Presidential Dialogue Series: Through the Lens of Difference: Re-Narrating the Nation

Presidential Dialogue Series: Through the Lens of Difference: Re-Narrating the Nation


FOR PEOPLE OF JAPANESE DESCENT, THIS WAS DRAMATIZED DURING WORLD WAR II WHEN THE US GOVERNMENT RELOCATED THEM INTO CAMPS AND THEY SAID INCARCERATED THEM WITHOUT CHARGES. MANY OF THEM WERE AMERICAN BORN AND SOME WERE NATURALIZED CITIZENS, OTHERS WERE IMMIGRANTS WITH PERMISSION TO WORK. REGARDLESS OF STATUS, ALL PEOPLE OF JAPANESE DESCENT WERE REQUIRED TO REPORT TO THE US GOVERNMENTS CUSTODY AND PARTS OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE WEST. SOME OF THEM STAYED FOR MONTHS AND OTHERS FOR YEARS. MANY LOST HOMES, BUSINESSES AND LOVED ONES WHILE IN CUSTODY. BUT THIS VIOLATION BY THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, WAS ONLY PART OF THEIR STORY. EVEN BEFORE THE WAR, JAPANESE-AMERICANS FACED LEGAL BARRIERS TO OWNING PROPERTY, MARRYING FREELY AND APPLYING FOR CITIZENSHIP. THESE REALITIES SHAPED THEIR LIVES IN MANY WAYS. PAINFUL AND POIGNANT AS PORTRAYED IN THE BOOK. I’M SURE THAT YOU KNOW WHAT THE TITLE WAS CHOSEN PURPOSEFULLY WHICH I HOPE HE WILL SPEAK ABOUT IN A MOMENT. BUT FOR NOW, I WANT TO ADD A PERSONAL REFLECTION. ALL OF THE STORY CENTERS AROUND JAPANESE-AMERICANS. IN MANY WAYS IT SAYS A LOT ABOUT THE VERY ABILITY OF THE US ATTITUDES OF IMMIGRANT GROUPS DURING TIMES OF NATIONAL INSECURITY. IT ALSO POSES SOME PROFOUND QUESTIONS OF HOW OUR NATION CAN CREATE A MORE RADICALLY INCLUSIVE CULTURE INTO WHICH IMMIGRANTS CAN BE WELCOMED REGARDLESS OF POLITICAL TENSIONS. THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS BOOK AND FOR COMING ALL THE WAY FROM IOWA TO BE WITH US TONIGHT. ON A PERSONAL NOTE, I DO WANT TO SAY WE HEAR A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THIS. I HAVE BEEN PROFOUNDLY INFLUENCED BY MANY TEACHERS IN MY LIFE. WE HAVE ALL HAD THE BENEFIT OF WORKING WITH MANY FACULTY CHANGE WILL I SPEW WITHOUT A DOUBT WHILE I WAS AN UNDERGRADUATE AT IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY, IT PROFOUNDLY CHANGED MY LIFE. IT IS QUITE HUMBLING AND AN HONOR FOR ME TO HAVE HIM HERE TODAY TO TALK WITH HIM ABOUT HIS WRITING. BEFORE WE GET STARTED I WOULD LIKE TO INTRODUCE THE EDITOR OF BETHESDA MAGAZINE AND OUR MEDIA SPONSOR FOR THE SERIES TO INTRODUCE AND TELL YOU A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THIS PHENOMENAL MAN WE HAVE HERE TODAY. STEVE? [APPLAUSE] THANK YOU SO MUCH AND THANK YOU, DARIAN. ONE OF THE LAST TIMES I SAW THAT WAS AT COUNTYWIDE SPELLING BEE. WHERE LET’S GET THE RECORD STRAIGHT, A TEAM OF EDITORS FROM BETHESDA MAGAZINE MAY HAVE DEFEATED A TEAM OF FACULTY AND STAFF FOR MESA COMMUNITY COLLEGE IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY. YES.FOR NEXT YEAR, 2020, THE SPELLING BEE WE HAD A BIT WE ARE BOTH VERY MUCH INTO FITNESS, WORKING OUT AND THE LOSER NEXT YEAR HAS TO DO 100 SQUATS. AND SO I HOPE YOU HAVE BEEN TRAINING. [LAUGHTER] THERE WE GO! TONIGHT, THIS WHOLE SERIES, BUT TONIGHT IN PARTICULAR, I THINK IS PARTICULARLY MEANINGFUL. PARTLY JUST BECAUSE WE ARE MONTGOMERY COUNTY WHERE MORE THAN ONE THIRD OF RESIDENTS WERE BORN OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY. ONE OF THE FASCINATING THINGS TO ME ABOUT IMMIGRANT POPULATION HERE, IS THAT THERE IS NO GROUP OF PEOPLE REPRESENTED MORE THAN 14 PERCENT. PEOPLE WHO LIVE HERE ARE FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD. AND IT IS AN IMPERFECT PLACE BUT IT IS INCREDIBLY WELCOMING AND JUST A GREAT PLACE TO HAVE THIS CONVERSATION. I MIGHT ADD, BEFORE INTRODUCE THE DR. THAT I TOO HAD A PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT A LONG TIME AGO. EVAN HILL, WHO YEARS LATER WHEN I WAS BEING INTERVIEWED FOR AN ARTICLE, THE INTERVIEWER ASKED ME TO IDENTIFY THE THREE MOST IMPORTANT INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN MY LIFE, IT WAS MY MOTHER, MY FATHER AND THE DR., EVAN HILL. I UNDERSTAND JUST HOW PROFOUND THAT INFLUENCE CAN BE I’M EAGER TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP TONIGHT. IT IS MY HONOR TO INTRODUCE THE DR. HE IS A GRADUATE OF STANFORD UNIVERSITY AND EARNED HIS MA AND PHD AT INDIANA UNIVERSITY, AFTER 40 YEARS TEACHING ENGLISH, PRIMARILY AMERICAN LITERATURE, HE IS A UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR EMERITUS, IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY AS WELL AS WHEN IS UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS SEATED RIGHT HERE, HE DESCRIBED HIM AS A TEACHER THAT MADE ME THINK, HUMBLED ME, BUILT ME UP AND MADE ME BETTER. DR. NAKADATE IS A RECIPIENT OF THE IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY FOUNDATION AWARD FOR CAREER ACHIEVEMENT IN TEACHING AND A PAST PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF HUMANITIES IOWA. HIS WRITING HAS APPEARED IN NUMEROUS PUBLICATIONS INCLUDING — HE HAS EDITED TWO BOOKS, CO-AUTHORED TWO BOOKS ON RHETORIC AND WRITING AND HAS WRITTEN A CRITICAL STUDY OF NOVELIST JAMES SMILEY PAID HIS MOST RECENT BOOK IS LOOKING AFTER MINIDOKA. HISTORY OF THREE GENERATIONS OF JAPANESE-AMERICANS FROM IMMIGRATION TO THE 20TH CENTURY. IT IS MY PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE AND WELCOME DR. NEIL NAKADATE. [APPLAUSE] >> THANK YOU .>> SO, AM GOING TO START WITH AN EASY QUESTION. YOU NEVER GAVE ME EASY ONES BUT I’M GOING TO GIVE YOU AN EASY ONE RIGHT NOW. AND I REALIZE THAT IT IS FRAUGHT FROM MANY ASIAN AMERICANS. DO PEOPLE ASK YOU WHERE YOU’RE FROM? AND HOW DO YOU ANSWER IF THEY DO? AND WHY IS THIS QUESTION YOU THINK DIFFERENT FOR ASIAN AMERICANS THAN PERHAPS OTHER SECOND-GENERATION IMMIGRANTS IN THE UNITED STATES?>> WELL, LET ME START WITH THE END OF THAT. IT’S ASKED BECAUSE AN ASIAN PERSON IS CLEARLY FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE. SO YOU CANNOT BLEND IN WITH PEOPLE. YOU’RE NOT JUST, YOU GET ASKED THE QUESTION. NOW, THERE ARE DIFFERENT ANSWERS. I WANT TO GIVE THE ANSWER THAT MY FATHER GAVE WHEN HE WAS GROWING UP IN PORTLAND. PEOPLE WOULD SAY, WHO ARE YOU, WHERE AE YOU FROM? HE WOULD SAY, MY MOM AND POP WERE BORN IN JAPAN. I WAS BORN HERE. NEXT QUESTION YOU KNOW, WHEN I AM ASKED THAT, AND I HAVE BEEN ASKED THAT. I WILL SAY WELL, OBVIOUSLY, I DON’T LOOK LIKE I AM IIOWAN, I WAS BORN IN INDIANA. AND THEN EXPLAIN AS I DO MY BOOK WHY I AM A HOOSIER. AND IT’S A WAY OF SAYING, IN THE UNITED STATES, WE ARE ALL FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE. AND A LOT OF US HAVE MOVED OR OUR FAMILIES HAVE MOVED FOR ONE REASON OR ANOTHER. AND SO, I WILL SAY — SHORT ANSWER IS THAT I AM BORN IN INDIANA GREW UP IN PORTLAND, OREGON AND HERE I AM! OR I GREW UP IN PORTLAND, OREGON, WENT TO INDIANA UNIVERSITY, TAUGHT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, TAUGHT AT IOWA STATE AND HERE I AM. DEPENDING ON HOW MUCH TIME THEY HAVE TO LISTEN TO THIS STORY. BUT THAT I DO NOT KNOW IF THAT ANSWERS THE QUESTION BUT, AN ASIAN PERSON IS MORE LIKELY TO GET ASKED THAT.