Densho Digital Archive
Frank Abe Collection
Title: Jim Akutsu Interview
Narrator: Jim Akutsu
Interviewers: Frank Abe (primary); Frank Chin (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: August 28, 1993
Densho ID: denshovh-ajim-02-0008

<Begin Segment 8>

FC: After the war, after you're home from jail, how did the community accept you?

JA: Pretty cold. Yeah.

FC: What happened?

JA: Well, actually, if you read the No-No Boy, some of that did happen, but --

FC: Did they spit on you?

JA: Well, they never did. They knew who... they never did. I knew what I would have done. Yeah. And the people that would have spit on me, they knew what I used to, I used to handle myself pretty good.

FC: Were, do you know of people who had made the same stand as you, did you know of people being spit on?

JA: I don't know. But they've been given some pretty rough time. Guys that played basketball or baseball, they were given a rough time. But I don't know about being spit at.

FC: Were you given a rough time?

JA: Not really. Yeah. Not really. Only thing is the silent treatment. You know, like somebody that I know would be coming down the street, they'll walk across. I'll say, "Hi," to 'em, and they'll just... so by the time, certain time, you know which ones gonna evade you. So, to me, it didn't matter. There was so much things that had to be done after I got back. Nobody was in church, the church had just a little group. They had to reactivate the youth group, and to fight the discrimination for a job, they were the important thing. It wasn't being done. And as soon as I got back, I got into it, fought my way into the city hall --

FC: Did anyone ever call you, to your face, "coward," "draft evader," "draft dodger"?

JA: Yeah. Only just a couple months ago, a big JACL -- he's supposed to be a big JACL man -- I was trying to get money for Frank's thing down in California, and he came on and said, "You draft evaders." He's a big JACL man, he came right out. And I told him to take it back, he won't do it. I've got the total meeting on tape if you want to hear it. It's very interesting. Yeah. Even, only a couple of months... no, the time that I was trying to get the money for Frank.

<End Segment 8> - Copyright © 1993, 2005 Frank Abe and Densho. All Rights Reserved.