Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: June Takahashi Interview
Narrator: June Takahashi
Interviewers: Beth Kawahara (primary), Larry Hashima (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: November 17, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-tjune-01-0036

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BK: To bring this a little bit closer to right now, in 1981, thirty-six years after the war ended, the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians held public hearings in various cities of the nation. And in September of 1981, you testified in the hearings that were held in Seattle. Tell us more about that.

JT: Well, I was approached to testify and I really was very reluctant to do that 'cause it was just, I just felt I couldn't do that. And I didn't want to appear in front of a whole lot of people and tell them all my, all my problems and whatever. But the family thought I should do it. They thought that this should be brought out and just personal reactions is as good as anything is spreading the story and he said, "You've got to do that." And I really didn't want to but so I said, "Okay, I would do that." And so, so I did. I went up and I thought I was going to lose it, really. [Laughs] And it was the first time I'd ever talked about any of that, and the first time I had ever talked about my father and my family, and it was so hard. But I guess I managed to get through it somehow. And afterwards, after the testimony, I came out to the back, I was surprised how many people were waiting there to thank me for doing that. And I met friends there that I hadn't seen for years, and even a girl from Alaska and since lost contact with her, too. And that... I didn't realize how much... and they just all thanked me and I got letters thanking me, and I didn't keep those either, but it was just overwhelming. I was surprised, 'cause I thought, "Who would care how I felt about it?" But it was okay, it turned out okay. But I'm not going to do that again. [Laughs] But it was, and then, too, it was kind of self-serving, at least I got some of it out of my system.

BK: And to share your story is very important.

JT: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

<End Segment 36> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.