Densho Digital Repository
Katsugo Miho Collection
Title: Katsugo Miho Interview VII
Narrator: Katsugo Miho
Interviewers: Michiko Kodama Nishimoto (primary), Warren Nishimoto (secondary)
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Date: March 22, 2006
Densho ID: ddr-densho-1022-7-8

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MN: Okay. This is the second tape of the March 22nd session, and we just, we didn't cover your political career. And I want to take you back in time, and if you can tell us, what was your first involvement in politics?

KM: Somehow, after discharge, we were involved with all this forming of the veterans club. And along the way, there were a few very active members of the veterans group who wanted to get involved with politics. But my first involvement was, my brother Katsuro had been a Democratic party member, and he had worked for Governor Stainback in private practice. When the governor became the governor under the, just before statehood, he was involved with Mayor Wilson's last campaign. So I was involved as one of the steering committee, I think it was, advisory committee.

And so my first involvement in politics was being a member of Johnny Wilson's election committee. And my recollection, as I reflect now, is that the signs were there already, the mayor was past his prime already. He was quite elderly and there was this activist pretender to the throne by the name of Frank Fasi. And Frank Fasi incurred the wrath of some of the diehard Democratic party members because he defeated Mayor Wilson handily in the primary. And I think, to this day, some of the Democratic stronghold members going back, well most of them were not here now. But that time, the diehard Democratic members never forgave Frank for the vigorous campaign that he, during the time he was trying to succeed Mayor Wilson. But that was my first introduction to politics. This was, I think, 1958, I think, the election.

MN: And at that time, did you have a party, official party affiliation?

KM: No, no, I was not a member of any, either party. I was not signed up, my work was strictly voluntary as a young veteran. And I was neither involved... and thereafter I got involved with, must have been earlier than 1958 because I remember getting involved with Delegate Farrington's reelection. And then they left these city and county races of Clarence Taba, who was trying to run as a city and county treasurer. And actually, Clarence's run to become treasurer was the first, not the first, second political involvement. And then I also remember working for, working on behalf of Hiram Fong, I think he was the last, before statehood, I think, so I remember... so it was strictly on a person-to-person basis, and not a party affiliation basis. Masato Doi's campaign, I was very much involved, Clarence Taba's. And then this election, just prior to statehood, the first state legislator, I was involved with... what happened was that, at that point, my very good friend, Donald Ching, with whom we went to George Washington Law School and all that, [inaudible] at that time. So Donald called me up one day, although we were meeting every Friday, we were having our poker session every Friday evening. But this was, one day, said, "Hey, it's about time" I signed the card. Says, "Oh, you got to sign the card." So, well, okay, okay, he said, "Well, I'll be down in the office later on in the morning." At the same time, Tadao Beppu gave me a call, too. Tadao and I were pretty good friends and all that, we grew up in Maui. He said, "Donald's going to come." So I said, "Well, okay, I want to be there if Donald's going to be there."

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