Densho Digital Archive
National Japanese American Historical Society Collection
Title: George Koshi Interview
Narrator: George Koshi
Interviewer: Marvin Uratsu
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: December 10, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-kgeorge-01-0006

<Begin Segment 6>

MU: I want to go back just a little bit to Pearl Harbor day, December 7th. What were your feelings at that time? What... any special thought, can you recall you had at that time?

GK: Yes. It was Sunday morning that I heard the news that Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. My first feeling was, "What a stupid act on the part of Japan. Why do they have to bomb Pearl Harbor?" And, "What do they expect to accomplish?" And, so that was my gut feeling. Then again I thought, gee, I had my draft card already and I was, I knew I was going to be drafted. But then again I had certain doubts whether they would draft me or what they're going to do with the Nikkei people in the United States. And I expected Issei to be in the concentration camp or rounded up and placed someplace. But I didn't think government would do that to Nisei. So we were, I was on the limbo, wondering what they were going to do. But in the meantime, I was drafted in March and still I didn't know what they were going to do with me -- with us. [Laughs]

MU: Tell me, do you recall talking to your father about what happened?

GK: Yes. When I got drafted... well, they were in San Jose at that time, when the war broke out. And when the war broke out, there was a period of time when they could evacuate freely to anyplace east of the West Coast. So coming from Denver to San Jose, they immediately thought that they would come back, they would like to come back to Denver. They called me. So I had a pickup at that time, so I drove the pickup to San Jose to pick him up. Finally loaded up everything that we could on the pickup, and abandoned everything else, and drove back to Denver, and arriving back in Denver on 18th of March. I was drafted the following day. So I just, I had a place for them to stay, and I dropped them off there, and went into the service the following day.

MU: Okay. That's interesting. Now, when your folks moved voluntarily from California back to Colorado, did they qualify for redress?

GK: At that time there was no talk about redress. Nothing.

MU: Yeah. I know, but --

GK: But subsequently, they were qualified because they were evacuated after the 9066 came out. So they were qualified for redress. But then when redress came up, they were already dead. But the, my, rest of the family were entitled to it. But I stayed in Denver, to go to school. So I was not entitled to it.

MU: Yeah. Well, I understand. But I'm glad that your folks got redress.

GK: Well, they didn't get it -- because they died before the...

MU: Oh, they died before the... okay. Do you recall --

GK: Wait a minute. My father passed away in 1955 and my mother died more recently, so she got her redress.

MU: Oh, that's great.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.