Densho Digital Archive
Preserving California's Japantowns Collection
Title: David Matsuoka Interview
Narrator: David Matsuoka
Interviewers: Jill Shiraki (primary); Tom Ikeda (secondary)
Location: Sacramento, California
Date: December 10, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-mdavid-01-0013

<Begin Segment 13>

JS: So what do you remember about the bombing of Pearl Harbor? You were in middle school at the time, or you were still in the grammar school?

DM: I was in the... that was '41, so I was twelve years old.

JS: Twelve years old.

DM: So it must have been, what...

JS: Sixth grade?

DM: Yeah. We had, most of the people started school at, what, five or six years old? We were held back two years in the first grade, so sixth or seventh, so twelve, I guess.

JS: Okay. And do you remember hearing the news?

DM: When they said, "Why did they do that?" And what can you say when they said, "Japs bombed Pearl Harbor," and all that. That really shook up. I don't know how to explain that, but even with the kids, when you say "Japanese," get that more or less. But that school, we didn't have any problem. Oriental school, so...

JS: The Chinese kids didn't say anything?

DM: No.

JS: The teacher?

DM: No, they didn't bother us. In fact, Japanese outnumber all of them, so, you know, we were never afraid of anybody then. [Laughs]

JS: Do you remember the reaction of your family? Did your parents or your older siblings say anything about what was happening?

DM: No.

JS: No?

DM: They didn't mention anything. Only thing, my dad was mad was because my oldest brother didn't come home early and stay out late after that bombing and all that. He was mad. As far as, I don't think, I can't remember too much about it.

<End Segment 13> - Copyright (c) 2009 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.