Densho Digital Archive
National Japanese American Historical Society Collection
Title: George S. Matsui Interview
Narrator: George S. Matsui
Interviewer: Marvin Uratsu
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: December 11, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-mgeorge-01-0016

<Begin Segment 16>

MU: Then you went to Japan for occupation work?

GM: From Philippines I went to Japan. The GHQ -- General Headquarters.

MU: MacArthur's General Headquarters?

GM: General Willoughby. (Chief of Army Intelligence.)

MU: Oh, you were with Willoughby. Uh-huh.

GM: Uh-huh. And then from there, they assigned me to natural resources section with a lieutenant colonel and me. And I said...

MU: Now where was that? In Tokyo?

GM: Tokyo.

MU: Okay. So what did you do with the natural resources, you and the colonel?

GM: I said, "Colonel, what am I supposed to be? I'm assigned to natural resources section." He said, "I'll take care of that. You and I are going to Fukuoka." We had the train all to ourselves going to Fukuoka. The train behind us, bunch of Koreans going back to Korea, I suppose, wanted to come into our train because it was so crowded, jammed and... colonel says, "No, keep your sidearm. Don't let 'em in." We both had our sidearm. But, gad, sidearm -- forty-five, is so damn heavy. Then I went home. I shot it once. Boom. [Laughs]

MU: Okay, now, you...

GM: I hadn't shot forty-five before.

MU: That's a big one.

GM: It is.

MU: Now, you're going down to...

GM: Fukuoka. City of Fukuoka. Colonel says, "Hey, George, you got any folks?" I said, "(Yes), I got some right here in Fukuoka." He says, "Good, go see 'em." So, he gave me a jeep and a driver. "How do I get" -- driver says, "How do I get there?" "I'll tell you how to get there."

MU: Now is that where your...?

GM: ...that's natural resources. [Laughs]

MU: Yeah that's nice work.

GM: Yeah.

MU: Now that's where your folks came from? Fukuoka?

GM: Yeah. Saw my mother and my brother and my sister.

MU: And they were there?

GM: They were there. I had a big argument with my younger brother.

MU: About what?

GM: He's the only one (that) wasn't in the army, I think.

MU: About what?

GM: The rest of 'em were in Japanese Army...

MU: Yeah.

GM: ...not home yet.

MU: Okay, now he, he's the one that gave you a bad time? How 'bout the others?

GM: My sister was fine. My mother was fine. I knew I was gonna go there if I went to Fukuoka so I brought her coffee and candy and things she used to, she enjoyed. So I took bunch of those things.

MU: Weren't they glad to see you?

GM: My mother was. But I'm a stranger to them, see? How many years? '34, '41, seven years I hadn't seen them. 'Course, all my other brothers were either in the Japanese Army or Japanese Navy.

MU: Did they come back?

GM: Yeah, they all came back, from what I hear.

MU: So, what was something special about your sister?

GM: There was. Then I said, "Oh, my gosh, this is something like American Civil War -- brothers against brothers."

MU: Yeah.

GM: That's me. And you can't do anything about it except fight for what you believe in.

MU: It's kind of an awkward situation, huh?

GM: Yes, yeah. My brother told me, "Why?"

MU: Why what?

GM: I an American soldier?

MU: Oh, I see.

GM: "You're Japanese."

MU: Now, was that the first time you went to see them?

GM: (Yes.)

<End Segment 16> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.