Densho Digital Archive
gayle k. yamada Collection
Title: Gordon Yamada Interview
Narrator: Gordon Yamada
Interviewer: gayle k. yamada
Location: Monterey, California
Date: July 1, 2000
Densho ID: denshovh-ygordon-01

[Correct spelling of certain names, words and terms used in this interview have not been verified.]

<Begin Segment 1>

gky: Dad, will you give your name and the years you were in the MIS?

Gordon Y: Gordon Yamada. I was in the MIS from the latter part of 1944, all of '45, and through the end of 1946.

gky: So can you say "Gordon Yamada, 1944 to '46"?

Gordon Y: Gordon Yamada, '44 to '46.

gky: The war was ending when you were drafted and at Fort Snelling.

Gordon Y: We didn't know that. The war ended in, Europe ended in the early part of '45. Japan was August of 1945, we didn't know when that was gonna end. And I went in in '44. I was drafted in '44.

gky: But you got trained, by the time you trained and everything, it was early '45.

Gordon Y: Yes.

gky: Spring of '45.

Gordon Y: Well, let's see. I got my basic training in Fort Knox, Kentucky, armored corps. And we were, about six thousand of us there were training to replace the troops in Europe, Battle of the Bulge, which was 1945. And we were shipped to Fort Meade, Maryland, to ship out to the European war. And while we were in Fort Meade, around the first part of '44, the war ended in Europe, VE Day. So we were diverted to the Pacific. And since tanks were not used in the Pacific, all people, all soldiers of Japanese descent were diverted to Intelligence. So we actually went into Intelligence in, must have been about mid-'45, while the war with Japan was still going on.

gky: So you were not originally drafted for the MIS.

Gordon Y: No.

gky: But you were drafted as a 442 replacement?

Gordon Y: Well, we didn't know. Tanker replacement, so we didn't know where we were gonna go. But it obviously would have been to support all the soldiers and troops in the European Theatre.

gky: Can you tell me about parading around as a Japanese soldier?

Gordon Y: Oh, yeah. That's an interesting episode. What happened there was right after the VE Day was announced, the team, a team of officers and sergeants came around to Fort Meade, and they interviewed all of the Japanese Americans. I don't think there were that many, out of the six thousand in that group that I was in, maybe couple dozen, dozen to two dozen. And we were ordered to Fort Ritchie, Maryland, and it was a counterintelligence school. That's where we first went into Intelligence. And the whole point of it was we were all fitted out for, to wear Japanese uniforms, and we didn't know what the reason was at that time. And what we did was we wore Japanese leggings and shoes, the rubber shoes, and carried the Japanese rifles and had a Japanese helmet with a star on it. And I was one of the bigger guys, so they had a hard time finding a uniform to fit me, 'cause these were all captured uniforms. And the point was that we were supposed to act like Japanese soldiers, and they were training us in Japanese and Japanese military commands, and having us do exercises, maneuvers around the lake at Fort Ritchie. And they told us at the time that what they were gonna do is, I think there were maybe forty or fifty of us there, and they were going to use us as troops to take to the different basic training places to parade us around and show the other American troops that "this is what your enemy looks like." And we couldn't believe what they were planning to do, but of course we were soldiers, so we had to follow orders. And I think there could have been a more ulterior motive in mind, because if we had learned well enough, we could have been dropped behind the lines, I guess. But they didn't ever tell us that. After about six months of this, four months, maybe four months of this, I think the army realized that we never looked like Japanese soldiers, really, 'cause we didn't act like it. And then we got, they disbanded the unit and shipped us to Fort Snelling for military language training.

gky: So this was before you had any training?

Gordon Y: Yeah, before I had any language training, so we didn't, we're all Americans. We didn't sound like, I'm sure we didn't sound like Japanese soldiers, even though they made us, the army required us to act like it. So there are not too many people that know about this, 'cause I talk to a lot of people, and they never knew we were doing anything like that. And at any rate, we were, I think they terminated the program about mid-1945 and shipped us off to Fort Snelling, Minnesota, and that's where we began our language training in, must have been about mid-'45, something around there. Before the war with Japan was over. It was still going on 'til August.

gky: How did being in the MIS change your life? You weren't in a really long time.

Gordon Y: No.

gky: But your life did change.

