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-01-0017

<Begin Segment 17>

MU: Did you go back afterwards?

GM: I wanted to but I didn't want my wife to know that I had brothers and sister back there, so... when I went back, I didn't want to get into that controversy again, 'cause probably all my brothers were back by then. 'Cause we went back, back to Japan. Took my wife for the first time. She'd never been in Japan -- in '72.

MU: Okay. So did you go to Fukuoka at that time?

GM: No, we went to Kumamoto, then went to Hong Kong instead, when we went to Japan.

MU: Why, why Kumamoto?

GM: Well, I don't know why.

MU: Just sightsee?

GM: I guess.

MU: Uh-huh.

GM: But I should've, to think of it now, you know. Hindsight is better than foresight.

MU: But, you did have a real awkward situation there and...

GM: Yeah. I think even now, when I was recalled to the army at Tule Lake, my bro-, only my brother came to see me off. My sister didn't.

MU: Now, they were here at that time and then they went back to Japan? Is that the way it goes?

GM: No, no. All of us went back to Japan in the late '20s -- I mean, yeah, in '29 or '30. All of us went back there, eight of us.

MU: Oh, I -- so...

GM: And three of us came back way before the war. My brother, me and my sister. The rest, five of 'em, because they were young, they stayed in Japan. My dad said, "If you're seventeen, eighteen, you go out and earn our own living." Said, so I came back to the United States where I knew everything was better than back in Japan.

<End Segment 17> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.