Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Clyde Tichenor Interview
Narrator: Clyde Tichenor
Interviewer: Kristen Luetkemeier
Location: Independence, California
Date: March 23, 2012
Densho ID: denshovh-tclyde_2-01

<Begin Segment 1>

KL: Today is Friday, March 23, 2012. I'm Kristen Luetkemeier here in the West Theater of Manzanar National Historic Site to interview Clyde Tichenor. With us from the National Park Service also are Mark Hachtmann, he's operating the camera, and Caitlin Davis is observing. Also observing are Clyde's wife Laurel and his friend Steve Webber. Julie Webber may come and go. Clyde, do we have your permission to conduct and record this interview?

CT: Yes, you do.

KL: Thanks. Thanks for being here. What year were you born?

CT: I was born August 28, 1925.

KL: And where were you born?

CT: Chicago.

KL: What part of Chicago did you live in when you...

CT: The south part, and everybody I met came from the north part.

KL: How did you meet them?

CT: And that was... well, through life experiences. And it was very puzzling, I guess the people in the south part of Chicago were happier than the people in the north part, so they managed to stay longer. But eventually my family left Chicago for Los Angeles.

KL: And who were your parents?

CT: My father died when I was eight, so I was raised by my mother and my older brother, who was about seven years older than I was. And he was sort of a pseudo father. But being a brother, we also were very antagonistic towards each other.

KL: What was your mom's name?

CT: Ella.

KL: And she was Tichenor, too?

CT: Well, her original name was Seifert, her maiden name.

KL: Had she been born in Chicago?

CT: I think so, but I really can't tell you that for sure. She certainly lived there all her life up to where we moved to Los Angeles.

KL: Tell me more about your neighborhood in Chicago. You were talking about a park earlier?

CT: Oh, we lived in apartments. As a matter of fact, one of the interesting apartments we lived in was a basement apartment, and the windows looked out at the sidewalk. When people walked by, you looked out the window, you saw the legs and their feet all the time. And it was kind of, worried my mother because it was so accessible for somebody to break in. Nobody did while we were there, but my father being dead when I was eight, well, my mother had to more or less support the family as a waitress, and we had very little money. That's why we were living in a basement apartment because it was the cheapest.

KL: Did you move after your father died?

CT: He died because a nurse fell asleep at night and didn't alert them to him taking a, his appendix ruptured.

KL: Oh, I'm sorry.

CT: And she was asleep and didn't wake him up, by the time they did get in in the morning, they discovered he was practically gone, and by ten o'clock he was. So it was a big accident.

KL: Did you move after that happened? Did you move into that apartment?

CT: Well, we lived in Chicago probably about ten years more after that happened. I was eight then, I was about eighteen when I left, seventeen, eighteen.

KL: What do you remember about your neighbors?

CT: My neighbors in Chicago?

KL: Uh-huh.

CT: Well, like all city dwellers, rather self-contained except for the kids, kids are kids everywhere. We used to drive bicycles all around there, drive the motorists crazy with our getting in the way.

KL: And tell me about the park that you went to?

CT: Well, yeah, I lived about a quarter of a mile south of Jackson Park in Chicago, which is a very large park, and it's for golfers and kids, I guess. And the two don't mix well. But we used to, had great, wonderful places to play in the bushes, in the green where the golfers wanted to golf. We managed to get along all right between the two mostly. And otherwise Chicago is a city of apartment buildings and big rental structures. And they were very, just anyone who owned a house in Chicago was extremely wealthy, and they tended to live towards Lake Michigan side of Chicago. Because that's where people with money could buy property. The rest of us lived in apartments.

KL: There probably weren't many Japanese American people that you knew in Chicago?

CT: I didn't know any Orientals at that time.

KL: Were different cultures or different races part of your experience in Chicago or not really?

CT: Well, those were the days were every race had a slang name for the race. And it was common until I got a little bit older and began to understand what it was all about, and sort of rejected that line of thinking.

KL: Neighborhoods were pretty segregated.

CT: Yes.

KL: Uh-huh, so you didn't really have contact, personal contact with people from a different background?

CT: Right, we were Anglo Saxons, and that's who we associated with.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2012 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 2>

KL: But you moved to Los Angeles.

CT: Pardon?

KL: But you moved to Los Angeles, tell me how that happened.

CT: Yes, my brother, my brother had a job driving cars for a company that was transporting up to the West Coast. Instead of putting them on trucks, they would just pay somebody to drive over to the West Coast. So he ended up in Los Angeles after doing that, and then went over and saw Hollywood and became so excited about it that he decided to move the family. And since my father died when I was eight, he was sort of, partly a titular head of the family and talked my mother into leaving. And so we left when I was probably about thirteen.

KL: Do you remember those conversations, what he told you and your mom about California? What did he like?

CT: My brother?

KL: Uh-huh.

CT: My brother was an extremely talented artist who had somewhat of a superiority complex. And otherwise he was a very personable person, and he was sort of a semi-father to me. Because when he had a car and could drive, I was still riding bicycles, and so I, as a matter of fact, I couldn't get a license at that age to drive a car, so it didn't matter. I remember he had a Pontiac that was a very pretty-looking car at the time.

KL: When he came back from California, was it the art that he liked or the weather or Hollywood?

CT: The weather, the weather. And I guess the Hollywood scene, although he did not get any association with the movies. Actually, I guess I did more than he did.

KL: Did you think it was a good idea when he started talking about...

CT: Oh, yeah, of course that was something exciting to a kid that age. And my mother and I took the train to Los Angeles. He had a car and so he drove to Los Angeles and met us when we got there. And it was a wonderful experience. It seemed like the people were so much more friendly, and you had the warm weather most of the time, a wonderful climate, and it was just an experience you have to live through to really appreciate.

KL: So you liked California right away?

CT: Yes.

KL: Did your mom, too?

CT: She adjusted well to it. She had a lot more friends in from church and stuff in Chicago, but she adjusted to it and enjoyed the weather, too.

KL: Did you live near Hollywood?

CT: We lived in Hollywood part of the time.

KL: And how... so you moved to Los Angeles and you started getting involved in judo after you moved?

CT: Yeah, I guess when you get to be a certain age as a boy, you think in terms of self-defense. And from Chicago we very definitely thought in terms of self-defense because the neighborhoods are very segregated there, and if you're out of your neighborhood, you're very likely to get into an ugly situation with other kids there. Los Angeles wasn't that way, it wasn't segregated that way, you could just about wander anywhere and not have problems like that. But we spent, the kids I was with, we spent most of our time in Griffith Park.

KL: With what?

CT: At Griffith Park, which was, as they said, it's a cross between a wild park and a golf course, which was very manicured. It was irritated golfers on it.

KL: What was your school in Los Angeles?

CT: The school?

