Arrest, searches, and seizures
Many Nisei (second-generation Japanese Americans) can vividly recall their fathers being hauled off by FBI agents to unidentified destinations for an unknown duration. Not surprisingly, anxiety and uncertainty spread quickly after Pearl Harbor. Many precious heirlooms were burned by families wanting to rid themselves of any connection to Japan. FBI agents raided Japanese American homes, confiscating short wave radios, cameras, and books. With the systematic removal of Issei (first-generation) leaders, the Nisei -- children and teenagers for the most part -- were abruptly asked to represent the larger group as well as their own families. They found themselves translating FBI and military orders for their parents and helping to keep family businesses going.
This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.
This interview was conducted as part of a project to capture stories of the Japanese American community of Spokane, Washington. Densho worked in collaboration with the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture.