Gordon Hirabayashi Interview I Segment 4

Historical context of father's immigration (ddr-densho-1000-17-1) - 00:09:34
Discussion of parents' religious group, "Friends of Jesus" (ddr-densho-1000-17-2) - 00:04:02
Attending a conference about Japanese migration to Brazil (ddr-densho-1000-17-3) - 00:05:59
Father's conversion to Christianity prior to immigration to the U.S. (ddr-densho-1000-17-4) - 00:08:35
Close relationships among farming co-op families (ddr-densho-1000-17-5) - 00:03:11
Parents' marriage, discussion of picture bride system (ddr-densho-1000-17-6) - 00:07:34
Prewar social activities (ddr-densho-1000-17-7) - 00:03:22
Farm co-ops in the Japanese American community: wartime and postwar (ddr-densho-1000-17-8) - 00:03:38
Prewar racial discrimination, realizing the Constitution "doesn't exist for us" (ddr-densho-1000-17-9) - 00:06:18
Being invited to join the YMCA, feeling like a token (ddr-densho-1000-17-10) - 00:04:34
Parents' involvement in the "non church" movement (ddr-densho-1000-17-11) - 00:01:44
Growing up in the small town of Thomas, Washington (ddr-densho-1000-17-12) - 00:04:35
Description of siblings, three brothers and one sister (ddr-densho-1000-17-13) - 00:06:28
Description of brothers (ddr-densho-1000-17-14) - 00:10:55
Memories of helping parents at White River Gardens, a 40-acre family farming co-op (ddr-densho-1000-17-15) - 00:04:27
Operating a farm co-op at a time when Issei weren't allowed to own land, losing it all in court (ddr-densho-1000-17-16) - 00:08:00
Early 1980s, conducting social survey in Seoul, South Korea (ddr-densho-1000-17-17) - 00:09:13
Mother's influence on educational goals (ddr-densho-1000-17-18) - 00:03:42
Father's religious principles and mores: an "honest day's work" (ddr-densho-1000-17-19) - 00:06:46
Farming co-op: parents' decision to leave, reasons for their return, and close relationships among farming co-op families (ddr-densho-1000-17-20) - 00:10:53
Prewar race relations: tokenism and bigotry among minority communities (ddr-densho-1000-17-21) - 00:06:06
An ironic honor from hometown school, and thoughts on the continuing lack of recognition for racial minorities (ddr-densho-1000-17-22) - 00:13:59
Parents' pride in their heritage, teaching their children not to be ashamed (ddr-densho-1000-17-23) - 00:04:34
Family's decision to start a postwar nursing home, buying the building (ddr-densho-1000-17-24) - 00:10:44
Parents' establishment of a nursing home after World War II (ddr-densho-1000-17-25) - 00:03:38
Parents' roles in running a nursing home (ddr-densho-1000-17-26) - 00:11:20
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ddr-densho-1000-17-4 (Legacy UID: denshovh-hgordon-01-0004)

Father's conversion to Christianity prior to immigration to the U.S.

00:08:35 — Segment 4 of 26

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April 26, 1999

Densho Visual History Collection


Courtesy of Densho


Gordon Hirabayashi

Gordon Hirabayashi Interview I

02:53:51 — 26 segments

April 26, 1999

Seattle, Washington

Nisei male. Born April 23, 1918, in Seattle, Washington. Spent most of his childhood in Thomas, Washington, where his parents were part of a Christian farming co-op. Attended the University of Washington where he was active in the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), the conscientious objector movement, and became a Quaker. At the outbreak of World War II, he was one of only a handful of individuals to challenge the curfew and removal orders being enforced against Japanese on the West Coast, citing "Christian principles," and asserting "a duty to maintain the democratic standards for which this nation lives." He turned himself in to the FBI, was found guilty, and served time for violating the curfew order, and failing to report for "evacuation." While serving time for this conviction, Gordon was served with a draft notice and again, refused to comply. He subsequently served another period of time as a draft resister. In 1943 the Supreme Court upheld his convictions. Some forty years postwar, in 1986, his case was reopened and his convictions surrounding the incarceration were vacated by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing in part that, "racial bias was the cornerstone of the internment orders."

Becky Fukuda, interviewer; Tom Ikeda, interviewer; John Pai, videographer


Courtesy of Densho