Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Tokio Hirotaka - Toshio Ito - Joe Matsuzawa Interview
Narrators: Tokio Hirotaka, Toshio Ito, Joe Matsuzawa
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Bellevue, Washington
Date: May 21, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-htokio_g-01-0019

<Begin Segment 19>

AI: How did you hear about it? On that day.

JM: I think it was radio, or something. I don't quite remember exactly, but I think it was on the radio. That was the only thing, we didn't have much of a radio, and I think it was a newspaper, too. But I didn't know what was gonna happen to me, whether we'd be sent back, or... I didn't think that we would ever go into a camp, get interned. But I thought worse.

TI: My recollection of the Pearl Harbor Day was that, I distinctly remember it was, of course, December 7th on a Sunday morning. And before the announcement came out over the radios, my mother and I went into Seattle, across the floating bridge. At Panama Hotel located at Sixth and Main Street, my sister Sachiko and her husband were living at the Panama Hotel at that time. And we got there around ten in the morning, and I heard this radio blast, that, saying, "All troops report to your stations. All troops report to your stations," all morning long. And that the war has broken out, and Pearl Harbor was bombed and severely damaged. Well, we stayed in Seattle all day long. Towards evening we were coming home, and just before we got to the entrance to that Mount Baker tunnel, a Seattle police officer stopped me. He says, "Get out of the car," and so I did, and my mother stayed in the car. He says, "Open up the trunk." And, well, I did. And he searched the car, and found that there was no weapons, or no bombs, or anything like that so, he told me, "Go on ahead, for wherever you're headin' for." So I still remember that incident.

<End Segment 19> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.