Gordon Y: Yeah, it changed because for the first time, I left California after I was drafted out of the camp. And, see, we were drafted in 1944, and then we left, then we were in the army and went to several states to do our different things, and wound up at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, in Military Intelligence. And up to then, I had never been out of California to any extent. So this was the first time I was really seeing the United States, being drafted and shipped around to different military camps.

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

<Begin Segment 2>

gky: Also you were, you went to Japan. How did that change your life?

Gordon Y: Well, that was, I think it was pretty emotional, traumatic, in the sense that when we finished, when we were finishing our training in Fort Snelling, VJ Day was announced around August of 1945. So that meant that we had finished all our, we were in the middle of Military Intelligence training for use in the Pacific operations. And because the war ended, our orientation changed. Now we were going to occupy Japan, so they, I think there were subtle changes in our training, because we were no longer to be used as combat troops or whatever, associated with that, and we became considered occupation forces of Japan. We graduated in, I was the last class in Military Intelligence. Let's see. Oh, at that time, I was selected as the best soldier in the graduating battalion in Fort Snelling, and had a ceremony at graduation, they gave me a gold watch, which I still have. Then we shipped off to Fort Lewis in Washington state, or Fort Lawton, that was the port of embarkation, in about March, we graduated in March. Must have been the end of March, first part of April, we shipped out to, immediately after graduation. We were the last class in Military Intelligence at Fort Snelling, then they moved the whole school to Presidio right here in Monterey. So we left Fort Snelling, I think there were many hundreds of us, maybe six hundred of us, and we shipped off to Fort Lawton in Washington, in Seattle, Washington. And then we were there a couple weeks and shipped off to Japan.

gky: The year?

Gordon Y: Year was April of 1946. Took us two weeks on a liberty ship to go to Japan.


gky: Tell me, what were your first impressions of Japan, or where did you... Yokohama?

Gordon Y: We landed in Yokohama. Amazing sight, amazing. Everything was blasted out. There was no city. Yokohama was blasted out, bombed out, leveled, just like you would imagine in war. Well, it was wartime. The Allied forces, eleven claimant nations, captured Japan. After the peace treaty was signed in about September of 1945, we got there in the first part of 1946. So the war was still total devastation, there was no building or anything. So here we landed in Japan, and when you looked around, the whole country was leveled, devastated. They used, the Allied forces used incendiary bombs in the Pacific. In Germany, Europe, was high explosives, two different kind of bombs. High explosives are used to bomb out buildings, concrete structures. In Japan, everything's made out of wood, wooden homes. So incendiary bombs burning was the technique that was used. And as the bombs came down, it just burned out everything and everything we could see in Yokohama. Then we went up to Tokyo, and that's where I was stationed, at that time, April of 1946.

gky: And how did going to Japan with the MIS change your mind?

Gordon Y: Well, it's very emotional. You're going back to a country that your parents came from. It's a funny feeling. So you realize that the people there share the same kind of, we share the same kind of blood as they do, and here we're invading the country and taking it over. And it's a very peculiar feeling.

gky: Did you think about your parents?

Gordon Y: Yeah. While we were there in Japan, my mother had contacted me because she knew I was, of course, stationed, going to be stationed there, and she told me to contact her birthplace and my father's birthplace. And I told her I wasn't gonna do that because I didn't feel that that was what I should do. So it took me many months, and then I finally went to her birthplace.

gky: Why didn't you feel like that was something you should do?

Gordon Y: Well, I don't know. I just didn't feel that... I don't know. I just didn't want to do that. I felt like an American soldier. I just didn't want to go to his birthplace.

gky: So even though your face was Japanese, you felt you were American?

Gordon Y: Yeah, yeah. In fact, there was a lot of difference between us and the Japanese even though we looked alike. They could tell instantly that we were not Japanese, the Japanese people. Because our mannerisms and our speech was totally different. It takes a long time. In fact, I don't believe... it's just like someone coming to the United States. You can tell right away they're not American, they're European or they're Swedish or they're German, or... you can just tell by watching them. Their haircut's different. Their clothes is different. We were the same way over there. So even there we were able to walk into places that were off limits because we looked Japanese, you opened your mouth and they could tell right away that you're not Japanese, you're something else. So we had a lot of interesting, funny experiences along that line when we were in, at first. After a while you start to pick up the mannerisms because you're right there all the time. I was there twenty-four hours a day doing things that were, we were beginning to learn the culture. The certain way you move your hands. I'd watch them and how they move their hands when they greet. So there's certain... like this. [Gestures with hand] This is a motion Americans don't use, but in Japan, this motion is used a lot. "Oh, I'm sorry," and they go like this. Well, Americans don't do that. So there were motions. And the way your body language changes when you're in a foreign country and starting to pick up the mannerisms of a foreign country.

gky: So you become more Japanese by being there?

