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Densho Visual History Collection
Title: George Fugami Interview
Narrator: George Fugami
Interviewer: Dee Goto
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: June 15, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-fgeorge-01-0016

<Begin Segment 16>

DG: So what did you learn in Japan about the United States?

GF: They were telling me that United States is trying control Japan too much, push 'em down, and they says, "We don't stand for that. We got to get back to them. They cut that immigration thing -- that was one mistake." They said, "They should let us go to America if they wanted to, but why do they limit us to going to United States?" That's the reason why during that time when I came to United States, my principal says, "You're American citizen, go to the United States. Japan is overcrowded anyway." And some went and some did not, but I know one of my friends from L.A, he stayed and he went to law school in Tokyo, and I wrote to him, but I never got an answer from him. He was just like myself, he spoke -- well, he went to high school in L.A. and he came to Japan and he came to our school. He couldn't speak Japanese too well, we used to make fun of him. "You're a Japanese and you can't speak Japanese? That's awful." [Laughs] But I understand because I was, I couldn't speak either, but now since all those years it was okay.

DG: Was there any thought on Japan's part, do you think, to colonize America?

GF: Pardon?

DG: Was there any part on Japan's part to colonize America, to take over?

GF: Take over? No. I don't think anything like that ever happened. Japan was Japan and...

DG: What did they want their citizens to be able to do in America?

GF: In America? I don't know what my -- now, I told you this before, what my principal told me, he says, "George, go back to United States. You're American citizen." And I says, "Well, Japan is better with all the discipline and everything. I think Japan is better." He says, "No. You go back to United States and if you're a good U.S. citizen, you're a good Japanese. So show 'em that you're just as good." That is what he told me, "So I want you to go back to United States and be a good United States citizen, that way they say, 'Oh, Japanese is all right.'"

<End Segment 16> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.