Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Gene Akutsu Interview
Narrator: Gene Akutsu
Interviewers: Larry Hashima (primary), Stephen Fugita (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: July 25, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-agene-01-0013

<Begin Segment 13>

SF: What did you think might be the possible consequences of your decision at that time when you decided not to...

GA: Well, basing it on what I used to see in the motion pictures where they had shows like "Twenty Years in Sing-Sing" and so on and so forth, those gangster movies where they get put into a prison, into solitary confinement and all that. I had real, real bad visions of what might happen to me. That, if I, if I run into the wrong group, they might beat me up, they might kill me. So my parents were not far from wrong thinking what might happen. When they came to pick me up, I had two FBI agents come pick me up, and I bade goodbye to my parents. I wound up going to the front of the guard post and they checked me out as temporary leave, they took me up to Boise County Jail. That was about a four hour's drive. The FBI agent kept encouraging us to -- "us" meaning there was another fella -- to, to change our mind and volunteer and we'll forget all about this. But I was too scared, I didn't say anything. Now, I think it was a good thing that I didn't say anything but because those FBIs, they were, what they were doing is taking notes down and some of these questions were entrapment kind of questions where in a trial they'll bring it up and they'll nail you on these questions and answers you give because at the end, a lot of these questions they asked you, "Would you sign your name?" And not knowing what it's all about, then the guys scribbled something down on a piece of paper, a person would sign their name. And eventually that winds up in evidence against you. I think that's what happened to my brother when he spoke freely in front of the FBIs when he was being taken to the jail. And to this day, I think that was in the file and some of the people who saw that started to say he was very unpatriotic, that you're gonna fight for the Japan. Naturally, if you're over in Japan, and if you, if you're forced to fight --

<End Segment 13> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.