Densho Digital Archive
Emiko and Chizuko Omori Collection
Title: Harry Ueno Interview
Narrator: Harry Ueno
Interviewer: Emiko Omori
Location: San Mateo, California
Date: February 18, 1994
Densho ID: denshovh-uharry-01-0038

<Begin Segment 38>

EO: What are your thoughts now about all that happened to you?

HU: Well, only thing I was, right now I think if I be a JACL side, they be, I be much more better treatment from people in Japanese society. But I was strong against the JACL because of what they did to their own people is unforgivable. It's the truth. Every FBI record showed they were very, very... I don't know. Any race, they don't like, they inform their own people. For instance, like Jewish in Nazi concentration camps, the couple, the policemen, they were informed by their own people so the Jewish people don't like them. Same way I never thought the Japanese informed their own people so much because Japanese is a family-oriented society. Myer one that broke up the family-oriented society but I still think the family is very important.

EO: So what do you think of the United States? The government?

HU: The government now? I think the government is... I don't know. The children kill the children and children bear the child nowadays because the family is not too strong tied, you know. They depend on society to inform, reform their children, but society is another thing.

EO: But what do you think about how you have been treated by the U.S. government? Can you forgive them?

HU: Oh, right now, I forgive them, yeah. Right now. But, well, in, during the wartime, then it sure looked different. In other words, they violate the United States Constitution and if I don't know we're, we are the prisoners of the war, then we act different. But the government never said we are prisoners of the war, but documents show that Michi Weglyn knows. We're counterpart prisoners of war. Japan had 150,000 allies, people in prisoners. So the United States tried to match that. Not enough, so they bring a few thousand from South America -- Peru or Panama or all around there. So, if they to tell us, "You're prisoner of war," then we have to react different. But so long as we're just temporarily detained, I tried to act like we're same as those people who tried to manage us, you know. We're no different than them. They think they're different, maybe, but as long as they don't say that, why we react like we, we got a right to protest the thing. And it seems to be during wartime, they're the ones that are the criminals. They steal our food, and throw in the jail without trial. They couldn't even bring out to the cook. They haven't got any evidence; they haven't got any... they expose themselves to be criminals.


EO: You've forgiven the government for treating you this way?

HU: Well, it's just like if you carry your grudge all your life, you're going to suffer yourself. So you, time to forget, yeah, you know.

EO: But aren't you still having some problems? Did they not -- you told me once they didn't give you a visa for a long time to go to Japan.

HU: Well, they finally, they give in. I get... two year I had a problem. But the first time I went to Japan, they don't say anything. First and second time they give a visa without any problems. But I don't know what's happened after that. Maybe after I went to the Supreme Court, maybe that's the problem. Yeah, that's when the State Department or FBI or something, they probably, they don't like my statement or something.

EO: You know, Violet tried to stay and they forced her to go back to Japan. She went to a hearing to try to change her, her answer and to stay and not expatriate, you know, not become an expatriate to Japan.

HU: You know, I get out Tule Lake in 1946, February 28th, last day. Up to that, they don't give me a permit to get out. My wife went out months earlier with the children. So I was months late, but they finally gave me permission. I got whatchamacall, letter from Justice Department, and so... I made a copy there, someplace in that pile there.

<End Segment 38> - Copyright © 1994, 2003 Densho and Emiko Omori. All Rights Reserved.