>> SO DO YOU THINK THAT IS A WAY OF VALIDATING YOUR AMERICAN-NESS FOR THEM?>> I THINK IT IS. I’M SAYING I’M FROM THE COUNTRY. I THINK IT IS PART, MAY BE DEFLECTING WHERE THE QUESTION WAS GOING TO GO. DOES THAT MAKE SENSE? I THINK THAT’S RIGHT.>> THANK YOU. SO YOU DO, I THINK A REALLY EXTRAORDINARY JOB OF WRITING BOTH A CULTURAL HISTORY OF JAPANESE-AMERICANS AND A PERSONAL AND MORE OF YOUR FAMILY. I THINK THE DICHOTOMY IS CAPTURED IN THE TITLE ITSELF OF THE BOOK. YOU WRITE WITH GREAT INSIGHT ABOUT THE VALUES AND TRADITIONS AND FORMED THEIR PERSPECTIVE BUT AT THE SAME TIME, YOU NEVER CLAIM THEY ARE EXPERIENCES, COMPREHENSIVE OR NECESSARILY REPRESENTATIVE OF ALL JAPANESE-AMERICANS. CAN YOU TALK A ITTLE ABOUT HOW YOU ACCOMPLISH THAT?> I CAN TELL YOU, THANK YOU FOR SAYING IT. IF I ACCOMPLISHED IT, IT IS BECAUSEI WAS AWARE FROM THE BEGINNING THAT THERE WAS NO ONE SINGLE STORY AND THAT STARTED WITH UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENT STORIES OF MEMBERS OF MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF MINE. JAPANESE-AMERICAN FRIENDS. , CONTEMPORARIES. AND I SAID IT IS HARD TO TAKE ANY ONE OF THESE, THE STORY BUT TAKE THEM TOGETHER, A PERSON COULD GET A SENSE OF THE RANGE OF EXPERIENCE AMONG JAPANESE-AMERICANS. SO, I TRIED TO MAKE IT A POINT OF UNDERSTANDING AND ASKING QUESTIONS ABOUT AND RESEARCHING THE DIVERSITY OF THE EXPERIENCE WITHIN THAT COMMUNITY. AND I SAID, TO MYSELF I SAID, EVEN WITHIN MY OWN FAMILY THERE IS A WIDE RANGE OF EXPERIENCE. BUT EVEN THAT DOES NOT COVER EVERYTHING. SO — THAT WAS ONE OF MY RESPONSIBILITIES, WAS TO MAKE SURE AT EVERY TURN I MADE AN ATTEMPT TO ACCOUNT FOR MORE THAN ONE THREAD OF THE STORY. IT IS EASY TO FOCUS ON ONE THING OR ANOTHER BECAUSE, JUST BECAUSE IT’S EASY. BUT I DIDN’T, I WAS AT A POINT WHERE I JUST NEEDED TO TELL THE STORY AS BEST I COULD AND AS BEST I COULD TO INCLUDE EVEN THE STUFF THAT WAS DIFFERENT BUT DID NOT COME TO ME EASILY.>> TALK TO ME ABOUT WRITING THE BOOK. BECAUSE I KNOW WE HAD SOME CONVERSATION OVER DINNER ABOUT HOW YOU WENT TO WRITE THIS BOOK. AND HOW THAT PROCESS WAS BOTH CATHARTIC BUT ALSO WRENCHING TO A CERTAIN EXTENT. YOU TALK ABOUT THAT PROCESS OF PUTTING TOGETHER THIS NARRATIVE THAT YOU HAVE, THIS MEMOIR.>> A CERTAIN NUMBER OF STORIES WITHIN THE LARGER STORY WERE STORIES I’D HEARD THROUGH MY FAMILY. AND SO I HAVE THIS ORAL HISTORY ENDED HER STORIES, A LOT OF THEM MORE THAN ONCE. AND I SAID, AT THE SAME TIME I SAID, THERE IS STUFF I DON’T KNOW. THERE ARE THINGS MISSING THERE. YOU KNOW, AND THE MORE THAT I READ ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE DURING THE WAR, I SAID, THERE’S EVEN MORE THAN I THOUGHT MISSING. WHY IS IT MISSING? AND SO, ONE WAY TO GET INTO THAT ANSWER IS TO SAY THAT IN 1992, WHEN MY SON NICK WAS BORN, I WAS SPEAKING TO MY MOTHER ABOUT READING ABOUT THE CAMPS AND I SAID HOW COME YOU HADN’T TOLD US MORE ABOUT THE CAMP EXPERIENCE? BECAUSE YOU WERE THERE WITH YOUR PARENTS AND THEN YOU ABLE TO LEAVE AND YOU HAD TO GO BACK YOU KNOW FOR REASONS WITHIN THE FAMILY AND YOU TOOK ME WITH YOU BUT YOU’VE NEVER REALLY SAID MUCH MORE THAN WHAT I JUST TOLD YOU. SHE SAID WELL, IT WAS TOO PAINFUL. SHE SAID, IT WAS TOO PAINFUL. AND THEN SHE LOOKED AT ME AND SHE SAID, AND MAYBE THIS WAS BECAUSE THE NEXT GENERATION WAS COMING ALONG. YOU KNOW, MY CHILDREN. AND SHE SAID WELL MAYBE I CAN START TALKING ABOUT IT NOW. AND SO AFTER THAT, I NEVER WENT TO THEIR HOUSE WITHOUT A TAPE RECORDER. AND AS A TELL STUDENTS, THERE WAS THIS LITTLE TAPE THAT WENT AROUND SCHOOL BUT I STARTED GETTING, AND I DID THE SAME THING WITH MY DAD BUT HIS, OF COURSE HIS EXPERIENCE WAS A LITTLE DIFFERENT BECAUSE HE WAS IN THE SERVICE AND SO ON. BUT I REALIZE THAT I HAD TO COLLECT PARTS OF THE STORY. FROM ANY SOURCE I COULD. INCLUDING OTHER RELATIVES, INCLUDING RESEARCHING THE LIBRARY. MY MOTHER WAS, BOTH PARENTS WERE CHILDREN OF THE DEPRESSION. RIGHT? SO THIS MEANS MY MOTHER NEVER THREW ANYTHING AWAY. SO I WENT DOWN TO THE BASEMENT AND IT WAS LIKE IN ARCHAEOLOGICAL DIG TO GET IN. I KNEW SHE HAD ALL KIND OF INTERESTING THINGS HAT MIGHT HELP ME. AND YES, SHE HAD SAVED DIRECTORIES OF THE COMMUNITY, JAPANESE-AMERICAN COMMUNITY. ALL THE BUSINESSES AND YOU KNOW, THE FAMILIES AND THEY WERE IN THE DIRECTORY. AND SO, THEY WERE ROSTERS OF ORGANIZATIONS. THERE WAS THE MEMBERSHIP LIST FOR THE JACL, THERE WERE ALL KINDS OF THINGS THERE. SO IT WAS MESSY. IN THE SENSE THAT IT WASN’T LIKE GETTING ONLINE AND FINDING EVERYTHING. SOME OF WHAT WAS IN THE BOX, THEY WERE SHOEBOXES AND TO THIS DAY I DON’T KNOW IF I REALLY FOUND EVERYTHING BUT I FOUND ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND THE STORY.>> OFFICE SELLS AT YOUR OFFICE, DR. NAKADATE.>> I LEARNED FROM AN EXPERT. [LAUGHTER] BECAUSE EVERYONE HERE HAS NOT READ YOUR BOOK AND WE PROVIDED COPIES FOR OUR STUDENTS AND GUESTS, I WONDER IF YOU CAN GIVE US AN IDEA, TALK A LITTLE ABOUT WHICH OF THE VALUES OF THE SUMMARY CULTURE SURVIVED IN THE 20TH CENTURY JAPAN. WHEN I’M THINKING ABOUT IS THE JAPAN IN WHICH HER PARENTS WERE BORN. AND THIS IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE SOME OF THOSE VALUES HAVE CONTINUED INTO FUTURE GENERATIONS THAT HAD NEVER SET FOOT IN JAPAN. DO YOU THINK THAT IS A FAIR STATEMENT?>> YEAH, YEAH. I THINK THAT FOR EXAMPLE, LOYALTY. AND PERSEVERANCE ARE TWO OF THE THINGS. THERE ARE A COUPLE OF OTHERS I’M TRYING TO REMEMBER OFFHAND OR IF THE TOP OF MY HEAD BUT IN ADDITION TO THAT, THEY WERE VALUES FROM SHINTOISM AND BUDDHISM THAT BECAME PART OF THEIR ETHOS. ETHOS IS NOT A JAPANESE WORD. [LAUGHTER] BUT LIKE, AND BUDDHISM THERE IS A KIND OF REVERENCE FOR LEARNING. WELL THAT TRANCES INTO EDUCATION. WHAT WE WOULD CALL EDUCATION. AND THERE IS KIND OF AN SHINTO FAITH THERE IS A REVERENCE FOR THERE IS FILIAL PIETY REVERENCE FOR YOUR FAMILY. IT WAS PASSED DOWN EVEN IF AS IN MY FAMILY, WE WERE METHODIST. WE WERE METHODIST BUT YOU CAN STILL SEE THAT, THE RESIDUAL JAPANESE, THE VALUES THAT YOU CAN ASSOCIATE WITH JAPAN. NOW WHEN THEY WERE GROWING UP IN JAPAN, MY GRANDPARENTS NOW, BEFORE THEY CAME TO THE UNITED STATES, THE EMPEROR, HAD ISSUED A RESCRIPT. LIKE A DECLARATION I GUESS YOU COULD SAY. I WANT TO SAY 1892, ON EDUCATION. HE HAS SAID, EDUCATION AND LEARNING ABOUT THE REST OF THE WORLD WILL BE IMPORTANT TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF STATUS IN JAPAN IN THE 20TH CENTURY. AND SO, EVERY VILLAGE IS GOING TO HAVE A SCHOOL. AND ALL OF THE CHILDREN WILL GO TO THE SCHOOL. AND IN EFFECT, HE DID NOT HAVE TO SAY, AM I THE EMPEROR AND IT’S GOING TO HAPPEN BECAUSE HE WAS THE EMPEROR AND IT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN! RIGHT? AND SO, MY GRANDPARENTS GREW UP UNDER THE, WHAT, THE STATEMENT OF THE EMPEROR THAT THERE WOULD BE EDUCATION. THAT IS TIED TO THE WELL-BEING AND DEVELOPING OF THE COUNTRY. JUST AS HE SAID, THEY HAVE THESE RAILROADS IN AMERICA. WE NEED A RAILROAD. WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND MODERN TRANSPORTATION. AND SO, THOSE VALUES GOT CARRIED OVER WHEN MY GRANDPARENTS CAME, THAT GENERATION. NOT JUST MY GRANDPARENTS BUT OTHERS CAME, EDUCATION WAS REALLY IMPORTANT TO THEM. AND I THINK THAT FOR JAPANESE IN THE UNITED STATES, THE NEXT GENERATION, THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS THERE WAS SUCH AN EMPHASIS ON EDUCATION. AND SUCH HIGH ACHIEVEMENT. BECAUSE IT WAS JUST PART OF THE BELIEF SYSTEM. JUST LIKE FILIAL PIETY AND COURAGE AND THE QUESTION ABOUT THE SUMMARY. ALL OF THESE THINGS BLENDED. EVEN IF YOU NEVER CALLED THEM, WE HAVE THIS PIECE FROM BUDDHISM. BUT IT WAS THERE. IT WAS THERE.