Densho Digital Archive
National Japanese American Historical Society Collection
Title: Mitsue Matsui Interview
Narrator: Mitsue Matsui
Interviewers: Marvin Uratsu (primary), Gary Otake (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: December 12, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-mmitsue-01-0010

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MU: Now, when Pearl Harbor happened, what kind of reaction did you have?

MM: Well, I really couldn't believe that, you know. I think that was true with a lot of others. But when I found out that was so, I was afraid to go out to even -- really. But I thought, "What happened? What brought this on?" But there was a reason, I know.

MU: Now, I'm kinda curious, you know, your father was a well-educated man. He must've had thoughts at that time. Did he ever communicate those thoughts to you?

MM: No, he wasn't that type. I hate to tell you, but I felt when I was younger, too, that he was on a high pedestal, you know. We didn't communicate too well, whereas with other families, you know, it was different. He was what you call dannasan. My mother used to call him dannasan, so when (my brother) was little, the youngest, he'd tell my mother, "dannasan came home." So, you can tell dannasan. Not too many families used that word, I don't think. That's my thought -- dannasan.

MU: Okay. That describes your father pretty well?

MM: Dannasan, yeah.

MU: Okay, so you really didn't know what he thought when Pearl Harbor happened, then.

MM: Well, I'm sure he thought Japan would win, like most of the other Isseis. But I don't know what went through his mind, but I'm sure he was quite concerned about my brother in Japan.

MU: Masami?

MM: Uh-huh. Well, fortunately...

MU: Did he say anything like that to you?

MM: No, he did not come forth with anything like that. But I know he was quite concerned, so I tried to send messages through the Red Cross which I understand did reach, but I never got a response that he had sent. Yeah. I'm sure he had sent something but...

MU: You didn't get any messages back?

MM: Of course, we were moving around here and there, so in fact, he didn't even know the whereabouts of myself. He didn't know.

<End Segment 10> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.