Rudy Tokiwa Interview II Segment 46

Father immigrates to start anew and avoid Japan's civil strife (ddr-densho-1000-92-1) - 00:06:42
The role of the Nisei in the prewar family, helping to cross the language barrier (ddr-densho-1000-92-2) - 00:02:35
Expectations of life in Japan: "Nobody there is gonna say, 'You look different'" (ddr-densho-1000-92-3) - 00:03:59
Taking care of people within the community, kenjinkai associations (ddr-densho-1000-92-4) - 00:07:48
Racism in Manchuria, similarities to the racism endured by Japanese Americans (ddr-densho-1000-92-5) - 00:06:53
Life in Japan, hierarchy within the grade schools (ddr-densho-1000-92-6) - 00:04:11
Political climate in Japan shortly before World War II (ddr-densho-1000-92-7) - 00:06:23
Preventing records of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team from being destroyed (ddr-densho-1000-92-8) - 00:08:16
The army's use of Nisei interpreters early in the war (ddr-densho-1000-92-9) - 00:04:08
Deciding to return to the U.S. as war approaches (ddr-densho-1000-92-10) - 00:07:36
Receiving Japanese military training in school (ddr-densho-1000-92-11) - 00:08:30
Returning to the U.S., catching the last ship allowed in from Japan (ddr-densho-1000-92-12) - 00:04:51
Family's reaction upon returning to the U.S. (ddr-densho-1000-92-13) - 00:05:31
Remembering the Pearl Harbor bombing and a visit from the FBI (ddr-densho-1000-92-14) - 00:06:22
Treatment by Caucasians in the community after the Pearl Harbor bombing, "Them dirty Japs..." (ddr-densho-1000-92-15) - 00:07:03
Learning to cook in the Salinas Assembly Center, California (ddr-densho-1000-92-16) - 00:03:42
Life in Poston concentration camp: people were "fainting like flies" from the heat (ddr-densho-1000-92-17) - 00:05:10
Recruited to become a mess hall cook at fourteen years old in Poston concentration camp (ddr-densho-1000-92-18) - 00:06:25
An accident while working in the camp mess hall (ddr-densho-1000-92-19) - 00:02:33
Working as a warehouse foreman, accused of selling goods on the black-market (ddr-densho-1000-92-20) - 00:03:43
Going from student to teacher at school (ddr-densho-1000-92-21) - 00:02:23
Attending a meeting to decide how to answer the so-called "loyalty questions" (ddr-densho-1000-92-22) - 00:09:57
Parents' reaction to decision to fight in WWII, "He's nothing but a little kid" (ddr-densho-1000-92-23) - 00:04:48
Called up for military duty at seventeen years old (ddr-densho-1000-92-24) - 00:04:31
Camp Shelby, Mississippi: gaining the respect of the Japanese Americans from Hawaii (ddr-densho-1000-92-25) - 00:05:13
Forging passes to leave the base for New Orleans to buy "sashimi" (ddr-densho-1000-92-26) - 00:03:53
Determination to join the 442nd Regimental Combat Team (ddr-densho-1000-92-27) - 00:03:06
Nisei soldiers befriend black soldiers and break segregation rules (ddr-densho-1000-92-28) - 00:03:01
USO entertainment during basic training (ddr-densho-1000-92-29) - 00:04:32
The dedication of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team officers to the men in their unit (ddr-densho-1000-92-30) - 00:01:48
Being temporarily separated from unit (ddr-densho-1000-92-31) - 00:03:57
The effect of racism on the Nisei soldiers (ddr-densho-1000-92-32) - 00:02:53
The 442nd Regimental Combat Team earns the nickname "Little Iron Men" from the Germans (ddr-densho-1000-92-33) - 00:06:46
The U.S. government fails to award the 442nd Regimental Combat Team well-deserved Congressional Medals of Honor (ddr-densho-1000-92-34) - 00:04:15
Training with Sadao Munemori, Medal of Honor recipient (ddr-densho-1000-92-35) - 00:05:43
Officers' appreciation for Nisei soldiers (ddr-densho-1000-92-36) - 00:02:35
Memories of a fellow soldier's stint in the stockade (ddr-densho-1000-92-37) - 00:02:29
Description of a company runner's duties, being privy to confidential information (ddr-densho-1000-92-38) - 00:05:42
Getting an inside perspective on company and headquarters (ddr-densho-1000-92-39) - 00:06:02
Having the ability to make independent decisions during dangerous situations (ddr-densho-1000-92-40) - 00:03:23
Dealing with a difficult superior, an officer shoots at his own man (ddr-densho-1000-92-41) - 00:05:17
An officer earns the respect of his men by dodging fire faster than a younger soldier (ddr-densho-1000-92-42) - 00:06:28
Hearing about Hawaiian Nisei soldiers' visit to the incarceration campsfrom the mainland (ddr-densho-1000-92-43) - 00:08:59
Single-handedly capturing a group of German officers (ddr-densho-1000-92-44) - 00:05:40
Liberating the town of Bruyeres, Japanese American officers are mistaken for Chinese (ddr-densho-1000-92-45) - 00:06:56
Maintaining a sense of humanity during the war (ddr-densho-1000-92-46) - 00:07:39
Finding a common language, communicating in Japanese with Brazilian officers (ddr-densho-1000-92-47) - 00:06:40
The battle of the "Lost Battalion"; memories of Colonel Pursall standing up for his menRegimental Combat Team lives (ddr-densho-1000-92-48) - 00:11:49
Being injured and continuing to fight (ddr-densho-1000-92-49) - 00:07:02
The 442nd Regimental Combat Team passes in review after the battle of the "Lost Battalion" (ddr-densho-1000-92-50) - 00:04:49
General Mark Clark admits that the 442nd Regimental Combat Team was unfairly sent into too many battles (ddr-densho-1000-92-51) - 00:03:55
Recalling a friend's death by friendly fire, searching for his grave at Arlington National Cemetery (ddr-densho-1000-92-52) - 00:08:21
Israel honors the 552nd Field Artillery Battalion who helped to liberate death camp survivors (ddr-densho-1000-92-53) - 00:04:52
Author Solly Ganor recalls being liberated by the 552nd Field Artillery Battalion soldier (ddr-densho-1000-92-54) - 00:05:45
Lessons learned from father (ddr-densho-1000-92-55) - 00:06:08
Returning home, unable to locate parents because Poston concentration camp had closed (ddr-densho-1000-92-56) - 00:08:11
Reuniting with parents (ddr-densho-1000-92-57) - 00:04:13
Rebuilding life professionally and personally (ddr-densho-1000-92-58) - 00:05:07
Becoming PTA president (ddr-densho-1000-92-59) - 00:05:30
Getting involved with the Boy Scouts (ddr-densho-1000-92-60) - 00:06:40
Initiating the National Japanese American Monument (ddr-densho-1000-92-61) - 00:05:50
Continuing work on the National Japanese American Monument (ddr-densho-1000-92-62) - 00:02:55
The importance of honoring the World War II veterans' story (ddr-densho-1000-92-63) - 00:02:15
Raising funds for the National Japanese American Monument (ddr-densho-1000-92-64) - 00:01:05
The challenge of finding resources for Japanese American community projects (ddr-densho-1000-92-65) - 00:04:57
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ddr-densho-1000-92-46 (Legacy UID: denshovh-trudy-02-0046)

