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-01-0050

<Begin Segment 50>

DG: Now, when you joined JACL, what were some of the issues?

GF: Gee, I don't remember the issues. It was that alien land laws in progress. I don't think I did anything, to tell you the truth. I really don't, can't pinpoint.

DG: But you helped overturn that.

GF: Yeah.

DG: Overturn the alien land law.

GF: Yeah. And I worked with at that time Tak Kubota was pretty prominent, and I worked with him together. And I think Jim Matsuoka too, also.

DG: I understand it didn't pass until the third time.

GF: Pardon?

DG: It didn't pass.

GF: Yeah, it didn't. Well, there's a lot of resentment.

DG: Until the third time.

GF: That's right. There was a lot of resentment. Well, I think their mind was like we think now, maybe it wasn't a good thing to pass. We thought of our parents that were Japanese that came from Japan, and they can't own land or they can't do this and that because of the alien land law. Now, we pass the alien land law, see what happens. It's a hell of a mess. I think so.

DG: So that foreigners come in.

GF: Foreigners can buy a piece of land and they can do that, see, which I think should be for the American citizens, but foreigner from Japan or anyplace can come in and buy out. Can Canadians come in and buy out?

DG: Uh-huh.

GF: They do buy and then they sell it for the big profit and they take the money back to Japan. [Laughs] And that's not right, it's the United States. It's for people in the United States. And us American citizens should have just as much right, but the foreigners come in with the foreign money and by God they... Japan is a heck of a mess now, but still. When I was in Hawaii last time, this great big hotel, they come and say this is worth one dollar. Well, I give you five dollars for it and what happens? It drops. They lose out and that's what happening to Japan now. So I don't know. Something to think about. Money's a big issue with... gosh. I think we should have left that alone. [Laughs] I say that and maybe some guys don't like it. But looking back to our parents, it was a good thing to have because like my folks want to buy a piece of land, they can't buy it because they are aliens unless my son like myself went to buy it. And we were so young and so ignorant at that time, we don't think too much about it, but you did feel sorry for the Issei people that they couldn't buy anything. That's the reason some people that don't have children, they have somebody else buy it for them, and then they -- what the kid, this guy that used his name says well, it's my property, not yours. Even if the old man, this person paid for it, it's under his name. So that's sad. I don't think it happened. I don't know, but I think things like that would happen.

<End Segment 50> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.