Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Kara Kondo Interview
Narrator: Kara Kondo
Interviewers: Alice Ito (primary), Gail Nomura (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: December 7 & 8, 2002
Densho ID: denshovh-kkara-01-0053

<Begin Segment 53>

GN: Can you tell us a little bit about that practice session, then? You say it was emotional. Was there like a sharing?

KK: It was a sharing. It was a sharing experience that, for most people who came, it was the first time they had talked out loud about it to anyone. Or, perhaps, they might have shared it with few people, but most of them had not even talked to their families about it. And it, it was a traumatic experience for them. You could tell it. Maybe the second time in telling, it would not be as dramatic. But it was... it was emotional because you realized that all the people who were willing to talk about it, there must be many who were still unwilling to talk about it or who have not faced up to it. And even the young people who said they had such a good time in camp. They were carefree and they could play and didn't have to answer to their parents. When they really thought about it, I would like to have heard how they really felt about it as an adult and to look backwards, back to see, in addition to their memories of good times, what affected them really deeply. And some people, I don't think, have ever faced that yet.

GN: Was the act of almost speaking the unspeakable, as you shared with each other, made it easier to speak, or...?

KK: I hope so. Because I had talked to various groups many times before that time. But I had the feeling that many of them who shared these stories, it was the first time. And there was, and it is an emotional time when they have experiences bottled up that they're willing to talk about it. And they must have had numerous other experiences that probably, in retrospect, they might have talked about it. And I hope they have talked about it to other groups later.

GN: Did anybody choose not to testify after the practice session?

KK: I don't know. I don't know because I'm sure that there were more people who, in the practice session, than the ones that were chosen. And I don't know how the choices were made.

GN: They were chosen?

KK: Uh-huh. Because they'd... I can't even remember how the speakers were chosen. But, perhaps, they were the written ones that were submitted and then picked out. But I don't really know the mechanics of that.

GN: Did you attend all of the hearings?

KK: No. I just went one, I believe just one session. Had to wait and listen to some of them because we were always running, they were, seemed to be running behind schedule.

GN: Do you remember anything about the people there?

KK: It was full. But I, I really looked at the commissioners and, and thought, I wonder how these testimonies are affecting -- they must have heard stories after stories after stories and how, certainly it would affect them. And how would they evaluate them to really come to some sort of conclusion? Were they stories made up? Were they stories people told to sway them? Was it something that they, people just told stories in a magnified way? And, and you can, I'm sure, as a panelist, people on the panel, they had to make these judgments.

GN: You got to speak to Marutani directly at some point?

KK: I was... I can't remember just, it, were probably in another setting and we were talking about the various testimonies and, and I think they were talking about so-and-so and such-and-such were impressive. And then, I think that, he did mention something about the testimony about the entrainment, and I knew that was mine. [Laughs]

<End Segment 53> - Copyright © 2002 Densho. All Rights Reserved.