>> IT STRIKES ME THAT MANY IMMIGRANT GROUPS IN THE UNITED STATES FACE THE ISSUE OF HOW TO RESIST SIMULATION. THE VALUES YOU TALK ABOUT THAT ARE SO INGRAINED AT A FAMILY LEVEL, ALMOST A VISCERAL LEVEL WHO THEY MAY BE OFTEN TIMES MAY COME IN CONFLICT OR MAYBE SIMILAR THEN THIS OTHER CULTURE THEY ARE BECOME A PART OF. THIS IDEA OF RESISTING ASSIMILATION SIGNAL IS PORTIONS OF YOURSELF TO YOURSELF IS OFTEN TIMES CRITICAL TO THE IMMIGRANT EXPERIENCE. YOUR UNCLES EXPERIENCE WAS UNIQUE IN THAT HE WAS RAISED IN THE US AND THEN WENT BACK TO JAPAN IN HIS ADULT LIFE AND ENDED UP WORKING AS AN INTERPRETER AND A TRANSLATOR. CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK, HOW THAT WAS PART OF HIS RESISTANCE TO ASSIMILATION OR NOT?>> I DON’T IF IT WAS HIS RESISTANCE. HE WAS FOLLOWING ORDERS, IN PART. THIS WAS MY FATHER’S, THIS IS NICE. WHAT HAVE I DONE?LAUGHTER] >> YOUR MICROPHONE — >> YOUR MICROPHONE DIED.>> REST IN PEACE! IS THIS CLOSE ENOUGH? IN MY FATHER’S FAMILY, AND IN HIS YOUNGER BROTHER, THIS SPEAKS TO THE EDUCATION. MY GRANDPARENTS WERE CONVINCED THAT THEIR SONS WERE BOTH, THERE WERE SOME, THERE WERE A FEW CHOICES, OPTIONS THAT THEY HAD. THEY COULD BECOME DOCTORS OR MAYBE LAWYERS. MAYBE ENTER THE CLERGY. IT WAS A SHORT LIST. [LAUGHTER] MY DAD WAS LUCKY BECAUSE HE ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A DOCTOR. AND SO HE BECAME A DOCTOR. MY UNCLE WAS MORE — HE WAS A YOUNGER BROTHER, YOU KNOW? WELL, HE GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL AND GOT A JOB WITH THE IMPORT COMPANIES THAT MY GRANDFATHER WORKED FOR. FOR A COMPANY IN PORTLAND. AND ONE DAY HIS MOTHER SAID, WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE, BASICALLY. SHE SAID SHOW ME YOUR HANDS. HIS HANDS WERE ALL BEAT UP FROM LUGGING SACKS OF RICE AND CRATES WITH VEGETABLES IN THEM AND SHE SAID, THIS WON’T DO. YOU WILL GO TO COLLEGE. AND MEANWHILE, I SHOULD SAY, MY GRANDFATHER HAD MADE ENOUGH MONEY IN THE US TO SEND MONEY BACK TO HIS BROTHERS IN JAPAN. AND THEY HAD STARTED UP AN ELECTRICAL, WHAT WE WOULD CALL A CONTRACTING COMPANY. AND SO, OUR AMERICAN SIDE OF OUR FAMILY HAD AN INVESTMENT IN THIS COMPANY. SO MY GRANDFATHER SAID TO MY UNCLE, HE WAS CARRYING CRATES OF YOU KNOW, AND TUBS OF TOFU AND SO ON. SAID, YOU GOING TO COLLEGE INTO A MAJOR IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION.HICH AT THAT TIME, THEY CALLED COMMERCE. AND YOU’RE GOING TO BECOME PART OF THAT COMPANY IN JAPAN. HE DID NOT WANT TO DO THIS BUT HE HAD TO DO IT. I MEAN, HE WAS FOLLOWING ORDERS. SO HE WENT AND THERE WERE OTHER AMERICAN, THERE WERE OTHER BOYS OVER THERE BORN IN THE US, GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL AND IN THE UNITED STATES THEN WENT OVER TO SCHOOL IN JAPAN. AND THEN OF COURSE, HE FELL IN LOVE. AND HE MARRIED A JAPANESE WOMAN AND ENDED UP, THAT’S WHERE THEY WERE WHEN THE WAR STARTED. SO THE WAR STARTED AND PART OF MY FAMILY, MY DAD WAS IN THE UNITED STATES. MY UNCLE WAS IN JAPAN, AND HE WAS WORRIED HE WAS GOING TO GET DRAFTED INTO THE JAPANESE ARMY. AND BASICALLY HE IS AN AMERICAN KID WHO LIKED FOOTBALL, BASEBALL AND WHATEVER. MOVIES, AMERICAN MOVIES. THE QUESTION, THERE ARE A COUPLE OF WAYS TO GET INTO THAT QUESTION. CAN I TAKE ANOTHER MINUTE? FOR A LOT OF THE NISEI, THE FIRST GENERATION OF JAPANESE AMERICANS BORN IN THE UNITED STATES, THEY OFTEN WENT TO JAPANESE SCHOOL. . I DO NOT KNOW, ALREADY I AM DIGGING, MAYBE IS NOT TRUE FOR SOME PEOPLE BUT IN PORTLAND, MOST OF THE KIDS WENT TO JAPANESE SCHOOL. SO ON SATURDAY AND I THINK ONE OR TWO DAYS AFTER PUBLIC SCHOO , THEY WENT TO JAPANESE LANGUAG SCHOOL. IT IS HARD TO TEACH THE LANGUAGE IN A VACUUM. TO THE CULTURE AND THE LANGUAGE YOU KNOW, THEY ARE TOGETHER. SO YOU’RE LEARNING THE CULTURE. WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS? THE PARENTS SAID, WE NEED YOU TO GO TO JAPANESE LANGUAGE SCHOOL BECAUSE YOU NEED TO KNOW THE LANGUAGE OF YOUR ANCESTORS OR YOUR FAMILY, YOUR FAMILY JAPAN. HOW WILL YOU WRITE TO THEM? RIGHT? AND IT IS TIED WITH TIES TO THE FACT THAT YOUR OWN PARENTS ARE NOT FLUENT IN ENGLISH. YOU’RE LEARNING HOW TO SPEAK, YOU LEARN HOW TO SPEAK JAPANESE. MANY JAPANESE-AMERICAN, THE AMERICAN BORN SPOKE JAPANESE AT HOME UNTIL THEY WENT TO SCHOOL. THEN EVEN IN THEIR OWN NEIGHBORHOOD, IF IT IS MOSTLY JAPANESE NEIGHBORHOOD, THEY SPOKE JAPANESE TO THE OTHER KIDS. SO PARTLY IT IS LESS RESISTING ASSIMILATION AS PROMOTING THE LANGUAGE OR YOU KNOW, STAYING WITH OR SUSTAINING THE LANGUAGE OF YOUR PARENTS AND YOUR GRANDPARENTS OFF IN KOFU OR WHEREVER IT WOULD BE.Y MOTHER AND MY AUNT WENT TO SCHOOL. THEY WERE BEAUTIFULLY FLUENT AND THEY WERE GOOD WRITERS OF JAPANESE AND VERY GOOD SPEAKERS. MY UNCLE STARTED PLAYING HOOKY FROM JAPANESE SCHOOL AND IN EIGHTH GRADE I THINK. OF COURSE, DURING THE WAR HE ENDED UP NEEDING TO KNOW JAPANESE BECAUSE HE WAS IN THE US ARMY AND MILITARY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE. I THINK HE WISH HE HAD LEARNED IT BETTER. [LAUGHTER] BOTH HE AND MY DAD WANTED TO GO OUT AND PLAY BASEBALL INSTEAD OF JAPANESE SCHOOL.>> DO YOU KNOW OF ANY OTHER IMMIGRANT GROUP, I KNOW YOU TAUGHT MINORITY LITERATURE FOR MANY YEARS. THAT NAMES THE GENERATIONS.>> THAT’S A GOOD QUESTION. NO. USUALLY HEAR IT AS FIRST OR SECOND GENERATION OR WHATEVER. AND FOR A LOT OF GROUPS, SHOULD NOT SAY A LOT BUT THE ONES I REMEMBER, FOR THEM, THE FIRST GENERATION IS NOT THE IMMIGRANT GENERATION. JAPANESE-AMERICAN, THE FIRST IMMIGRANT GENERATION IS THE FIRST GENERATION. NISEI, NI IS A JAPANESE WORD FOR TWO. SO I AM THE GENERATION BORN IN UNITED STATES BUT A LOT OF GROUPS OF FIRST GENERATION IS THE FIRST AMERICAN BORN GENERATION.>> YET, I CAN REMEMBER TAKING COURSES AND THE FIRST TIME I HEARD THAT I THOUGHT IT WAS PROFOUND. I STUDY LITERATURE, MANY OTHER CULTURES AND THE NEVER ACTUALLY SAW THAT NAME AND I THINK THAT TO ME IS ANOTHER ACT OF RESISTANCE IN A WAY TO ASSIMILATION BY CONTINUING TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT NAMING, I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT. MOST OF US KNOW THE STORY OF WHAT YOU CALL INCARCERATION. I THINK IT’S A PROFOUND ONE. THE TERMINOLOGY IS IMPORTANT. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHY YOU CHOSE THAT WORD TO DESCRIBE IT AND WHETHER THERE ARE SOME ACTIVE RESISTANCE BY JAPANESE AMERICANS DURING WORLD WAR II AND AFTERWARDS? AND THEN I WILL ASK A FOLLOW-UP QUESTION TO THAT AS WELL.>> WILL COME AS FAR AS THE TERM IS CONCERNED, INCARCERATION AS OPPOSED TO INTERNMENT. I WAS WERE ENDURED ABOUT USING THE TERM — I WAS WONDERED ABOUT USING THE TERM BECAUSE I DIDN’T WANT TO BE CONFUSED WITH INTERNMENT CAMPS IN EUROPE. BECAUSE THAT WAS A VERY DIFFERENT, CAPTIVITY, DETAINING, AND SO ON. BUT IT WAS DIFFERENT. AND I SAID, THERE’S THAT. THEN I READ AROUND ON IT. AND I SAID TECHNICALLY IT’S NOT THE RIGHT TERM. AND A FELLA NAMED ROGER DANIELS I THINK IT IS. WITHOUT THE S, HE DONE A LOT OF WORK ON JAPANESE AMERICANS AND CAMPS. AND SO ON. HE WROTE A VERY HELPFUL ARTICLE CALLED SOMETHING LIKE WORDS DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. AND IT IS CITED IN MY BOOK. IN THE BIBLIOGRAPHY. HE GIVES A REALLY GOOD ARGUMENT ABOUT WHY WE SHOULD CALL INCARCERATION CAMPS. RATHER THAN INTERNMENT CAMPS. AND SO, I MADE A POINT OF SAYING THAT THEY ARE OFTEN REFERRED TO AS INTERNMENT CAMPS. AND IF YOU DID A GOOGLE SEARCH YOU WOULD FIND THEM UNDER INTERNMENT CAMPS. RIGHT? SO FOR RESEARCH PURPOSES, I WOULD NOT WANT TO LOSE ALL OF THE CITATIONS. BECAUSE PEOPLE DID NOT LOOK UNDER INTERNMENT. BUT I THINK THAT INCARCERATION IS A BETTER TERM. INTERNMENT HAS TO DO WITH, WELL, WE HAVE THE ASSOCIATION WITH GERMANY. AND THEN, IT IS TIED IN MILITARY TERMS WITH THE, WITH DETAINING OR IMPRISONING ALIEN, ENEMY COMBATANTS. OF COURSE, THE JAPANESE AMERICANS WERE NOT COMBATANTS. THEY WERE JUST CIVILIANS. SO THAT, THERE WAS ANOTHER PART OF THE QUESTION.>> I WAS GOING TO SAY FAST-FORWARD TO MEDPAYOUT P– P 9/11 ERA. HOW WOULD DID YOU, DO YOU SEE ANY RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE TWO OF THOSE GIVEN THE INTERNMENT IN INCARCERATION?>> I DON’T HAVE AN ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION.I WILL TELL YOU WHAT IT MADE ME THINK OF THOUGH. WHAT THE PARALLEL THAT I SAW, THAT I KEPT SEEING, I SAID, THE JAPANESE-AMERICAN INCARCERATION, INTERNMENT, THE REACTION TO THE JAPANESE-AMERICAN PRESENCE IN THE UNITED STATES, EVEN BEFORE THAT, REMINDS ME OF WHAT’S HAPPENING ON THE SOUTHERN BORDER RIGHT NOW. I SAID, THERE ARE, THERE IS SOME LATENT BIGOTRY, THERE IS A LOT OF NEGATIVE PROPAGANDA PUT OUT ABOUT PEOPLE. THERE IS A SEPARATION OF FAMILIES, THERE IS DETENTION WITHOUT KNOWING WHEN IT’S GOING TO END, RIGHT? THE JAPANESE AMERICANS WENT INTO THE CAMPS, NOBODY KNEW WHEN THE WAR WAS GOING TO END SO PEOPLE SAID WELL, WE ARE AT WAR WITH YOU GUYS. IT WAS IN DEFINITE SENTENCE. SO I KEPT THINKING, ALL OF THESE, THE JAPANESE-AMERICAN EXPERIENCE COULD BE A BLUEPRINT ON HOW TO DO THIS WRONG. WHAT NOT TO DO. BUT THEY DID IN 1941 OR 42. BUT THAT IS WHAT I SAW. THAT’S WHAT I SAW AND WHEN I WOULD PICK UP THE PAPERS, I DON’T KNOW IF THAT ANSWERS PAPE. QUESTION.>> WE TALK ABOUT PROPAGANDA AND THE ATTEMPT TO SUPPORT OR NOT SUPPORT OR BE PART OF THAT, I THINK ABOUT YOUR DISCOURSE IN THE BOOK ABOUT THE JAPANESE-AMERICAN CITIZENS LEAGUE. HOW EFFECTIVE DO YOU THINK THEY WEREN’T PUSHING BACK AGAINST DISCRIMINATION? BECAUSE AT ONE POINT, HE ACTUALLY SUGGEST THEY WERE TOO OBEDIENT AND TRUSTING TOWARDS THE US GOVERNMENT FORCES AND YOU SAY THE GROUP DIDN’T HAVE WHAT MIGHT BE CALLED AMATEUR AND ACTIVE POLITICAL CONSCIOUSNESS.ALK TO ME A LITTLE ABOUT THAT.>> LET ME TELL YOU WHY I SAID THAT. WHAT I MEANT BY THAT. AND IT GOES BACK TO AGAIN, THE TREATMENT FOR THIS PARTICULAR IMMIGRANT GROUP BY THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT. THE EISAI, THE IMMIGRANT GENERATION WAS PROHIBITED BY LAW FROM BECOMING CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES. NOT BEING ABLE, NOT BEING CITIZENS HAD REPERCUSSIONS. HOW DOES NOT BEING A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES AFFECT YOUR VOTING RIGHTS? HOW DOES IT AFFECT YOUR EMPLOYMENT? HOW DOES IT AFFECT ANY NUMBER OF THINGS. THAT IS A LINCHPIN TO THE FUTURE IS A MIXED METAPHOR TOO.>> I’M WITH YOU.>> SHE IS GOING, UH-HUH. DOES THAT MAKE SENSE?>> MHMM.>> MY GRANDPARENTS BORN IN JAPAN CAME TO THE UNITED STATES AND THE LAST DECADE OF 19TH CENTURY, THE FIRST DECADE OF THE 20TH CENTURY. BY 1942 THEY LIVED IN THIS COUNTRY 40 OR 50 YEARS. NOT ONLY THAT, CONTRAST THEM WITH AN IRISH IMMIGRANT ON THE EAST COAST, IRISH IMMIGRANTS LAND IN NEW YORK, OR BOSTON. AND SOME GUY NAMED KENNEDY SAYS HEY, I KNOW WHERE YOU CAN LIVE, I CAN TELL YOU WHERE A GOOD SCHOOL IS THAT YOU KIDS CAN GO TO. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS LOOK FOR ME. I JUST MADE UP THAT IT’S RANDOM. [LAUGHTER] BUT YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN? WHAT WHAT HAPPENS IS THIS. IN 1942, THE NISEI CREATED THE JACL. MAJORITY OF THEM WERE NOT EVEN 21 YEARS OLD. SO IT WAS THE OLDER NISEI THAT HELPED TO CREATE THE JACAL BUT THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY EXPERIENCE HANDED DOWN BY THEIR PARENTS OF HOW TO NEGOTIATE AMERICAN POLITICS. DOES THAT MAKE, DO YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENED? SO IN THAT SENSE, THEY ARE NACVE ABOUT THINGS. THEY HAD GONE TO PUBLIC SCHOOL THEY SALUTED THE FLAG, THEY READ ABOUT THE U.S. CONSTITUTION, BELIEVED THAT THE CONSTITUTION WORKED. RIGHT? BILL OF RIGHTS AND SO ON. THEY SAID WE HAVE THE CONSTITUTION ON OUR SIDE. NEVER ENTERED THEIR MIND — NO, I AM OVERSTATING THIS BUT ONLY SLIGHTLY. NEVER REALLY ENTERED THEIR MIND THAT THE CONSTITUTION COULD EITHER BE IGNORED OR THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES CAN BE SOMEHOW SKEWED TO DISADVANTAGE THEM. THIS IS TOTALLY ASIDE FROM THE FACT THAT AS THEY WERE GROWING UP THEY SAW ALL KINDS OF EXHIBITIONS OR DECLARATIONS OF PREJUDICE OF BIGOTRY TOWARD THEM AS ASIAN IMMIGRANTS. AND BUT WHEN THEY TRIED TO DO WITH THE GOVERNMENT, TALK TO THE GOVERNMENT HERE’S ANOTHER THING, THEIR PARENTS WERE NOT FLUENT IN ENGLISH. SO IMAGINE, MOST OF US EVEN, BEING THROWN INTO THAT SITUATION, YOU’RE GOING TO BE TALKING, REPRESENTING JAPANESE AMERICANS. YOU WILL TALK TO SOME GOVERNMENT ATTORNEYS. I MEAN, THEY’D NEVER EVEN BEEN TO WASHINGTON D.C.. RIGHT? BUT THEY HADN’T BEEN — SO IT WAS VERY INTIMIDATING. IT’S ALIEN! AND SO THEY DID WHAT THEY COULD BUT THE GOVERNMENT KEPT CAJOLING. BETWEEN CAJOLING AND INTIMIDATING THEM AND THEY WERE BOOKS ON WHAT HAPPENED. SO I MAY COME OUT AS MORE HARSH TOWARDS JACAL THAT I WANTED TO BE BUT I WANTED TO POINT OUT THAT THEY DIDN’T FULLY UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY WERE UP AGAINST. WE HAVE THAT LEASH A YOU BRING A KNIFE TO A GUN POINT. THAT’S KIND OF WHAT