KL: In Los Angeles, in Hollywood.

CT: The one that I went to I think was Parkside elementary school at first and then to junior high.

KL: And when you moved to California you were in high school, right?

CT: Junior high.

KL: Junior high, okay. What junior high school did you go to, do you remember?

CT: No, I don't remember that one anymore. Oh, Thomas Starr King I think was the name of that school. It wasn't a high school, it was junior high. That's where I moved to. And then after I finished junior high, then I went to Marshall High School, John Marshall High School.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2012 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 3>

KL: Did you start taking classes and sports at the YMCA right away?

CT: I was not interested in any sports but judo, and of course, I wasn't interested in that until I learned about it to understand there was such a thing.

KL: How did you learn about it?

CT: At the YMCA. A French gentleman from France, Gene Elfendari, was teaching a judo class, or martial arts, but it was mostly judo because he had taken judo. He had a brown belt, I think, in judo. And I started to get into his class, as a matter of fact, I was in his class for a week or two. At which point we were approached as a class by a gentleman named Jack Sergil who watched us one evening, and after the class said he also taught martial arts and suggested we might like to come to his class. His class consisted of a building in what had been the Japanese section of town. And it had a large mat area built behind the house, which was a judo club, which he ran. Because this was just about the time the Japanese were being moved out of the city. He was a black belt in the club, and, of course, they turned it over to him, because they had no way to control it with them being gone, so he took it over.

KL: Did he ever talk about that, about being asked to take over the dojo?

CT: It was a natural thing to do, and he was a black belt. He'd been with them long enough so that they awarded him that level. And he used to just come open up the house and we'd go through the house into the back and in the back was the big judo mat which was probably twenty by forty or so in size. And it had sides that you could slide open.

KL: The dojo did, the home one?

CT: Yeah, you could open up the walls by sliding the panels back, which we would do in the summer and stuff, and the winter evenings.

KL: And this was pretty soon after he took it over?

CT: 36th Place on Normandie, approximately. The building's still there.

KL: Oh, wow.

CT: But I don't know whether it was just people living there or what, but it's been so many years.

KL: Was the neighborhood pretty deserted when you were studying judo?

CT: It had been taken over by Caucasians.

KL: Fast, huh?

CT: Yeah, it was to a great extent Japanese, that's why the dojo was there. But they were, of course, at that point, gone. I don't know what they did, they sold and rented in various other ways, but they had to leave the property.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 2012 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 4>

KL: Let me back up a little bit. I wanted to ask you what you remembered about the attack on Pearl Harbor and other places in the Pacific by Japan?

CT: I remember the announcement on a Sunday morning.

KL: Were you at home?

CT: Yes, and I remember getting on a bicycle and being excited, driving to one of my friends' house several miles away and talking about it with them, listening to the radio.

KL: Was it surprising?

CT: Surprising? [Laughs] Yeah, I guess that's an understatement.

KL: What were the streets like when you took your bicycle rides to your friends'?

CT: Relatively deserted. I mean, there were cars, but not many. People weren't rushing around or anything because of the... it was normal, I would say.

KL: Do you remember it causing changes, that attack, in the way people acted?

CT: Well, of course, at school, the President made an address. And it was a daytime address and they took, the whole school went out to the bleachers on the athletic field, and they amplified his address. So we all sat there and listened to the President talk about the attack and everything.

KL: He was a student, there was a student body president?

CT: No, I'm talking about the President of the United States.

KL: Oh, I see.

CT: Talking about the attack, he was on the air, special broadcast, and we were all out there listening to that.

KL: What did the students think? What was the conversation afterwards?

CT: Oh, they were contemptuous.

KL: Of the President?

CT: No, no, of the Japanese. And it was prejudice, which lasted for quite a number of years amongst Caucasian citizens.

KL: Were there Asian kids in your school?

CT: What about in school?

KL: Were there Asian kids in your school?

CT: Well, there certainly weren't after that. They moved them all out. Whatever Asians there were were Chinese, or some other race than Japanese.

KL: But before people were moved out, do you think there were some Japanese American kids in your school?

CT: Oh, yeah.

KL: Were you friends with any?

CT: I had no reason at that point to be associated with them until I got into the interest in judo. By that time they were in the segregation camp, Manzanar, and similar camps.

KL: I've heard some people talk about teachers or principals saying, "We need to look out for our classmates, I won't tolerate any bad behavior toward students. Do you remember any teachers or principals, administrators, talking about...

CT: No. Because in Chicago there were lots of prejudices among people. But in California it was much more easygoing. It was a tension, like in Chicago.

KL: Do you think the Japanese American students felt worried about their relationship with other students, or was it just not...

CT: I don't know, but I'm sure they did, because they were treated as aliens.

KL: Even in school by the other students?

CT: Yeah, yeah.

KL: Do you remember anything about the removal, about people leaving their homes or the students leaving school?

CT: No, no. They were segregated enough initially to where their moving out had no effect on us. And we always lived in apartments because with my father gone so early, my mother wasn't able, and my brother had to go to work part-time, too, because he was an usher in a movie theater, and he ended up managing the staff part of the movie theater. And that was what he was working at, and she was working as a waitress, and I was going to school.

<End Segment 4> - Copyright © 2012 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 5>

KL: So let's go back to the judo. You started taking judo and it was in Seinan Dojo?

CT: Well, yeah, when I really got into judo after getting away from the YMCA after meeting Jack Sergil, the club that he had taken over was Seinan Dojo, and that means "southwest school."

KL: Okay. So he took it over from Kuniyuki-sensei.

CT: He took it over from Kuniyuki-sensei, right. I never met Kuniyuki. I think to this day I've never met him. I've been around things he's done and so forth and so on, but it just didn't work out with the Japanese being in camp for about a year and all the disruption of that. I didn't know any Japanese.

KL: Kuniyuki came back to Los Angeles?

CT: Yes.

KL: Who were the other students who studied with you and Jack Sergil?

CT: Well, I say the main student that took much the same interest as I was one of my friends named John Hamilton. And Johnny and I were pretty much buddies all the time amongst others. And because I had gotten into the activity of Jack Sergil, who was teaching judo, and I went to the Seinan Dojo property, and discovered it was only a half a mile from where I lived, so it wasn't too long before Jack gave me a key to the property because it was convenient, I could get there and open up and stuff. And that gave me an advantage also because I could go on a weekend and practice judo with anybody I wanted. And my various friends from, especially judo, would then come and then two or three of us would practice without the whole judo class there. And I so I got a lot of special practice that way, having that kind of access to a judo club with such a large mat. And practically all my friends, including their sisters, ended up being in the judo club.

KL: Because you started talking to them about it?

CT: Well, I was, their brothers were going through my efforts, and they became interested knowing, finding out that they weren't excluded. And so they joined, and there already were several older women who were members of the judo club.

