Densho Digital Archive
Preserving California's Japantowns Collection
Title: Sat Kuwamoto Interview
Narrator: Sat Kuwamoto
Interviewers: Jill Shiraki (primary); Tom Ikeda (secondary)
Location: Fresno, California
Date: March 9, 2010
Densho ID: denshovh-ksat-01-0020

<Begin Segment 20>

TI: Yeah, so another question I have is, after a while, the administration came out with these questionnaires for people to fill out in terms of their loyalty, they're trying to determine loyalty. Do you remember that and what that was like?

SK: Yes.

TI: So what was that like for you to see this questionnaire?

SK: Well, you had to answer whether you're loyal to the U.S. or whether you're a "no-no" man or "yes-yes." Two questions that they were asked. And everybody, I guess, were asked the same question, and there was quite a bit of people, I don't know whether they were angry or not, but some people were angry for being kept in camp. And they were, I don't know. At the same time, they were trying to kick the people out of, to go outside of camp, that I remember. But anyway, they were asked the question to, whether you're loyal to the U.S., or will you fight against them? That's a stupid thing to ask anyway, to say whether you'd uprise against the government. That's a crazy question for them to ask. But anyway, there was quite a bit of commotion at that time. And let's see...

TI: And so how did you answer those questions?

SK: Oh, "yes-yes." What else would you say?

TI: But then you say there was commotion.

SK: I mean, there was a lot of people that, I don't where the thing came, but, I mean, why they said "no-no," like, that's a stupid question to ask anyway. When they ask you, "Would you fight?" I mean, what did... I can't even remember what the question was. But anyway...

TI: Yeah, there were two questions. Question 27 essentially asked, "Are you willing to fight for the U.S. Army," and question 28 is, "Are you, will you forswear any allegiance to the Japanese emperor?" were the two.

SK: Oh, was that the question?

TI: Yeah, those were the two questions, primarily.

SK: Well, that's a pretty stupid question. I mean, they shouldn't ask... would you ask your enemy that kind of question? I mean, when you're put into camp, I think only one answer anyway. Should be "yes-yes."

TI: And yet there were people in camp, when you say the "commotion," who were advocating people to say "no-no."

SK: Oh, they were young, not young as much as... maybe a few of the Issei might have said something, but I don't even know who those people were. But those are some of the questions that were asked. I'm saying that the government was foolish to even ask the people to ask those questions when you're, you're already in prison as some of the people would think.

JS: So a lot of people answered "no-no" or "yes-no" because of that? Because they were really upset that they...

TI: I think so. I think just being put in camp is what angered 'em.

JS: Right.

<End Segment 20> - Copyright © 2010 Densho and Preserving California's Japantowns. All Rights Reserved.