Maintaining a sense of humanity during the war

This interview was conducted at the 1998 Americans of Japanese Ancestry Veterans National Convention, held in Honolulu, Hawaii.

00:07:39 — Segment 46 of 65

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July 2 & 3, 1998

Densho Visual History Collection

Densho

Courtesy of Densho

ddr-densho-1000-92

Rudy Tokiwa

Rudy Tokiwa Interview II

05:46:21 — 65 segments

July 2 - 3, 1998

Honolulu, Hawaii

Nisei male born July 7, 1925, near San Jose. Grew up in Salinas, California, until he went to Japan at the age of thirteen. Studied in Japan until about 1939. Incarcerated at Salinas Assembly Center, California and Poston concentration camp, Arizona. Volunteered out of camp to serve in the U.S. military. Fought in Europe as a battalion runner for the all-Japanese American 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Single-handedly captured a group of German officers, fought in the famous "Battle of the Lost Battalion," and was present at the liberation of Bruyeres. Was recruited to lobby Congress for passage of the 1988 Civil Liberties Act as a representative for Nikkei veterans, and proved invaluable in garnering support among particularly resistant members of Congress. Mr. Tokiwa passed away on December 4, 2004.

(This interview was conducted at the 1998 Americans of Japanese Ancestry Veterans National Convention, held in Honolulu, Hawaii.)

Tom Ikeda, interviewer; Judy Niizawa, interviewer; Matt Emery/Larry Hashima, videographer

Densho

Courtesy of Densho

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