KL: Oh. Had they been studying for many years already?

CT: Yes. Yeah, they were brown belts in judo.

KL: Did they talk about what that was like in, say, the late 1930s when they were studying?

CT: No, they didn't. We didn't talk about that with them. But there was a large picture with us fellows in it at Manzanar when we attended Manzanar contest, judo shiai, which is a judo contest. And they were, they came along, too, but they did not do contests.

KL: The women?

CT: They did practice. Yeah, there wasn't a contest as I recall that included the women at that time. Though there were judo contests, but not at that particular time, at least where I was.

KL: Did your friends who were boys mind that their sisters came?

CT: Didn't seem to, no, didn't seem to. And Johnny's sister was one of those who came, and she was several years older than that, so she was semi-adult, you might say, in relation to us.

KL: Did John think it was a great idea right away?

CT: All my friends evidently did, because without me really proselytizing extensively, they all ended up being members of the judo clubs, which is very interesting.

KL: Yeah.

CT: They didn't all sustain the memberships as long, and none of them as long as I did. None of them reached a rank higher than brown belt, top brown belt rank, and I went on to fourth degree black belt. Yodan is the Japanese name for my rank.

KL: I'm curious about those older women who had been studying for a couple years, about their reception.

CT: I don't think of them as older women. [Laughs]

KL: Those brown belts, those female brown belts. I'll have to do some more reading and see how people in the judo community responded to them.

CT: Well, when we were practicing judo, we practiced with them equally, like with the other fellows. So we certainly didn't discriminate against them in any way. And some of them, being a little older, with a little more practice, some of them were actually a little bit better than us at first.

KL: Yeah, it'd be dangerous.

CT: 'Til we began to get our abilities enhanced.

KL: And you said you participated in a few competitions or tournament before Manzanar in Los Angeles?

CT: Yes. There were some sitting competitions, a few, that were held in the downtown dojo in Los Angeles. And we went to them several times, but then we also had our own more local competitions between more local judo groups.

KL: Was it mostly Caucasian students who came to those competitions?

CT: They were all Caucasian.

KL: All Caucasian. Something else I want to read more about, I mentioned to you last night about that African American student who supposedly studied in the '30s, and the Korean man that I saw --

CT: They were more rare. But nobody in judo would discriminate against them, because it wasn't a philosophy that taught you to discriminate against people or take advantage of them, it was quite the opposite. The "gentle way" was rather literally the philosophy of anybody who became involved in judo.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 2012 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 6>

KL: So I think it was in May of 1943, you all traveled to Manzanar. Do you remember Jack Sergil telling you that he wanted to take a group to Manzanar?

CT: Well, he said we had an opportunity to do that, and so the ones that were, you might say, the more active members of the judo club, which I was one of, he told them in particular, and arranged for ways for us to go to Manzanar which required pulling the A cards and things, C cards for gasoline, since it was rationed at that time. And a bunch up in... actually, our group, John Hamilton had a car, and we, about four of us piled in with him, and he took us up to Manzanar in his car, all of us chipping in on the gas price. And there was rationing, and so we had to use our rations also.

KL: Was it hard to collect enough rations?

CT: To...

KL: To collect enough rations?

CT: Not with the group we were. We were always pretty much the same mind on any of this kind of stuff. And we did take Johnny's sister, Janet, who was, became eventually brown belt, and followed it pretty much, she stuck with it pretty much.

KL: Did he need to make, did Sergil need to make other arrangements? Did he talk about asking permission?

CT: Permission to do what?

KL: To travel to Manzanar to visit?

CT: There was no permission, it was just a matter if you could scrounge up the gas to take you there. Jack's contacts with Mr. Murakmi kept him informed of what he was going on in Manzanar, and between them they arranged for our club to go up and practice with the Japanese Nisei at Manzanar.

KL: And this is Seigo Murakami, who was the judo teacher at Manzanar?

CT: Yes.

KL: Was he Jack Sergil's teacher?

CT: Yes.

KL: So maybe he, maybe it was Seigo Murakami who was talking to the camp director and others to arrange it.

CT: Yes, yeah. And they treated us very normally, same as we treated them. But they were, of course, happy to see there were some Americans that weren't prejudiced against them. And to us it was, there were the Japanese who were nationals from Japan who made a war against us, and then there were these other Japanese people that had lived in the, particularly the Los Angeles area who by presidential edict got moved out for a while, couple of years.

KL: Did any of the students or the teachers talk about their feelings about being at Manzanar during that exhibit?

CT: No.

KL: And it sounds like there weren't really any friendships between the students from Los Angeles and from Manzanar because you wouldn't have met in Los Angeles.

CT: There were friendships, there were other students and other friendships than my own personal group, so I can't speak for them. I can only say that our relations with everybody and their relations with us were normal. We didn't see why because Japan had decided to be warlike, didn't have anything to do with them.

KL: Were there any friendships other than Jack Sergil and Seigo Murakami, any other reunions at that exhibit?

CT: No, not that I ever knew of.

KL: So you were meeting people for the first time.

CT: Yeah.

KL: What do you remember about Murakami-sensei?

CT: Well, no, you see, he had gone to Manzanar, and I did not even meet him until I went to Manzanar, and then he was a very high official, and I was a very low brown belt kind of thing. And so I didn't get to meet him personally.

KL: Do you remember seeing him, did you watch him?

CT: I just remember bigwigs in judo that were segregated from the rest of us. And they were hobnobbing with each other, and we were beneath them. They were happy that we were there, of course.

KL: Did your mom think it was a good idea, this exhibition?

CT: My mom wasn't that way, she didn't worry her head about what I was doing. And I really honestly couldn't tell you what she thought, excepting that it was one of the things I was doing in my life. I guess it was something that wasn't a worrisome thing for her.

KL: She let you come.

CT: Yeah, so she did. And she was busy being a waitress, trying to do her part and keep the family going.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 2012 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 7>

KL: When you first arrived at Manzanar, what did you think of the camp? Do you remember your reaction?

CT: Well, we definitely thought it was an enclosure, a camp, and it was very obvious it was an entity. But we were accepted with open arms involved in the judo stuff. All Japanese weren't in judo. As a matter of fact, it was a fallacy in the American way of thinking, government and the military, that all the Japanese soldiers know judo. Because when I was overseas, I met a number of Japanese soldiers because I was in the hospital corps on Guam, and when they were injured, some of them would end up in the hospital. Then again, there were other things when we were building the hospital there, they had a work detail that included some of the Japanese prisoners, and I would talk to them, some of them would speak English, I spoke a little bit of Japanese, and I would talk to them, and very few of them took judo, where practically none of them, I knew more about it than almost all of them. There might be one or two in the group that had some kind of rank. And so it was a great fallacy that the Japanese soldier was an expert in martial arts, because it just wasn't so.

