Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Henry Bruno Yamada Interview
Narrator: Henry Bruno Yamada
Interviewer: Matt Emery
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Date: July 3, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-yhenry-01

<Begin Segment 1>

ME: Today is, what, Friday, the third of July. We are at the Ala Moana Hotel in Honolulu, at the AJA Veterans National Convention. And we're here speaking with Henry Bruno Yamada. Interviewer is Matt Emery. And behind the camera is Larry Hashima. Thank you for joining us, Bruno.

BY: Thank you.

ME: I guess the first thing I am curious about is, where did you get your nickname?

BY: Well, one of my friends that were in the same hut with me, Tom Umeda, his name. He called me that Bruno one, one time, and that name sticked with me all through Europe, Shelby, Europe, and even now. And I still carry that name. I don't know what it really means. I know it's Italian, but -- maybe it's after, after Bruno Haupman.

ME: Oh.

BY: Remember that person that kidnapped Lindberg's baby?

ME: Uh-huh.

BY: Or Bruno Banduchi, the football player. I don't know.

ME: Well, whatever it is, it sounds --

BY: Yeah.

ME: It sounds pretty tough.

BY: Yeah. Well, anyway, I hope it's good, it's nothing bad. Yeah.

ME: I like it. Can you tell us where and when you were born?

BY: I was born in Lawai, Kauai, island of Kauai, January 1st, 1923.

ME: New Year's Day.

BY: Yeah.

ME: Now, you were born there. Did you grow up there?

BY: I, yeah. I really grew up there, yeah, 'til high school, anyway.

ME: Okay. So what was it like growing up on Kauai?

BY: It was pretty rough on me because my mom, my, left us when I was about eight or nine years old. And I lived with my father until, until I left the islands.

ME: I see.

BY: Yeah.

ME: So it was just you and your father, or did you have any siblings?

BY: No, nobody. Just two of us. So he cooks. Sometime I used to cook. And I did some of the shopping, yard work. Was a pretty rough life. I work in the plantations when I was nine years old.

ME: You started working when you were nine?

BY: Yeah, part-time. On the weekend...

ME: Okay.

BY: ...and during holidays.

ME: What were some of your responsibilities on the plantation?

BY: Well, I used to, we, I used to do, we, getting rid of the weeds in the cane field. We used to call that hoe hana.

ME: Hoe hana?

BY: Hoe hana, yeah. That's with a hoe. You're working with a hoe. And also I used to plant sugar cane. And I used to cultivate sugar cane when -- and that's about it.

ME: Wow. So you just did this part time so you were still able to go to school, right?

BY: Yeah. This was only weekends and holidays.

ME: Okay. Were you a pretty good student?

BY: No. I wasn't a good student. I went there to, to eat my lunch, I guess. [Laughs]

ME: You were in recess, right?

BY: Yeah.

ME: Did you do any sports?

BY: Well, I played football in the weight league, 130 pound, 125, 130, football team for the plantation.

ME: Oh, okay.

BY: Yeah.

ME: What was that like?

BY: Oh, it was a lotta fun, yeah. We used to travel all over the islands, and playing league games, regular league games. I used to really enjoy that.

ME: Sounds like fun.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 2>

ME: Bruno, it sounds like you were very busy as a young man. You were going to school, plus you had to work on the plantation and you had to help your father. What types of values did you learn growing up?

BY: Well, I, I learned that life was, wasn't too easy. And I, I tried to make the best, although my dad wasn't a rich person or had any money, much money, I tried to live within his means. I even went fishin' to supply the table for food. And I went out in the fields to pick wild fruits, and even did some hunting to put food on the table.

ME: Sounds like it was some tough times.

BY: Yeah.

ME: But you learned how to take care of yourself, though.

BY: Yeah.

ME: Were there things that you ever wanted or longed for, but you couldn't have because of financial situations that you were in?

BY: Well, I used to, I didn't think too highly, but I, I wish I could have gotten better clothes, automobile. I, I got an automobile later on my own when I started high school. But I really wanted a automobile. And, and I, I don't know what I would have done if, if my dad didn't give me a little bit of his wages.