Gordon Y: Well, not more Japanese, but I was learning the culture. We sure didn't learn it in the army school. In fact, I don't think I learned that much in the army school. It's when I got to Japan is when I started learning the idioms and the body language and cultural things and really got into it.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2000 Bridge Media and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 3>

Gordon Y: And the job that I had, we were immediately assigned to capturing the factories. That's what I did, I captured the factories. Because when we went into Japan, you had to capture all of the industrial potential of Japan so they couldn't be doing anything, making bombs or whatever. So we captured all of the factories in Japan which were, there were 840 factories in Japan.

gky: What kind of factories? And when you "captured," what do you mean by "captured"?

Gordon Y: Well, they were bombed out. Almost as I visualize it now, it almost seemed like the smoke was still coming out of the factories. So we went to places like where they made this zero aircraft, Nakajima aircraft, Mitsubishi plants, manufacturing, big manufacturing plants, big auto, tank manufacturing plants, ordinance plants, steel, ball bearing, forging plants, shipyards, all of that came under Allied control. They were given the order: "do not operate those plants." Now, who goes in there and captures them, put them under Allied control? That's what we did. We went out with teams of, in jeeps and arms, and went out to these plants in Tokyo. I was in charge of the Tokyo area. I think we had about 140 plants in Tokyo. Like Nikon camera, they were making precision optics for the military, so we had to capture that plant. So I remember going down there and putting that plant under Allied control. There were aircraft plants, many, many aircraft plants, maybe a couple dozen in Tokyo. We captured 'em all in the sense that we put them under Allied control. And then I would talk directly to the Japanese government people who were responsible, and I'd tell them, "This is what we want you to do." And the idea was to remove all the machinery from Japan. Well, is kind of, when you think about it today, it's a pretty stupid idea, to remove the industrial potential of a country and ship it to another country. But here were eleven claimant nations -- that's what we called them, "claimant nations" -- who were entitled at the time to reparations because of the war that Japan caused. So all of this machinery and everything was going to go to the eleven claimant nations: India, Russia, Canada, Australia, France, England, Philippines, U.S... eleven nations that fought Japan. And so the idea was to capture the plants and to inventory all the machinery, maintain it, bring it back to the useable condition, 'cause some of it was hanging in the rafters in the plants and been blown up in the rafter, steel rafters. We had to have them get those down and line 'em all up and clean them all up and number them and put inventory numbers on. That's what we were doing. And then the whole idea was to find out the numbers and types of machinery, then the eleven claimant nations, they wanted a hundred lathes, five hundred lathes, we would know where to get those five hundred lathes. And the intention was in the next few years -- this was 1946 when we started the program -- the next few years was to inventory all the machinery and ship it out of Japan. And when you think about it now, that doesn't work. It doesn't work because what are the people supposed to -- seventy million people in Japan, what are they supposed to do? You take the whole industrial potential and ship it out of the country, they have no way of supporting themselves?

gky: So what did happen?

Gordon Y: So what happened was -- this program lasted about five years until the peace treaty in 1951. And what happened was, America was the first one to recognize after about three years of this, we're shipping machinery out of Japan. America never got any of that machinery because by the time, second, third year of the program, reparations program, U.S. realized that this wasn't the way to do it. And the same thing was happening in Germany. And the four countries, Russia, India, Philippines and China, wanted the machinery. So we did make shipments to those four countries, and I was responsible for making sure that this company gave up a hundred machines of this type and another company gave up fifty whatever, types of machine tools. And they were maintained and put into shipping condition so that they could be shipped to those countries. We did make shipments to the four countries I mentioned. But the U.S. realized it around three years after the program started that this was not the way to do it. So the funny part of it is, so the U.S. started making noises that among the Allied powers, it was called the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, and General MacArthur was the head and I was assigned to his headquarters in the reparations section, we called it reparations section. Somebody was responsible for education, somebody else is responsible for economic recovery or finance or whatever for the country. Our intent in being there was to capture the country and now turn it into a restoration of the country, 'cause you can't allow it to be like that. So our section was to capture this potential, the war making potential in Japan, and Intelligence Service was assigned to this duty. And about three or four years after this period, the U.S. realized that it wasn't going to work. You don't ship all the machinery out of the country and expect the country to survive. So the U.S. started making overtures of, "Let's give up the reparation program." And the four countries that I mentioned resisted, seven countries said, "Go ahead. Give the machinery back to Japan." But '46, '47, '48, '49, '50, just before the peace treaty, the U.S. position prevailed and the machinery was, decided to end the reparation program, which the peace treaty was in 1951, so the peace treaty was right around the corner, 'cause that what another part of SCAP was trying to do was get ready for the peace treaty with Japan.