HAPPENED. AND THEY DID NOT HAVE ALLIES BECAUSE WHY? BECAUSE THE PARENTS CAME TO THE UNITED STATES, LIVED IN UNITED STATES ALL OF THAT TIME, COULD NOT VOTE. SO WHO WERE THE REPRESENTATIVES IN CONGRESS? THERE WERE ONLY A FEW. AND I CAN COUNT ON MY FINGERS. THERE WAS A FELLOW IN CONGRESS FROM OREGON. NAMED RICHARD NEWBERGER. HE MIGHT HAVE ONLY BEEN IN THE STATE LEGISLATURE BUT HE SET UP FOR THE JAPANESE AMERICANS. BUT HE WAS A LONELY VOICE. LATER, HE WENT TO THE HOUSE AND HE WENT TO THE U.S. SENATE. NEWBERGER HAD GONE TO SCHOOL IN PORTLAND WITH JAPANESE AMERICANS. YOU KNOW, HIS CLASSMATES IN HIGH SCHOOL WERE JAPANESE AMERICANS. A LOT OF THEM. HE SAID, THESE ARE THE KIDS I WENT TO SCHOOL WITH! BUT OTHERWISE, THEY WERE NOT ADVOCATES. NO ALLIES I DON’T KNOW IF THE ANSWER IS — >> IT DID! WHAT I FIND PROVOCATIVE ABOUT YOUR ASSERTION IS THIS QUESTION WE ARE CONTINUING TO REVISIT IN THIS COUNTRY ABOUT THE DISENFRANCHISEMENT OF POPULATIONS OF PEOPLE TO VOTING RIGHTS. THROUGH THE CONTINUOUS RE-EXAMINATION OF AN AMERICAN DREAM OR AMERICAN PHILOSOPHY THAT WE DO NOT SEE PRACTICED IT’S A PHILOSOPHY, A IDEAL THAT WE CONSTANTLY REVISIT OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN WITHOUT ANY SEEMINGLY RECOGNITION THAT WE’VE DONE THIS BEFORE. AND WHEN YOU DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT OR SOMETHING THAT WE CAN DO THAT MIGHT HELP US PUT US IN A BETTER STEP BUT INSTEAD WE THINK IS THE FIRST TIME WE’VE DEALT WITH IT AND BY THE WAY, LET’S PUT CHILDREN IN CAMPS, LESS SEPARATE THEM FROM THEIR FAMILIES, LET’S SYSTEMATICALLY DESTROY VOTING RIGHTS IN THIS COUNTRY. BUT, WE WILL MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.>> WELL, I HAVE THIS LIST THAT I HAVE SOMEWHERE HERE. IT’S KIND OF THE LIST ABOUT HOW TO DO IMMIGRATION. IT STARTS WITH RECRUIT OR KIDNAPPING AND BRING TO THE UNITED STATES. AND EXPLOIT AND WHICH INCLUDES UNDERPAY. MARGINALIZE, DENIGRATE. DETAIN, WHICH I THINK MEANS IMPRISONMENT. I MEAN CRIMINAL JUSTICE. AND IF POSSIBLE, DEPORT, BACK TO WHATEVER IT WAS YOU CAME FROM. WHERE WE THINK YOU CAME FROM. AND REPEAT. RIGHT?>> YET. YOU FORGOT TO PUT DEHUMANIZE. THAT WOULD BE IN THERE TOO.>> YOU’RE RIGHT! ABSOLUTELY.>> THAT IS THE ULTIMATE EXPRESSION IS IT NOT? TO DEHUMANIZE YOU. YOU TALK ABOUT THE VALUES OF EDUCATION AND I FIND THAT TO BE VERY PROVOCATIVE BECAUSE THIS IDEA OF A NATIONAL IDENTITY, A LONG-TERM SUCCESS OF A PEOPLE AND A COUNTRY. I THINK IT WAS PRESSING IN TERMS OF TERMS TO DEFINE THE AREA. LET ME ASK YOU THIS QUESTION THOUGH, HAS THIS EMPHASIS ON EDUCATION AND POWERED JAPANESE AMERICANS? YOU WRITE THAT THERE WERE PLENTY OF DOCTORS IN THE INTERNMENT CAMPS. OR HAS IT LIMITED THEM SUCH AS FAR AS ADVANCING THE MODEL MINORITIES STEREOTYPE THAT WE SEE? AND DOES THIS SOMEHOW PIT ASIAN AMERICANS AGAINST OTHER RACIAL MINORITIES IN THIS COUNTRY? BECAUSE I THINK THERE’S A VERY INTERESTING PART ABOUT HOW EDUCATION CAN BE SEEN AS A TOOL OR ASSET OR IT CAN BE SEEN AS A GREAT DIVIDER WHEN NOT USED IN A WAY TO BRING GROUPS TOGETHER.>> THE ANSWER IS YES AND YES. EDUCATION AS I SAID, JAPANESE AS A GROUP, JAPANESE AMERICANS WERE CONSIDERED MORE DESIRABLE THAN CHINESE IMMIGRANTS. BECAUSE OF THIS EXTRA, THEY HAD MORE EDUCATION THAN THE CHINESE. AND EVEN THOUGH BOTH GROUPS SEQUENTIALLY WERE RECRUITED AS LABOR, AS LABOR. BUT THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT PROMOTED JAPANESE IMMIGRATION ON THE GROUNDS THAT THEIR PEOPLE WERE MORE EDUCATED. THEN THE CHINESE. THEY MAY BE ASIAN BUT THEY ARE NOT JAPANESE. REALLY! YOU KNOW AND SO, — EDUCATION WAS USEFUL, WAS HELPFUL. AND IT LED TO, EVEN BACK THERE WHEN MY PARENTS WERE IN SCHOOL. ONE OF THE THINGS YOU CAN COUNT ON WITH THE JAPANESE AMERICAN KIDS IN SCHOOL WAS THEY WOULD NOT CAUSE ANY TROUBLE. SERIOUSLY, THEY WERE NOT, MY DAD CALLED IT DEPORTMENT. THEY WERE NOT DEPORTMENT PROBLEMS. THEY WEREN’T EVEN, YOU DID NOT HAVE TO BE A NERD STUDENT, YOU KNOW, TO AT LEAST BE NOT A TROUBLEMAKER FOR THE TEACHER. THAT COUNTED FOR SOMETHING! I AM A TEACHER AND IT COUNTS FOR A LOT! [LAUGHTER] SO — WELL, AND IN FACT BECAUSE THE STUDENTS WORKED HARD AND THEY HAD SUPPORT AT HOME, AS MUCH SUPPORT AS YOU CAN STAND FOR DOING HOMEWORK, RIGHT? SERIOUSLY! THEY DID PRETTY WELL IN SCHOOL. SO MUCH SO IN THEY WERE TOLD WE WOULD LIKE YOU TO GO INTO A PROFESSION IF YOU CAN. WHEN THE ARMY TODAY HEADCOUNT ALL JAPANESE AMERICAN SEGREGATED UNITS, SOMEBODY CAME UP ONE DAY AND SAID YOU HAVE TOO DAMN MANY DIAPERS IN THIS UNIT! AND BY THE WE HAVE TOO MANY DENTISTS TOO BUT LET’S NOT DWELL ON THAT. BUT THAT WAS TRUE! THAT IS WHY MY DAD STARTED TRAINING WITH THE 442 AND ENDED UP GETTING TRANSFERRED OUT. BECAUSE HE SAID WE’VE GOT TO ASSIGN SOME OF YOU GUYS TO OTHER UNITS. AND SO, HE WAS THIS JAPANESE AMERICAN DR. WITH A BUNCH OF CAUCASIAN PARATROOPERS. I SAID, HOW DID YOU END UP IN PARATROOPERS? HE SAID THEY VOLUNTEERED ME FOR THAT. [LAUGHTER] I SAID, ONE TIME WE WERE WATCHING ONE OF THOSE MOVIES MAYBE THE LONGEST DAY. AND PARACHUTES WERE COMING OUT OF THE B 50 WHATEVER IT IS. AND I SAID, AS IT TURNED OUT, HE NEVER DID A JOB.E CAME DOWN IN A GLIDER UT I SAID, WAS THAT WHAT IT WAS? AND HE SAID YEAH, BUT USUALLY HE SAID, WITH EVERY PLANE LOADED, THE SOLDIERS BUT ONE SCARED DOCTOR OUT THE DOOR. SO HE HAD THE JUMP TRAINING BUT HE DID NOT JUMP. THEY FIGURED OUT AFTER A WHILE IF THE DR. PARACHUTED, THE MEDICAL SUPPLIES CAME DOWN IN A GLIDER, A MILE AND 1/2 AWAY, NOBODY WOULD BE WELL SERVED. SO THEY SAID, EITHER YOU WILL COME DOWN WITH THE EQUIPMENT AND YOU WILL BOTH BE OKAY OR NOT. BUT YOU WILL BE TOGETHER. YOU AND THE EQUIPMENT. [LAUGHTER] IT’S TRUE. THAT IS WHAT HE SAID. BUT THEY DID HAVE, SO HERE’S THE THING. ASIAN AMERICANS AND JAPANESE AMERICANS AS A SUBGROUP OF THAT, LET’S SAY THEY ARE FAIRLY SUCCESSFUL, THEY ARE KNOWN FOR BEING GOOD STUDENTS. GOOD AT MATH. I AM NOT GOOD AT MATH. I WILL TELL YOU, I CAN SAVE A STORY ABOUT THAT.BUT ANYWAY, — THERE ALL TOGETHER. AND AS A MODEL, FOR OTHER GROUPS. SO, AFRICAN-AMERICANS, LATINOS, WHY CAN’T YOU BE GOOD LIKE THE JAPANESE? YOU KNOW, WHY CAN’T YOU — IS JUST CALCULUS. YOU KNOW BUT THEY ARE PUT IN THE MIDDLE OF SOME KIND OF SANDWICH. BETWEEN TWO PIECES OF WHITE BREAD. IS THAT A BAD METAPHOR?>> SHE LIKED THAT ONE.>> YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN. BUT BEING TOLD YOU’RE THE MODEL. SO IF A PERSON IS A MEMBER OF ONE OF THE OTHER GROUPS, THEY COME TO RESENT THESE PEOPLE THAT ARE ALWAYS PUT UP ON A PEDESTAL. RIGHT? SO THEN, IF YOU ARE JAPANESE AMERICAN YOU SAY WELL, I CAN’T WIN EITHER WAY. IF I DON’T SUCCEED THAT I DON’T SUCCEED. IF I AM A SUCCESSFUL PERSON, I AM CRITICIZED BY OTHER PEOPLE FROM OTHER GROUPS WHO HAVEN’T BEEN AS SUCCESSFUL. I THINK WE ALL KNOW THIS, FOR TOTALLY OTHER REASONS. THEY HAVE NOT BEEN AS SUCCESSFUL, RIGHT? AND EVEN THEN WE ARE GENERALIZING. ONE THING I LEARNED EARLY ON, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A GOOD STEREOTYPE. [LAUGHTER] HY IS THAT? IT IS STILL STEREOTYPICAL THINKING. IT IS STILL NOT THINKING. WHEN YOU JUDGE ANYBODY, YOU KNOW, AS PART OF A STEREOTYPE, YOU’RE REALLY NOT TREATING THEM AS AN INDIVIDUAL, RIGHT? SO THAT’S, THAT’S NOT THINKING. THAT’S JUST REACTING.