Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Frank Miyamoto Interview III
Narrator: Frank Miyamoto
Interviewer: Stephen Fugita
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: April 29, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-mfrank-03-0014

<Begin Segment 14>

SF: At Tule, who were the folks who were most likely candidates to be suspects, and what happened to them? How did the people treat them and react to them?

FM: Well, the people who were among the suspects were, Protestant ministers, for example. And it's not altogether clear why that should be so, except that the Protestant ministers still communicated with the Protestant churches outside, got assistance from the Protestant churches outside, and so there was a suspicion of connection perhaps, with the white world. And the idea that they taught a philosophy that was different from that of the Japanese orientation. This kind of thing, perhaps, was the basis.

SF: I've heard that sometimes the -- some people have the perception that the Buddhist priests were not treated as well as the Protestant ministers in camp, for the kinds of reasons you...?

FM: You mean by the WRA?

SF: Yeah, did you see any sort of...?

FM: I had never thought of that. But I suppose if one was a fervent Buddhist church member, you would feel that, because in a sense Buddhist leaders were, in quite a number of cases, sent to these camps, to Missoula, Santa Fe, and elsewhere. Whereas I don't know of any Protestant minister who ever was. So yes, I suppose there must have been some feeling that Buddhist ministers were treated worse, or suspected more by the white administration, and treated not as well.

SF: Do you recall any specific cases of where some suspected inu were attacked by certain groups?

FM: Yeah, Protestant ministers were attacked. Beaten. That I know of happening. Going back to your question of who were the inu. Our research group that was assembled at Tule Lake, consisted of people, composed of people like Tom Shibutani, Haro Najima, and so on. All of whom were former University of California, Berkeley graduate students. Or, not necessarily graduate students, but students. And I, of course was part of that group. We were among the inu simply because people didn't understand what we were doing -- we had publicly announced we were engaged in research -- but then, that would have little meaning to people such as those who were at the camp. So, the fact that we were in contact with the white administration, as we often were, must have made us suspect.

<End Segment 14> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.