Gordon Y: The interesting part of this episode is that by the time the decision was made to forego the reparations program and to give the machinery back to Japan, the Japanese didn't want any of the machines. They said, "We don't want it," because it was all old machinery. And so Japan by that time had started recovering economically, and they decided to buy machinery from foreign countries to replace the ones that they had used during the war because condition of this equipment was pretty bad. It was worn out. In fact, they didn't have grease, for example, on the ball bearings in the machinery, industrial machinery, was being lubricated by some other means than grease, because they didn't have grease in Japan at that time, during the end of the war. And they were using peculiar stuff to lubricate the machines, and they were in terrible condition. I remember taking a lathe and going like this, and you could hear the ball bearings shaking because they were so loose. At any rate, the machines were given back, the program was suspended, terminated, and Japan was given the machines back. I don't know what happened to 'em, I guess some of them were used.

gky: And you say that the United States helped Japan become the industrial power it used to be.

Gordon Y: Yes. And by this time -- I think this is true in Germany as well, in Europe. By this time, the U.S. had taken the position that the machines were not desired, and seven nations out of the eleven said, "That's a reasonable idea. We don't want the machinery either." Canada didn't want it, England didn't want it, Australia didn't want it. So the machinery was given back to Japan and I guess they put whatever they could back to use, and the bad machines were melted down and something else was done with them. And in the meantime, the country had to survive. In order to survive, they started buying machinery, oxygen smelting plants, fancy new techniques. And in the U.S., for example, we were still using the old techniques for smelting iron ore using coal. The Japanese were using oxygen, I mean, it's a different kind of production. So they were starting from ground zero to rebuild the industrial potential. This was in the 1950s, after '50s, '60s. And so here they're building, all of their production capability was being designed around new machinery, new techniques, and Germany as well, and the U.S. was still using old techniques, hundred year old techniques for processing steel. So that's how we -- the U.S. -- helped Japan build an industrial, new industrial potential that was superior to what existed in the United States.

gky: Kind of ironic, isn't it?

Gordon Y: It's ironic as hell when you think about it. It's just crazy. And Germany's the same way. You look at the German machinery and Japanese machinery, "How did they do those, make the cars and the cameras and electronics and whatever else they had? How did they do that?" We helped them. We helped them set up new factories. So that's what happens as an aftermath of a war like this. Interesting things happen.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 2000 Bridge Media and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 4>

gky: What do you think is the difference in the occupation of Japan by Japanese Americans and Caucasian or non-Nisei Americans compared to a country where it was an invading nation going in who did not have the ethnic, shared ethnicity?

Gordon Y: I think if the Japanese Americans had not participated in the capturing of Japan, fighting Japan and providing the intelligence to help win the war, shorten the war, then the aftermath, the occupation, and not having a Japanese language speaking capability, it would have been extremely difficult to bring the country around, the reconstruction of the country, which had to be done. Consider it did not take Nisei folks, even though they'd never been in Japan, it didn't take them that long to understand the culture because they had gotten the rudiments of it living in America with their first-generation parents. So when we went into, second generation, when we went into Japan and occupied it, then we were able to learn the culture much quicker because we just understood lot of things right away as soon as we saw it, that it simplified the process of the reconstruction. Without the Nisei there, I think the reconstruction would have been much more lengthy, difficult. We were able to provide the bridge that allowed this to happen quicker.

gky: What is the most memorable experience you had while in the MIS?

