Densho Digital Archive
gayle k. yamada Collection
Title: Roy Matsumoto Interview
Narrator: Roy Matsumoto
Interviewer: gayle k. yamada
Location: Washington, D.C.
Date: November 8, 2000
Densho ID: denshovh-mroy-02-0003

<Begin Segment 3>

gky: So, what year you went in? '42?

RM: Yeah, '42. On November 12th, I was inducted at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, and then sent us to Camp Savage, Minnesota. That's about 18 miles south of Minneapolis.

gky: Okay. When you went to Camp Savage, did you have to take some kind of language test?

RM: Well, before we went there they interview us. But then they already made a background, I think if I did a background test, they know I have Japanese education, so as far as the quota, even though I tried to flunk myself, but wouldn't because the record show he done well, and also working for Japanese grocery store and spoke perfect Japanese. So they know, they're after me -- well, of course, this volunteer because they didn't draft on account of 4-C deal.

gky: Right. How many years were you in Japan?

RM: About seven years, something like that.

gky: How old were you when you went over? Seven, eight?

RM: I don't exactly remember, but I was a small -- well, not small, but I didn't finish. I went for four years. But you could go to a university or college for four years, so same as a graduate if you have enough ability to pass the exam and I know I did well at the school.

gky: How old were you when you left Japan?

RM: Seventeen, or something like that.

gky: Seventeen. And you were ten when you went?

RM: Sixteen. Sixteen or seventeen. Because I didn't finish high school. People say high school graduate, but the same as a graduate because I know more than high school graduates, see.

gky: So you were over there from the time you were ten to the time you were seventeen?

RM: Yeah. I came back and I went to -- first, they didn't take me in the high school so even though high school age. So I have to attend the junior high school. But then, you know, I knew a bit of junior high school kids because I already know them. I just been taking the mathematics, algebra, and everything I knew. Also, I didn't have to take a language because they, well, what they did was they waiver. You have to take a language, either Spanish or French or German, that high school, see. But since I proficient in Japanese, so even though they didn't have a Japanese class. Later on they had, but at the time, you know. So, easy pass because I already knew in Japanese high school. So this side just require subjects such as government, United States history, so forth, the required subjects.

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