Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Rose Ito Tsunekawa Interview
Narrator: Rose Ito Tsunekawa
Interviewers: Tom Ikeda, Steve Fugita
Location: San Jose, California
Date: January 26, 2011
Densho ID: denshovh-trose-01-0017

<Begin Segment 17>

TI: So as this was going on, how did people in the town feel about how Japan was doing in the war? Was there a sense that Japan could still win the war?

RT: I believe so. They were pretty much, newspapers and everything, it was controlled. The military controlled it and I don't think they were, we were told the correct, the honest situation.

TI: And how did they talk about Americans, when they reported about the Americans or what they were like, what was the news or word about Americans?

RT: Yeah, kichiku, meaning savage Americans, brutal. That's why when the war ended many Japanese families sent their daughters into the woods or to remote places.

TI: And so what did you think, 'cause you had grown up in America to eleven years old and then spent the last few years in Japan? When you heard them describe Americans as savages, what, what did you think?

RT: I was probably brainwashed too. That's, but I don't think I thought that Americans were that bad, but that's the words that they described the Americans.

TI: So the, the thought of seeing an American, or a white American, would be fearful for you and others?

RT: Uh-huh.

TI: So in terms of the end of the war, how much did you know about the atomic bomb at either Hiroshima or Nagasaki?

RT: The only time when it, after it was dropped and we read it in the papers, and...

TI: And when you read it in the papers, how did it describe, or what was your understanding of what happened?

RT: Not, I don't think I really grasped it that much. I was only fifteen, just barely fifteen.

<End Segment 17> - Copyright © 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.