Densho Digital Archive
gayle k. yamada Collection
Title: Frank Fukuhara Interview
Narrator: Frank Fukuhara
Interviewer: gayle k. yamada
Location: Hawaii
Date: February 9, 2000
Densho ID: denshovh-ffrank_2-01-0011

<Begin Segment 11>

gky: If things had been a little different, if you had gone back to the United States, do you ever think about what may have happened, what may have happened if you went to the American army out of internment camp? Or would you have not joined, joined the army?

FF: No, I never, I never thought about it that way, but I was satisfied with the American army, though, because the Japanese army, or service, any kind, you don't have your own way of doing anything. Everything you have to do exactly the way you're told, no freedom in the, like you can't even talk about things. They'll throw you in jail right away if you do. But in the American army you can argue and fight and do whatever you want. They'll still, war comes, you're gonna have to fight for your country. That's the way it should be. But I was satisfied with the, working for the American army right after the war, with Harry. And then, so when Harry left, I think it was January or February 1946, he went back to the States and got out, and then I stayed and worked in Kobe for the military or Red Cross and things like that, and by the time, and I had business going on already, a pearl shop. I had a couple of 'em. And I first made money, but then I start losing money and I couldn't make a living anymore, and that, about that time Harry received the letter from Victor and he decided to come back, and by the time he came back, Victor was dead already. He didn't know that until he got back. Well anyway, I was satisfied, so I went to work for the American navy for about, after Harry left, two months, and American Red Cross recreation center, I worked for about a half year, and here and there, and I was doing the business and things like that. And then Harry came back in March '48, so I start working, see, it was, it was a coincidence, but Harry was assigned to Toyama prefecture and I was going to school in Toyama, so he said, "Hey, Frank, I'm assigned to Toyama CIC and you want to come up and help us?" And I was just ready for it because I started losing money at that time, so I went to help him right away, so I stayed there until that outfit closed in July 1952.

gky: So even though your brother was in the United States, you really had close ties with your family, close family ties?

FF: Yes. Harry got out. He wanted to go out that bad. I don't know why he wanted to get out, but he thought outside looked good to him, I guess, and he bought an old apartment house. He had saved money. In the military there's no place to use money, see, so he bought that and he was doing carpenter work and plumbing work and fixed the place up, and then he gets this letter from my brother to come back again, so he got rid of the apartment right away and joined the military and came back to Japan.

<End Segment 11> - Copyright © 2000 Bridge Media and Densho. All Rights Reserved.