Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Frank Miyamoto Interview III
Narrator: Frank Miyamoto
Interviewer: Stephen Fugita
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: April 29, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-mfrank-03-0015

FM: I think we were fairly straightforward in clarifying our mission. The evacuation was a forced migration of a population, and the question was what would happen to this population because of this kind of circumstance? And that we were trying to study what the effect of this detention, the evacuation and detention was on the population. We simply indicated that that was what we were trying to study. And people seemed to accept that as not an unreasonable proposition. But, the suspicion, nevertheless, existed that we were doing something other, more underhanded, than we were claiming to be.

SF: So it must have been hard to be an unobtrusive observer occasionally?

FM: Oh yeah. We tried. [Laughs] We pretty much openly did what we needed to do. We attended meetings and we made no effort to hide what we were doing. We obviously didn't keep notes in public, things like that. And when there was a riot going on -- there was a potential work stoppage, a strike that was brewing in the farm crew one time -- and Shibutani and I tried to dress up in apparel which would make us least apparent as someone other than a worker who was milling around with the other farmers. But as one of our colleagues, who was with the farm crew, said later, "You guys just stood out, like sore thumbs!" [Laughs] And I guess that was probably true. But on the whole we made no pretense of what we were doing, other than that we were trying to get information, as much as we could, from the community.

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