Paul Bannai Interview II Segment 24

Serving as language interpreter and translator overseas in the Pacific; setting up prisoner of war camp in the Philippines; wearing an Australian army uniform to avoid being mistaken for a Japanese soldier (ddr-densho-1000-150-1) - 00:05:38
Experiences in Borneo: meeting a Nisei who had been drafted into the Japanese Army (ddr-densho-1000-150-2) - 00:06:30
(ddr-densho-1000-150-3) - 00:00:43
Serving with the Australian Army, Allied Translator Interpreter Services (ATIS): interrogating Japanese prisoners of war (ddr-densho-1000-150-4) - 00:06:36
Foregoing commission as lieutenant in order to help family resettle (ddr-densho-1000-150-5) - 00:07:23
Visiting postwar Kyoto, Japan, prior to returning to the United States (ddr-densho-1000-150-6) - 00:08:13
Getting married and serving one additional year of military service (ddr-densho-1000-150-7) - 00:05:18
Encountering housing discrimination in Gardena, California, after World War II (ddr-densho-1000-150-8) - 00:05:13
Encountering housing discrimination in Gardena, California, after World War II (ddr-densho-1000-150-9) - 00:05:14
Working on projects to recognize wartime experiences of Nisei veterans and Japanese Americans (ddr-densho-1000-150-10) - 00:05:20
Working in several successful business ventures: floral sales and real estate (ddr-densho-1000-150-11) - 00:08:40
Raising children, becoming active in the Japanese American community in Gardena, California (ddr-densho-1000-150-12) - 00:04:47
Encouraging daughters to become involved in Japanese American issues (ddr-densho-1000-150-13) - 00:04:26
Reflecting on the turbulent 1960s, serving on draft board during the Vietnam War (ddr-densho-1000-150-14) - 00:05:55
Election to the California State Assembly (ddr-densho-1000-150-15) - 00:08:40
Carrying a bill to legalize acupuncture (ddr-densho-1000-150-16) - 00:10:06
Serving as administrator of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) (ddr-densho-1000-150-17) - 00:04:23
Meeting the staff of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC), gathering testimony from former camp inmates (ddr-densho-1000-150-18) - 00:10:17
Memories of the redress hearings (ddr-densho-1000-150-19) - 00:07:05
Commission report leads to passage of redress legislation (ddr-densho-1000-150-20) - 00:06:45
Reflecting on the Hirabayashi, Korematsu and Yasui coram nobis cases (ddr-densho-1000-150-21) - 00:03:04
Being appointed by President Ronald Reagan to head Department of Memorial Affairs, Veteran's Administration (ddr-densho-1000-150-22) - 00:06:46
Reflecting on involvement within Japanese American community and community at-large (ddr-densho-1000-150-23) - 00:05:41
Receiving an award from the Japanese government (ddr-densho-1000-150-24) - 00:08:02
Message to future generations of Japanese Americans: "Be a good American" (ddr-densho-1000-150-25) - 00:04:13
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ddr-densho-1000-150-24 (Legacy UID: denshovh-bpaul-02-0024)

Receiving an award from the Japanese government

00:08:02 — Segment 24 of 25

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December 29, 2000

Densho Visual History Collection


Courtesy of Densho


Paul Bannai

Paul Bannai Interview II

02:34:58 — 25 segments

December 29, 2000

Seattle, Washington

Nisei male. Born July 4, 1920 in Delta, Colorado. Grew up in small mining and farming towns in Colorado, Utah and Arizona, until his family moved to Boyle Heights in the Los Angeles, California area. After graduating from high school, he tested discrimination and employment practices and eventually succeeded in obtaining a job at a bank. During World War II, his family was held in Manzanar concentration camp, California. Mr. Bannai joined the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and was later transferred to the U.S. Military Intelligence Service. He served in New Guinea and elsewhere overseas, was an interpreter for the Allied Translator and Interpreter Service (ATIS), and interpreted at the surrender of Japanese forces at ceremonies in Indonesia. Married and eventually resettled in Gardena, California, where he worked in the floral industry before founding the Bannai Realty and Insurance Company. An extremely active community and civic volunteer, Mr. Bannai joined the Elks Club as well as many veterans' and other organizations. He was elected to the Gardena city council in 1972, and in 1973 was elected to the California State Legislature. In 1980, Mr. Bannai became the executive director of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC). In 1981, he was appointed chief director of the Memorial Affairs Department of the Veterans Administration by President Ronald Reagan.

Alice Ito, interviewer; Dana Hoshide, videographer


Courtesy of Densho