Densho Digital Repository
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Robert Moriguchi Interview
Narrator: Robert Moriguchi
Interviewer: Brian Niiya
Location: Granada Hills, California
Date: October 4, 2022
Densho ID: ddr-densho-1000-515-22

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BN: I mean, this is about where JACL comes into play, right?

RM: Yeah, it was...

BN: Started soon after...

RM: ...about 1960. I had to do something. I don't know how I got into it, I have no idea how it did, but I got involved with the JACL. They wanted me on the board, and I was on the JACL board for I don't know how many years.

BN: This is the board of the San Fernando...

RM: San Fernando Valley, yeah. So it was mostly the older Niseis, the Niseis at that time. And we were pretty close, but they're all dead now, they're all gone.

BN: You were probably one of the younger ones, right?

RM: Yeah, there's one lady, Bo Sakauchi is, you know Bo Sakauguchi? You know the Sakaguchis? They're very prominent in the valley. In fact Sambo, he donated a lot of money  to the symphony, the Asian symphony. I don't know if it was SC or UCLA. SC, I guess it was. And the Community Center, all kinds of different things. And Bo, that family, there were two doctors. One of the sisters and the older brother was a doctor, and the three other brothers were dentists. But the youngest dentist, Bo, which I was very close to, he was the last one to pass away just last year. And his wife is the youngest, she's younger than us. She moved to her daughter's, close to her daughter's place in Torrance, I think. But JACL, we did a lot of things. I was president in '68, and we did things like, well, repealed Title II of the Internal Security Act of 1950, that was one of the main things we did. We went talking to colleges and churches, and that's how I got Phil Shigekuni involved. Now, he's been very involved for many, many years, and the Kushidas, they all got involved because I went to their church.

BN: Do you know how that started? What was the impetus for the Title II campaign?

RM: Title II, there was Title II of the Internal Security Act, this was all about Communism.

BN: Right. I know, I'm familiar with it, but I'm just wondering how that started.

RM: Well, it was because of the, because they were going to set up concentration camps for Communism. So we didn't want any concentration camp for all these people on mere suspicions that they may be Communist or things like that. So that's why we didn't want something like that to happen, because that's what happened to us. So that was the impetus.

BN: One of the camps being prepared for that was Tule Lake.

RM: Yeah. So we were successful in that from a grassroots, from a small minority group.

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