Densho Digital Archive
gayle k. yamada Collection
Title: Kenjiro Akune Interview
Narrator: Kenjiro Akune
Interviewer: gayle k. yamada
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: December 13, 2000
Densho ID: denshovh-akenjiro-01-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

gky: This is tape one with Ken Akune, A-K-U-N-E, in L.A. on December 13th, the year 2000. Ken, when you heard that the bomb had been dropped, how did you feel?

KA: Is this December 7th?

gky: No, no. This is August 8, 1945.

KA: Oh, you mean the Hiroshima bomb.

gky: Yeah, yeah.

KA: Okay.

gky: The atomic bomb.

KA: Yeah. Well, we didn't really know what it was. I know that one person that was very much affected was one of our members. His wife was an actress in Japan and she married this journalist from the U.S. who was also a hapa, and she returned to Japan on the Gripsholm when the exchange took place, and I don't think she was aware that he was in the service. So when -- being with the Office of War Information, we had various information that came through and we had some information relative to the fact that there was an entertaining troop that was in the Hiroshima area, and the immediate thought was that Clark's wife probably was there to entertain the, either the Japanese people or the troops there. And, so, he was very concerned when the bomb was dropped, and when we heard it was the atomic bomb, naturally we didn't know what atomic was, but as the information flowed through we heard that what it was was the splitting of the atom and it destroyed the whole city of Hiroshima. And so it was a devastating blow, and my first thought was I hope that Japan would somehow take this as a warning and immediately cease fire. Because there was already indication around that time that the good, that Japan was approaching the good office of the Russian embassy, or Russian government to seek some sort of resolution to seek for peace. This kind of information was already flowing through, so we were hoping that that would end the war. But Hiroshima is another place. I mean, to me, I know it was a city in Japan, but it didn't affect me so much because of the fact my parents were west or southwest of that area.

gky: Now, were they near Nagasaki?

KA: Nagasaki is a little closer, but...

gky: Too far for...

KA: Yeah, too far for them to even observe it, I don't think.

gky: Okay.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2000 Bridge Media and Densho. All Rights Reserved.