Densho Digital Archive
Twin Cities JACL Collection
Title: George M. Yoshino Interview
Narrator: George M. Yoshino
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Bloomington, Minnesota
Date: June 17, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-ygeorge_3-01-0007

<Begin Segment 7>

TI: I want to ask about your dad. Did your dad get very involved in any community affairs like meetings with the community or anything like that?

GY: Well, toward the end there, just before the war, he got involved a little bit, that's when they yanked him in.

TI: Yeah, that's why I was kind of following, or was gonna follow up later on about the FBI picking him up, and that's why I wanted to get a sense of how involved he was with community.

GY: When the war broke out in '41, he was elected into the... what do you call... cooperative association. And I don't know how, but anyway, he was the fourth one to be pulled in. There was three of 'em, right after the bomb fell, couple weeks later they pulled in four of 'em, or three of 'em. Yabuki, Matsuoka, Tsushima, there was three of 'em, and my dad was the fourth one. They came and took him away.

TI: Do you remember them coming to your house?

GY: Yeah.

TI: So tell me how they did that.

GY: Well, three of 'em came in, three FBI men. And their purpose was to take him in. And all the men searched the house, looked through all the magazines, stuff like that. And then they said they were taking him to the immigration office of Seattle, so they took him.

TI: And while this was happening, what were you and the others doing?

GY: Well, we just watched. What else are you going to do, just watched.

TI: Now at this point, you had already graduated from high school.

GY: Yeah, I was already...

TI: You're the eldest son, did you at any point have to kind of translate or explain things to your parents in terms of what's going on?

GY: Well, they expected that. Because the other people had already gone in, and there was a Japanese publication paper that came out saying all that stuff. So they expected it. And my mother says, "All right, you guys are American citizens, don't worry about us. We'll take whatever punishment that they hand out. That's about it.

TI: But your mother said that thinking that nothing would happen to you as an American citizen.

GY: Yeah. "You guys are American citizens, you stick with that." Because what they do as parents, she said, "Don't worry about it, we'll take it." That's how our family went.

TI: I'm going to come back to the beginning of the war a little bit later, but I wanted to go back now to your, kind of your school experiences. Can you tell me what elementary school you went to?

GY: Well, school was... I don't know. As far as I'm concerned, there was nothing different, grade school and high school. I didn't play any sports, but I was involved in baseball at one time, but not a heck of a lot. That was about, well, that was about it. Studied.

TI: So which high school did you go to?

GY: Bellevue Union High School. That was in 1940 when I got out.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright ©2009 Densho and the Twin Cities JACL. All Rights Reserved.