Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Yosh Nakamura Interview
Narrator: Yosh Nakamura
Interviewer: Sharon Yamato
Location: Whittier, California
Date: January 25, 2012
Densho ID: denshovh-nyosh_2-01-0008

YN: And I would say that when we got to Tulare at the train station, we had to get off and carry our things we could carry and march, walk into the town to the racetrack. People came out as if it was some kind of parade, but a parade with soldiers on the sides, with their bayonets up, and it was just a very humiliating experience. I don't think the people knew what was happening. They probably thought we did something terrible. As you know, in spite of all the propaganda saying that we were responsible for something having to do with Pearl Harbor, not one single Japanese American was ever convicted for an unlawful disloyal act in the United States or in its territories, either before or after, or during the war. So the suspicions were based primarily on our physical appearance, and at the time the Chinese didn't want to be known as Japanese, so they had signs saying "I'm Chinese American," that sort of thing. But if you look Oriental you're under suspicion. Then if your name is Nakamura or some Japanese name, even more so. But in this case, we had to march in and it was just, even at the age of sixteen, it was just a terrible thing. It was, as Grace mentioned, people had to carry their things, so as we think about families where they had youngsters and they had to carry the things for the youngsters as well as for themselves. It was a terrible, terrible experience.

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