ME: Yeah.

BY: Yeah.

ME: So Bruno, when did you leave Kauai, and where did you go?

BY: After I finished high school, I left for Honolulu. I lived in Honolulu. And I started to work for a bakery, Love's bakery. And I had three, about three friends I used to live with. And we all sign up for different kinda job, defense job, working at the Pearl Harbor, Hickam Field. And I was very happy when I got call for the 442nd.

ME: Right.

BY: Yeah.

ME: We'll get to that.

BY: I volunteered.

ME: Was that hard to say goodbye to your friends on Kauai?

BY: What's that?

ME: Was that difficult to say bye to your friends and father on Kauai?

BY: Well, sort of. But they had their own problems, so -- I, I, I really didn't miss them too much at that time. But I was happy, very happy to go into the army. I, I was inducted. I was called to do my physical at the old Triple R Hospital near Fort Shafter. And then I was called to go to Schofield for my (training) -- basic.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 3>

ME: What was that like when you, when -- first of all, tell me, how did you find out that you were going to be able to volunteer?

BY: It came in (the newspapers). We, we were always on the lookout for thing like that. And when we saw that article, that the, the Niseis were forming, I was really happy to, to get into the army.

ME: Why were you so excited?

BY: Well, never, things like that never happened to me before. And, for one thing, I really thought that I wasn't gonna be picked. This was a big opportunity for me. And several of my friends also went along with me. And some were rejected, and I really felt sorry for them.

ME: Why were they rejected?

BY: I know one of 'em was weight problem. (He was only 94 pounds.)

ME: Oh.

BY: One because of his eyesight, one had bad eyesight. And...

ME: Now, Bruno, it was, I believe, on March 28th that you were formally inducted into the US Army.

BY: Uh-huh.

ME: What was the ceremony like? Where did that take place, and what was the ceremony like?

BY: Well, we all, we marched down to the Iolani Palace. And then they had a big ceremony. Think the governor was there. And we all gathered at the palace grounds, and our friends, families were there. My family didn't come because, well, they live on another island, and I didn't expect them to be there. But, but I really felt proud at that time. And I think we went back to Schofield, and one or two days after that we had to march back to the ship early, at the Pier 10.

ME: To the troopship? What was that march like?

BY: Oh, that was a heck of a march because we had to carry our own (duffle) bag. And the walk was from the railway station to the Pier 10, about 3-quarter of a mile or one mile. And it was really tough.

ME: Did your shoes and your uniform fit okay?

BY: Huh?

ME: How about -- did your shoes fit okay -- the new uniform and the new shoes? Did everything fit?

BY: Well, it was a little oversized, but it didn't matter because when we went to Camp Shelby, Mississippi, we got it changed to a better size.

ME: Okay. When you were marching to the troopship did you have anybody to say goodbye to you at that point?

BY: Yeah. There was some people wait -- this is supposed to be a secret movement.

ME: Right, right.

BY: But there were some of our friends who knew about it, and they were on the side of the street, and they're waving at us and wishing us good luck.

ME: Right.

BY: Bon voyage, all that. (It was kind of sad.)

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 4>

ME: So you got on the ship, and you were heading to the mainland. What was the, what was the boat ride like?

BY: Oh, for one thing, we were lucky we got the beautiful ship, the Lurline. And the ride was pretty smooth, although we were kinda cramped up in the ship. Going to the chow line was kinda, kinda, crowded. But all in all, I think it was pretty good.

ME: Did you get seasick?

BY: A little bit. Some of my friends were real bad. Yeah, they got sick as heck.

ME: So you hit the mainland in San Francisco?

BY: San Francisco, yeah.

ME: And then, eventually you made it to Shelby?

BY: Yeah, they put us in trains. We passed through the Midwest.

ME: Any stops along the way?

BY: Yeah. I remember stopping at Arkansas, Little Rock, I think. And the people were curious. They all came out, and they were friendly. Most of them were friendly. But it was our first chance to look at someone else besides our own troops.

ME: First time you saw mainlanders, right?

