Densho Digital Archive
Twin Cities JACL Collection
Title: Lucy Kirihara Interview
Narrator: Lucy Kirihara
Interviewer: Steve Ozone
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Date: October 13, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-klucy-01-0019

<Begin Segment 19>

SO: How do you feel about redress?

LK: Oh, redress. I marvel at those Sanseis that really worked so hard for that. And I know a lot of people wanted just the apology, which I think was really important. But some people don't put as much weight on it unless there's some monetary value, I mean, other people that aren't involved in it, you know. They think, well, it really was something that wasn't the right thing to do that, that it's going to cost them something. I thought it was a good thing. I was happy to have that and that they acknowledged that it was not the right thing to do, and the reasons that they gave were not the right reasons. It was really an economic type of thing, and so I was happy. Although when I give talks in classes they say, "Oh, you got that much?" And the teacher would then insert, You can't even buy a car with the amount that," and, "Would you like to give up your freedom for three and a half years? Who is going to do that?" Which is true. You'd rather have your freedom and not have that money.

SO: In the Midwest, I know most of that was going on in the West Coast. What was happening in the Midwest as far as action for redress?

LK: Well, I know they had a lot of... what do you call it? There's a book on it that had all these testimonials of people and they traveled throughout the country, and so I know they had one in Madison, Wisconsin, where they had the people tell their stories. I don't know. I don't think they came to Minnesota, as I recall. So the Midwest, they were involved, and so anyone who lived near Milwaukee or so forth went there to testify and it took a long time and I just think it's unbelievable, the many years and time they put into it. I wasn't as involved in that, I have to admit. But going to all these reunions they talk about it and they've honor the gentleman that was the head of it and so forth. They worked hard. I think it was more to make people aware of what happened, too.

SO: Is there anything you would like to add that we haven't talked about?

LK: Oh, I just think these oral histories, it's just so nice of you people to do it. I think it is... just hope that people get something out of it, is what you're hoping. And to get to know the history a little bit of the Japanese and the Japanese Americans and how they progressed from coming from being children of immigrants and so forth, that we hope that our children will continue on. Our daughter has been active in JACL and will help. Our sons are interested, they aren't as active. Oh, Jay was active. He made a lot of our visual arts things, because his wife is a, she's a graphic designer. And Peter's always interested too, and they will donate to a lot of different things, like our Chrysanthemum Banquet. Hopefully they will still be active in it because you don't want to lose that. And it was nice to come to Minnesota. It's been good to us. We feel very fortunate, my husband and I. I mean, he's been retired for twenty years, that's almost as long as he worked, and so that's pretty lucky, I think. We don't have any grandchildren, which is sort of different, but we do have two grand-dogs, two grand-bunnies and two grand-cats, and I think that's all right. [Laughs]

SO: All right, well thank you.

LK: Well, thank you, Steve. It was nice talking to you.

<End Segment 19> - Copyright ©2009 Densho and the Twin Cities JACL. All Rights Reserved.