Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Spady Koyama Interview I
Narrator: Spady Koyama
Interviewers: Tom Ikeda (primary), James Arima (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: March 23, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-kspady-01-0014

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TI: Well, not only those national vet organizations, it sounds like you have had a history of organizing and joining other types of organizations. Thinking about the Japanese American community, are you, or were you involved in any other organizations, especially before the war? I, you mentioned the, the Spokane Civic Club. Were there any other organizations that you were, were active in?

SK: No, because I was working on the farm then and the only one that I was involved in was the Civic Club. And then short-, the following year I'm in the army so that was it.

JA: You mentioned that Judge Kelly encouraged you to form the Civic Club and become a JACL chapter. You also mentioned that you had prior relationship with Mike Masaoka and Mas Satow who were very influential in JACL. Can you explain how you met them and the nature of your relationship?

SK: First it was through correspondence, and then after I got into the army, went back into the army in 1947, I'm being sent out on recruiting trips by the Presidio of Monterey, the language school which had moved from Minnesota back to California to its current location. And before it became a Defense Language Institute, it was the Army Language School, ALS. And one of the -- I made three trips, recruiting trips on behalf of that school. Once to the Northwest, Seattle-Spokane area and so forth. And one, once to Chicago-Minneapolis area, and the third to Salt Lake City. Now, the national JACL office was currently at that time located in Salt Lake City. Hito Okada was national president. He was there. And Mike Masaoka was there, Mas Satow was there. Oh, my poker buddies who used to get together and socially and I went on recruiting trips within the Salt Lake City area and Mike made some arrangements for me to give a talk in, in some areas. So I was given a lot of support by Mike Masaoka. So later on when I'm stationed at Ft. Holabird, (MD), he's the, he's located in Washington, D.C. And periodically we would get together and, and I would dine with Mike and Etsu. So we, we were close over the years.

<End Segment 14> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.