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Title: Tosh Yasutake Interview
Narrator: Tosh Yasutake
Interviewers: Alice Ito (primary), Tom Ikeda (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: November 14, 2002
Densho ID: denshovh-ytosh-01-0002

<Begin Segment 2>

AI: And so that brought us up very quickly to the fall of 1941 when you entered University of Washington.

TY: Uh-huh.

AI: Tell a little bit about what you were planning to do at that time.

TY: Well, when I enrolled the University of Washington I was in dilemma as to what I would be majoring in and I had discussions with my father and he told me at that time -- and I think it was a real sound advice -- he said that well, "Why don't you major in science," and, because he said that, "If you decide to go into social science later, the course would be much easier. If you started with taking social science classes and then convert over to science, say, after you're a junior, conversion will be much more difficult." So, I thought, well, that's a good idea, so I decided to major in science and then I thought, well, why not pre-med. So I decided to major in pre-med. But unfortunately, after December 7th, the very day, I decided that I didn't want to go back to school so I dropped out of school. And I think May dropped out of high -- stopped going to school also. And all of us didn't go back to school after December 7th.

TI: So Tosh, was that common at the UW, after December 7th, Japanese American students not going back to their courses?

TY: I think... well, I heard later that maybe half of them didn't go back. But actually it was a crucial time because I think it was during the final exam. I think the final exam week. The following week -- I guess December 7th was Sunday -- and so the following week was final exam and I think that people, well, like I did, they just didn't want to cope with that. And I -- so worried and so forth, they decided not to go back.

TI: So what were you worried about? What were your feelings? Were you afraid or... for your safety? Or what was, what was --

TY: I think the most concern was a -- I guess I was very, very afraid and scared because of uncertainty of what's going to happen. We didn't know... I did notice that even among the neighbors, that some of them were very sympathetic. They came over and talked to us but others sort of ignored us and so emotionally it was sort of mixed feeling; didn't know what to make of the whole thing. Main thing was the uncertainty of what's going to happen I think was the thing that bothered us the most.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2002 Densho. All Rights Reserved.