BY: Yeah. Yeah, right.

ME: What did they think of you?

BY: Well they, they're curious. They think of us as either prisoners or, or unwanted group of people -- gonna be shipped out someplace.

ME: When you arrived at Shelby, what were your first impressions?

BY: Well, I, I didn't expect too much because I heard lotta stories about Mississippi. But all in all, it was pretty good. They put us in barracks, and they divided all of us into, I don't know how they chose us, but in different groups to go to different outfit, like artillery, engineers, or I Company, K Company.

ME: And where were you chosen to go?

BY: I first went to the field artillery. Then later on, I don't know how, how, but we were transferred to the line company, I Company.

ME: Now, what did you think of the mainland boys that were there at Shelby?

BY: The kotonks? Well, we, we asked another team. We didn't expect much from them. But we became friendly. Very, very quickly.

ME: Was it rough at the beginning, though?

BY: Yeah. They were really nice to us. I don't know whether they, they knew that, they knew that we weren't gonna be there or what, but the cadres were mostly mainland people. The sergeants and people that were gonna train us. And they were really, really nice people. They became friend --

ME: Who were some of the mainland boys that you became friends with early on?

BY: Well, I landed in a hut. And my sergeant was George Suzuki, I think he's from California. And another person by the name of Kim Uchida. He's from Seattle. And, we became pretty good friends and then he introduced us to Shiro Kashino. And then they tried to help us, especially -- we were from Hawaii. We don't know the mainland too well. So when furlough time came around, for, time to go to furlough --

ME: Yeah.

BY: They try to encourage us to go to certain places to meet their girlfriends or their wives. And, I, that's how I got to meet Lou and some others people from Seattle.

ME: Did they ever take you to one of the internment camps?

BY: No, I didn't go. I had all the chance, though, but I didn't go. I met lot of them at the, at the dances they have on the posts --

ME: Oh.

BY: With, mainland girls.

<End Segment 4> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 5>

ME: What did you first think of Shiro Kashino when you met him?

BY: Oh, first time I met him, I kept wondering, what kinda guy is this? I -- in fact, when, the short while I know him, I know he was a real (friendly) -- guy who can take it. You can joke with him. We used to call him kotonk. And we used to call him "Hirohito." And he used to laugh over it. And we got to, get to like him. Kash -- Shiro.

ME: He was a pretty fun-loving guy?

BY: Yeah. Well, he was well-liked. And then, while we were going overseas -- oh, before that, I think I told you that my friend Matt Tanaka.

ME: Yeah.

BY: He and I became real close friends, too. He's Seattle boy, too. And, he, he was accepted for the -- when he and I volunteered for the 100th Infantry Battalion, he was accepted and I wasn't accepted. So --

ME: So he went off with the 100th?

BY: He went with the 100th, yeah. It was a sad time for me, that moment. But anyway, going, while going over on the ship, Liberty Ship to Italy, we had a boxing matches on the boat.

ME: Oh, really?

BY: And that's how I got to know Shiro pretty well. He never refused. He, he would, he would take on anybody that we put him against.

ME: Did you box, too?

BY: Yeah. He was a good boxer, surprisingly.

ME: Did you box?

BY: I did a little too --

ME: You did a little bit?

BY: Yeah.

ME: Did guys place bets on the side?

BY: No, nothing like that.

ME: No bets, huh? [Laughs]

BY: No. This guy, I don't know, if you folks know in Seattle Tommy Umeda, the guy I told you that gave me the name?

ME: Yeah.

BY: He was our coach. He was a boxer from back in Hawaii already.

ME: Oh, okay.

BY: He was a pretty good boxer. (He later became a professional boxer in the northwest area around 1947.)

ME: He did pretty well.

BY: And he (coached) us (in Camp Shelby and on the ship to Italy.)

ME: Bruno, when, when you look at this picture here -- what, what do you think of when you see this picture?

BY: These are all the boys from our hutment.

ME: Yeah.

BY: Most of them are, yeah --

ME: Who's that handsome guy right there?

BY: [Laughs] Yeah.

