Densho Digital Archive
Topaz Museum Collection
Title: Grace F. Oshita Interview
Narrator: Grace F. Oshita
Interviewer: Megan Asaka
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Date: June 4, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-ograce-01-0023

<Begin Segment 23>

MA: So, what motivates you? I mean, you've been doing this, talking with schools, for forty years plus now. What motivates you to do that?

GO: Well, I didn't get any pay, you know, nobody paid me to do it really, ever. Once in a while there'll be a lunch connected with it, but heck, I mean... [laughs]. But I figured, "They need to know." Bad or good, it's the American way, and that people need to know that it won't happen again. But I don't think they knew the Japanese people to begin with.

MA: What are some responses that kids usually have to your presentation? Do you find that they already know about the internment?

GO: Of course, the young people don't know anything. And the more remote the area is, nobody knows anything, 'cause it didn't come out in the paper that much and you never read it in a book, either, unless you buy the specific story of evacuation. And then I feel funny after learning what "evacuate" means, to people who are suffering and then they're transferred to a safe place. Well, I thought, "Whoever started calling us evacuees and so forth?" I guess make it sound better.

MA: Yeah, the language is...

GO: But usually, the reaction is, "I didn't know about it." That's what, mostly hear, most often.

MA: So then it's great that you're able to do this, because how else would people know? Some people would never know if it weren't for your presentations.

GO: Well, that's true. And then I know like... what's his name? Who have you interviewed already?

MA: Ted?

GO: Ted?

MA: Nagata.

GO: Nagata. But he was a little kid. It's what he heard or what he's read. And in my case, it's nothing but what I've experienced. It's personal experience and that's all. So maybe nobody else will think about talking about it because they don't know my experience either, even if they went through it. So it's true that the more the better, because they had other reasons to feel bad about it, with the hardship on them.

<End Segment 23> - Copyright ©2008 Densho and the Topaz Museum. All Rights Reserved.