Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Daniel Inouye Interview
Narrator: Sen. Daniel Inouye
Interviewers: Tom Ikeda (primary), Beverly Kashino (secondary)
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Date: June 30, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-idaniel-01-0003

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TI: Let's switch gears a little bit now and talk about more about your personal history. And why don't we start back to 1922 and a piece of legislation that happened back then, and why don't you just talk about that a little bit.

DI: Well, I was born in 1924, but I became aware of the Supreme Court decision of 1922 rather early in my life. That decision declared that Japanese were not qualified for citizenship, and as a result of that, the practical effect was that a Japanese could not be naturalized. And in more practical terms, my father who was born in Japan, came over as a child of two, got his education here, paid his taxes, and served well, could not be naturalized. And when he married my mother who was born in Hawaii and a citizen, therefore, the moment she got married, she lost her citizenship because of a law that was passed. In 1924 a law was passed in the Congress, approved by the President, that said if a people is to be found unqualified for citizenship, their homeland would not qualify to receive a quota. See, this was the quota legislation. China would get so many, Korea so many etceteras, and in the case of Japan, it was singled out. The one country in the world without any immigration so if you use this as a background, I think one can understand why certain levels of animosity developed and existed prior to December the 7th. We as young people had no idea what was going on, but I knew that my mother had lost her citizenship.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.