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-02-0057

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RT: And so I felt so good, because usually my mother cries very easily. But she hung on for quite a while. And she finally said, "You know, I think kamisama has awarded me this, for what I have done." And somebody had written a letter to me overseas. And this gal had written in the letter, "I feel sorry for your mother. You know what she does every day, five o'clock in the morning? She goes to the shower room and gets a bucket of cold water and says a prayer, and she pours that cold water over herself." And that was so that the god would punish her, and save me and bring me home. And when I got that letter, it sorta hits you a little bit. So I told Mother, I said, "Gee, I read in the letter from one of the girls in Block 213, and they, they really felt obligated to you because of what you was doing." So she says, "Well, if you're mother of a soldier, you do everything you can. Whether it looks foolish or looks like a bakatare doing it, you do it to try to bring him home." You know, what more can you ask for from parents? They weren't the ones that forced us over there. But for them to do that for you, I've always respected. So I've always thought, "Well, I'm going to take a run down to Salinas."

TI: Before you do that, what did your father say?

RT: Oh, my dad, he sat there and he just said, "I'm very glad to see you home. Are any of your wounds bad?" And I said, "No, I'm fine." I says, "I'm okay." So all he wanted to know was what my future was gonna be like. Was I gonna get out of the army yet? So I didn't know actually what I was going to do, because, well, I told you guys, I had a sister that was in Japan. And one of the things I thought about was, I thought maybe instead of gettin' a discharge out of the army, I would sign up to go to Japan. And this way, while I'm in Japan on duty, I can go look, see what happened to my sister. And I told my dad all that. And he says, "That would be so much help to us." But then when I went to get my discharge, get my discharge and I tried to re-up again for another three years, they told me, "No, your wounds won't allow us to (enlist) you again." So I had to come home. But eventually we did bring my sister and her family over here. So it was, you look at things, if you look at things bad all the time, I think you don't get a happy moment. But you gotta look at things that turn good for you, and you gotta believe in that. Then I think things are happy for you.

<End Segment 57> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.