Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Kenge Kobayashi Interview
Narrator: Kenge Kobayashi
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Klamath Falls, Oregon
Date: July 4, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-kkenge-01-0013

<Begin Segment 13>

KK: Then pretty soon things were back to normal where we were delivering our own food and stuff and everything, but the school opened again. But then shortly after that there was a group called the Hoshidan and Seinendan and they were pro-Japanese group. It wasn't a big group, but it was a small group, but they started pressuring everybody to join. And the leader was in our block, and he says to all us young people, "You better join." So we all joined. We had to shave off our head. And as I said before, I thought it was just a exercise club or something so we exercised, but we did commando trainings and marching around and blowing bugle and stuff.

AI: What did you think about those activities?

KK: I hated it. I didn't want to be part of it, but everybody else was in it so I just kind of endured it.

AI: Did you receive lectures?

KK: Oh, yeah, everything.

AI: What kinds of things were they teaching you?

KK: To be physically fit, to go back to Japan and fight for Japan, things like that.

AI: But it sounds like your father had no intention of going back.

KK: Oh, no. My father was against all that. He wasn't in on that at all, but us kids were. But after a while we were relieved because all the leaders were pulled out, and they were sent to Bismarck or Santa Fe, New Mexico, and so it kind of slowly dissolved. And I was happy then 'cause I was getting out of there.

AI: While you were in that Hoshidan, were there some other young people in there who really were believers?

KK: Yes, there were a lot. A lot of Kibeis were in there, but I won't say all Kibeis. There was a lot of Japanese Americans in there.

<End Segment 13> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.