KL: But there was a big fear or concern about that in the United States.

CT: There was a big concern about it, but it was all mistaken ideas soldiers I talked to, and there were quite a few of them on Guam there, they were very impressed with the fact that I had a brown belt in judo at that time. Because that was more than most of them had, and it was more than most of them had, and it was the same judo association, the Kodo Kan Association, which Dr. Jigoro Kano headed up. He was an educator and doctor in education, and he became the tenth degree black belt, which is the highest anybody was at that time in judo. He was by far the world expert at judo.

KL: And how did people think about him in the judo community?

CT: Well, he was royalty. [Laughs] And I never got to meet him personally or anything. Because you have something that's significant like judo in your life, your life is much bigger than that, and you can't spend all your time just with that one thing, at least very few people do.

KL: We talked this a little bit last night, but in some of the newspapers, there were charges that at this tournament at Manzanar, people had bowed to a Japanese baron.

CT: We might have bowed to a picture of, photo of Kano, Dr. Kano, who was the father of judo, but it had nothing to do with a religious theme or anything like that. And the reason they bowed at judo was because it took the place of shaking hands. It was just simply a salutation, a greeting, of, "I respect you," and vice versa, and that's all there was to it. So it didn't have the significance of anything religious or anything that the Americans attached to it.

KL: The word "baron" was not something I had heard a lot about. Does that mean anything to you, if they would accuse people of bowing to a baron during the war?

CT: No. As a matter of fact, that's a misnomer. Nobody in judo or even in Japanese kingship, kingdom, they didn't have barons to my knowledge. They would have some other name for some other rank, and I have no reason to have learned those names, so I don't know.

KL: Was there a picture of Kano in most judo dojos?

CT: Well, no, because very few judo dojos were orthodox. They were usually places where you could get gym mats to put on the floor, and so you could practice judo there. And by the way, the mats were all we needed to practice judo. And the practice of judo made it so that you developed a technique of falling that was instinctive after that. If you did judo for six months, you became instinctively able to fall. And I have been fortunate all my life since then, whenever I fall, all I do is maybe get a little bruise or something, on some part that hit. But you have a tendency so that you fall with everything at once, and because of that, you don't concentrate all your fall on an elbow or an arm out here trying to stop you from falling. To the contrary, you don't worry about stopping, you just simply worrying about how you're going to arrange to hit the ground.

KL: What do you remember about the facilities at Manzanar? You mentioned needing mats.

CT: I remember the building had open sides all around, and as a matter of fact, in the diagram here in Manzanar, there's a little diagram of all the huts and everything, there is one in the middle outside, and I'm sure that was the building that we did judo in. And we found up in, when we drove here and we found the area marked off, and I even found my picture there, which was a big surprise to me.

KL: Yeah, the picture was taken at that exhibition, right?

CT: Yeah.

KL: You told me a name for the Manzanar dojo yesterday. Was it Shindo Kan?

CT: Shindo Kan. They called it that themselves, and they used the symbols for it. And it was a joke because the building was so rickety, it quaked and shaked, and the shindo means "shaking and quaking." So they called it the "school of shaking and quaking," what Shindo Kan meant. And it was a tongue-in-cheek joke among judo people here, about their dojo. So that's where the name came from.

KL: Was the exhibition several days?

CT: Exhibition? It was a contest. It wasn't an exhibition. And the people who watched it were just the people who lived here, plus what Caucasians were with us, and most of them were people who were practicing judo, or they didn't bother coming.

KL: How big was the crowd?

CT: Well, there were, I would say, probably twenty to fifty people milling around outside in the open. So it depends on what was going on inside. If we were just warming up and practicing or things like that, there wasn't much attention to it. And, of course, they all knew that we were visiting as a Caucasian group, and this was kind of interesting to them, I'm sure, and they wanted to take a look at us to see if we looked like normal Caucasians, I guess. So everything was very normal.

KL: Did people ask you what was happening in Los Angeles?

CT: No.

KL: When you had conversations with people, were they all about judo, or what did you talk about?

CT: Yeah, the people we talked to that were Japanese, Nisei here, we would be talking about judo. You have to remember, I was only one person out of the group, and I don't know what all the rest of them did or didn't do, because I wasn't always right with them in a group. We were closely so, but not that close.

KL: So there were a few people milling around while you were warming up, but then for the competition, were there more people who would come?

CT: Yeah, more people would come and watch the competition, yes, of course. You always have to warm up with judo, practice falling and stuff like that to get yourself in condition to be able to do it, to take the falls. And unlike most fighting techniques, judo is a technique of body throws, and so people are, it looks very violent because people are literally up in the air because of a fall, and it looks terrible, ways and everything. But because they know how to fall, and they're also, the person that's throwing them knows how to fall so they don't hurt 'em, so that their falling will be effective and nobody is hurt. I taught martial arts in the service part of the time for several months. When they discovered I knew it as well as I knew it, I taught in the service. And the biggest thing I taught was, the first thing I did was I taught 'em how to fall. Because if I teach you how to fall, you could practice these tricks on grass or sand or all kinds of places. But if you don't know how to fall you can't really practice them fully, like fully like you should. So the classes I had, I taught first how to fall and then I would show the various, some of the various body throws in judo. And they all liked the class, and the feedback I got was they liked it because I didn't look like I could do that. And they figured, "If he could do it, we could do it." I wasn't a real big athletic type, and yet I was, to them I was like a black belt, which I wasn't at that time, I was a brown belt, but to them I was the local expert. And the staff where I taught the military staff, they wanted to keep me in teaching, but I was on an overseas draft, and that comes from the Bureau of the Navy, and locally they can't touch the people in a draft, they all go together, so they couldn't keep me. But they wanted me to stay teaching.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 2012 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 8>

KL: Did you move up in rank at the Manzanar contest?

CT: I just moved up in rank after the war and we got back to doing regular week to week judo and stuff like that. Because of the things I had done, abilities I had achieved, they raised my rank up to black belt, and eventually up. The United States Judo Association also were the ones that raised my rank to fourth degree.

KL: I've read that sometimes in judo contests there are maybe three matches or four matches happening at the same time. Was that true of Manzanar, was there space?

CT: Yes, not three or four, but two maybe. If it was a more important match between black belts or somebody who was really special, there wouldn't be. But otherwise, these things were fairly common, and so there would be maybe two guys, four people engaged in judo.

KL: Do you remember watching any of those black belt matches, or any really exciting matches at Manzanar?

CT: Yeah, well, I witnessed a few, and I like I say is, everything happens all of a sudden. Unless you're talking about mat work in judo, where you're holding somebody down on the mat.

KL: No, I was curious about during a contest.

CT: That's slow and everything. But the standing judo is always, either nothing's happening or somebody is flying through the air.

