Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Asano Terao Interview II
Narrator: Asano Terao
Interviewers: Tomoyo Yamada (primary), Dee Goto (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: May 26, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-tasano-02-0017

<Begin Segment 17>

[Translated from Japanese]

DG: What was it, Obasan. You mentioned that there were meetings, didn't you? Those Kibei people got together about something like against the war.

AT: Yeah, yeah.

DG: Could you talk about that?

AT: Let's see, at that time, our opinions clashed. Those of the Kibei people and those of the people who were born in this country. [Ed. note: Mrs. Terao meant that the latter ones were "raised" in this country. Kibei were born in the U.S. as well.] But, Kibei were, Kibei people were saying that Japan would win, it would win, win, win, win. American people said, "No, Japan is losing." We saw that in the newspapers. He fought with his brother. And then, for reconciliation, my husband got in the middle and said, "You two, if young people like you fight, sho ga nai, don't you think?" When he said, "Put your hearts into one. You must be prepared to be the back-up support so that we wouldn't be embarrassed in either case Japan wins or loses." Then, I forgot if it was the Kibei person or the one who grew up in this country, but he said, "We can't do such a sophisticated thing!" and started getting mad.

TY: About how old were they, those Kibei people?

AT: Who?

TY: Those Kibei people.

AT: The age old enough about to be taken or not by Army.

TY: About...

AT: Twenty-two, three. Twenty-two, three...

TY: When you say "taken" you mean to be drafted to the military service?

AT: Yeah. From twenty-two, three, those who were older were already about thirty. But, those who were around thirty were thinking. They said that Japan was in the war with the U.S., and there was no way Japan could win. Then, they did not like that. [Laughs]

DG: How many people got together?

AT: Let's see. Quite a few people showed up. We went there to listen, too. I said quite a few, but there weren't that many. Around twenty, or there were thirty or so in total, I think. They rented a big hall and did it there. I went to most of them with friends at that time. We said, "Let's go. Let's go listen to their discussion." If I had something to do, I couldn't go listen. After all, the Kibei and what, those who were born in this country were always like this. [Ed. note: Mrs. Terao meant that Kibei and Nisei were always arguing.]

TY: Nisei were born in this country...

AT: Yeah. They were born in this country, and Terao arbitrated once. The Japanese force was doing badly. So, he said, "I hope Japan will surrender soon. It is their fault for starting the war with such a big country like the U.S." Then, my husband got scolded. [Laughs] They said, "What are you saying, Ojisan!" They said so. Then, again, Kibei were...The newspapers, the Japanese newspapers sometimes showed that Japan won even if it was losing. The hakujin's newspapers were showing the truth. Then, Terao said, "It is bad for you to read the newspapers here and take it seriously. The hakujin's newspapers are the ones showing the truth, so you have to read them. You have to read that Japan is being attacked this way and such places are being attacked." They said, "About that, ojisan is wrong. Japan has never been attacked. They are not losing." Terao said, "Oh, that Kibei is no match for me." So, at the end, he didn't pay attention.

DG: In the beginning, you said that Kibei were saying, "Japan won, Japan won," from the car.

AT: They did.

DG: What was it like?

AT: What was it like? We were... they attached thread to cans, and they were pulling the cans, and they went rattle, rattle, rattle, rattle. We said, "Oh, I wish they wouldn't have done such an embarrassing thing." We said so. That was done by what, Kibei people. Those who were born in this country never did such a thing.

DG: Was it in the middle of town?

AT: They were going through the middle of town. They put those on the car and went rattle, rattle, rattle, rattle.

DG: What did hakujin say?

AT: Well, there were not too many hakujin there. They said something like, "What are they doing? Are they crazy?"

<End Segment 17> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.