Densho Digital Archive
Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community Collection
Title: Brooks Andrews Interview
Narrator: Brooks Andrews
Interviewer: Joyce Nishimura
Location: Bainbridge Island, Washington
Date: October 7, 2006
Densho ID: denshovh-aemery-02-0003

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JN: All right. Think back to December 7, (1941), Pearl Harbor Day. What do you remember about that day? Where were you, how did you feel? What, how did your family react?

BA: You know, I was very young then. I was born in 1937 so I was about four-and-a-half years old. Oh, about... no, yeah, born in 1937. Right. So I was just about four years old at that time. But I do know that, that the next day after Pearl Harbor, one of, one of the Issei pastors came to our house. And I don't know if it was Reverend Hirakawa, or Reverend Hashimoto from the Japanese Baptist, but this pastor came to our house. And with tears streaming down his face, he apologized to my dad for Pearl Harbor attack. And it was a stunning moment to, to realize now we're at war with Japan. And so what does that mean for our Japanese friends here in Seattle? And it was a time of uncertainty, a time of probably some fright, because we didn't know what was going to be happening here. So that's, that's the impact that it made, it made on the Japanese as well, as on our family, too, to have that pastor come and apologize to, to my dad for Pearl Harbor.


JN: What do you remember about the FBI roundups? How did it affect your family?

BA: You know, actually I have, personally I have no memory of FBI roundups. But I know it did affect our family because immediately, the leaders in the Japanese community were rounded up, really with no suspicion of illegal behavior but simply because they were the leaders in the community. They immediately were suspect in some of the... I think there were a few at our church that were rounded up and taken in for interrogation and so forth. So, and of course Dad was right in the middle of all this. He was there as their advocate, but he couldn't really make any headway as far as stopping some of these interrogations and so forth.

JN: What was your family's reaction to the order that all Japanese Americans had to leave Seattle?

BA: Well, for us it was just probably shock and disbelief. Because, you know, we, we grew up in this community, we know the people and we know them to be loyal American citizens. And so for us it was just a matter of, well, this isn't happening, this can't happen. And it was a gross violation of, of individual rights to take American citizens like that. And so for us it was just... almost like we just stood in disbelief in watching the things that are happening around us at that time.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.