Gordon Y: I guess capturing the factories made me understand what the war was all about. Made me understand how extensive the war was with Japan. I remember going down to Hiroshima in the early part of 1946, it was totally leveled. The atom bomb ripped out twelve miles, twelve mile circle, it just leveled the city of Hiroshima. And I went down there to look at it because I had business down there, for this kind of business, and saw the epicenter of the bomb. It's still that way today, it's a shrine to peace. It was pretty awesome. You say what was the most memorable thing? I think having the opportunity -- "opportunity" is a bad word -- but having a chance to experience the aftermath of the war, help Japan reconstruct, that was pretty, probably... as I look back today, that was a very memorable time.


gky: You were in Japan when the peace treaty was signed in San Francisco?

Gordon Y: No, it was after that.

gky: You weren't in the MIS, but you were in Japan.

Gordon Y: Oh, when the peace treaty was signed. I was thinking of the surrender. The peace treaty was signed in 1951, I was in Japan.

gky: What was your feeling? By then you were out of the army, but you still had associations --

Gordon Y: Yeah, essentially doing the same kind of work. I was involved in that work for five years in MacArthur's headquarters until the peace treaty, '46 to about '51, until the Korean War. That's when I switched out. After the peace treaty, I think that was a memorable occasion in the sense that we all felt that one part of what we'd been doing in Japan was over with. That was the, getting Japan, starting to get Japan back on its feet. That phase, the surrender of the country and foregoing the reparations program, that was a major event to many of us, that we had gotten over the defeat and the surrender of the country and now we're starting on something else, which was the reconstruction of Japan, which began in the late '40s and especially after the peace treaty in 1951. Then the Korean War broke out, and we had intended to be in Japan only maybe say five years, working there. And when the Korean War broke out, we got involved in the war, Korean War.

gky: Although that part would be really interesting to me, that's not the focus that I want.

Gordon Y: Yeah, I understand.

<End Segment 4> - Copyright © 2000 Bridge Media and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 5>

gky: So how did you feel about helping the country of your parents' birth in getting it back on its feet economically, socially?


Gordon Y: I had mixed feelings about, about the different duties that had to be done over there. I think, I think the key word is compassion. You don't like to see people suffer. And when we went in there, we saw a lot of suffering, bad suffering. So we wanted to help out. It was real bad at the beginning. Then after we saw how they suffered during the war, I felt like I wanted to help out. And I saw the industrial wipeout of Japan, so you just... whether they were the same race or whatever, you just don't like to see things like that. So I was glad that I stayed there for several years to help them get back on their feet. And as they say, war is terrible to see it. 'Cause innocent people are suffering. So it worked out that even, I think even though we're the same ethnic heritage, it wasn't so much that, it was more that we just didn't want to see people suffer. Children, old women, really suffered. I used to see them picking up the garbage out of our military mess halls, reusing the coffee, picking up scraps of bread. We saw that for about two or three years until that period was over with and they were able to regrow their rice and get back on their feet, so it took about three years.

gky: It sounds like when you talk to me, it just seems like movies in your mind. You're seeing how terrible it was. Because when you took me to Japan it's always been...

Gordon Y: Real pretty. We have that memory of total deprivation, bad, bad, right after the war when we went in there. So you don't feel like making them pay for what they did. Those guys were all strung up, the Tojos and the war leaders were all killed by then, they were executed. So now you're looking at the populace of a country, and they weren't responsible for the war no more than we are over here. We're not responsible for the war, it's the leaders that cause those kind of conditions. And the leaders were all gone. Some of the Military Intelligence, too, we were talking about this is all military intelligence, many of my friends were interpreters and translators in the war crimes trial, which was another part of SCAP. And they were all at a place called... I think the name of it was Pershing Hall, where they did the war crimes, just like Nuremburg in Germany. And guys that I worked with were assigned over there during the war crimes trials. I was in another part of the headquarters doing the reparations part. And say what did it feel like? Well, it's that I guess you have a lot of compassion for defeated people. And maybe if you say, "Did you feel it more because you're the same race?" I don't know. I think it's a human, it's a person thing. My feeling was, help them get straight again, help them get their country back together.

gky: Did you at any time feel ashamed of being American?

Gordon Y: No. No, you think, "Who started this thing?" No, I never had that kind of feeling, never. Never was ashamed of being American. I think you could take the other attitude. "You lost the war, we're gonna get you now." You could take that kind of attitude, but I didn't feel like that. I saw some of that over there, where the soldiers were really cruel to some of the civilians. But generally speaking, everybody, I think the occupation was carried on with the proper dignity that we need to oversee a defeated nation.

gky: And would you credit that to General MacArthur?


