Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Toru Sakahara - Kiyo Sakahara Interview II
Narrator: Toru Sakahara, Kiyo Sakahara
Interviewer: Dee Goto
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: February 27, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-storu_g-02-0031

<Begin Segment 31>

DG: Well you said that you, you were out of town a lot speaking and what not. What did you?

TS: Well, I didn't mean to infer that I was, that active speaking and so forth and so on, just carrying on activities like contacting different people and agitating and so forth and so on.

DG: So did you get involved because you were the president earlier and knew about all these, or did you...

TS: It was a, a part of a national effort to repeal anti-alien ownership lands. But in every other state, they didn't have too much of a problem because it only meant contacting legislatures to enact state statute laws to repeal these anti-alien ownership laws. But in the state of Washington, it was a part of the Constitution, which had to enacted by the vote, in a general election by the people. So that's what made the repeal campaign in Washington so difficult.

DG: So you had to raise money too?

TS: To raise.

KS: Yes we did, we had to raise.

DG: How much money?

TS: Surprisingly.

KS: Very little. [Laughs]

TS: For a state campaign as I recall it, we never did have a campaign schedule or goal of more than $35,000 for conducting the campaign in either, of any of those three. But it's remarkable how the...

DG: But all three campaigns combined was $100,000, right.

TS: That's, at least.

DG: Right, so where'd you get the money?

KS: Well it was raised each time. We had quite a few influential Seattle citizens who supported this and they were, they were able to get some money. You know, remember the, Mrs. (Henry) Owens and, it was... I know that during those years, many of us couldn't afford too much more than token money and our time, but we had this young fellow, his name is Tak Kubota, who at that time was, knew quite a few legislators. He lived in the south end. In fact, his father is the one that built Kubota Gardens. And at that time he was very politically active. And he didn't go around making speeches for the Alien Land Law repeal, but he, just the fact that he knew quite a few of the people in the political world, that helped, too. It got information into quite a few areas. So, the third time it went on the ballot more people knew about it and more people voted.

<End Segment 31> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.