ME: What goes through your mind when you see old photos like this of the boys?

BY: Oh, it's sad. Some of them are not there. Yeah -- we used to have lotta fun. Doin' weightlifting --

ME: So, you told me that there, you, there was boxing on the, on the ride over to Europe?

BY: Yeah.

ME: What else did you guys do to, to kill the time?

BY: Oh... (we played cards, sang songs and talked about the past and the future.)

ME: 'Cause it was a long, long journey.

BY: Long journey, yeah. Oh, we, we did quite a few things.

ME: Did you practice your Italian?

BY: Huh?

ME: Practice your Italian?

BY: Little bit, yeah. And we sang songs, and learned Italian songs and --

ME: Where did you first land?

BY: We landed in Sicily, Italy. And, that's our first engagement with Italian people. They gave us some oranges, and we, we offered them some money. We, we became pretty popular with them.

ME: You got along pretty well with the civilians?

BY: Yeah. Then from there we went to Naples, from Sicily.

ME: How was Naples?

BY: Oh, I thought it was a terrible town. I mean, you know, the outlook of the place.

ME: Very war-torn?

BY: Yeah, war-torn. People begging for food. But when you look back, I feel sorry for them.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 6>

ME: At, at one point, you were reunited with your good friend, Matt Tanaka?

BY: Yeah.

ME: When you reunited with the 100th. What did you guys talk about? 'Cause he had actually seen --

BY: Yeah, combat.

ME: Some combat, right?

BY: Yeah. He advised us not to do this, not to do that. He, he, he came to meet us at a staging area, PM Civitavecchia. And he would tell us to, not to be too brave. Just -- and he told us not to volunteer for too many things. Just do your duty. And we would accept what he say. And then we didn't see him no more.

ME: That was it?

BY: Yeah.

ME: That was the last time you saw him?

BY: Yeah.

ME: What happened?

BY: He, he went on a patrol. And he -- but he, he got shot, I think, by a sniper, and was killed.

ME: When he was giving you that advice and telling you what combat was like, what, what was going through your mind at that time? What were you thinking?

BY: I was thinking, gee, how rough things gonna be. He said -- he was telling us about tree bursts, and getting hit while, while going to the water hole, and this and that. He said, and he used to tell us, don't volunteer for too many things. And we all thought that he gave us some really good advice.

ME: Well, shortly thereafter you saw your first combat experience.

BY: Yeah.

ME: Where was that, and what was that like?

BY: That was in Suvereto, Italy. And, it was, it was a -- well, to me at that time, it was hectic because we went on the line, and we were pinned down the first day. And we couldn't move. They all tanks came to support us. They got knocked out. And we, we tried to, to advance, but the enemy, they were on the hill. They wouldn't, they wouldn't give in. So our mortars and, our heavy weapons fired on them. And later the, the 100th Infantry went, surrounded them. And then they got, they, they, they did a lotta damage to the German troops then. We were able to go on.

ME: So, so Bruno, what were your specific duties on the, on the battlefield?

BY: I was a mortar man. Mortar --

ME: Mortar platoon?

BY: Mortar assisting, kinda.

ME: Okay. So what, what did you have to do, then?

BY: Well, we stayed, we actually in the back of the riflemen. They're in the front, and we in the back. And we helped them out with, when, whenever they got attacked, we lob some shells over.

ME: Okay.

BY: Yeah. My sergeant was a pretty good sergeant. He, he went, he went up to the edge of the hill and just poured some shells into them and, I guess it helped to make us penetrate the, their lines.

ME: What was your sergeant's name?

BY: Harold Watase.

ME: So not being right in the front, then, was that not as dangerous as being on the front lines?

BY: Well, to me every place was dangerous but, yeah, I think we had a little bit more cover than those people on the front line.

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

<Begin Segment 7>

ME: When did you first get injured?

BY: I got injured in France, in the Vosges Mountain, just prior to the Lost Battalion.

ME: What happened?

