Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Shosuke Sasaki Interview
Narrator: Shosuke Sasaki
Interviewers: Frank Abe (primary), Stephen Fugita (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: May 18, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-sshosuke-01-0026

SS: Well, I got -- at Standard and Poor's was one unit, a Newspaper Guild unit representing the Standard and Poor's group. In time they came, they asked me if I would serve as an alternate delegate to the monthly meeting of the guild organization, representing the guild. And when they asked me if I would become an alternate delegate, I said, "Well, might as well." So I did. And when I went to those meetings as an alternate delegate, I learned that the guild had a provision already enacted stating themselves to be against the use of derogatory epithets in American publications. So I asked them, "How about the word 'Jap'? It's not in the prohibited list," and they said, "Well, I guess that's because we never thought about it. Nobody asked." So I said, "Well I'm asking right now that that be on the..." [Laughs] They took it up with the next guild executive committee meeting and they put the word "Jap" there on the proscribed list. And not only that, they thought that was such a good idea, that they volunteered to bring it up at the national guild convention that was being held in the autumn of that year in Portland and so they revised my original proposal a little bit. No real substantive change and they presented it with the backing of the Standard and Poor's unit and they passed the thing applying on a national basis. And that's what really did the trick. That piece of news got into practically every newspaper in the country.

FA: Really?

SS: Yeah.

FA: It was the first?

SS: First time any organization had come out in open opposition to the use of the word "Jap."

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