Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Eugene Tatsuru Kimura Interview
Narrator: Eugene Tatsuru Kimura
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: September 5, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-keugene-01-0015

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TI: How about any other stories, like, in terms of, like, how did the other Asian Americans treat Japanese? Like the Chinese or Filipinos?

EK: Oh. The Caucasians had difficulty differentiating between Japanese, Chinese and Filipinos. Therefore when the Chinese and Filipino were at the end of racial remarks and so forth, they started wearing buttons saying, "I am Chinese," "I am Filipino," and so forth, so that they wouldn't be attacked. But we Niseis felt that we didn't have to make buttons saying, "I am Japanese."

TI: But how would you feel when you saw, say, a Chinese with an "I am Chinese" button? I mean, did that, what did you think?

EK: Contemptuous. But by the same token, I can understand their feelings.

TI: And during this time period, was there any anger directed towards you because you were Japanese, by Caucasian or anything else that you can recall?

EK: Nothing overt. But then, prior to the war, during the war and afterward, the Hearst newspapers constantly, daily, said, "Jap, Jap, Jap." So that was drummed into our ears. So I would say, by the media, I think, we were assaulted, but no physical assault that I can remember.

<End Segment 15> - Copyright © 2008 Densho. All Rights Reserved.