Densho Digital Archive
Frank Abe Collection
Title: Yosh Kuromiya Interview
Narrator: Yosh Kuromiya
Interviewers: Frank Abe (primary); Frank Chin (secondary)
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: August 15 & 16, 1993
Densho ID: denshovh-kyosh-01-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

FA: Okay, Yosh, when you went to trial, what was suggested to you as a means of confusing the government?

YK: Well, as I recall, the attorney, Menin, suggested that if the prosecution couldn't identify us, that they couldn't prosecute. And that in order to thwart identification, that perhaps if we cut our hair or did something of that nature, that this would frustrate the prosecution's attempt to identify us, and therefore have to give up the prosecution.

FA: Yosh, do you recall -- and can you repeat for me -- what your attorney said, Menin said to you?

YK: I couldn't. I don't know the exact terms, but, as I recall, the suggestion did come from him initially, and of course, my reaction was that, one of disappointment in that if our own attorney didn't feel that we had a case, then we, the handwriting was on the wall. We really didn't have much to go on.

FC: Did you get a short haircut?

YK: No.

FC: Why?

YK: There was a handful of us that didn't think it was a good idea. We really couldn't see the point in avoiding identification, or to obstruct the process in any way, because we were there to raise the issue, not to evade it.

FA: Let me ask you one more time, Yosh, just to be more comfortable. Tell me, could you tell me just again, what was the suggestion? Who made the suggestion, and what was the suggestion made to confuse the government? Just start from the beginning.

YK: I'm not sure whether Menin did specifically suggest that we cut our hair. I don't know, if not from him, how it came about. But I know that, as I recall, that was the purpose for the mass haircutting.

FA: You were taken to the jail in Cheyenne.

YK: Yes.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 1993, 2005 Frank Abe and Densho. All Rights Reserved.