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-01-0006

<Begin Segment 6>

LH: Well, going back to right before the war, then, or actually right during that period around the Pearl Harbor attack, when you got home, what was your family's reaction or your father's reaction?

GA: Well... I think we were all in shock. But as reality crept in, why, I started to, I started to think about, "Gee, something's gonna happen here. I hope the kids at school are not going to be against me," as I said before. And that we've got to do something, whatever we can. 'Course, me being like fifteen, fourteen years old, there isn't much I could do. But yes, when we went to school the kids were... some of 'em were a little bit aloof. They weren't... you could feel the coolness. But the majority of 'em carried on like nothing had happened.

LH: And these were the kids who were not Japanese American who were sort of carrying on...

GA: Yeah, they were all white kids.

LH: So what did the other Japanese American kids do? How did they react to this as you went to school?

GA: Well, I think the majority of 'em stuck around with the Japanese group. And I don't know that they mingled with the whites as much as I have. I participated in sports so I got to know a lot of the other kids and their attitude towards me was nothing hostile. And we carried on as if nothing had happened.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.