>> HMM.>> FIRST DAY OF CLASS I WALKED IN, YOU HAVE YOUR LECTOR, YOU PUT THE BOOKS THAT THERE ARE STILL STUDENTS, FIRST DAY OF CLASS EARLY, GET A SEAT IN THE FRONT, WHICH IS FINE. AND THIS ONE KID, HE STARTS STACKING UP HIS STUFF, HE CLOSES THE BOOK. AND I THOUGHT, OH MAN, THIS GUY DOESN’T WANT TO JAPANESE AMERICAN TEACHER. WILLIAM FAULKNER OR WHATEVER IT WAS. AND I SORT OF LOOKED AT HIM. WHAT’S UP? YOU KNOW, I DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING. AND HE KEEPS FLIPPING HIS STUFF TOGETHER. I SAID, PROBLEM? HE SAID, I THINK I’M IN THE WRONG ROOM. HE SAYS THIS IS GOING TO BE MATH, RIGHT? [LAUGHTER] TRUE STORY! I SAID, NOT IF I CAN HELP IT! [LAUGHTER] YEAH. BUT THAT’S TRUE. IT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN AN INSULT TO HIM FOR ME TO BE. OKAY, QUESTION? AM I HOLDING THIS UP RIGHT? OKAY.>> I’M GOING TO ASK ONE MORE QUESTION AND OPEN UP TO AUDIENCE. JUST SO YOU KNOW I HAVE AT LEAST 1/2 A DOZEN MORE QUESTIONS. BECAUSE THIS IS THE TIME I GET TO ASK HIM QUESTIONS AND HIM NOT ASK ME QUESTIONS. BUT IF YOU WANT TO MAKE YOUR WAY, WE WILL HAVE SOME MICROPHONES IN THE CENTER. AND A LITTLE BIT, WE CAN DO IT. I WANT TO TALK TO YOU, ASK YOU TO TALK A LITTLE ABOUT, I’M FAST FORWARDING FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE FOLLOWING ALONG WITH SOME OF THE SLIDES TO QUESTION 11. CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT HOW YOUR FATHER’S EXPERIENCE EMBODIED SOME OF THE COMPLEX IDENTITY MARKERS OF HIS ERA? FROM HIS BIRTH IN PORTLAND, OREGON TO THE BOY SCOUTS AND EAGLE SCOUTS IN THE US, TO WORKING AS A FARM LABORER AND MEDICAL SCHOOL AND ULTIMATELY WHAT HIS DREAMS WERE FOR YOU AS HIS SON?>> THAT’S ABOUT FOUR QUESTIONS.>> I KNOW. [LAUGHTER] >> THE REAL TEST IS CANNOT EVEN REMEMBER WHAT THE QUESTIONS? HOW DID I BEGIN — >> ABOUT YOUR FATHER. AND HOW HE EMBODIED THIS COMPLEXITY OF THIS EXPERIENCE OF BEING A BOY SCOUT, THEN BORN IN PORTLAND, OREGON AND WORKED AS A FARM LABORER. HE WAS A SERIES OF PERHAPS, CONTRADICTIONS OF WHAT PEOPLE THOUGHT IN THEIR MIND REGARDING STEREOTYPES. RIGHT?>> HE THOUGHT OF HIMSELF, AGAIN, I DO WANT TO OVERGENERALIZE. BUT HE ALWAYS THOUGHT OF HIMSELF AS AN AMERICAN BOY. HE WAS, HE SAID, YOU KNOW, I LEARNED HOW TO SWIM WITH THE AMERICAN RED CROSS. WHO ALSO TAUGHT ME HOW TO BE A LIFEGUARD. A LIFESAVER. AND HE SAYS, I WAS A MEMBER OF THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA. AND, HE WAS AN EAGLE SCOUT AND SO HE ALWAYS FELT AGAIN, IT WAS TWO SENTENCES. HE SAID MY MOM AND POP WERE BORN IN JAPAN AND I WAS BORN HERE. HE KNEW HE WAS A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES BECAUSE HE WAS BORN IN THE UNITED STATES. WHEN HE WAS IN, WHEN THE WAR STARTED, HE WAS ALREADY IN THE ARMY RESERVES. AND THEN IT WAS A FOREGONE CONCLUSION THAT HE WOULD GO INTO THE MILITARY AND SERVE HIS COUNTRY. HE NEVER THOUGHT OF JAPAN AS HIS COUNTRY. AND YOU ASKED ABOUT THE QUESTION ABOUT THE SUMMER. FOR MOST, THE VAST MAJORITY OF JAPANESE AMERICANS, UNITED STATES WAS THEIR COUNTRY. IF THEY WERE GOING TO BE LOYAL TO A COUNTRY, IT WOULD BE THE UNITED STATES. THEY HAD NEVER BEEN TO JAPAN. OR THEY HAD BEEN THERE VISITING WITH PARENTS BUT THEY, WHAT DID THEY KNOW? SO, BUT MY FATHER — THAT WAS KIND OF THE POINT OF REFERENCE FOR HIM WAS THAT I AM AN AMERICAN. AND I WILL ALWAYS DEMONSTRATE THAT. THAT WAS PART OF YOUR QUESTION, WASN’T IT? WAS THERE — >> WHAT WAS HIS HOPE FOR YOU HSIN– AS HIS SON?>> ELECTED I PLAYED BASEBALL. BY THE WAY, BASEBALL IS VERY IMPORTANT TO THAT GENERATION IN UNITED STATES BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T HAVE THE NFL OR THE NBA. THEY WERE STILL ON THE HORIZON APPEARED BASEBALL IS VERY IMPORTANT, IT IS IN AMERICANIZING FORCE. BASEBALL HAD BEEN INTRODUCED IN JAPAN WHEN? DOES ANYONE KNOW THAT? BACK IN THE 19TH CENTURY. SO THE JAPANESE IMMIGRANTS TO THE UNITED STATES HAD ALREADY BEEN INTRODUCED TO BASEBALL. AND THEY TOOK THE BASEBALL, PARTLY BECAUSE IT WAS AMERICAN AND A THING. BUT THINK ABOUT BASEBALL, AND SAMURAI AND SHINTO AND RESIDUAL SHINTO AND RESIDUAL BUDDHISM AND THE TEAMWORK. RIGHT? THE BROTHERHOOD OF A TEAM. IT’S LIKE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR KIN. YOUR VILLAGE, YOUR COUNTRY. THE IDEA OF SACRIFICE, YOU’RE GIVING YOURSELF UP TO THE LARGER DO SEE WHERE I’M GOING WITH THAT? IT ALL KIND OF MADE SENSE. THEY SAID YEAH, OKAY THAT’S A GAME WE CAN UNDERSTAND. AND YOU KNOW WHAT? YOU CAN WIN THIS GAME IF YOU HIT SIX STRAIGHT SINGLES AND THEY ONLY HAD ONE HOMERUN. SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE SIX FEET TALL TO PLAY THIS GAME. RIGHT? I AM SERIOUS! AND THEY WOULD DO THAT. THEY LOVED BASEBALL. AND IT WAS AN AMERICANIZING FORCE TO LEARN AMERICAN SPORTS. BASEBALL WAS ONE OF THE KEY ONES. THEY BUILT UNDER THE BASEBALL DIAMONDS INSIDE THE CAMPS. THEY MADE UNIFORMS ON THE RICE SACKS. THEY DID ALL KINDS OF WONDERFUL THINGS IN THE CAMPS AS A WAY. BUT IT IS AN AMERICAN SPORT THEY ARE STILL PLAYING BASEBALL INSIDE THE CAMP EVEN THOUGH THE UNITED STATES PUT THEM IN THE CAMPS. ANYWAY, IT WAS ANOTHER — >> I AM GOING TO INVITE THE AUDIENCE FOR QUESTIONS. I CERTAINLY CAN HAVE MORE BUT I WELCOME THAT, PLEASE, SIR. THE MICROPHONE RIGHT THERE? THANK YOU.>> BEFORE HE STARTED SPEAKING, I GLANCED THROUGH THE PREFACE OF YOUR BOOK. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE COPY. YOU MENTION IN THERE THAT YOU HAD A PHONE CALL FROM SOMEONE RESPONDING TO YOUR LETTER, SUPPORTING THE PASSAGES OF LEGISLATION FOR REDRESS.AND HE COULDN’T UNDERSTAND WHY THE JAPANESE ENEMY WOULD BE GETTING COMPENSATION. AND NO MATTER HOW YOU TRY TO EXPLAIN TO HIM, HE JUST COULDN’T UNDERSTAND. EVEN WHEN YOU TOLD HIM, YOUR LAST NAME SOUNDS GERMAN. YOU MUST BE OF GERMAN DESCENT. AND I THINK YOU POINT THAT YOUR FATHER FOUGHT IN THE 87TH AIRBORNE AND BATTLE OF THE BULGE AND THEY STILL CAN’T UNDERSTAND. AND I THINK MANY JAPANESE-AMERICAN, ASIAN AMERICANS, ARE ALWAYS ASKED, WHERE ARE YOU FROM? I’M FROM BETHESDA. NO, NO, WHERE ARE YOU REALLY FROM, RIGHT? YOU RELATED TO SOMETHING THAT MAY BE THE ANSWER TO THAT. AND YOU MENTIONED, AND I WOULD LIKE YOU TO EXPAND ON THIS. YOU SAID THAT YOU SAY TO PEOPLE WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO GET CITIZENSHIP SO THEY DENY THE VOTING FRANCHISE. CONSEQUENTLY THEY WERE NOT REPRESENTED IN CONGRESS. SO ALL OF THE IMMIGRANTS INTO THE UNITED STATES, IS THE ASIANS WHO WERE ALWAYS CONSIDERED FOREIGN. WHERE ARE YOU FROM? BECAUSE THEY WERE NEVER REPRESENTED IN CONGRESS. AND NEVER APPEARED IN PUBLIC AS A PUBLIC OFFICIAL. BUT WHAT’S INTERESTING, AND I MIGHT JUST ADD THIS BEFORE WE GET BACK TO YOU. WHEN I LIVED IN EUROPE, I WAS NEVER CONSIDERED A FOREIGNER. I WAS ALWAYS — I WAS A FOREIGNER BUT NOT JAPANESE OR CHINESE. I WAS ALWAYS CONSIDERED A YANKEE. [LAUGHTER] THEY UNDERSTOOD IT BETTER THAN THE AMERICANS HERE.