Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Akiko Kurose Interview II
Narrator: Akiko Kurose
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: December 2 & 3, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-kakiko-02-0005

<Begin Segment 5>

AI: What was your reaction when you first heard that news?

AK: And I was shocked, but still the impact wasn't 'til I got to school the next day, when my, one of my teachers said, "You people bombed Pearl Harbor." I'm going, "Me, my people?" Then I realized that, now I'm being considered, not an American citizen like everybody else, but due to my racial features I was being considered an enemy.

AI: And do you recall what else was going through your mind when you faced that reaction?

AK: Well, I was kind of upset and angry when this teacher said that to me. And then it seemed like there was just rumblings all the way around. But still it didn't seem to affect me to that point. I wasn't thinking, "Why did this war occur, why is this happening?" None of those things. And I wasn't that much of a history person, that I could even analyze or evaluate what was going on.

AI: So, afterwards you were pretty much yourself, conducting your daily life in school, your typical last year, senior in high school. And what were the reactions of some of your friends after, after Pearl Harbor?

AK: It was a very mixed kind of a reaction. Some of them, I know a couple of my girlfriends said, "Oh, I wish we weren't born Japs." And things like that. And...

AI: Did you ever have that feeling yourself?

AK: You know, it's hard to say. Because when you start recalling, then pretty soon you're thinking about violation of human rights... I'm sure I never thought of it in that depth. And so, I really don't know. I may have. But I was still having lots of fun, seeing who was the cutest boy down the street, that kind of thing. [Laughs]

AI: Right, right, your normal, everyday life.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.