Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Sadaichi Kubota Interview
Narrator: Sadaichi Kubota
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Date: July 1, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-ksadaichi-01-0012

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TI: Well, after you volunteered, where did you have to go to be inducted into the military?

SK: Well, we had a national guard armory so that's where the... what board you call that? The draft board, the draft board was located in one of the rooms over there, too, but we were sworn in in this big armory. I believe we were about... roughly count about 300 of us because I was in the second call. I enlisted, we went through the physicals and testings, and this group went first. They were called and sent to Honolulu, and about two weeks later, I guess, we were called. And this is where we were sworn in, and from there we boarded one of the inter-island small ship and went over to Honolulu.

TI: Were there any last words before you left on the ship from your parents?

SK: Oh, yes, yes. They just said,"Shikkari yatte koi" -- Do your best. Yeah, do your best. And I told my parents that I may not come back alive, but like the old Japanese, "Sho ga nai." Can't be helped, yeah. I still remember those words. So, of course, my father is very stoic, you know, always held his head high. My mother, of course, cried right through. My two sisters were at the departure area. Oh, yeah, from there, from the armory we march over to a place called Kalakaua Park. It's only about few hundred yards from the armory so we marched over there, and there we heard speeches by the various community leaders about doing a great thing by enlisting. So after that we boarded trucks and went to the pier, yeah. At that time we had an old family friend, old man, a Chinese, Chinese. Very good family friend. I didn't cry. I shed no tears up until I said goodbye to him and shucks, big tears rolling down his cheek and I had to, I was very emotional because he was very close to our family and my younger brother, who was with the MIS, was very close to him also. As a matter of fact, he used to sleep at his home, that Chinese old man, so he was very sad that we were going to war. Until then I just took it for granted that well, goodbye, see you when I come back, but with this old man, I just became emotional.

TI: Do you remember any words that he told you as you left?

SK: I kind of forgot what he said, but my brother's name is Yoshio and he told me something like, "Take good care of your brother, Yoshio," because (he was really the old man's) pet, you see.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.