KL: Was there a highlight or a most exciting match of the Manzanar contest?

CT: Yeah, but I think those matches were between the Japanese who were already up there, because they were the ones with the higher black belt degrees. I don't think I hardly knew anybody except Jack Sergil, who was higher than a second degree black belt at those times.

KL: It sounds like it was exciting to get to watch that level of competition.

CT: Yeah. It was more exciting if you were working with one of them and you suddenly found yourself flying through the air.

KL: I saw some pictures, I think, from that competition, I'll show you, here's the dojo.

CT: Yeah, that's the building with the open sides. There's panels that close up the sides. And, of course, there's always zillions of kids that are involved, and they take up a lot of time and space.

KL: And then I saw pictures also of Jack Sergil and others back by the mountains. Do you remember the mountains during the tournament, during the contest?

CT: The...

KL: The mountains at camp. Looks like Jack Sergil with a dog and he's back in front of the mountains. Did you guys go hiking or anything?

CT: No.

KL: Do you remember any other parts of the camp other than the dojo?

CT: No, we were there for that and went to... well, we went and ate somewhere, and it wasn't there because that was all mat on the floor. But I can't tell you, it was just some building.

KL: All of you together?

CT: Yes. We were always together. We didn't get any strange looks from people in the camp. They more or less accepted the fact we considered them normal like they did us, so our relations were on a very normal plane.

KL: I've read that judo participants in Manzanar, the Japanese American participants, became part of a peacekeeping group. Did you have any sense of how judo fit in to life in camp?

CT: No, no. I don't think... maybe Jack Sergil had done some of that, but it didn't include the rest of us particularly. Because after all, we were at best just young adults, and he was like twenty years older than we were. He accepted us on a judo plane, but on an adult plane, I don't know.

KL: What do you know about...

CT: He told me... you make me think of Jack when he was a policeman, and he told me several instance while he was a policeman where he had to use judo. And one in particular he told me, which was very amusing, was he got out to arrest some, in this case it was a black guy in a neighborhood like that, and this black guy I guess had been a boxer or something like that. And he was going to square away into a boxing stance to take Jack on. And Jack said when he took the step forward for the stance, he just said, "I swept his foot out from under him, he landed on the ground looking up at me and he says, 'Man, you do the ask and I'll do the answering.'" [Laughs]

KL: Any others that you remember about him using judo as a police officer?

CT: That's the only... I remember him telling me about that, it was so funny.

KL: Well, it sounds like he thought it was usual --

CT: But it's typical of judo in action, especially to someone that doesn't know anything about it. And I've worked with a boxer one time, he wanted to see what boxing could do with judo, and I wanted to see without us beating on each other what judo could do with a boxer. And the sum total of it was every time he got near me, I'd take his feet out from under him. He said he had a hard time getting where he could really take a blow in, because judo emphasized so much the ability to sweep people's feet out and off balance, their body.

<End Segment 8> - Copyright © 2012 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 9>

KL: When you got back to Los Angeles, did Jack talk at all about the fallout from the newspapers criticizing the tournament or the response of the --

CT: Well, of course, we were getting the same papers. And it was interesting lesson in what papers were truthful and what papers weren't, because you were an expert on one side yourself, and you could see what papers, without knowing what was going on, went down the middle, which was reasonable. And these other papers parroted this one supervisor that made a big to-do about it, and dreamt up the craziest fallacies.

KL: Within the police department, the police commissioner?

CT: I don't think the commissioner himself... I don't know as that guy was a commissioner or an advisor to the commissioner, but he was in the government. And you have to read the newspaper things there and you find out he didn't know what the hell he was talking about from the word go.

KL: Was it the Examiner that covered a lot, carried a lot of that?

CT: Yeah, then, and they considered, he considered judo a religion or something like that, and the bowing especially was a foreign kind of obeisance, which a lot of people didn't understand. That's about all I can tell you.


KL: We were talking about Jack Sergil's kind of reaction to the competition at Manzanar in the newspapers, and Jack Sergil's response to that controversy. Did Sergil talk with you students about the newspaper coverage at all, or the controversy?

CT: Well, of course, as I said, it was one thing to live through it and have these newspapers come out talking about something you really knew about. And very few of us know much about the things the newspapers do write about. And when you really know the facts like we did in this case, I think it was the Los Angeles Daily News, one of them was very, pretty much factual, one newspaper was, and the other two of them were, they'd print anything that anybody said about, worrying about the facts or anything else. The more horrendous they could make it, like women students exchanging holds with Japanese internees, in those words, is an example of the... at least several women, I remember, that were in our group doing judo like the rest of us.

KL: Was there an audience for that? Do you think there were people who took that seriously?

CT: Oh, yes. Because several people asked me about it, and I'd have to kind of take it, straighten them out on what it was really all about. It was just amazing how a newspaper can manipulate a story. It was not false, it was if you put exaggerations in the wrong place, people get the wrong idea, it's that simple, which is what they did.

KL: What were the other two big papers?

CT: Oh, the Times, the Daily News, and the Herald Examiner, I think, were the three papers.

KL: What was Sergil's response?

CT: Well, disgust at the to-do that they were making about what was really a simple exercise in an athletic activity. I don't do other sports because I did, what, sixty years of doing judo, and that was the sport that I was involved in and that I'm an expert on. But the other sports just don't have anything that interest me much.

KL: Are you aware of whether Jack Sergil changed career fields, of whether this Manzanar tournament and the newspaper had any coverage that had any effect on his decision to leave the police force?

CT: Well, I guess it did. But I think what happened was when he got working with Jim Cagney, as a matter of fact, I can remember the night that Jim Cagney showed up at the dojo and sat in the bleachers watching us, because I didn't know anything about that, and I don't even know whether at that point Jack knew anything about it. But all I know was one night, in the bleachers, which were like steps that we had that went into the dojo on Thirty-fifth Place there, one night there was Jim Cagney sitting there watching us, and he did it two times and then Jack got to talking with him and everything. And that's when he and Jack got in... what Cagney was looking for was somebody to take the place of this Japanese police captain in the movie Blood on the Sun. And when he saw Jack and what he was doing with the judo and stuff like that, he hired Jack to teach him judo enough so that he could really do something, and also learn to participate in the action of the judo. And so they made Jack up as much more Japanese looking and everything, and he played the part of Captain Oshima and got in a to-do with Cagney on it. But afterwards, as I understand it, Kenneth Kuniyuki, who was one of the sixth degree black belts and the only Japanese I never knew people didn't like, his wife was a worker for the family, Cagney's family. She was, I don't know, a cook or something like that around the house, and her ex-husband came and caused problems at the Cagneys' house, and I guess Jack had to kind of evict him. And that must have been something to see, because this particular Japanese guy was a real expert at judo.

