Gordon Hirabayashi Interview II Segment 7

Mother's influence on educational goals (ddr-densho-1000-18-1) - 00:06:35
Father's religious principles and mores: an "honest day's work," and memories of father's honest selling practices (ddr-densho-1000-18-2) - 00:09:01
Prewar life at the University of Washington: extra-curricular activities open to Japanese American students, but not the Greek system (ddr-densho-1000-18-3) - 00:06:33
Attending the University of Washington before the war (ddr-densho-1000-18-4) - 00:05:02
Before pacifism: opting for ROTC training as an aspect of "American student life, American citizenship" (ddr-densho-1000-18-5) - 00:04:16
Crossing the racial divide in student activities and social life (ddr-densho-1000-18-6) - 00:06:23
Attending a leadership conference (ddr-densho-1000-18-7) - 00:08:02
YMCA Leadership Conference in 1940, and the conflict between a belief in American ideals and the reality of daily discrimination (ddr-densho-1000-18-8) - 00:10:33
Debating and discussing world issues, and developing personal convictions (ddr-densho-1000-18-9) - 00:08:08
Various influences on the path toward becoming a conscientious objector (ddr-densho-1000-18-10) - 00:11:33
Others' reactions to conscientious objector status, and to defying the exclusion orders (ddr-densho-1000-18-11) - 00:12:26
Becoming a Quaker (ddr-densho-1000-18-12) - 00:08:20
Making the decision to defy the curfew (ddr-densho-1000-18-13) - 00:10:12
Helping families in Seattle prepare for mass removal (ddr-densho-1000-18-14) - 00:12:23
Involvement with a Conscientious Objector Camp (ddr-densho-1000-18-15) - 00:05:04
Defying the May '42 exclusion order, the last Japanese American in Seattle (ddr-densho-1000-18-16) - 00:12:02
Handing oneself over to the FBI, and trying to accommodate a colonel's need to report "100% evacuated" (ddr-densho-1000-18-17) - 00:12:24
Pinning hopes on the Supreme Court: "[T]heir main existence is to uphold the Constitution ... How in the world can they uphold [the convictions] against me?" (ddr-densho-1000-18-18) - 00:02:48
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ddr-densho-1000-18-7 (Legacy UID: denshovh-hgordon-02-0007)

Attending a leadership conference

00:08:02 — Segment 7 of 18

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May 25, 1999

Densho Visual History Collection


Courtesy of Densho


Gordon Hirabayashi

Gordon Hirabayashi Interview II

02:31:45 — 18 segments

May 25, 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."

Tom Ikeda, interviewer; Alice Ito, interviewer; John Pai, videographer


Courtesy of Densho