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-02-0019

<Begin Segment 19>

[Translated from Japanese]

TY: Once again, we are going back to the stories of Salt Lake... you said that Ni...Kibei people were saying, "We won. We won," but when they finally lost the war, they sat on the sidewalk and cried. Could you tell us a little bit about the time?

AT: Oh, that would be the only thing I can talk about. Everyone shed tears. And, they took out handkerchiefs and did like this. I saw it from upstairs. From the second floor of the apartment building that we were staying. With those guys, we even had quarreled before. We said, "Well, you say that Japan won, Japan won, but if you read the hakujin's newspapers, it says that they are losing." Terao was reading it, see. He said, "Oh, what those Kibei are saying are lies." I said, "Papa, why don't you tell them, then." "Even if I tell them, they wouldn't listen. Sho ga nai." [Laughs] But, if we didn't tell him, even more sho ga nai, right? [Laughs] So, finally I said, "You guys are reading the newspaper published here that report that Japan won, Japan won. But, isn't it upside down?" "Obasan, what do you mean by upside down?" So I said, "Japan is losing, can't you see?" "No, that's not right." See, it grew into a fight like this, and I, too, become loud, right? "You see, to begin with, Japan hardly have any more bullets. They used up their guns, so they don't have any more. But, you are still saying that Japan won, Japan won. If people back from the time of the Russo-Japanese War had told me that, I would take it seriously. But, when you compare the U.S. and Japan, the difference is that of heaven and earth, don't you think?" I said things like this. And, my husband also talked to them. Then, they said, "No, that's not true. Japan won't keel over for such little things." We said, "No, they are pretty much wearing out." But, it didn't work for Kibei people.

The pure Nisei people said, "Obachan, Japan lost. They are occupied there, too. They were occupied here, and they were pulled out from the cave, and they were treated like this and like that," and shed tears. I felt sorry for them. They said, "Also, when you read the newspapers, it shows that Japan occupied here and occupied there. So, we have to criticize the newspaper company. But, if the newspapers that Japanese were subscribing published such news, everybody would stop subscribing. So, the newspaper company was doing it in order to make money. Yes, this is the story of Salt Laki. You see, Japan had already been suffering quite a bit by then. So, we had once said that it might be impossible for Japan to do well. Then, this time, Japan surrendered, Japan surrendered.

<End Segment 19> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.