Densho Digital Archive
Emiko and Chizuko Omori Collection
Title: Hisaye Yamamoto Interview
Narrator: Hisaye Yamamoto
Interviewers: Chizu Omori (primary); Emiko Omori (secondary)
Location: San Francisco, California
Date: March 21, 1994
Densho ID: denshovh-yhisaye-01-0017

<Begin Segment 17>

CO: Are you angry or bitter?

HY: Oh, yeah, I have a lot of anger inside me, I know. Because I get it out in my writing, too, I think.

CO: What about everybody else? Do you think they're still angry, too?

HY: I don't think I'll ever get over being angry about the internment, no. Because under the proper circumstances, tears still come to my eyes, you know.

CO: Do you talk about it with your children?

HY: Yeah, I've talked to them about it. They know all about it. I mean, they can't imagine, you know.

CO: Who can?

HY: But in school some of 'em have done papers on it.

CO: Do you have any questions?

Male voice: I have one.

CO: Oh, okay.

Male voice: Is there someone for you to be angry at or some group?

HY: No, it's, it's what was done to us, I guess. But I see that stuff like that has gone along, gone on throughout man's recorded history, so it's just a general anger, I guess, about injustice. Does that answer your question, or no? Because I think the Holocaust was a far more greater wrong, you know.

CO: You sound just like another writer I read.

HY: Is that? Who?

CO: Jeanne Oishi, said it wasn't bad enough. I don't think that's a fair comparison.

HY: No, because this happened in the United States, you know, whereas we have a Bill of Rights, which was totally ignored in our case.

Female voice: Is there anything that you think that people should be more active about?

HY: More active?

Female voice: Being more of an activist in some areas?

HY: Oh, no, I'm not much for telling people what to do. I barely do things myself. [Laughs]

Female voice: Or something that, what the lesson is for the future?

HY: The lesson? Well, I don't have that much faith in human nature improving because we're all so wrapped up in our, well, like what's going on in the, Washington these days and all over the world, so... Like Ivor Winter said, there would have to be a new type of man for things to change.

CO: Or woman.

HY: Or woman. Well... [laughs]

<End Segment 17> - Copyright © 1994, 2003 Densho and Emiko Omori. All Rights Reserved.