Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: James A. Nakano Interview
Narrator: James A. Nakano
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Date: June 3, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-njames_2-01-0017

<Begin Segment 17>

TI: Going back to Tule Lake, I read someplace where at some point, when you're at Tule Lake, your father and your oldest brother Jitsu were removed from Tule Lake and sent to another camp.

JN: Oh, that's right. Yeah, I forgot, that's right. From Tule Lake, as I said, I think they were... and I don't quite understand what the circumstances were, but they were then sent to Santa Fe, I think. And then from Santa Fe, he was, Jitsu went to Japan, and then my dad decided he's going to come back to Hawaii because the war ended.

TI: Do you know why your father and Jitsu were separated and sent to Santa Fe?

JN: I think it's because they said they want to go -- they must have had a program where they were gonna send people back to Japan, those who want to go back, I guess.

TI: Well, but then many of the families could go directly from Tule Lake to Japan. I mean, generally when people were sent to Santa Fe, it was because they were somehow singled out because they were viewed as "troublemakers."

JN: Could be.

TI: And I was wondering -- and it's almost like after you described, it almost seemed like Bert would be the one who would be sent to Santa Fe, not Jitsu. And I was just curious if you had a sense of why, why either one was. 'Cause generally they were the leaders of various groups that oftentimes were sent. I was just curious.

JN: That part I don't, I don't quite know why exactly they were picked. But you know, come to think of it, though, I seem to recall my brother Bert being disappointed that he wasn't going with them. I'm not sure why, but I get that feeling, impression, that he felt like he should be going, too, not just them. He was a leader, again, of a whole... I think he was too young. But he was... I think I remember Jitsu saying later on that it was because Bert was such a troublemaker, they mistook him and he went instead of Bert is really the story, now that I recall, the story that I heard from Jitsu, I think. He said, "Oh, Bert, you're the one that got me into, sent back to Japan," kind of thing. I think so.

TI: Okay.

<End Segment 17> - Copyright ©2009 Densho. All Rights Reserved.