Gordon Y: I think that General MacArthur was responsible for setting the tone. He did not tolerate American soldiers, number one, or American civilians, number two, which were all in the same group over there, to do things which were bad to the populace. That wasn't why we were there. Our job there was help reconstruct after the war. So there was no feelings of making them pay for something. That was done to the leaders, making the leaders pay, but it wasn't done to the civilian population. And the tone of, all during the occupation, from the end of the war in 1945 to beginning of 1946 which began all of this, the occupation of Japan, there was not, there was not a bad environment. It was unfortunate, it's "we" and "they" in that sense. We had everything, Americans and other claimant nation people who were there, mostly Americans, had everything. We had the PXs, we had the nice housing, we had everything, cars and the gasoline and all of that, and the Japanese had nothing at that time, first couple of years during the occupation. And then it gradually started to change, and then it changed rapidly after the peace treaty.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 2000 Bridge Media and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 6>

gky: Can you think of anything else occupation?

Gordon Y: Well, I guess... I guess you've mentioned it someplace else, there were six thousand of us over there. And we were divided into, we're assigned to different kinds of duties. I just concentrated on what I did, the reparations program. But of course there were other folks involved in other parts of the different things that were needed like the education of children, education of school system, that had to be reconstructed. And I think the main thing that the occupation caused in Japan was not Americanization, but the manner in which schools were reconstructed. There's an interesting thing, one came out during this conference is about the... oh god, let's see, what's the best way to put it? I can't remember how I was going to state it.

gky: When you were stateside, when you came back to the States, you were in uniform, did you ever have any incidences of prejudice or discrimination?

Gordon Y: Before we went overseas?

gky: No. Oh, you didn't come back until you got married?

Gordon Y: No, I took my discharge in Japan. So I didn't come back in uniform.

gky: And why did you... why did you decide to become a civilian and essentially do the same work?

Gordon Y: Well, it's kind of... see, when I was fortunate enough to be the best soldier of the graduating battalion at Fort Snelling, I had a chance to apply for OCS, but at that time the war was over, and I had mixed feelings about why do I want to become an officer or try to become an officer. Because the war with Japan's over. We're going over there for a different reason. At any rate, I chose not to pursue OCS and go on to Japan in the occupation. And before I went over there, we had many incidents here in the States, discrimination. Those were war years. We had a lot of, lot of problems, physical problems at Fort Knox. Not so much in Fort Meade. I remember some bad incidents in Minneapolis, Fort Snelling. There were too many of us that look, look like the enemy in Minnesota, and I think the people resented us up there. Not everybody, but some people.

gky: Can you give me an example of an incident?

Gordon Y: Yeah, name-calling, confrontations in bars in Minneapolis. You know, just bad incidents. I even had 'em in Japan. Here we're in uniform in Japan, and another American soldier wants to pick a fight in Tokyo. I could recall a couple of incidents like that. But that's, you know, you shrug it off and don't harp on things like that.

gky: Now, you have the value of fifty-five years of perspective on your years in Japan, but the time then was very different.

Gordon Y: Yes.

gky: How would you look at your experiences in Japan now? Any differently?

Gordon Y: I had a... I think I was young and foolish when I was young, just like many people are. After fifty years, you become mellow and you become wiser. And I look back on the time I spent in Japan and I have regrets that I didn't get into business, because now I realize what could have been. And that's what mellowing with age does to do, you realize what could have been if you were smarter, wiser. When you're young, it's too late when you're old to think about that. But it's... I look back on my life, and it's been very good. I feel very fortunate, all the things that happened to me. I have no serious regrets. And I think, I think if I had the wisdom that an older age gives you, you could be a lot more useful to society as a young person, if you had the wisdom that you get with age. But then you lose your energy and you don't have that energy to do it. If I had to do it, if I had the wisdom in the young age, that would be awesome. I think everybody would say that. Isn't that true?

gky: Well, I think you did good.

Gordon Y: Well, we think of the times over there like all of our four kids were born there. I know that they had some peculiar feelings growing up. But when we look back, everything worked out okay. Everything. Kids were born there and they were too young to understand the culture, but everything turned out fine. I think we were there a total of... '46 to '56, I guess, ten years. Mother was over there about eight years of the ten years, and I was there two years alone. But as I look back, I wouldn't want to change it much. Everything worked out.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 2000 Bridge Media and Densho. All Rights Reserved.