>> WHEN YOU GET A CHANCE, READ THE POEM IN THERE. DON’T BE AFRAID! IT IS FREE VERSE. IT IS CALLED HOME AND AWAY. I THINK THAT’S THE TITLE. I WROTE IT, I BETTER REMEMBER. [LAUGHTER] AND IT’S ABOUT — IT ENDS WITH REFERENCE TO BEING YANKEES. THE JAPANESE, THE NISEI BEING REFERRED TO AS YANKEES. THE PHONE CALL TURNED OUT TO BE WONDERFUL. AS A POINT OF REFERENCE FOR MY THINKING. BECAUSE WHEN I TALKED TO THAT FELLOW FROM THE NEXT TOWN OVER, IT’S CALLED BOONE, IOWA. LIKE THE ANNUAL BOONE. HE WAS A FORMER POW. HALF OF THE TOWN WAS GERMAN SO HE’S ONE OF THE MANY WITH GERMAN ANCESTRY. AND HE CALLED ME FOR THE REASON — YOUR FIRST NAME IS? I REALIZED AFTER AFTER A WHILE, MAYBE JUST AS A TEACHER, I DON’T KNOW. I SAID THIS GUY JUST WANTS TO TALK AT ME OR TALK TO ME. A COMBINATION. BUT HE COULD NEVER UNDERSTAND THE REDRESS. HE THOUGHT, WE ARE GIVING MONEY TO THE ENEMY! THEY ARE THE ONES WHO PUT ME IN A PRISON CAMP. AND I SAID NO, THAT WAS THE JAPANESE — AND SO ON. WELL, I REALIZED THE PAIN HE HAD SUFFERED DURING THE WAR WAS HIS OWN PAIN. IT WAS REAL PAIN. AND IT KEPT HIM FROM UNDERSTANDING MY STORY. YOU KNOW, AND I THOUGHT YOU KNOW, WHAT I CAN DO RIGHT NOW IS JUST LET HIM TELL ME HIS STORY. AND I WAS THINKING ABOUT MY MOM NEVER TALKING ABOUT THE CAMPS. I BET YOU HE’S NEVER EVEN TOLD HIS OWN KIDS THIS STORY. AND I SAID SO THIS TELLS ME SOMETHING ABOUT THE WORK I NEED TO DO. TO FINISH WRITING THE STORY. BECAUSE SOME OF IT WAS WRITTEN AND I SAID, THIS GUY IS ONE OF THE KEYS TO IT. THE WOUNDS ARE DEEP AND I HAVE TO GO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED. AND WHAT IT MEANS TO PEOPLE AND SO ON. I DO NOT KNOW IF I SPEAK, IF I’M SPEAKING WELL TO YOUR POINT. BUT HE DIDN’T UNDERSTAND. BUT I REALIZED, I WASN’T GOING TO CHANGE HIS MIND RIGHT THEN. AND HE EVEN TOLD ME, HE SAID, YOU KNOW MY SON-IN-LAW SAYS THE SAME THING YOU ARE SAYING BUT I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE IT. SO I SAID WELL, THIS IS BEYOND YOU KNOW, IT IS TRULY EMOTIONAL WOUND FOR HIM. I MEANT IT, AND GREAT SIMPLY FOR HIM AND HE SERVED IN THE SAME, AND THE ARMY JUST AS MY DAD HAD. MY DAD WOULD NOT TALK ABOUT THAT. MUCH. BEING IN THE WAR, HE SAW TOO MUCH THAT WAS WORSE THAN ANY — OPERATING ROOM HE WAS EVER IN IN THE UNITED STATES TRYING TO DO TRIAGE IN GERMANY, BELGIUM. I GOT TO STUDY ABROAD AS A JUNIOR IN COLLEGE. ACTUALLY IN GERMANY. BUT THAT’S ANOTHER STORY. I CAME BACK AND I SAID, DID YOU EVER THINK OF WANTING TO GO BACK THERE? HE SAID, NO. [LAUGHTER] BECAUSE EUROPE MEANT ONLY BATTLE SCARS TO HIM. I SAID, YOU GOT TO SEE SOME COUNTRIES. HE SAID YEAH, ENGLAND, FRANCE, BERLIN AND THE LITTLE BITTY COUNTRY, LUXOM-SOMETHING. AND HE SAID A WHOLE LOT OF BELGIUM! THAT’S WHERE HE GOT SHOT. ANYWAY, THERE HAVE TO BE OTHER QUESTIONS. GOOD. YAY!>> THANK YOU, SIR. I GRADUATE FROM IOWA STATE 1980. [LAUGHTER] I GOT TO LIVE IN JAPAN AND I BELIEVE JAPAN IS THE ONLY INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRY THAT STILL HAS A NATURE-BASED RELIGION INTACT AND PART OF THE DOMINANT CULTURE WHICH IS SHINTOISM. DID YOU SEE ANY INFLUENCE OF THAT AND TRICKLE PART OF NATURE IN JAPANESE PEOPLES LIVES IN YOUR JAPANESE-AMERICAN LIFE HERE IN THE STATES?>> WHAT I SAW, I DON’T KNOW IF I COULD ATTRIBUTE IT TO THAT. WHEN YOU SAY THAT, MOST PEOPLE I KNEW WERE GARDENERS AND I MEAN THAT IS A SIMPLE LEVEL. I REALIZE THAT. AND MUSHROOM HUNTERS AND LIKE THAT. EVEN MY MOTHERS PARENTS WERE NOT GREAT BUT THEY ALWAYS HAD A GARDEN, HAD ROSES AND BEANS AND STUFF. I CAN’T ANSWER THAT QUESTION VERY WELL. BUT IT IS INTRIGUING TO THINK ABOUT THAT.>> I WANT TO ASK A SIMILAR QUESTION. IF YOU WANT TO MAKE YOUR WAY THERE. YOU WRITE POIGNANTLY ABOUT SEVERAL WOMEN IN THIS MEMOIR. YOUR MOTHER, MARY, YOUR AUNT, YOUR OTHER AUNT WHO IS NAMED AFTER THE STATE OF MONTANA. AND YOU’RE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT DELINEATING EXPERIENCES OF WOMEN FROM MEN IN THE BOOK. WHY IS THAT?>> IT IS BECAUSE I REALIZED AFTER — WELL, YOU KNOW, I DID LEARN SOMETHING FROM TEACHING. ARE YOU GOING TO BE ALL RIGHT? ALL RIGHT. OKAY. SERIOUSLY, TEACHING AMERICAN LIT, WOMEN WRITERS AS WELL AS MALE WRITERS AND THE STORIES, THE VOICES IN THE STORIES OF VERY DIFFERENT. YOU KNOW AND I SAID, IT IS EASY AND TEMPTING TO TELL THE STORY FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF THE VISIBLE HISTORY. YOU CAN WRITE THAT.>> I AM GOING TO!>> RIGHT, LET MY DADS SERVICE IN THE MILITARY. IT’S ALL, THEY ARE AND SO ON. I SAID WHAT ABOUT THE WIVES AND MOTHERS AND SISTERS? AND THE AUNTS? THEY HAVE A STORY TOO. AND THEIR LIVES WERE IMPACTED AND SO ON, THE WAR AND THE CAMPS. I SAID, I NEED TO KNOW THOSE STORIES TO BECAUSE THEY ARE PART OF THIS. IN A VERY IMPORTANT WAY. AND ONE OF THE WAYS THAT BECAME CLEAR TO ME WAS THAT I REALIZED FROM THE BEGINNING THAT I NEEDED A TIMELINE. TO WRITE THIS BOOK. AND THE TIMELINE STARTED WITH — WELL, I WORK BACKWARDS AND FORWARDS BUT TECHNICALLY, IT STARTED IN 1790 WHEN THE US GOVERNMENT SAID, YOU COULD ONLY BE A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES IF YOU WERE A WHITE MALE OR WHATEVER. YOU CAN ONLY VOTE IF YOU ARE A WHITE MALE. OKAY. BUT, SO I HAD ALL OF THESE KEY DATES FROM AMERICAN HISTORY. YOU KNOW, THE 14TH AMENDMENT, THE 19TH AMENDMENT. AND THEN I PUT IN THE DATES FOR MY FAMILY.WHEN MY MOTHER WAS BORN, WHEN MY GRANDFATHER CAME TO THE UNITED STATES. THEY SAID THEY WANTED TO SEE THEIR DATES AND RELATIONSHIP TO THE LAWS AND REGULATIONS THAT THEY HAD TO LIVE WITH. OR TO BE BORN IN THE UNITED STATES, MY MOTHER WAS BORN IN 1915. WHEN DID WOMEN GET THE RIGHT TO VOTE? SO , SHE’S IN THAT, THE GENERATION WHO GETS TO VOTE YOU KNOW AND SO I SAID, ALL OF THESE THINGS, THEY HELP ME ASK QUESTIONS. DOES THAT MAKE SENSE? AND I SAID, I NEVER THOUGHT OF IT QUITE THAT WAY. I NEVER THOUGHT AND — SO ANYWAY, I’M GOING TO LET HIM ASK THE QUESTION. BUT, THEN I WILL COME BACK.>> OKAY.>> HERE’S A QUESTION. I’M GLAD YOU MENTIONED YOUR TEACHING BACKGROUND BECAUSE SOME OF US IN THE ROOM HERE WHO WERE STUDENTS AT YOUR COLLEGE. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE, ABOUT DOCTOR POLLARD AS ONE OF YOUR STUDENTS. TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THAT AND WHEN SHE CAME INTO YOUR CLASSROOM, DID SHE SIT IN THE FRONT ROW? CAN YOU REMEMBER ANY OF THAT?>> THIS OUGHT TO BE GOOD!