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Title: Mas Akiyama Interview
Narrator: Mas Akiyama
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Spokane, Washington
Date: March 15, 2006
Densho ID: denshovh-amas-01-0012

<Begin Segment 12>

TI: Now, how did, how did the Japanese American community change? After Pearl Harbor, did, like, Caucasians, did they still come down to the area, or did anything change after that?

MA: No, no, we were discriminated quite a bit. Jobs weren't easy to get, and even restaurants, some of 'em boycotted us. There was a barber shop, too, said, "No Japs allowed," even all the, there were, oh, about five Chinese restaurants, they would put up signs: "We are Americans, Chinese, no Japs allowed." We used to eat there all the time, we'd get noodles, but after the war, they wouldn't allow us in there.

TI: So the Chinese restaurants wouldn't let Japanese in there?

MA: They wouldn't let us in, no.

TI: How about restaurants owned by Caucasians? Was it the same way?

MA: We kind of stayed away from 'em. Because there was, there were quite a few Japanese restaurants anyway. But once in a while, we used to like Chinese food, you know? [Laughs]

TI: So how did it make you feel that the Chinese restaurants didn't let Japanese in after being such good customers all these years?

MA: Yeah, we didn't feel very good about it. [Laughs] Yeah, it was quite a deal.

TI: Now, the community, the Japanese community, did they still have things like their picnics during the war? Did they still do community events?

MA: No, no, not for a couple years. Not 'til about 1944 or, I think about '44 they started it.

TI: So right after the war, for a couple years...

MA: Yeah, a couple we didn't do anything, no.

TI: And did people talk about why, or was it just, they just knew that it wasn't a good thing?

MA: Yeah, uh-huh.

TI: Now I'm curious, were any of the Issei, did they, were any of them sort of pro-Japan, that they wanted Japan to win the war? Did they talk about that?

MA: No, not that I know of. There may have been a few, you know, especially Kibeis. There were a few.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.