Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Rudy Tokiwa Interview I
Narrator: Rudy Tokiwa
Interviewers: Tom Ikeda (primary), Judy Niizawa (secondary)
Location: University of California, Los Angeles
Date: September 13, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-trudy-01-0005

RT: And he come in there -- we were sittin' there -- and he comes in and he says, "What in the hell are you son of a bitches doin' in my office?" So we said, "Sir, we had a nine o'clock appointment with you to talk about the redress." And his answer to that was, "My goddamned government doesn't have to apologize to any son of a bitch. You understand what I'm sayin?" So we said, "Yes." He says, "Then what the hell are you still sittin' here for? I want you guys to just get the hell out of my office." So two of them stood up and they started to walk out, and I stayed there; and he turned around and looked at me, and he said, "What the hell are you still doin' here?" ... I turned around and I said to him, "Sir, I just want to thank you." And he said, "Thank me for what? I'm not going to do a goddamned thing for you guys." And I says, "No sir," I says, "I wanted to thank you because you became a congressman right after the war ended. And you're still a congressman. And I happen to know you have a wound just like mine, so when you wake up in the damn mornings, you hurt like a son of a bitch." And I says, "Sir, even with that, you take all this pain and everything, to help run our government." So I said, "I'd like to certainly thank you, you're a damn good man." And I looked at him and I could see his eyes got a little watery and I thought to myself, "I think I've got this son of a bitch." [Laughs] And so I says, "Sir," I says, "I'd like to say thank you and I'll shake your hand," and I shook his hand and I walked out.


And they announced for him to go up to the podium, and that he has three minutes to talk against the redress bill. So he got up -- and I was watching and as he walked down the aisle between the seats, I saw him, he looked up and he stopped once and he stood there for a while, and all of a sudden he walked to the end of the row, went down the stairs, and instead of taking a step up to the podium he went right out the door. And I was confused, I was sittin' up there -- what the hell is he doing? He was supposed to talk for three minutes against the redress, and I couldn't understand that, until I looked at... you know, in the House there, they have all the congressmen's name and at the end of each row, there's a blue button, there's a red button. Red button, you're against; blue button, you're for. I see, I looked at his name and he's voted for the redress bill.

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