Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
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-01-0003

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AI: Well, and I think, as you had described in the group interview, that your family in particular had quite a shock on the 7th because the FBI came to your house that very day.

TY: Well, yes. We heard -- Pearl Harbor took place early in the morning and we were all in church, Seattle Methodist Church, Japanese Methodist Church. And we heard about it while we were in church. And as soon as I heard, I, they said Pearl Harbor, and I, I knew that was in Hawaii but I didn't know where exactly. And we were in just state of shock. And when we got home... to this day I don't remember how we got home because my dad was attending a senryu meeting, luncheon meeting that he went every Sunday, and he wasn't home. Mother was in church also so just how we got home I don't know. But all I remember was May and Joe and I, Mike, we were home but Mother hadn't come home yet because she was still at church. She was attending some women's committee meeting or something at church. And so I'm not really too sure why we got home by ourselves, and how we got home, and before my mother got home the FBI showed up. And it must have been shortly after lunch, or certainly between noon and 1 o'clock because the service ended at church at 11:00, I think. And my mother and my dad was not home when the FBI showed up. And then shortly thereafter my mother came home. And I think we've been through this before in the group meeting, interview, but Mother, when we answered, when Mother came home, she came to the door she noticed that two hakujins standing, standing there at the door also and they wondered -- she wondered what was going on. And she spoke in Japanese and the FBI became very upset that she spoke Japanese and they asked her to speak English. And then, I think, as I remember, there were five FBI men. Three of them stayed at our house, one watched us. They all told us to go in the living room. My brother was in bed because he had TB and they made him come down to the living room, also. So they assembled us all in the living room and the other two searched the house. And the, and then, let's see, that's three. And the fourth and the fifth FBI men left. And at that time I guess it was they went to pick up my moth-, dad. So my dad was picked up by, say, by 2 o'clock that Sunday. And then after the FBI got through searching the house, one of them took me to Maneki cafe, restaurant where my dad was in that area to pick up my dad's, dad's car. And May asked me, said, "How did you know where the car was?" Well, I didn't, so I can't, I can't -- I don't remember exactly how I found the car but I did and then drove it home. Another question was asked was did the FBI drive back with me. Well, he couldn't have because he had driven his car. So I drove the car and I'm not sure whether he followed me home, or whether I got home by myself.

AI: But, in any case, with these kinds of events happening right away on December 7th --

TY: Very quickly.

AI: -- it's no wonder --

TY: And my guess is my dad was one of the first one picked up, Issei picked up in Seattle. Because he was quite prominent in the Japanese community and so I guess it wasn't too surprising, really.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 2002 Densho. All Rights Reserved.