Densho Digital Archive
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-01-0025

<Begin Segment 25>

DG: Well, so was there a feeling of war coming at all?

GF: Oh, yes. In Japan I knew there was going to be a war so that's the reason we were trained. Because in high school you're trained to... so when your last year in high school or year before graduation, you're sent to a military camp. And those kind of things I told this guy and maybe that's the reason why he thought I was --

DG: But when you came here, did you think there was... was there a feeling here?

GF: I don't think so. I don't think so. I didn't feel that, but in Japan -- over here I'm quite sure the people above knew what's going to come, and they were just, they were prepared, but they didn't know what to do, I guess. But Japan was geared up. He says that we get so much from United States, we just can't take all this.

DG: Well, they have close to documentation now, not for sure, but that America knew that Japan was going to attack.

GF: Yeah, that's what I heard. So they were going to attack and they should be aware of it, but they weren't.

DG: But they let it go or something.

GF: And that's the reason why Pearl Harbor was bombed that way. We didn't know Pearl Harbor would be hit like that or anything. We never thought of that, but we knew that Japan --

DG: Well, I think the average citizen didn't know, they say.

GF: No. We used to, we lived on the island and he says, "You see that mountain over there?" He says, "Underneath there is a battleship already prepared," things like that, but they don't show that they have this many, this many battleships and so forth. It's all hidden. Even airplanes, they have them all hidden. You know, the paper -- the airplanes in Japan are made out of bamboo and paper. They're fast, but boy, you hit 'em once, that's it. [Laughs] So I don't know if that's true or not, but that's what I heard. Yeah, these... boy, I tell you, that's the reason why you have so many suicide planes. He says, "I'm going to get United States," and that's the reason why the Manchuria war, they had the Bakudan Sanyuushi you know. They go through, someplace they can't get through, three guys carry the... go there and they blow up the whole place so they can get through. That's kind of spirits they have in Japan. It's called "yamato damashii." [Laughs] But I think that's upon a lot of Nisei, Sanseis people. That's the reason probably something like this would probably be something that the Sansei would say gee, "You know, we're Japanese. We should be proud of being Japanese," right? [Laughs] So I think a lot of Niseis still have that spirit. I don't know Sansei, Yonsei. I don't know what's going to happen to them, but I think yamato damashii stays with the Japanese. [Laughs]

<End Segment 25> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.