Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Masao Watanabe Interview
Narrator: Masao Watanabe
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: June 19, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-wmasao-01-0028

<Begin Segment 28>

TI: There is one incident that we talked about earlier, when, I believe it was after Kawaguchi and Kinoshita were killed, that when the Seattle group was together, one of you had a copy of the Minidoka Irrigator that talked about some of the things that were going on in camp. And in particular it talked a little bit about the men back in camp who decided not to go into the military. Can you talk a little bit about that?

MW: I was afraid you'd bring that up. I think what made it rough for us was... we called 'em the "no-no" boys, but we knew most of them quite well, and they were friends. And the timing, I guess more than anything else, was here we're losin' -- it was not just Bako and John, but there was (Isao Okazaki, Bill Nakamura, Sat Kanzaki,) Matt Tanaka, and a lot of real good friends that we lost. Here the Minidoka is listing those who went to camp prison or something. It was tough from one extreme to the other, and how do you weigh something like that, two entirely opposite philosophies. And I'm sure they thought they were doing what they thought was right, and we sure thought what we were doing was right. So it's just two opposite philosophies that were not melding together. So it's hard to say. I knew at the time we were (...) (very bitter, and mad).

TI: I can understand.

MW: It's just a matter of, "Gee, what these guys did was so much." And then it's negated by a few guys, "no-nos" or something. It was just too much.

TI: Was that pretty much the sentiment of the whole group?

MW: Yes, I think if you judged from what everybody was saying, it was pretty common what we were thinking. It was tough.

<End Segment 28> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.