Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Hideo Hoshide Interview I
Narrator: Hideo Hoshide
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: January 26 & 27, 2006
Densho ID: denshovh-hhideo-01-0033

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TI: Now, tell me about Jimmy. When you were doing this with him, like looking in his wallet and verifying the bills, was he, what kind of person was he? Was he kind of a friendly person or was he a serious person? I don't know what he was like. What was Jimmy Sakamoto like?

HH: No, he's just... being a boxer and an athlete and everything else, he was quite talkative, and along the way, sometimes he might just say something. But never on serious political talks or anything like that. But I do remember him saying to me that when he goes to the Press Club meeting and meeting with the publishers of Times and P-I and such, that he would say after the war started, he would say that those publishers says, don't believe what's in -- that's their bread and butter -- articles written about the war and about the Japanese or Japs or whatever. He says between the publishers and Jimmy, this is the kind of information he was telling me, that they are saying, "Don't worry about what's written," because that's their bread and butter.

TI: So, that's interesting. So the weeks after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, you had publications like the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Seattle Times, writing all these articles about Japanese spies or saboteurs and things like this, which weren't really true, but they were writing these. And they were telling Jimmy, "Don't worry about what we're writing, because we're just trying to, like, sell newspapers, and this isn't, this won't be a problem, or don't worry about it," because why? Why shouldn't Jimmy worry about this? Because wasn't it just whipping the public into a sort of frenzy?

HH: Well, this is just after the war, and all the information about all the places around, close to the Boeing plant, down East Marginal Way and everything, there were farmers just south of that Boeing field, and people -- Japanese farmers -- and they were trying to say we should be aware of the fact that this may be one of the sabotage areas. So those kind of information that the newspaper would be putting, whether they're considering or something like that, the city was considering, or the government, these are the information that I think they talked about, assuring Jimmy, don't worry about the paper, because especially the P-I was a Hearst paper.

TI: So they were very anti-Japanese.

HH: Yes, at the time. So it's kind of interesting, I don't know exactly what happened there, but they were in there and usually they have drinks in the Press Club. So, and then they play cards.

TI: But I want to go back just a little bit, because I read some of those articles during those weeks, and yeah, there were articles in, I think, both the Times and P-I talking about how you mentioned like Boeing field, which was a critical airstrip, and how Japanese lived on the hill, on Beacon Hill, overlooking Beacon Hill, as well as how some Japanese lived by this bridge, or they lived by this plant. And these were just people who were in the neighborhoods. [Interruption] [The newspapers] made it sound like that the Japanese were potentially spying or doing bad things, or they could be potentially dangerous. So again, the newspaper people are saying, "We're just writing this to just kind of sell newspapers, and don't worry, that nothing's going to happen because of this." Is that kind of what they were doing? And then they would go off and drink and...

HH: Yes.

TI: And so how did Jimmy feel? Did he believe and trust what he was hearing?

HH: Well, the publishers, you know, you don't have a chance to meet and talk to, but Jimmy was in constant contact with them. So I think it was a very friendly type of deal, and this is the time that they could relax and talk about everything else. But during the time after the war started, I think a lot of conversation might have gone through. So I think that maybe they might have been, the other publishers, might have felt that maybe to ease Jimmy's... because he was the only -- I don't know whether the other Japanese editors or publishers attended that on a regular basis, I don't know. But I know Jimmy was, because I had to take him in the car on the way home.

TI: This is interesting; I didn't realize Jimmy did this. Because Jimmy is pretty prominent in the main newspaper dailies, I mean, stories about him or letters from him. And I imagine, because of his connection with these publishers, it was easier for him to get his story into these newspapers. So that's interesting.

<End Segment 33> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.