Densho Digital Archive
National Japanese American Historical Society Collection
Title: Takashi Matsui Interview
Narrator: Takashi Matsui
Interviewer: Marvin Uratsu
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: December 12, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-mtakashi-02-0016

<Begin Segment 16>

MU: Now, on the one hand, they're having the Nisei serve in the U.S. army, and the same government, same government is putting the parents and uncles and aunties of the Japanese Americans into American-style concentration camps. It must have been very hard for you to reconcile the two thoughts?

TM: Yes, it was, but Japan was at war with the United States. And Japan was the one that started the war, you might say. So I guess the American people didn't know what to do with us. I guess they didn't trust us. I don't know what, why, but I guess they were afraid maybe if Japan or Japanese armed forces ever land on the West Coast, they get mixed up with the local Japanese, and they were afraid of that. Whether that was good enough or not, I don't know. To me, it wasn't good enough, but it's a emergency, wartime, and I thought there isn't much the Japanese could do.

MU: You thought that, you thought that fear on the part of the American public had a lot to do with what happened to...

TM: That's the way I heard. That's the way I read the paper, and things like that, and maybe they were afraid. In fact, down in Oregon, I think a Japanese submarine fired on some kind of building. And nobody knew what was going to happen. Nobody could guarantee. But now, reading a story of that time, Japanese would never have attempted to land over here. Attack on Pearl Harbor was more than enough. So they couldn't do more.

MU: Maximum effort. They didn't have the facility to do any more.

TM: But there was no way for Americans to know that.

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