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-01-0006

<Begin Segment 6>

FA: The Japanese American Citizens League was considered to be representative of your community. Why didn't you, why couldn't you rely on them to do it?

YK: Well, I guess I had my doubts about the JACL previous to, even before the draft issue came up because of their, the way in which the evacuation issue itself was handled. Of course, there was a lot of rumors about JACL involvement, but I don't think that the rumors themselves was the issue that created my skepticism. But what they were saying, even at that time, in particular through the Heart Mountain Sentinel, the kind of positions that they were taking, I couldn't agree with.

FA: What did you think about the JA-, the Japanese American Citizens League? Before the war, the outbreak of war, at the time of incarceration, what did you think? How'd you regard them?

YK: Well, I guess my opinion of the JACL was basically that they were self-serving, and they had a different agenda than the welfare of the people.

FA: They came out and tried to get the resisters locked up. They came out and argued for your prosecution. What'd you think about that? How'd you feel?

YK: Betrayed.

FA: How?

YK: Well, our own people. Of course, that sense of betrayal again reflects back to their actions in the whole evacuation issue from the very inception when there was only rumors about evacuation, and to discover that they... well, in my opinion, were co-conspirators in this whole thing, ostensibly for the welfare of the Japanese people themselves. But it was beginning to become more and more obvious that, as I say, they had a different agenda. Especially their apparent willingness to sacrifice our parents, who were not citizens by technical barriers, in favor of the Niseis, Nisei citizens.

FA: The JACL and the Heart Mountain Sentinel both accused the resisters of being delinquents, draft-dodgers, draft evaders and delinquents. What did you think about that? How did you feel?

YK: Well, if we really were those adjectives, it wouldn't have been necessary for them to say so. The mere fact that they're saying so would seem to appear suspicious.

FA: Logic tells us that. When you read those the first time in the Sentinel, how did you, how did it make you feel in your gut?

YK: I don't, I don't know that it really bothered me that much. I didn't, by that time, I hadn't expected anything better from them.

FC: Did you read Jimmie Omura's Rocky Shimpo? Did you read the Rocky Shimpo?

YK: Only after my attention was drawn to it. And this came about probably after I had already made my decision. I was very impressed with his stand. Although, although his editorials appeared sympathetic, on the other hand, he didn't seem to be a hundred percent for us, either. As a matter of fact, I think he specifically warned us of the pitfalls, that technically we would be guilty. So again, we weren't that shocked when the final verdict did come down.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 1993, 2005 Frank Abe and Densho. All Rights Reserved.