BY: We were advancing, and then we heard lotta mortar shells. There were, there were tree bursts all over and, my friend and I were right next to each other. Both of us got hit on the leg. And the other person who was in the machine gun squad, got killed -- three of us were hurt then. And there were some other people got hurt, but I don't recall what their name were.

ME: So how many -- everybody was wounded, and how many people died there?

BY: Well, out, out of that moment, just one of, one of the person that was with us, he got kill. And my gunner, and -- I mean, assistant gunner, both of us got hurt. I don't remember. But I know quite a bit of people got hurt.

ME: What was that like seeing your friends get killed, seeing your friends wounded, and seeing yourself get wounded? How did you deal with that?

BY: Oh, gee, I don't know but, it wasn't nice. Shi -- Shiro, I think, got wounded, too, several days later. This -- when we got wounded I was just two days before the, reaching the Lost Battalion. And one day before that we were pinned down, the whole company were pinned down and, Shiro and, and everybody was on the verge of retreating. And Shiro would say to, to, not to retreat. Keep on going. And, and he relinquish a very bad disaster.

ME: What was Shiro like on the battlefield?

BY: Oh, he was a fantastic person. I think he, he was a real marvelous person. Plenty of guts. He would never retreat. I think he was well respected. Everybody liked him.

ME: Great soldier, huh?

BY: Yeah, he is. Same thing, even in Italy, the last portion we had, Po Valley. He, he held the company together. He's only a noncom, now. There was officers, but he, he does the job as an officer. And he holds the company together, and tells us not to retreat -- hold your grounds.

ME: After you got wounded, how long did you have to stay in the hospital area?

BY: I stayed in only about eight days.

ME: Eight days?

BY: Yeah.

ME: What were you thinking at that time? Were you ever thinking, oh, this -- did it ever seem hopeless to you or...

BY: No. My, my wound wasn't too bad. Got it wrapped up and, in fact, in fact, they didn't know that even the bullet went through the, my, other leg was bullet or shrapnel, but they don't, they didn't know whether it went right through my leg or not. They had it wrapped up -- when they released me, when I went back to the line, I found out that the, it came out the other end.

ME: Oh.

BY: And there was a big scab there.

ME: Uh-huh.

BY: Yeah.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 8>

ME: Were you pretty eager to get back into combat?

BY: Well, I wanted to go back with the boys, yeah. When I got back they already had pulled back a little bit for rest. And Shiro was gone already from the company. He, he probably was in the hospital, too.

ME: Did you correspond with anybody while you were in Europe? Did you...

BY: Yeah. I had some friends, a lady friend. And a Dr. Fujita, oh and, classmates.

ME: What would you write in your letters?

BY: Oh, I would write how miserable it is on the line. I'd tell 'em that, that I have lots of brave friends, that I never believed that human being can be such --

ME: Yeah.

BY: Brave as they are. But I always wanted my friends to be, to be as close as possible. And I, I wanted, I wanted them to know that, that bravery starts from the, from the person who does -- not only the person that does all the shooting and this and that, but even on the, in the rear, rear echelon, we had a mess sergeant -- there was a mess sergeant down there to the... he was a real brave person. He would bring hot food on the front line. And we would all enjoy it. And I think that's part of the combat, that, that we appreciate.

ME: Bruno, did, did you learn anything about yourself during your time in Europe?

BY: Did I learn anything? (I learned how important it is to have friends. Sometimes it is really lonesome when you're alone in the foxhole.)

ME: About yourself?

BY: Well, I learned that I wasn't too brave a person. [Laughs] But...

ME: It sounds like you were very brave.

BY: But you gotta stick it out. And one thing I didn't wanna do is, I didn't wanna leave the company. I wanted, I wanted to stay with them right along 'til the end. And what -- even if I was scared or, I wanted to be in the, with the troops, with my company.

ME: Do you ever think about, today, do you ever think about the boys that didn't make it back?

BY: Oh, yeah. Yeah. I had several friends who I, miss badly, I miss, like Mr. Wally Fukeda, Take, Takesu -- what's his name? -- Onaga.

ME: Lots of friends gone.

BY: Yeah.

