Masao Watanabe Segment 1

Born in Seattle, Washington (ddr-densho-1000-103-1) - 00:02:46
Father's reasons for coming to the United States: no longer the favorite son (ddr-densho-1000-103-2) - 00:05:26
Prewar family business selling produce at the Public Market (ddr-densho-1000-103-3) - 00:02:06
Role of Japanese produce sellers in the Public Market (ddr-densho-1000-103-4) - 00:05:01
The "unique society" at the Public Market (ddr-densho-1000-103-5) - 00:03:21
A diverse community at the Public Market (ddr-densho-1000-103-6) - 00:06:05
Attending Central grammar school and Broadway high school, Seattle (ddr-densho-1000-103-7) - 00:02:15
Memories of attending school: conscious of ethnic differences (ddr-densho-1000-103-8) - 00:04:16
Racial makeup of Broadway High School (ddr-densho-1000-103-9) - 00:01:45
Role of churches in prewar Seattle (ddr-densho-1000-103-10) - 00:02:14
Bombing of Pearl Harbor disrupts plan to attend university (ddr-densho-1000-103-11) - 00:04:04
Finding out about the bombing of Pearl Harbor while on a skiing trip (ddr-densho-1000-103-12) - 00:03:36
Father's arrest by FBI, impact on the family (ddr-densho-1000-103-13) - 00:03:44
Coping with FBI's arrest of father (ddr-densho-1000-103-14) - 00:01:20
Attitude towards incarceration: "all this liberty and crap was all crap" (ddr-densho-1000-103-15) - 00:03:16
Mother's illness in camp (ddr-densho-1000-103-16) - 00:01:36
Reaction upon moving to Minidoka: "they were treating us like dogs" (ddr-densho-1000-103-17) - 00:02:36
Deciding to volunteer for the army: "I don't know which was worse: being locked up in camp or going off to war" (ddr-densho-1000-103-18) - 00:03:43
Family's reaction to military service (ddr-densho-1000-103-19) - 00:02:47
Working outside of camp while waiting for induction (ddr-densho-1000-103-20) - 00:01:27
Remembering fellow soldier, Shiro Kashino (ddr-densho-1000-103-21) - 00:05:39
Conflicts between Hawaiian and mainland military recruits at Camp Shelby, Mississippi (ddr-densho-1000-103-22) - 00:06:49
Getting along with soldiers from Hawaii (ddr-densho-1000-103-23) - 00:03:32
Maintaining close ties with fellow soldiers from Seattle (ddr-densho-1000-103-24) - 00:03:18
First combat experiences in Europe (ddr-densho-1000-103-25) - 00:03:25
Description of weaponry (ddr-densho-1000-103-26) - 00:02:22
Dealing with loss of friends in combat (ddr-densho-1000-103-27) - 00:03:07
Feelings about draft resisters in the camps while on the front line (ddr-densho-1000-103-28) - 00:02:40
Closeness of soldiers of the 442nd (ddr-densho-1000-103-29) - 00:06:24
Description of role in platoon (ddr-densho-1000-103-30) - 00:02:39
Memories of a particular mission in Europe (ddr-densho-1000-103-31) - 00:03:12
Reacting in synch with fellow soldiers during a difficult battle (ddr-densho-1000-103-32) - 00:03:52
Feelings on high casualties suffered (ddr-densho-1000-103-33) - 00:02:23
Breaking the Gothic Line: a surprise attack (ddr-densho-1000-103-34) - 00:04:32
A dangerous assignment on difficult terrain (ddr-densho-1000-103-35) - 00:04:31
Receiving aid from Italian partisans (ddr-densho-1000-103-36) - 00:02:50
Some fond memories of experiences in Europe (ddr-densho-1000-103-37) - 00:03:01
Studying in Italy after the end of the war (ddr-densho-1000-103-38) - 00:06:04
Guarding prisoners in Italy evokes comparisons to concentration camps (ddr-densho-1000-103-39) - 00:03:02
Returning to the United States by ship (ddr-densho-1000-103-40) - 00:02:31
Reunion with family in Nebraska after the war (ddr-densho-1000-103-41) - 00:02:34
Returning to Seattle (ddr-densho-1000-103-42) - 00:02:16
Attending the University of Washington (ddr-densho-1000-103-43) - 00:02:40
Forming the Nisei Veterans Committee in recognition of unique wartime experiences (ddr-densho-1000-103-44) - 00:06:26
Working for the U.S. Customs Service (ddr-densho-1000-103-45) - 00:03:28
Observing racial discrimination as director of customs at a U.S.-Canadian border crossing (ddr-densho-1000-103-46) - 00:03:24
Feeling a fondness for the city of Seattle (ddr-densho-1000-103-47) - 00:03:08
Getting married and raising a family (ddr-densho-1000-103-48) - 00:05:17
Thoughts on redress (ddr-densho-1000-103-49) - 00:02:14
A veteran's thoughts on "no-no" boys (ddr-densho-1000-103-50) - 00:05:50
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ddr-densho-1000-103-1 (Legacy UID: denshovh-wmasao-01-0001)

Born in Seattle, Washington

At the time this interview was taped, Mr. Watanabe was recovering from a recent series of cancer treatments.

00:02:46 — Segment 1 of 50

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June 19, 1998

Densho Visual History Collection


Courtesy of Densho


Masao Watanabe

Masao Watanabe Interview

02:56:34 — 50 segments

June 19, 1998

Seattle, Washington

Nisei male. Born December 10, 1923, in Seattle, Washington. Grew up near the Nihonmachi area of Seattle. Incarcerated at the Puyallup Assembly Center, Washington, and Minidoka concentration camp, Idaho. In 1943, volunteered for the army while in camp. Served in Europe with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, L Company. Returned to Seattle after the war and worked for the U.S. Customs Service. A founding member of the Nisei Veterans Committee (NVC) in Seattle.

Tom Ikeda, interviewer; Matt Emery, videographer


Courtesy of Densho