Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Gordon Hirabayashi Interview I
Narrator: Gordon Hirabayashi
Interviewers: Becky Fukuda (primary), Tom Ikeda (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: April 26, 1999
Densho ID: denshovh-hgordon-01-0005

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BF: Do you know if this group still exists in some sort of modified form?

GH: Yeah, it's there, some -- but it didn't spread.

BF: Oh.

GH: This movement did not spread, but those who did join were strong.

BF: Yeah.

GH: They, they were, they maintained their presence, their identity, but they didn't spread very much.

BF: Uh-huh.

GH: So, I got the feeling that they did attract some people and, and it was a powerful attraction...

BF: Uh-huh.

GH: ...for them. But others who didn't get that powerful attraction went on, drifted into other groups.

BF: So you had to be sort of -- it was a strong group of very committed...

GH: Yeah.

BF: ...independent people...

GH: Right

BF: ...and maybe finding people like that is sort of rare.

GH: Yeah...

BF: So...

GH: this -- you through your family relation, this Murakami family were neighbor farmers.

BF: Murayama.

GH: Murayama, yeah.

BF: Uh-huh.

GH: They were one of the farm members...

BF: Oh.

GH: ...and somehow they began to, through friendly, friendship and so on, and probably social relations, joined, or began to attend some of the meetings and became members. They, they had a few. There was the Japanese fellow who went, one of the early ones who went through mechanical training and got a license to be a garage operator. And he did all the repairs of tractors and trucks. When the trucks were purchased, they were just trucks without, just the cab. He had to, you know, he even was involved in building the table, the back table and the sides and so on. We all did it through his help and...

BF: Because this group formed a, they worked cooperatively as farmers...

GH: Yeah.

BF: well.

GH: Yeah, the main, main group was a co-op farm, even. So it was like, farming was... and facing -- and the difficult... I think one of the things that solidified and strengthened that group was the difficulties they ran in as poor farmers, economically. See, they had -- it was after World War, well, during World War II that most of them got married. And the marriage went through the same thing. I think the process was practically identical whether they were in Japan or in the Northwest, U.S.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 1999 Densho. All Rights Reserved.