Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Rick Sato Interview
Narrator: Rick Sato
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: March 2, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-srick-01-0012

<Begin Segment 12>

AI: Well, now around that time, I think, didn't -- weren't they also starting the call for volunteers for the service?

RS: Yeah, they were calling for volunteers for service about that time. And some of them went, volunteered, and some of them didn't want to go, and then at the same time they were drafting people, too.

AI: What -- when, when they started drafting, did you talk to your brothers or your parents about it at all?

RS: Well, I think my folks said, "You guys are U.S. citizens so you should go." I mean they didn't object that too much, that part of it. But they were concerned why we were in camp, and then being drafted into the service. You know that don't seem right. Course those days, it didn't make any difference if it was right or wrong, you had to do what they said. [Laughs]

AI: Well, I understand that at Heart Mountain, there were some fellows that got together and they called themselves the Fair Play Committee. They, and they were saying they wanted their citizenship rights and their constitutional rights cleared up before they reported for the draft. Do you recall anything?

RS: Yeah, I recall that. In fact I knew a couple of boys that refused to go.

AI: You did...

RS: And I think they got called in, of course, and they went, they had to go to a different camp. They took them to a different camp. Just like some of these Isseis that was, well, if they were head of some kind of group, they put them in a different camp. I think they went to Topaz, or something, or Arizona or some place.

AI: What did you think when you heard about these fellows who decided not to report?

RS: Well, I think they done the right thing, because why should you, American citizen, people go in the camp like that and then be drafted at the same time. Although, when I, when I got drafted, well, I was outside, so I went.

AI: So you could understand their feelings at the time.

RS: Oh yes, I can understand their feelings. Sure, I think anybody in their right mind would do the same thing. But everybody didn't do that. But in fact, there was a lot of volunteers that they wanted to prove that they were good American citizens. But I thought, well, I don't have to prove anything, I was born here, I'm American citizen. I don't have to prove anything, like the rest of them, you don't have to prove anything.

AI: Well, I understand that some people thought that the fellows who resisted the draft, that they were unpatriotic.

RS: No, I don't feel that way. No, because right is right, and wrong is wrong. So I did not feel that way, that was all up to the individual. That's the way I felt.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.