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-02-0065

<Begin Segment 65>

RT: And, well, it's like I said, they had me almost talked back into joining it. But then, it's like I said, well, I shouldn't say this, maybe Los Angeles people gonna get mad at me.

JN: This won't necessarily be on the tape. Gonna be edited.

RT: Because they turn around, and they are going to give the museum in Los Angeles a million dollars from this fund. Now why should this fund be used for a museum? Well, then so the Los Angeles museum says, well, we're gonna be the ones that are gonna educate the people.

TI: Now let me make sure I understand. This is part of still the monument in Washington, D.C...

RT: Yeah.

TI: Not the monument next to them? There's another...

RT: No, no, no. This is the one in Washington, D.C.

TI: That a million dollars from that effort would be...

RT: Donated to the museum.

TI: Donated to the museum for educational purposes?

RT: Yeah. Now, so it's like one guy brought up in the meeting, he says, "All right, now the guy goes down, and the monument's all put up and everything, and they're walkin' around and there's a little deal there, a pamphlet saying, 'You read me, and I'll tell you, all you have to do is call the Los Angeles Museum if you wanna find something out,'" this and that. And this guy says, "You mean the guy's gonna spend ten, fifteen dollars just to try to get that information, when we already have an exhibit right in Washington, D.C.?"

TI: In the Smithsonian Museum.

RT: In the Smithsonian Museum. Why can't we use them? Well, there was no answer on it. They're still gonna do it the way they feel.


RT: So the way I look at, all we wanted was something out there to show that this is what the Japanese Americans have done to become Americans.

JN: It's called the (monument to) patriotism, right?

RT: Yeah.

JN: The Memorial to the Patriotism of Japanese Americans.

RT: So I don't know. In fact, just not long ago I got a phone call, and they're saying, "Well, why don't you at least come down to the meeting, and let's talk it over." But I have no feeling for it. I can't...

JN: Well, we went.

RT: No, but that was after. This is after that already. The one we went to, they knew I was real peeved. It's like one of the guys was talking to me, and he says, "Well, Rudy, I heard people talkin' about you could raise two million dollars." I says, "I could." And he says, "How can you raise two million dollars? You haven't got that kinda money." He said, "It takes money to raise money." I say, "No. But I have friends. I have friends that appreciated what we did. I've had friends that tell me, 'Rudy, any time you guys need money to put that monument up, we're ready to bring it out.'" In fact, I had one guy that said, "Rudy, when you guys are ready to work for the money, you call me. I'll help you. I can guarantee you I can get you a million dollars." But see...

TI: But you're only willing to do that for the right, right...

RT: Yeah, it's gotta be the right program. I can't, because it's just like if I was to go get this money from these guys, I'm lyin' to 'em. Because it's not the program that we have.

JN: Especially when we found out about the million dollars, too.

RT: One of the guys that talked to me and said he could raise a million dollars, he is one of the big wheels in the San Francisco (Historic Society), Japanese (American) Museum. You know what he's gonna say. "Why should I donate so damn much money for the Los Angeles Museum, when I got my own up here?"


RT: Yeah. It's a shame. But I hope someday that something can be straightened out, because something has got to be done. But the way it's going now, I think it's gonna have to be, the people in that organization are gonna have to raise that money by themselves.

JN: No, it won't happen that way.

RT: And I don't see it. I know now they're talkin' about bringin' the cost down again.


TI: Yeah. At this point, I think I'm gonna end the interview. We're at the end of this tape. But thanks again, so much. This was a, we did about six hours in Hawaii here.

<End Segment 65> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.