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-02-0025

<Begin Segment 25>

[Translated from Japanese]

DG: Obasan, let's go back to the war, about the soldiers. Nisei went to volunteer to become soldiers while their parents were in the camp. What did you think about that?

AT: At that time, we were... it was that they became of the age, and it was sho ga nai once they got the announcement saying that they had to come to the physical exam for conscription for such and such reason. But, at that time, there were quite a few volunteers, quite a few of them. They didn't have too many young people coming to serve. Their parents stopped them. Then, there were some people who flew at their parents. They said that it was appropriate for them to help the country where they were born, then the parents said, "It is good to help this country, but what is going to happen to us parents? What is going to happen to us when something wrong happens to Japan?" Then, they said that their son remained silent. [Laughs] But, the situations differed per person. But, all of those who grew up there, Japan, were taken. They were taken, but they were sent to Europe. They weren't sent to Japan. America was thinking. It would have been sho ga nai if they had sent those to Japan. Among them, some went to Japan. There were some people who were drafted and went to Japan. They said they didn't know what to do. They said that they were only thinking about escaping. They said that they have once dug a cave with the soldiers from there and hid themselves in it. Then, one person, he was Japanese, and he wondered what could happen to those who changed their hearts and double-crossed to Japan, and I heard there were some people who were taken out from the group. But, they, three or four, I think, they were Japanese and they didn't grow up in Japan, and they grew up in the U.S. and received American education. Then, they were taken to the Army, right? They said, "I don't think anything about Japan at all. We grew up in the U.S., and we were nourished in the U.S. and were sent to American schools, so it is right to devote ourselves to America." "That's right," I said, "That's a good idea." They didn't send those to Japan. And, they took over Japanese ships, right? They had them watch the ships.

TY: Because they could speak Japanese.

AT: Uh-huh. America was clever at that time. America is great. If we treated America poorly, we would be punished, I think. Even though Japan was insulted that much and talked bad about the U.S., and they even started such a war, but when they lost, they didn't have anything. They didn't have rice, but they ate. They said, "Let's see, what don't they have," and they ate something came from the U.S. Even in the Washington State and the Oregon State were helped quite a bit. So, when Japanese, Japanese rice came, America bought a big one like this. They were no match. After all, Japan was being unreasonable.

DG: Obasan, did you hear a story about Tokyo Rose?

AT: Tokyo Rose? What was Tokyo Rose?

DG: That was, something like, she was a Nisei from here, and Japanese, in Japanese she did various... How should I say? She, she [inaudible] a propaganda, and she talked over the radio.

TY: Issei, Nisei.

DG: Uh-huh.

TY: How... was it that she was the person who passed on messages over the radio?

DG: Well, such...

TY: So, in Japan, you'd never heard of her?

AT: I remember hearing the name Tokyo Rose.

TY: But, you don't remember what it was?

AT: Hmm, I don't remember what she was doing.

<End Segment 25> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.