Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Rudy Tokiwa Interview II
Narrator: Rudy Tokiwa
Interviewers: Tom Ikeda (primary), Judy Niizawa (secondary)
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Date: July 2 & 3, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-trudy-02-0037

<Begin Segment 37>

RT: And so you know, I always laugh, because we had people in our unit that were brains. Now can you imagine? There was a fella in the 522, in the artillery. And he graduated from University of California. He was about the first Japanese I knew that graduated out of a big college. When he graduated out of the University of California, he used to be out there cleaning lettuce and sugar beets and stuff like that with us. I used to talk to him, "What are you doin' out here? Here you go to big university and everything, and come out as top dog." And he says, "Oh, it's hard to believe. If you're Oriental, you don't get those jobs."

Since he was a mathematician, anybody that's sharp in math, they go to the artillery. And so he was sent to the artillery. And he spent time in the stockade. Now can you imagine how hard-headed these guys are? They taught him how to give firing orders. You gotta figure it all on paper. So he's sittin' there, and they give him the coordinate. And he'd figure it out. And his gun was always the first one to fire. So they'd say, somethin' fishy's here. Somethin's wrong. So they went to check it out, and he wasn't doing it the way the United States Army teaches it. So they told him, "We teach you how to get your firing order. Do it our way." And he said, "Hell, you guys take a whole page? I take half a page. You guys take a whole minute? I can do it in thirty seconds. So why should I change?" He spent time in the stockade because of that.

TI: Although he came up with a better method...

RT: Yeah.

TI: Than the U.S. Army way.

RT: Yeah. And they, and today even, they still use his system.

TI: [Laughs] That's a good story.

<End Segment 37> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.