Densho Digital Archive
Steven Okazaki Collection
Title: Sharon Yuen Interview
Narrator: Sharon Yuen
Location: San Francisco, California
Date: October 26, 1983
Densho ID: denshovh-ysharon-01-0002

<Begin Segment 2>

Q: Sharon, about how old were you when you first heard of your father's action and what did you think of what he did?

SY: It was later on in my life that I, when I heard about what my father had done. Because he never really talked about it that much when we were younger. So I really wasn't aware of it until we were older.

Q: When you learned of the fact, what was your feeling about him?

SY: Well, I thought it was quite extraordinary, really, that he stood up for his rights during a time when everyone else was sort of following orders during the war. And I thought that was really kind of courageous of him to do that.

Q: Would you say it generally, did it come perhaps as a surprise? Would you tell us your reaction when you heard about it, I guess?

SY: Well, we heard sort of bits and pieces when we were younger, and later on, we realized the whole story of what my father had done. But he had told us different little things that clued us into what he had done earlier, I guess. Like he learned how to bake bread in prison and that sort of thing, and so he sort of told us little stories like when we were born, my mother brought us, as babies, to see him in the prison and he was passing out cigars to everybody. And so little, little things like that. We sort of knew what he had done, sort of vaguely, but not in much detail until later.

Q: Do you think with the type of person he is, personality-wise, does this help make him do it; do you see him as a loner or a very moral person...

SY: He's a very, very independent sort of person, my father. He is a very hard-working person, he really does his job really well. He puts all of himself into any job that he does. He's a very organized and efficient person, also a very warm and understanding person, too. If anyone needs help or is in trouble, he's always there. And quite a family person, too. We always did things as a family when we were younger, went on camping trips together and ski holidays and that sort of thing, so as much as he did work quite hard, he did have a lot of time to spend with us as a family.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 1983, 2010 Densho and Steven Okazaki. All Rights Reserved.