Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Frank Miyamoto Interview IV
Narrator: Frank Miyamoto
Interviewers: Alice Ito (primary), Tatsuya Fukunaga (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: July 7, 2003
Densho ID: denshovh-mfrank-04-0021

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FM: Now at the Waterfall cannery as it happened, we had two men come in who reflected this changeover. They were George Taki, Taki, Takizawa, I think is what his name was and Dyke Miyagawa. Dyke is someone I knew from much earlier in my life, very intelligent guy who, whose political orientation was much more radical than that of most Nisei, and he believed in the unionization in order to displace the contractors. And George Taki, I was never quite sure what, who, what kind of person he was, but he had necessarily to be a person who didn't fit into the Japanese system. He had to be the kind of person who was not totally fitted into the Japanese system, so to speak, and is therefore off far enough outside the system to be able to be critical of it, protest against it, and so on. He was that type of person, I would say.

Now, incidentally, protest arises only if there, if you have -- well, unless a person's being totally unreasonable, protest usually arises because there are some conditions which need to be protested or deserve protest, protest. And there were obviously conditions that were, very bad conditions that needed to be changed, and I'll go into that later. But as long as things are going well enough for your own life, as in the case of the Nisei, who were students, and who just needed money to be sa-, that they could save so that they go on to, could go on to college or whatever, things are okay. As I say, in the case of the Filipinos, however, this was more of a employment issue for them. That is to say, it was more important for them that they had, get better earnings than they... to get as much earning as possible, more so than in the case of the Nisei, and so, again, this basis for protest was stronger among that population than in the case of the Nisei.

So then, in the mid-1930s, with people like -- and I suppose, to back up a moment, I suppose it was true that people like George Taki and Dyke Miyagawa figured in this changeover because in a sense they were, they could represent the Nisei, the Japanese sector of the labor population, also could relate to, as Japanese Americans, part of the Japanese system, so to speak, relate to the contractors in some sense so that a transition could be achieved from the one condition to the other. And I think this is how people like George Taki and Dyke Miyagawa figured in this transition from contractor to union organization of the labor market. I really don't know a great deal about this transition. I saw it coming, and I was part of it. I saw what was happening, but again, for me, cannery work was simply a means of my getting thorough graduate school at the university which I was attending, and so I no longer paid close attention to what was happening in that phase of my life.

<End Segment 21> - Copyright © 2003 Densho. All Rights Reserved.