KL: Her ex-husband was Kuniyuki?

CT: Kuniyuki is his name, Kenneth Kuniyuki. And I never met him, but he was originally the teacher of Seinan Dojo, and he didn't come back after the war. At any rate, then Cagney I guess became interested enough in it, so he sort of hired Jack to come in and tutor him.

KL: Do you think she connected them?

CT: After the picture, after the picture, teach him more judo. And Jack ended up as awarding him a black belt at the end of it, which I think was a little bit uncalled for. But I think he was making money in getting into the movies, and he didn't need the police department and all the guff they were giving him about it. Because he appeared in about three or four pictures after that.

KL: Oh, a lot.

CT: In other ways.

KL: That's interesting that that woman, I guess she was Japanese American woman, who was the cook for James Cagney, had that connection to the judo world. I wonder if he asked her about dojos or where he could get training.

CT: Well, I'm sure Jack had met her in relation to his part. I suppose that Kenneth Kuniyuki was one of Jack's teachers at a point there, before things went down the tubes.

KL: I would guess so, if he asked him to take over the dojo.

CT: Yeah, well, Jack was the highest member of the club there, the only black belt.

KL: I've read the Blood on the Sun, that the fight scenes were incredible. That if there had been Academy Awards for fight scenes, it probably would have done well. And I've also read that it was a war film about Japan, but less racist than a lot of the other films. What did you think of the film?

CT: They did a real good job. I mean, he could teach anybody how to fall and how to take falls in judo given a little bit of time and the chance to teach it to 'em, and they did that with Cagney. And so once he did that, I guess Cagney was interested enough to continue doing it somewhat with a private teacher, meaning Jack. And that kept him where he had his contacts into the movie world so that he could make other pictures. But, of course, the other pictures had nothing to do with judo or Japanese or anything like that that he made. His biggest movie name was John Halloran, not Jack Sergil, John Halloran. Why he changed his name just because he was, I don't know, maybe because he got away from the stigma he'd gotten with the police department on judo.

KL: What did you think of him as a teacher?

CT: Oh, he was a great teacher. He was a lot of fun to be around, and I have pictures of me throwing him, and he weighed two hundred and twenty pounds, and I weighed a little more than I do now, but never over a hundred and seventy. And Jack was always fun to be around, he was like a big kid.

KL: Is it expected in judo that you will learn to teach if you go high enough?

CT: Oh, no, if you're black belt, it means teacher. A dan grade as opposed to kyu grade is brown belt, dan grade is black belt, and once you're shodan, which is the first black belt, why, you're a teacher officially.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright © 2012 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 10>

KL: I want to ask you about your experiences in the navy, and I know you taught there, so let's move into that. How did you come to be in the navy?

CT: They drafted me. And I asked for... everybody I knew that got drafted was stuck in the army no matter what they asked for, and how they put me in the navy because I asked for it, I don't know.

KL: Where did you go first in the navy?

CT: Farragut, Idaho, in the middle of the winter, which is about like being here in the middle of winter.

KL: What year was that?

CT: Somewhere down in there. And I didn't do any judo in boot camp because I was too busy being in the navy. But later after I got out and got stationed back in Los Angeles where I had my old connections again, then I could get back into judo which I did do.

And that's where the navy learned that I knew something about martial arts, and assigned me to teaching judo, teaching hand to hand combat, actually, is what I taught then. And I taught it for about three months, and then this draft I was on got shipped overseas and me along with it.

KL: Were people assigned to you for teaching or did they choose to...

CT: No, they wanted me to, once they knew I knew it, they wanted me to teach. The guy that was teaching, it was really funny because I went to this class behind the navy, I went to this class in self-defense. And so a lot of the guys that were in the class with me knew that I did judo and everything, and he was talking about this and that, and these guys were snickering, making points at me and stuff like that, and he finally stopped and he said, "What's going on here with you guys?" And they said, "He knows more about than you do." He says, "Oh, yeah?" He says, "Show me." So I got up and I showed him. He took me by the hand up to the top executive officer and says, "I want this guy to teach instead of me."

KL: So they were very receptive in the navy. They didn't have those concerns that L.A. government or police had.

CT: So I ended up teaching hand to hand combat, which was mostly based on judo, but I had to enlarge it to include knives and weapons.

KL: And that was in Long Beach? And I did this every day for about three months. And they wanted to keep me but they couldn't. I had to go to Guam, that was the draft I was on, so I did.

KL: Did you start learning Japanese language in Los Angeles, too?

CT: A little bit, yeah. I got interested in it and I also was rated as a Japanese interpreter when I was in the navy, it's on my record.

KL: Did you get navy training?

CT: Well, yeah, the usual navy training in Farragut, Idaho.

KL: I mean for language.

CT: No. Well, yes, I did take a course in Japanese that they were teaching. I heard about it and I did take that course, but it wasn't long enough to amount to much more than I already knew. But I did learn more about it, and when I was in Tokyo, when I would speak to the people of Tokyo, they said I spoke excellent Japanese. And then they would answer me and I wouldn't understand them. The reason was because they would speak colloquial Japanese, and they're not the same. [Laughs] So it was very disconcerting because I think I must be really screwing it up. "No, no, you talk beautiful."

KL: From the book, right? [Laughs]

CT: Well, but I didn't, I hadn't got enough of it that I knew any slang or regular language that they used.

KL: So you were an interpreter in Guam?

CT: Yes, at a prison. I was at a fleet hospital, and I would take any Japanese prisoners and take 'em to, "This is your bed, this is where you go to the john, this is what you can do, what you can't do." And if they had a problem with communicating, they'd call me in to the staff. And so I did act as an interpreter for a number of Jap prisoners in the fleet hospital that we built there in the jungle.

KL: What was their attitude, the prisoners?

CT: Oh, they were friendly, they were very friendly. Because I would talk straight with them, and they would recognize that right away.

KL: They weren't scared? They weren't afraid or angry?

CT: No, no. The other patients, of course, were very, they kind of got mad at me because I'd go in and talk to 'em, but it was a chance for me to talk Japanese, so I would go and I would visit them. It was like I was a friend, but I was there because I was increasing my abilities in Japanese.

KL: What did the other people who worked with you in your division --

CT: Oh, they knew me, they understood.

<End Segment 10> - Copyright © 2012 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 11>

KL: And then from Guam, how long were you in Guam, about a year?

CT: Almost a year.

KL: What happened next?

CT: Then I went to Iwo Jima. And I was there about forty days or something and then it was the end of the war. The war came to an end. But Iwo Jima is an island that has all the vegetation blown off it when I was there. There was so much shell fire into that island, nothing was left. Well, there was maybe a couple of big tree trunks where they had shrapnel in 'em and stuff, and I've been up where they show the guys raising the flag on Mt. Suribachi, I was up there before they did it. Because they did that as a, I guess it really happened and then they did it as a thing to take pictures of. And then between time I was...

