life in Crystal City internment camp, Texas: living quarters, shared facilities (ddr-densho-1000-136-2) - 00:03:56
Activities in Crystal City internment camp: judo, sumo and baseball (ddr-densho-1000-136-3) - 00:03:37
Moving to Cincinnati, Ohio after World War II, witnessing parents unhappily employed as domestic help, attending school and participating in sports (ddr-densho-1000-136-4) - 00:05:14
Parents' experiences as domestic help; "I was ashamed of the fact that my parents were servants." (ddr-densho-1000-136-5) - 00:02:58
Father's status as "enemy alien," adhering to "parole" restrictions (ddr-densho-1000-136-6) - 00:02:25
Memories of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the end of World War II (ddr-densho-1000-136-7) - 00:03:52
Experiences as one of the only Asian Americans in Terrace Park, Ohio, isolated incidents of racism (ddr-densho-1000-136-8) - 00:04:05
Moving to Chicago, Illinois, attending high school and joining the swim team (ddr-densho-1000-136-9) - 00:05:40
High school experiences: very little ethnic identity, planning for college (ddr-densho-1000-136-10) - 00:04:16
Encountering discrimination when trying to join a fraternity at Lawrence College (ddr-densho-1000-136-11) - 00:05:58
Finishing college at the University of Illinois, acceptance into ROTC influenced by older brother's service with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II (ddr-densho-1000-136-12) - 00:04:10
Joining the military, getting married, and being sent to Europe (ddr-densho-1000-136-13) - 00:03:23
Realization of responsibilities as a military officer, maturing as a person (ddr-densho-1000-136-14) - 00:01:58
Life after finishing military service: having three sons, working for the air force (ddr-densho-1000-136-15) - 00:04:34
Being one of the few Asian American families in Denver, Colorado, not much awareness of Japanese ethnic identity (ddr-densho-1000-136-16) - 00:02:31
First wife's passing; moving to San Jose, California, getting remarried (ddr-densho-1000-136-17) - 00:02:52
Involvement in the Japanese American community; recognizing the relevance of history (ddr-densho-1000-136-18) - 00:03:10
Importance of the vocal stance of Japanese American communities, feeling concerned about people's hesitation to speak out (ddr-densho-1000-136-19) - 00:03:15
Experiences speaking in classrooms about parallels between the Japanese American experience and September 11, 2001 (ddr-densho-1000-136-20) - 00:03:08
Feeling upset by the U.S. government's actions following September 11, 2001 (ddr-densho-1000-136-21) - 00:02:27
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ddr-densho-1000-136-1 (Legacy UID: denshovh-yjoe-01-0001)

Memories of Crystal City internment camp, Texas: "I feel like I'm goin' to a prison."

Joseph Yasutake was interviewed together with his sister Mitsuye (Yasutake) Yamada and surviving brother, William Toshio Yasutake, in group sessions on October 8-9, 2002. He was also interviewed individually on October 9, 2002.

Before being contacted by Densho, the Yasutake siblings had planned to conduct their own family history interviews. Individually and jointly, they and other family members had written and gathered material documenting their family history. They shared much of this with me to assist with research and preparation for the Densho interview. Mitsuye's daughter Jeni had coordinated much of the family history work. Jeni participated as a secondary interviewer during the group sessions, October 8-9, 2002.

The group interview sessions were conducted in Seattle at the home of Tom Ikeda, executive director of Densho. The oldest Yasutake sibling, Reverend Seiichi Michael Yasutake, had passed away less than a year before the Densho interviewing, in December, 2001. The remaining siblings emphasized that his absence left a gap in their discussion of family history. In addition to Jeni Yamada and videographers Dana Hoshide and John Pai, also present during some portions of the group interview were Tom Ikeda, and Mitsuye Yamada's son Kai Yamada.

00:07:09 — Segment 1 of 21

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October 9, 2002

Densho Visual History Collection

Densho

Courtesy of Densho

ddr-densho-1000-136

Joe Yasutake

Joe Yasutake Interview

01:20:38 — 21 segments

October 9, 2002

Seattle, Washington

Nisei male. Born 1932 in Seattle, WA. Father employed by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service as interpreter for twenty years, until separated from family on December 7, 1941 and interned as an enemy alien. Removed from Seattle with mother, sister and two brothers in 1942. Attended school (fifth through sixth grades) while incarcerated at Puyallup Assembly Center, Washington, Minidoka concentration camp, Idaho, and U.S. Department of Justice internment camp at Crystal City, TX. Reunited with father, Jack Kaichiro Yasutake, who was transferred from the U.S. Department of Justice internment camp in Lordsburg, NM to Crystal City, TX camp in 1944.

After release from Crystal City camp, moved with parents to Cincinnati, OH,. Moved with parents to Chicago, Illinois where father served as Executive Director of the Chicago Resettlers Committee. After high school graduation, attended Lawrence College in Wisconsin. Graduated from University of Illinois. Commissioned as lieutenant, U.S. Army, 1954, assigned to artillery and served in Germany. Returned to U.S. in 1956, discharged from the army. Married, had three sons. Late wife died in 1984. Was remarried in 1988 and has one stepdaughter.

Received M.A., New York University. Moved to Ohio, employed by U.S. Air Force as psychologist. Received Ph.D. in Industrial Psychology, Ohio State University, Columbus OH. Moved to Denver, CO. Retired in 1986 from the U.S. Air Force Human Resources Laboratory. Moved to California, employed by Lockheed. Serves in a volunteer capacity with community organizations, including as president of the Japanese American Museum of San Jose, and speaks at schools to educate students about the experiences of Japanese Americans and loss of constitutional rights during World War II. Also serves as chair of the San Jose Japantown Preservation Committee.

(Joseph Yasutake was interviewed together with his sister Mitsuye (Yasutake) Yamada and surviving brother, William Toshio Yasutake, in group sessions on October 8-9, 2002. He was also interviewed individually on October 9, 2002.

Before being contacted by Densho, the Yasutake siblings had planned to conduct their own family history interviews. Individually and jointly, they and other family members had written and gathered material documenting their family history. They shared much of this with me to assist with research and preparation for the Densho interview. Mitsuye's daughter Jeni had coordinated much of the family history work. Jeni participated as a secondary interviewer during the group sessions, October 8-9, 2002.

The group interview sessions were conducted in Seattle at the home of Tom Ikeda, executive director of Densho. The oldest Yasutake sibling, Reverend Seiichi Michael Yasutake, had passed away less than a year before the Densho interviewing, in December, 2001. The remaining siblings emphasized that his absence left a gap in their discussion of family history. In addition to Jeni Yamada and videographers Dana Hoshide and John Pai, also present during some portions of the group interview were Tom Ikeda, and Mitsuye Yamada's son Kai Yamada.)

Alice Ito, interviewer; John Pai, videographer

Densho

Courtesy of Densho

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