BY: And I miss our, our Captain Byrnes very much. He was a wonderful captain. I think we're very fortunate to have a person like him. Yeah.

<End Segment 8> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 9>

ME: All right, sir. I wanted to ask you about the breaking of the Gothic Line. Can you, can you tell me about that?

BY: Oh, you mean we had to climb that moun -- mountain?

ME: Yeah.

BY: I don't know, I forgot what the name of the mountain was.

ME: I can't remember either, but --

BY: Huh?

ME: I can't remember either but, tell me what that was like.

BY: Oh, we started early evening. And then we didn't get up to the top of it 'til the next day. That's around 9 o'clock. And it was really steep.

ME: Yeah.

BY: Some people were even falling down 20, 30 feet --

ME: Wow.

BY: When trying to climb that line. And --

ME: So most of the climbing was done in the, in darkness, right?

BY: Yeah, in darkness, yeah. Hold hands and climb up. And when we reached the top -- the Germans never expected us to climb that mountain. And it was, in fact, they were sleeping. So we, we had a easy time taking the place.

ME: Right.

BY: Yeah.

ME: Did you have any training in, in climbing mountains?

BY: No, no.

ME: Wow. What were you thinking? Did, did you think you were going to make it?

BY: Well, we didn't expect it to be like that, but as we kept going, we kept going step by step, until we reached the top. We didn't know it was that steep then.

ME: What was it like when you looked down?

BY: I think the name of the mountain is in that book, I think.

ME: Yeah. It's in there. I can't pronounce it.

BY: Yeah.

ME: What was it like when you, when you looked down?

BY: Oh, it was just like looking down from the Empire State Building.

ME: What was the battle like when you got up to the top? How long did it take?

BY: It didn't take too long, because they didn't expect us up there. And, the 100, I think, came in through one end, and another company, I think was L Company, also attack and took, took the place pretty, pretty fast.

ME: Are there any other experiences from Europe, or any special times that you remember, or any combat experiences that really stick out in your mind even today from your time in Europe that you'd like to tell us about?

BY: Well, there was a mountain called Carara town, yeah. We were, we were up there. And I think Kashino had a, had a squad or platoon on top of the mountain. And they were, they would, they had a heck of a time, too. I remember one of the boys that got hit in the leg. And they had to take, take them out to the side of the mountain, and we had to carry him down. His name was Terumi Kato, I think.

ME: Oh.

BY: And, well, Shiro did so many of those things.

ME: Yeah.

BY: It was just like natural to him. He's a fantastic guy.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 10>

ME: Tell me about some of yours and Shiro's experiences after the war. When you came back, you guys were together, weren't you?

BY: Yeah.

ME: Where?

BY: In Chicago. Well, even in a -- right after he came out of the stockade, we went over to visit him. And well, that guy, he would, he, he would, he was the best. I mean, everybody liked him. A very compassionate person. He honest, very honest. And he's a good leader. He's also, he's also what the Japanese say yasashii.

ME: What does that mean?

BY: Very compassionate, and he's a good family man too. He has all those wonderful daughters, granddaughters. And I'm glad they all over here.

ME: Yeah. How do you feel being here today at the reunion and seeing his family members and everything? How, how do you feel?

BY: I feel sad because Shiro never missed a reunion. He came to, oh, this supposed to be his fifth reunion, I think. And his wife and daughters came in four different reunions. And it's the first time we're not gonna see him. Even, we also used to see him in Las Vegas and Ren -- Reno. And he would always volunteer for any kinda, anything that you want him to do. He's easy guy to get along with, he even go singin' or dancin'. And master of ceremonies, he would take part. In fact, I, I have some pictures at home showing him doing the hula dance, and also singin' with the boys.

ME: What did you guys do together in Chicago? Did you go to school together?

BY: Yeah. We went to school called Chicago Tech. It's a refrigeration and air conditioning school.

ME: Oh, okay. What was that like?

BY: We met by accident at the school. I didn't know that he was registered there.

ME: Oh.

BY: And, yeah, it was a pretty good school. I wouldn't say it a good school, it's a pretty good. Yeah, we enjoyed it there. We used to go baseball games together after the school. And we used to know a professional baseball player.

