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-01-0005

<Begin Segment 5>

GM: Since I was in Japan for about four years, they reclassified me to enlisted reserve unit and discharged me. (...) In two months we had to move to Santa Anita Assembly Center. Horse stalls. [Laughs]

MU: Yeah. We'll get back to that. But did they explain to you why they're doing this?

GM: No. Government, by president's order. But I was really miserable when I heard Pearl Harbor was bombed by Japan. And here I am, American soldier, (my emotion was in turmoil.)

MU: Well, it was a confusing period, wasn't it?

GM: Yes. What (is) America gonna do with me? Then later this president's order came (and) evacuation.

MU: Let's see, U.S. government Order 9066.

GM: (Yes).

MU: Were there other Niseis, happening to them...?

GM: Oh, after that Pearl Harbor? (...) we were still in the army. Gosh, there were about (...) hundred of us in the warehouse. I can't remember where it was. It was at Monterey or San Jose? Big warehouse, they put us all in one area.

MU: And were they all put into enlisted reserve at that time?

GM: No, lot of 'em (were sent) east to another unit. I don't know where -- Evanston, Illinois, (or) some other camp.

MU: But you think you were kinda picked out because you had five years in Japan?

GM: Because on my record I was in Japan. Yeah.

MU: There was an element of suspicion there?

GM: I think so. Yeah, there were others, too, like myself. But I can't name who they are 'cause I don't know.

MU: Yeah.

GM: I mean, who they were.

MU: Okay, now you're in enlisted reserve, that meant you were temporarily (reassigned).

GM: I could be called up again.

MU: were temporarily out of the army but you could be called back anytime?

GM: Yeah. That's right.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.