Jim Akutsu Segment 31

Father's background in Japan, experiences with discrimination upon arrival in U.S. (ddr-densho-1000-2-1) - 00:02:27
Father's family background and parental lessons: broaden your environment (ddr-densho-1000-2-2) - 00:08:02
Father's shoe sales business (ddr-densho-1000-2-3) - 00:06:58
The family business survives embezzlement and the Great Depression (ddr-densho-1000-2-4) - 00:02:59
Mother's background: prominent samurai family in Japan (ddr-densho-1000-2-5) - 00:06:00
Parents' emphasis on participating in community activities (ddr-densho-1000-2-6) - 00:03:25
Ethnic diversity among friends growing up (ddr-densho-1000-2-7) - 00:06:39
Attending college and choosing a field of study (ddr-densho-1000-2-8) - 00:04:46
Learning important aspects of Japanese culture from parents (ddr-densho-1000-2-9) - 00:01:49
Activities growing up; brother's career choices (ddr-densho-1000-2-10) - 00:03:25
Rejected from ROTC program and the Washington National Guard (ddr-densho-1000-2-11) - 00:02:22
Choosing to interact primarily with non-Japanese Americans in college (ddr-densho-1000-2-12) - 00:03:36
Interaction with classmates in college; keeping a distance (ddr-densho-1000-2-13) - 00:02:22
Awareness of limited opportunities for Nisei in the field of civil engineering (ddr-densho-1000-2-14) - 00:01:43
Foreseeing the outbreak of war and trying to volunteer for service; discrimination experiences in the National Guard and ROTC (ddr-densho-1000-2-15) - 00:03:49
Thoughts about the future while in college (ddr-densho-1000-2-16) - 00:02:42
Learning about the role of Spain during World War II (ddr-densho-1000-2-17) - 00:01:42
Conditions at Puyallup Assembly Center (ddr-densho-1000-2-18) - 00:06:38
JACL and labor groups vying for leadership within Puyallup Assembly Center (ddr-densho-1000-2-19) - 00:02:51
Attempting to improve conditions at Puyallup Assembly Center and running into resistance (ddr-densho-1000-2-20) - 00:03:54
Impact of incarceration on family: reunion with a changed father (ddr-densho-1000-2-21) - 00:04:04
Thoughts on mother's personality and difficulties encountered after incarceration experience (ddr-densho-1000-2-22) - 00:04:56
Mother's suicide as a result of ostracism by Japanese American community postwar (ddr-densho-1000-2-23) - 00:04:46
Postwar community ostracism of the draft resisters (ddr-densho-1000-2-24) - 00:06:44
A growing anger over conditions in camp plants seeds of resistance (ddr-densho-1000-2-25) - 00:03:52
Working on the border post crew and as an engineer in Minidoka concentration camp (ddr-densho-1000-2-26) - 00:05:45
Jobs in Minidoka concentration camp: border post crew, engineer; being stop-listed by camp administrators (ddr-densho-1000-2-27) - 00:05:07
Learning of corruption and food stealing by camp personnel at the Minidoka concentration camp (ddr-densho-1000-2-28) - 00:03:51
Personal response to the so-called "loyalty questions" (ddr-densho-1000-2-29) - 00:06:11
Reasoning behind answers to the so-called "loyalty questions" (ddr-densho-1000-2-30) - 00:05:02
Answering "yes-no" on the so-called "loyalty questions" (ddr-densho-1000-2-31) - 00:02:44
Attempting to improve camp conditions (ddr-densho-1000-2-32) - 00:03:29
JACL "spies" in camp (ddr-densho-1000-2-33) - 00:05:01
Becoming angry and demanding better conditions in camp: the impact of Tule Lake residents moving into Minidoka (ddr-densho-1000-2-34) - 00:06:53
Deciding to resist the draft; a visit from the FBI (ddr-densho-1000-2-35) - 00:06:37
Seeking advice on fighting the draft from Min Yasui (ddr-densho-1000-2-36) - 00:03:34
Unsolicited advice against fighting the draft, the WRA and Clarence Arai (ddr-densho-1000-2-37) - 00:09:48
Suspecting the camp administration of tampering with draft notice (ddr-densho-1000-2-38) - 00:04:14
A jury instructed to find a guilty verdict in draft resistance trial (ddr-densho-1000-2-39) - 00:03:57
Communicating with other draft resisters from Heart Mountain (ddr-densho-1000-2-40) - 00:08:37
Thoughts on the other draft resisters (ddr-densho-1000-2-41) - 00:02:52
Impact of two brothers who both resisted the draft (ddr-densho-1000-2-42) - 00:01:09
Separated from the Heart Mountain resisters at McNeil Island Penitentiary (ddr-densho-1000-2-43) - 00:01:10
Keeping occupied in the McNeil Island Penitentiary (ddr-densho-1000-2-44) - 00:03:50
Starting over, Engineers Professional Union; job discrimination in civil service (ddr-densho-1000-2-45) - 00:09:04
Organizing the Engineers Professional Union (ddr-densho-1000-2-46) - 00:11:34
Returning home: reactivating community churches, starting a family (ddr-densho-1000-2-47) - 00:09:29
Description of children (ddr-densho-1000-2-48) - 00:01:40
Reflections on novel No-No Boy and its relationship to narrator's own life (ddr-densho-1000-2-49) - 00:06:25
Meeting John Okada, author of No-No Boy (ddr-densho-1000-2-50) - 00:04:41
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ddr-densho-1000-2-31 (Legacy UID: denshovh-ajim-01-0031)

Answering "yes-no" on the so-called "loyalty questions"

Interview was conducted over two days because of delays caused by technical difficulties.

00:02:44 — Segment 31 of 50

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June 9 & 12, 1997

Densho Visual History Collection


Courtesy of Densho


Jim Akutsu

Jim Akutsu Interview

03:55:15 — 50 segments

June 9 & 12, 1997

Seattle, Washington

Nisei male. Born January 25, 1920, in Seattle, Washington. Incarcerated at the Puyallup Assembly Center, Washington, and Minidoka concentration camp, Idaho. Resisted the draft, with the rationale that the U.S. government had classified him 4-C, an enemy alien, and he was therefore under no obligation to serve. Imprisoned at McNeil Island Penitentiary, Washington. Vocal critic of the Japanese American Citizens League. Resettled in Seattle, Washington. Thought by some to be the model for the main character in John Okada's No-No Boy.

(Interview was conducted over two days because of delays caused by technical difficulties.)

Art Hansen, interviewer; Matt Emery, videographer


Courtesy of Densho