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-01-0007

<Begin Segment 7>

KK: But we were having fun and it was kind of enjoyable until the questionnaires came out.

AI: And that was in 1943?

KK: Yeah.

AI: And can you tell me what happened then?

KK: Well, of course, my folks and my older brothers -- I was a little young so I didn't have to answer those questions, but they all answered no because they were bitter. My father felt insulted being asked those questions 'cause he had no intention of going back to Japan or anything or he had no allegiance to Japan and here they asking them questions after they take all the property away and everything so he was bitter. And the other thing was he didn't know if -- where to go home to 'cause there was nothing left so the alternative was maybe Japan. We should go back to Japan 'cause there is nothing here. So that's why he answered no. I don't think it was any loyalty to Japan or anything.

AI: So he made that decision, but then how about your older brothers?

KK: Well, they felt, whatever they do, we should do it, too. We should stick together.

AI: So their decision was mainly based on, sounds like, wanting to stay together as a family.

KK: Yeah, uh-huh.

AI: Did you have any family discussion about that that you recall?

KK: Yeah, but I wasn't in on that discussion. I think my older brothers and sister was, but I stayed out of it.

AI: And did you have any sense, had you heard any rumors, or did you have any idea of what might happen because of their decisions?

KK: No. Well, I didn't know what was gonna happen. I didn't know why they asked the questions from the first place, but it kind of tore a lot of us apart because it separated families, it separated friends. I made good friends there and all of a sudden we had to part when the decision was made that we had to go to Tule Lake. There was a lot of divisions and things like that.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.