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-01-0041

<Begin Segment 41>

AI: Well, that was 1984 and then a few years later, I think it was 1988, the redress legislation was finally signed. And I just wanted to ask you, what was your reaction when that finally passed through Congress and President Regan signed that? A lot of people never thought it would happen.

TY: Yeah, I didn't think it would happen either. I was so surprised. In fact, I was even reluctant. If I had had my druthers, and if I was given the choice of agreeing whether we should get it or not, I would have said, "No." But, because I think that if -- of course, my, I think I told you my brother and my sister, May and Mike were the real radicals in our family. In fact, it's very interesting because when I, at the lab, I was a bleeding heart liberal, at home I was a hard hat. [Laughs] It, but of course Mike and May was all gung ho for it. And he was in the group that wanted, actually was asking for more than twenty thousand. But I was not and I felt that, that the apology from the president and the country was good enough. But, here again, in hindsight it occurred to me that only thing that the American people understand is the dollar thing and I think that maybe it did make more of an impact with the money attached to it, and maybe if, might have made a bigger impact if more money was attached to it. I don't know. But we were even lucky to get it, I think. You know, people in Canada, they got what, five thousand dollars, I think.

AI: They got more than that, but...

TY: They got more than that?

AI: Yeah.

TY: Oh, is that right? Well, they didn't get much. And in fact, they literally lost everything. Everything was confiscated and sold and I don't know what they did with the money, did government get the money? Gee. And then none of them get any of that back, never. So, that, they really had a hard time. And they didn't have a camp to go to, I think they, weren't they...

AI: Some of them were left off in old abandoned towns.

TY: In abandoned towns?

AI: Yes, old mining towns and so forth --

TY: Is that right?

AI: -- old lumber towns.

TY: That must've been hard. They must've had a really hard time. I didn't read too much about them but what little I've read, I think they really had a hard time.

AI: Yes.

TY: Yeah.

<End Segment 41> - Copyright © 2002 Densho. All Rights Reserved.