KL: What do you remember about the end of the fighting in Europe?

CT: The fighting in Europe?

KL: About the end of fighting in Europe. Was there a Victory in Europe Day in the Pacific?

CT: Well, our concern was totally the Pacific. To any of us at least in the navy and where I was, Europe meant nothing to us, it was just items in the newspaper, or would be the local government paper that we got at the fleet hospital.

KL: So you were there on Iwo Jima during the fighting?

CT: No, after. Nobody was there during the fighting, they were blowing everything off. The Japs were underneath the ground, and they'd been underground there, there was a Japanese dead soldier there.

KL: It seems like a hard environment.

CT: Yeah. So anyway... the thing about judo is you think about it as fighting, but judo as a philosophy, as a way of living, the Gentle Way is the meaning of judo, and that's the way it teaches you to live. You're not supposed to take... it imbues people with the knowledge you gain in learning the martial art side of judo. But the other side of it is the intellectual side, too, which is to treat everybody in a friendly manner if possible. It isn't always possible, but it can be.

KL: Did that fit in well with your time in the military or was that a problem, that philosophy?

CT: It wasn't for me, because that sort of fit my nature. For somebody who was an expert in fighting, my nature is quite the opposite. That's just the way it is. I happened to get in positions where I was exposed to that judo, and it was so fascinating that I gravitated to it. And out of all my friends who all joined the judo societies, I was the only one who really stuck it out and went up into the black belt ranks.

KL: Yeah, and I wanted to ask you about that. Let me ask you one more thing. You said when you were in the Pacific you were focused on the war in Pacific, and the end of that war. What do you remember about the atomic bombs and about the Japanese surrender?

CT: Well, the atomic bomb was, I guess I was on Guam at that point, because I went to Iwo Jima and then the war came to an end pretty quickly. It was a big thrill to think that they had made something so sophisticated technically, and especially to me because my background otherwise was always scientific.

KL: In physics.

CT: In physics, yeah. And so this was all. But it's, also it's a big danger. Nuclear power is such a big power. Luckily the world has been afraid of it enough to pretty much keep a lid on it. I wonder if it'll always stay that way though.

KL: Did you have that worry right away when you learned of the atomic bombs?

CT: Not right away because were interested in putting an end to the war, and that put an end to the war in a hurry.

KL: And then you went -- oh, go ahead.

CT: Well, anyway, as I said, the main thing to me in judo being gentle, ju is "gentle," do is "way," is a way of life. And that's the way the people who started it meant for it to be. And there's a way of life that you do this wonderful art of self-defense, and it is self-defense because you want them to initiate the first action since you don't have an, you could use it, but you don't normally start an aggression. But you want to be able to respond to it, so therefore you have to be very knowledgeable about following through with somebody else's action.

<End Segment 11> - Copyright © 2012 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 12>

KL: Tell me about gaining your black belt.

CT: Well...

KL: You said it was on your way back from the Pacific.

CT: Well, they gave me one at Tokyo at the Kodo Kan. As I was gonna leave, because I was only there off a ship for a few days, and I was lucky to even be there at all. And they knew I was going to have to go, I wasn't going to be able to hang around.

KL: Why was your ship in Tokyo? Why was your ship in Tokyo?

CT: Oh, it was a ship that was taking us after the war back to the States. And the ship went down to Okinawa to pick up a few more people to bring back, and got down there and the propeller got all screwed up, and they couldn't make the trip across, they had to tow us all the way back to Tokyo. So there I was back in Tokyo again, and so I took advantage of... I was smart enough to take and get a job on the ship, and all the people who were workers on the ship got night, overnight liberty, so I got to go out into the town, which I did. And that was where I, right away I made a beeline to the Kodo Kan and met everybody there, Mr. Ito in particular, who was a fifth degree black belt at the time. And he and I got along real good and I practiced, they got a gi for me, the gi is clothing. They got a gi for me and I practiced judo with them and they were impressed enough because Jack did legitimate, our club was a legitimate club. And they gave me a black belt and he said to, "Give this to your teacher," and I was number one. And then the United States Judo Association, because I'd been in judo so long, was making corrections for all of the people that had been kind of passing by on things. So they put out a bunch of corrective boosts to people in the black belt, and they bumped me up to fourth degree because I'd been so long doing it. And I just wasn't... if you're the head of a club, who is there over you to raise your rank? It has to be somebody in the association to do that.

KL: Did you teach? What was your involvement with judo when you came back from World War II?

CT: Well, I went back to the judo club.

KL: To Seinan?

CT: Black belt and taught, just like anybody else. I've done martial arts for sixty years all told.

KL: Was it always with Southwest?

CT: I finally quit when I was eighty, and the reason I quit was I was doing ballroom dancing with my wife. And if you really put your heart into ballroom dancing, you can get a lot of exercise out of it because you go like this and you're moving around as well as the dancing. And it also seemed to me at eighty I had to consider that I don't know what my bones were going to do on some of the hard knocks you take in judo. What might come apart and stay apart, so I decided it might be smarter if I just don't spent my time doing judo anymore, but get enough exercise with dance.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright © 2012 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 13>

KL: How has judo changed over the years in terms of philosophy or people who were interested?

CT: No, I don't think it did change. I don't think it changed, it's just different teachers. Teachers have different natures, some of them are just strictly out to teach martial arts, fighting. And that's not the true spirit of judo. And others are very more aesthetic about it, more like I am, and that is to teach the philosophy of judo as well as the self-defense.

KL: Did you teach at Seinan Dojo?

CT: Yes.

KL: So you were always involved in that same dojo?

CT: Yes.

KL: And you were talking last night about how popular judo is. Is that a change since the '40s?

CT: judo is fairly popular now. It was reasonably popular then because all my friends, once I was into it and explained it and they saw it, they all joined.

KL: Did women continue to practice judo in the 1950s and '60s?

CT: Yeah.

KL: How did that change or was it the same?

CT: But, of course, there is other martial arts, and tae kwan do, for example, became the big thing, because this was a money maker, and the Koreans were always looking for a way to make money. So whereas judo they didn't charge hardly anything to be in a judo club. The idea was you weren't there to make money, you were there to teach judo. But the Koreans were there to make money, and so they popularized tae kwan do and things like that, and judo went right on ignoring everything, quietly doing its doing. And the jujitsu clubs also popularized it a little bit, too, because they didn't have the same philosophy that was part of the judo regime.

KL: When Japanese American teachers and students came back to Los Angeles...

