Densho Digital Repository
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Homer Yasui Interview
Narrator: Homer Yasui
Interviewers: Barbara Yasui (primary), Tom Ikeda (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: February 11, 2022
Densho ID: ddr-densho-1000-491-9

<Begin Segment 9>

BY: And how about in medical school or living in Philadelphia? Did you ever experience any kind of discrimination or racism or anything like that?

HY: Well, I did. It was when I was in medical school. In medical school there, they had a half-baked, so-called medical fraternity called Mu Beta Kappa, which was only good in Hahnemann. And then eventually, Mu Beta Kappa was, I don't know, incorporated or something with a medical fraternity called Alpha Sigma. And then by the time I was around junior or senior in (medical) school, Alpha Sigma wanted to affiliate with a prestigious national medical fraternity called Alpha Kappa Kappa. They should have called it KKK, but it was Alpha Kappa Kappa. But in order for Alpha Sigma -- and I was an Alpha Sigma, so was Bob Katase, there was only two of us Nikkei in the medical school, and we were both in the Alpha Sigma. They said that they would not accept anybody except, they would not accept Japanese Americans in Alpha Kappa Kappa, the national prestigious... So the president of Alpha Sigma says, "Would you and Bob resign from Alpha Sig so we can join Alpha Kappa?" I said, "Why would we do that?" He says, "Well, because we can't, because Alpha Kappa Kappa will not take Japanese as members, as fraternity members." Says, "If you guys won't resign, then we'll all resign and then we'll rejoin." So Bob and I capitulated, we resigned. And those bastards did become Alpha Kappa Kappa. Like I say, we should have called them KKK. But I don't know if it makes any difference. Which reminds me, I still have that little skull and little pendant, the Mu Beta Kappa pendant and the gold skull. I'm thinking of giving it to Danny, give it to somebody.

BY: That's interesting.

HY: But I still have those little pins.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright © 2022 Densho. All Rights Reserved.