Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Frank Isamu Kikuchi Interview
Narrator: Frank Isamu Kikuchi
Interviewer: John Allen
Date: November 6, 2002
Densho ID: denshovh-kfrank_2-01-0012

<Begin Segment 12>

JA: You said you were a Boy Scout?

FK: Yeah, I was with Troop 145 at Maryknoll, and I was a Star Scout, and I was in a senior group. I was, at the outbreak of war I was a junior assistant scoutmaster and I also was a bugler. I... I remember I used to blow the bugle calls when there was a district meeting of all the, our district, and they needed somebody to blow all the calls where they would, I'd have to go to those meetings and blow 'em because I had taken bugling as one of the things for a merit badge, so I knew all the calls. I used to go and... I also was playing with the Maryknoll Boy Scouts drum and bugle corps. With all that experience, I guess when we were in camp I brought my pretty brand-new uniform because I had long gray khaki pants and a heavy shirt, and I took it as part of the clothing I took because it's practical. And, hey, what do you know, on Armistice Day in 1942, the administration called for a flag ceremony and they wanted somebody to blow taps, so I blew it. And there's a picture of me at the museum, a pretty good picture, it's about twice as big as this lamp, and it shows me blowing taps but everybody's got their head down, all the other scouts and the flag, the flag bearers have their heads bowed down, so I know it's taps.

JA: Where is the original of that picture? Do you have a copy of that?

FK: No, but there's a --

JA: Was that one that Toyo Miyatake took?

FK: No, Toyo didn't take that, but there is the name of the person that took that picture. It's in the archives of the museum. And also it's in one of their books, too, that's right on the, in the lobby. I didn't know that was there until I looked at it one day and I said, "Hey, that's me." I could tell because we had a distinctive neckerchief, we had a hand-embroidered neckerchief, because we're the oldest Japanese troop in this country, where our neckerchiefs are handmade and embroidered, and all the other scouts there have a stock off-the-shelf type of neckerchief and I knew that was me, the 145. And looking at it, you can see my insignia on my arm, so I knew that was me. And they made a... I'm sort of the butt of jokes at the museum now just because of that, but that's me all right.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright © 2002 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.