ME: Oh.

BY: Used to play for the Detroit Tigers. And when the Detroit Tigers come down to Chicago we used to go out, get together with him. His name was Joe Earutt, I think.

ME: What, what did you guys study at this school?

BY: Air conditioning and refrigeration.

ME: Okay, okay.

<End Segment 10> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 11>

ME: Just a couple more questions here, Bruno. When, when did you meet your wife?

BY: I met my wife when, after I came home. I came home from Los Angeles.

ME: Okay.

BY: I moved to Los Angeles from Chicago.

ME: Right.

BY: And around 1950, I think, I met my wife during a picnic.

ME: Where was that picnic?

BY: It was in Bellows Field. They used to have the all 442 picnics out there. And so, her cousin brought her over, and I was pretty good friend with the cousin, so I got to, get, meet her. I got to meet her.

ME: I see. Love at first sight, right?

BY: Yeah.

ME: Yeah. What about the first time you went back home to Kauai? When was that, and what was that like?

BY: That was after we got married.

ME: Oh, okay.

BY: I didn't go back home until we got married.

ME: Wow. It had been a long time, then.

BY: And my stepmother -- my father got married again. My stepmother and father made a great big party for us, and invited the whole town. And we really had a wonderful time.

ME: That's great. So where are you living now?

BY: I'm living in a condominium in Aiea, called Pearl One.

ME: That's close by?

BY: Yeah.

ME: On the island here?

BY: Uh-huh.

ME: Any kids?

BY: Yeah. I have a boy and a girl living in Los Angeles.

ME: Oh, okay.

BY: Yeah.

ME: Grandchildren?

BY: Not yet.

ME: Not yet.

BY: No.

ME: Not yet. Someday.

BY: Yeah.

ME: What we're doing with our interviews, we'r -- we're going to preserve them for generations and generations to come, so that people can learn and hear about the experiences of, of Japanese Americans and the 442. And I was just wondering if you had any words of wisdom or anything that you'd like to say to future generations? It could be, it could be to your unborn grandchildren, or it could be to, to anyone at all. Just an -- any, any final comments that you might have.

BY: Well, I hope situation like this never comes again, but if it does, I hope that they would volunteer and do their best, and preserve our legacy. And as far as Shiro is concerned, we gonna really miss that guy. He, he's the best that we ever met from afar. Our love for him will live forever in our hearts. Thank you.

ME: Thank you, Bruno. Thank you very much.

<End Segment 11> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 12>

ME: I forgot to ask about your reaction to Pearl Harbor. Because you were actually working at Pearl Harbor, weren't you?

BY: Right.

ME: When Japan attacked?

BY: Yeah.

ME: So where were you on that Sunday?

BY: I was home that day.

ME: Okay.

BY: Somehow we were, we were told not to report to work on that Sunday. Then I heard all kinda commotions that morning. When I looked out from our porch, I could see all these planes with the red insignia. And then, turn on the radio and announced that we were at war. I thought, gee, it was a shock. And, we hope -- when I went, when I went to the, to Pearl Harbor they were, we were told not to leave the bus. To go out -- the marines, security guards, told us that because of our Japanese ancestry we were not allowed on the post.

ME: Did they say it that nicely, though?

BY: Huh?

ME: Did they say, because --

BY: No, no.

ME: -- of your Japanese ancestry you can't --

BY: No.

ME: What did they say?

BY: They say, they say, Japs gotta get out. So... but the next day we went back, and they let us in. Not the same guard, but some other guard.

ME: So eventually you were able to return to work?

BY: Yeah.

ME: Okay. How, how were you feeling with this? This was racial discrimination. How did you feel when they didn't let you in?

BY: For one thing, we were, we were Japanese so we had to take, I guess, some crap. And, and -- but sometimes they got a little out of their hands. And some of the guys would get mad at them. But to me, I figure, well, let it go.

ME: Well, thanks, Bruno, was there anything else that you wanted to say before we wrap up?

BY: No.

ME: Okay.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.