Densho Digital Archive
Twin Cities JACL Collection
Title: George Murakami Interview
Narrator: George Murakami
Interviewer: Steve Ozone
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Date: October 13, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-mgeorge_4-01-0014

<Begin Segment 14>

SO: Can you talk about the redress? Was that form an interview form for your father?

GM: Yes, I think it was. I don't know if I have it.

SO: Do you know how that came about?

GM: No, I think the Congress had authorized this testimony. It says Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment, and I think they sent people out in all the different communities to interview people for their experience in camp, and I think that he was one of the Isseis picked in the Mountain View area to be interviewed. That's the only thing I know about it. There is, in Mountain View library there's a pretty thick volume of all these testimonies from different people there.

SO: What's the date on the document?

GM: I don't think there is a date on it. It's dated August 1, 1981.

SO: And what kind of things do they ask him?

GM: Oh, the regular... they asked if he was evacuated and where and when. They asked the also, before camp, describe the estimate value of your losses for you and your family at that time.

SO: What was it?

GM: He doesn't really mention... the only thing he really mentions here is when he was picked up by the FBI, he lost all his potential from crops that he had in the fields, and he estimated that at three thousand dollars, and then the furniture and household things at two thousand five hundred. I guess he mentions, "How can I place a value on personal family items that can never be replaced?"

SO: So that was a lawyer interviewing him?

GM: Let's see. No, he says that his name is Bud Nakano. He says, "I'm appointed spokesperson for the Peninsula Redress Committee." I'm not sure how far that goes, Southern California down to San Jose maybe, which they call the peninsula. And I guess he did a lot of the interviews. Then when he had to write a summary to the committee he picked out my father's experience, and then he summarized some of the other people's comments that were quite similar to my father's I guess. So it's kind of abbreviated, as far as the losses.

SO: How did you feel about the redress?

GM: Well, I guess for me, I didn't feel any real loss like my parents did. But then of course,

when we finally got the redress money, we really didn't need it so we put it away although I feel bad for the people that passed away and didn't get it. They could have sent it to their offspring or beneficiaries somehow.

SO: And there were a lot of them too. Is there anything you'd like to add I missed?

GM: I don't know. We covered a lot. I can't.. of course, I'm one of the real younger Niseis and I consider myself two-and-half-sei or something like that, Ni-han-sei, and so I don't... I know the difficulties my family went through and a lot of other families have gone through. I think the United States realized what the mistake they made, and I think they're very careful they don't do that again. You hear stories about how the Arabs were almost rounded up the same way, but I think they realized they can't do that. The other thing is, if we didn't get relocated, I think the Pacific Coast would just be inundated with Japanese all the way up and down the coast but with this relocation, we've got them spread all over the United States now, and I think that's good. And I think it's nice to socialize in the group and keep your history, and so forth, but it's good that we, I think, we're basically assimilated into the community. Our children, I guess, they know of the relocation and stuff, they feel for us too. They know about it, but they don't feel any different. I think they're just Americans.

SO: That was good, I'm glad you added that. It's good to hear about how you feel about that. Well, thank you.

GM: Okay.

<End Segment 14> - Copyright ©2009 Densho and the Twin Cities JACL. All Rights Reserved.