Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Mits Takahashi Interview
Narrator: Mits Takahashi
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: March 20, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-tmits-01-0011

<Begin Segment 11>

TI: I want to now go back to you right after December 7th. You had to go back to Garfield, what was Garfield like on December 8th, that Monday?

MT: Well, one of the things that really, I can remember, I was in the study hall at Garfield. And so that probably was the Monday right after Pearl Harbor. Two or three bombers flew over, and the class, study hall, typically, I don't know how many students were in there, but there was a certain uproar, talking and things. All of a sudden it just went completely silent, and everybody just froze in there. And here these bombers were droning overhead, and I guess we were scared, but it was something, it just silenced the whole room. You couldn't hear, you could hear a pin drop. But I can vividly remember those bombers flying over Garfield there. And so it, all the students reacted to it one way or another, to the war, too, you know.

TI: Was it a reaction of fear, would you say, in that room, when the...

MT: I think it was fear. I mean, the radio from Sunday on, all the time, every bit of news was about the bombing, and here you're in class, sittin' there, and these bombers are going over your head. I don't know what (my) actual feeling was, but all of a sudden it was just silence. That, that, I very, very vividly remember that.

TI: Do you recall any conversations you had, especially with your Caucasian friends, after December 7th, and what they were thinking?

MT: Not too much. There were a few teachers that did not like Japanese, I can't think who they (were). But on the whole, the teachers treated us well. I'm sure there were certain remarks from different students and things, but I can't recall coming across any of that.

TI: So while you were at Garfield, I'm trying to -- I didn't ask this question earlier -- did you participate in any other, like, extracurricular activities like sports?

MT: Yeah, I tried to run a little bit, joined the track team, and then I, I don't know, I joined the boys club and I don't know what my job was. But I tried to be active outside of the classroom at Garfield, too. So, I mean, all this was available to us pre, before the war. After the war, I don't know. I think things pretty much stopped because of the evacuation thought going over, we pulled out of any activities.

TI: Yeah, so that's what I wanted to ask. So yeah, after December 7th, then amongst the Japanese students, Japanese American students, it sounds like a lot of the activities were curtailed, they would not participate as much?

MT: I don't think they were curtailed in the sense that they forced to curtail, but almost immediately we talk of evacuation, things are going on, so I think we as a whole, ourselves, kind of withdrew from a lot of the activities in school, outside the classrooms.

TI: Do you recall any conversations with other Japanese American students during this time period?

MT: I don't know, I can't think of any.

<End Segment 11> - Copyright © 2008 Densho. All Rights Reserved.