Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Takashi Matsui Interview I
Narrator: Takashi Matsui
Interviewer: Elmer Good
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: October 29, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-mtakashi-01-0016

<Begin Segment 16>

EG: Yeah, that was just a peculiar thing. The other thing I was wondering, of course, as far as your being drafted, was your own feelings about it. Because as you say, you had your family in Japan, your brothers and sister, your father was still there?

TM: Yes.

EG: Yeah, and your grandparents, well, your whole family. Your whole family was in Japan and here you were in America being drafted into the army to fight against Japan. What did this mean to you?

TM: Well, it was not too comfortable. [Laughs] But I wasn't the only one. And I don't know, we were all confused. But we had to do what we had to do.

EG: But you felt more American than Japanese as far as military service was concerned?

TM: Oh, yes, yes. Also I knew, and everybody else knew that the Japanese army was not reasonable. They were wrong, they went to Manchuria, started the war saying that the Chinese started, but in fact the Japanese started the war. Maybe they didn't say it in Japan, but over here, we kind of heard and I think that was true. And some Chinese told me, too, that somewhere around Manchurian Railway the Japanese started the trouble, and they said the Chinese did. So that gives them an excuse. No, I think the Japanese army was wrong and then certainly when it came to attacking Pearl Harbor, I was really ashamed and they shouldn't have done it. They, according to their so-called bushido if you want to call it that way, they wouldn't do that, you know, a sneak attack. And that is, should be against their principle, go against their grain, but they did. And I think it was real, real bad. So a lot of us, because on account of that, felt no hesitation to serve in the American army.

<End Segment 16> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.