CT: Japanese were teaching judo, but it was the Koreans that came in that taught the other martial arts, and they were used to making money, and you weren't supposed to make a lot of personal money teaching judo. That wasn't what it was for. And so it was quite different, and it was a little disappointing because the public still doesn't know anything about judo hardly, and they're all into these other, more violent, attractive martial arts. And the thing is, learning judo, you pick up all this other stuff a lot as you're going along, and I did, too, in jujitsu. They gave me a sixth degree in black belt.

KL: Something you're talking about with different national groups and different sports and stuff made me curious about how Little Tokyo changed, the area around Seinan Dojo and the Japanese section of Los Angeles. How is that different in 1942 to right after World War II to now?

CT: Well, I think that judo people always were on the quiet side, they weren't supposed to be making big money. They didn't. In the meantime, the other groups had no such restriction, and so the teachers would sock it for all they could get out of it, and that's the way... the Americans were used to boxing, and it's a fisticuffs thing, it's a striking thing that made sense to them, so tae kwan do and some of those kicking and stuff like that are very palatable to the American mind when it comes to that.

KL: Do you think that white and black Americans and Koreans, there were more people coming to the Japanese section of town even? Did that part of town change after World War II?

CT: I can't tell you that because the club I was in, the dojo I was in, I was doing judo like you're supposed to do it.

KL: I do have one more question and then I know Mark has some. My question is about your visit to Manzanar. This is the first time you've been back here since that tournament. What have you noticed about the site or what have been your thoughts?

CT: All the houses are gone. [Laughs]

KL: It looks a little different, I'm sure.

CT: And I noticed there are no Japanese around. I'm surprised you don't have at least one on your staff.

KL: Our superintendent is actually Japanese, but he's on vacation this week. He'll be sad he missed you. Well, he's third-generation Japanese American. Anything else that stuck out when you went out to the dojo site?

CT: No, it was reminiscing. When you go out and see where, we finally found out where the place I practiced was, and you had the picture of the whole group there, got to see ourselves in the picture and stuff like that, I was very honored.

KL: Well, we're really grateful to you for coming out and doing this interview, I am personally and I know the Historic Site is, too.

CT: The only thing I could do more for you now would be to start teaching you judo.

KL: Yeah, well, stick around. Let me, I know Mark has some questions, and then I'll give you a chance to add anything.

<End Segment 13> - Copyright © 2012 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 14>

MH: I have two questions. How old were you when you came to Manzanar during that period?

CT: About seventeen, eighteen.

MH: Okay. And my other question is, did you have any interaction with the camp administration?

CT: No, excepting that they let us in because I guess there were no restrictions that would prevent people from visiting the camp. He had to get special... he wrote ahead, Jack, and got special permission and stuff like that. And I had the same reaction, when I used to take the prisoners at the fleet hospital and I'd go in and tell 'em what they're doing and everything, the guys there would have real nasty looks on their faces, you know. They couldn't understand somebody who would talk to the Japanese. But the only way you learn Japanese was to talk to Japanese.

MH: So how long were you here?

CT: Originally when we were here? I honestly can't tell you whether we were just here for one day or we stayed over for another day, because I can't think of where were we if we stayed over. Nothing comes to my mind as to a motel or something like that.

KL: Somewhere I have a picture from Roy Murakami's scrapbook, and it says, "At Independence," and it's the group of you, I don't know if it was lunch or if it was a hotel. And sadly, we will have to look at it off camera, because I thought it was in this book together. Oh, you know what? It's right here. I had it handy, and then I lost it. But this is the picture that looks interesting.

CT: Oh. Yeah, there's Jack and there's me there. Yeah, I don't have this picture. I'd like to get a copy of this.

KL: Sure.

CT: You said you'd give me a package.

KL: And these are the pictures that I found of, like here's Jack with the dog and the mountains, and these look like baby goats. I don't know if people were raising goats at Manzanar, or if this was in Independence.

CT: I don't recall anything about goats. Here's some of the girls doing judo.

KL: But you have no memories of Independence or Lone Pine, really.

CT: No.

KL: And here's this other person that I thought was interesting, his name is Cho Sa something, and it says, "Korean." And this is at Manzanar, right?

CT: Yeah, that's a group I had nothing to do with. Yeah, I'm in these pictures here. There should be another woman. I don't recognize her.

KL: Is she Tish? I think it says Tish.

CT: Tish? Oh, that's his wife.

KL: Jack's wife?

CT: Jack's wife. That's why I didn't recognize her.

<End Segment 14> - Copyright © 2012 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 15>

MH: Something I'd like to get on tape also is I want to go all the way back to the beginning of our interview today. You spoke of your mother but I never got her first name.

CT: Ella.

MH: Ella. You spoke of your brother, but I did not recall his name.

CT: Cliff. Clifford, actually, we called him Clifford.

MH: And did you have any other brothers and sisters?

CT: Well, there was one brother that died as an infant, and his name was Richard, but he was barely born I guess, or something.

MH: So you spoke often of your brother, so it was just the two of you.

CT: And my mother, yes. My mother was, her family, mother and father were, came from Germany, and so she was pretty much all German. And my father was Scotch Irish, so I'm kind of half German, half Scotch Irish.

MH: And though you spoke of him dying at a very young age for yourself, what was his first name?

CT: Verne.

MH: Verne.

CT: Verne, yeah, same as my nephew. Some nurse fell asleep at night and didn't call people when they needed to be called. By morning, why, he was too far... in those days they didn't have penicillin, so he was too far poisoned by what happened, and didn't survive.

MH: That's all the questions I have.

KL: Is there anything else you want to add, something we didn't ask about that you think is important?

CT: No, I think I managed to pretty much cover the fact that the people here were all peaceful. With the possible exception of Kenneth Kuniyuki, and I don't know that he was in this camp. He was in another camp, and he was the only Japanese I ever knew that nobody liked. Anyway, that's neither here nor there now.

KL: I'm curious about him now, I'm going to have to look into him more.

CT: I guess he and Jack must have got into a big fight at Jimmy Cagney's place. That would have been something to see.

KL: Well, thank you again, we have some papers and stuff to look at.

CT: Well, thank you both for inviting me, and I'm glad I'm, happy to take and fill in historical material for you, but more of a personal touch on it.

KL: Especially since it shows those connections from before the war that people had across nationalities and across races. I think that's an important part of the story.

CT: And the reason it's not more known and more popular is because the judo people have always played it down and not pushed it and commercialized it. And for that reason, it's unfortunate because it's much more a useful martial art than the others are. As a matter of fact, you can get yourself put in jail for striking people, and there's no law against the things you can do from judo, not unless you use the strangling.

KL: [Laughs] That wouldn't be very, I don't know, peaceful, responsive, non-aggressive.

MH: I just want to say that on behalf of the National Park Service, we really appreciate you coming here today and sharing your recollections. It'll really benefit our oral history project, so once again, thank you very much.

CT: The honor is mine.

<End Segment 15> - Copyright © 2012 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.