>> THAT IS SO LONG AGO THAT — [LAUGHTER] WELL, I DO NOT KNOW THE ANSWER. I CANNOT REMEMBER THE ANSWER TO THAT. SHE DID NOT HAVE TO SIT IN THE FRONT ROW FOR SOMEONE TO NOTICE HER. BECAUSE SHE’S GOING TO MAKE SURE YOU KNOW THAT SHE’S IN THE ROOM, RIGHT? I DO NOT NEMEAN THAT IN A NEGATIVE WAY. IF SHE HAD A COMMENT OR QUESTION SHE WOULD MAKE IT. AS A TEACHER, ANY TEACHER WILL TELL YOU, YOU APPRECIATE STUDENTS WHO MAKE THEIR PRESENCE KNOWN IN THE CLASSROOM. AND — SHE WAS ALWAYS OPEN TO SOMETHING NEW. MY JOB WAS ALWAYS TO PRESENT SOMETHING THAT THE STUDENTS HAD NOT ALREADY THOUGHT. OR PRESENT SOMETHING THAT WOULD MAKE THEM THINK TWICE ABOUT WHAT THEY THOUGHT THEY KNEW. RIGHT? AND IT WASN’T IN YOUR CLASS, I DON’T THINK. BUT WHEN I WOULD TEACH ROBERT FROST AND LANGSTON HUGHES AND THE SAME CLASS WITH TONI MORRISON AND STEVENS AND SO ON. I — I WAS TEACHING AND I SAID, SOMETIMES REFERRED TO LANGSTON HUGHES AS A GREAT AFRICAN-AMERICAN POET. WHY DO NOT REFER TO ROBERT FROST AS A GREAT WHITE AMERICAN POET? YOU KNOW I SAID SO LET’S QUIT DOING THAT. RIGHT? I MENTIONED THAT BECAUSE THIS WAS A CLASS IN WHICH IT WAS IMPORTANT TO DISABUSE STUDENTS OF HABITS OF MIND THAT WERE NOT HELPING THEM UNDERSTAND THE LITERATURE. AND SO ANYWAY, IT WAS GREAT TO HAVE HER IN THE CLASS. I NEVER FORGOT HER AND SHE OBVIOUSLY NEVER FORGOT ME. I HAVE, I WANT TO SAY THIS. I HAVE HAD STUDENTS SAY YEARS LATER WHEN I RAN INTO THEM, THEY SAID, I WALKED INTO THE CLASS AND I HAD NO IDEA WHAT IT WOULD BE LIKE TO HAVE A JAPANESE AMERICAN LIT PROFESSOR. AND I SAID WELL, YOU FOUND OUT. [LAUGHTER] RIGHT? THERE WAS SOMETHING ELSE, DIDN’T YOUR SOMETHING ELSE?>> CAN I SAY SOMETHING THOUGH ABOUT HIM AS A TEACHER? SO, HE WAS THE FIRST TEACHER OF COLOR THAT I HAD AT OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY. AND THAT WAS VERY PROFOUND. PARTICULARLY, STEPPING INTO AN ENGLISH CLASSROOM AS WELL. AND HE WAS THE FIRST FACULTY MEMBER WHERE I LEARNED AND HEARD OF THE WORD, OTHER. AND I ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT AND HOW ONE CAN OTHER -IZE PEOPLE IN SUCH A WAY TO DEHUMANIZE THEM IN A LOT OF WAYS TO SUGGEST THAT THEIR NARRATIVE, THAT THEY ARE TRUTH IS NOT WORTHY OF BEING PART OF THE CANON. ONE OF THE THINGS I STUDIED A LOT, I THINK I MAYBE HAD TWO OR THREE UNDERGRADUATE CLASSES FROM — STILL CANNOT CALL HIM NEIL, DR. NAKADATE AND TWO OR THREE GRADUATE COURSES, AND THEN I WAS ON MY THESIS, DEFENSE FOR THAT. WAS ALWAYS PUSHING ME TO GO DEEPER. I STILL TO THIS DAY, I THINK I SAID THAT THE LAST TIME I SAW YOU. IT STILL TICKS ME OFF TO THIS DAY, ONE OF THE FIRST PAPERS EVER VOTE FOR HIM AS A GRADUATE STUDENT AND HE HAD THE AUDACITY TO SEND THIS BACK TO ME A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO. I WROTE A PAPER IN WHICH YOU KNOW I THOUGHT WAS BRILLIANT. [LAUGHTER] AND HE GOT IT BACK AND HE GRADED IT IN RED INK. TO THIS DAY I NEVER GRADE IN RED INK BECAUSE OF THIS. BUT IT WAS ON THE TOP, DEDE, IT HAD AN A/C. AND I SAID, WHAT IS THAT? DO I AVERAGE OUT AS A B? AND THEN HE SAID WRITING FLAWS. CONTENTS GOOD. BUT …I STILL REMEMBER THAT. AND SOME OF Y’ALL, YOU FEEL SOME KIND OF WAY ABOUT THAT? BECAUSE I FELT SOME KIND OF WAY ABOUT THAT. I REMEMBER IT MAY BE ANGRY BECAUSE I SAID THIS IS GOOD STUFF THAT I JUST WROTE! AND HE GOT CAUGHT UP IN THE WRITING. AND I THOUGHT IT’S JUST THE WRITING! THE CONTENT — AND I REMEMBERED HOW ANGRY I WAS AT THAT. BUT THEN HOW IT MADE ME GO HOME THAT WEEKEND AND HE SAID, — AND I THIK I MARCHED IN AFTER CLASS BECAUSE CLEARLY HAD SOMETHING TO SAY. AND I WAS LIKE, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? AND HE SAID YOU CAN REVISE THAT. OR NOT! AND I JUST KIND OF — WANTED TO SAY HOW WILL THAT BE IN THE GRADEBOOK? I WENT HOME THAT NIGHT AND THAT WEEKEND, I REVISE THAT PAPER. AND IT MADE ME WORK IN A WAY THAT I HAD NOT HAD TO WORK THUS FAR IN THAT PROGRAM. AND THAT IS WHAT I REMEMBER ABOUT HIM. SO THEN WHEN I GOT IT BACK, AND THEY EARNED THE A, THAT’S WHEN I SAID, THAT’S MY DUDE. NOW I GOT IT! NOW HE’S MY DUDE AS A RESULT OF THAT. I SAW SOMEONE HAD A QUESTION.>> HELLO.>> HELLO.>> HELLO.>> I FEEL LIKE A SINGER. ALL RIGHT! TODAY, TONIGHT IS A PUBLIC HEARING ON THE RACIAL EQUITY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE LEGISLATION THAT WAS INTRODUCED BY THE COUNTY COUNCIL A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO HERE WHICH REQUIRES EVERY GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT TO RE-EXAMINE THEIR PROGRAMS AND POLICIES AND PROCESSES WITH RACIAL EQUITY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE. I WANTED TO ASK YOU, YOU ARE THE SAME AGE MY FATHER. MY FATHER SAID TO ME THAT THIS LEGISLATION WAS TOO LATE. IT SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED A LONG TIME AGO. AND SO I WANTED TO KNOW YOUR OPINION ON HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT. THAT FINALLY IN 2019, IT’S BEEN ACKNOWLEDGED THAT YOU HAVE TO RE-EXAMINE SOMETHING THAT’S ALREADY BEEN DONE AND DAMAGED BY GENERATIONS.>> YOU KNOW, ALL OF THE PUBLISHERS, AT LEAST DURING MY CAREER, HAD BOOK SALES REPS THAT WOULD COME AROUND AND TRY TO GET THEIR BOOKS ADOPTED IN THE CLASSES. AND ONE TIME, ONE OF THE BOOK REPS AND I WERE CHATTING. WE WERE TALKING ABOUT THE FRESHMAN COP OR WHATEVER IT WAS. AND HE SAYS, HIS NAME WAS MARTIN. I WILL CALL HIM MARTIN. BUT HIS NAME WAS MARTIN. [LAUGHTER] AND HE SAID YOU KNOW WHAT THE STRONGEST MOVING FORCE IS IN HIGHER EDUCATION? OR THE STRONGEST FORCE IN HIGHER EDUCATION, I WAS YOUNG PROFESSOR AND I SAID NO, WHAT? HE SAID INERTIA. AND I GUESS IF I WERE TALKING TO YOUR DAD I WOULD SAY YOU KNOW, SOME THINGS ARE TAKING TOO DAMN LONG. PARTLY BECAUSE OF INERTIA. NOT ONLY THAT, AS A TEACHER I WOULD SAY, THERE ARE SOME THINGS ABOUT WHICH WE HAVE TO RETEACH. WE HAVE TO RENEW THE LESSONS. AND IT’S LIKE, WE WERE SAYING ABOUT HALF AN HOUR AGO, THE IDEA OF IMMIGRATION. THE SAME PATTERNS ARE BEING FOLLOWED. I KNOW THAT I SAID THIS BUT THE JAPANESE AMERICAN INCARCERATION, INTERNMENT EXPERIENCE IS A BLUEPRINT FOR WHAT IS HAPPENING AND CAN HAPPEN. TO OTHER GROUPS. SO AS LONG AS THAT CAN BE THE CASE, MAYBE IT’S, MAYBE WE SHOULDN’T SAY YEAH, IT SHOULD HAVE. BUT WE SHOULDN’T HAVE TO KEEP REPEATING IT OR RENEWING IT. BUT MAYBE WE DO. YOU KNOW? ONE OF THE WAYS TO NOT DO IT IS TO SAY I THOUGHT WE ALREADY DID THAT. LET’S MOVE ON. WELL, ISN’T THERE A GROUP OR ORGANIZATION CALLED MOVE ON? THAT IS NOT THEREFORE NO REASON. BUT, YOU CAN’T JUST MOVE ON. MOVE ON IS ALSO LEAVING SOMETHING BEHIND. YES. IS THAT OKAY? I MEAN — [LAUGHTER] >> IN THE BOOK YOU SPEAK ABOUT THE, HOW JAPANESE WOMEN WERE DOUBLY SHELTERED AND HOW THEY WERE TREATED A CERTAIN WAY IN THE HOME SPACE AS WELL AS HAVING TO DEAL WITH THE GENERAL ATTITUDE OF THE PUBLIC SPACE. SO HOW MUCH OF THE PUBLIC ATTITUDE TOWARDS WOMEN AT THE TIME IMPACTED THE REINFORCING THE GENDER NORMS IN THE PRIVATE SPACE BECAUSE A LOT OF TIME THE WAY WOMEN ARE TREATED IN PUBLIC SPACES HAS HUGE IMPACT ON THE WAY THEY ARE TREATED IN THE HOMES. AND ALSO, EVEN THOUGH THAT WAS THERE IN THE BEGINNING CHAPTERS OF THE BOOK, REALLY SPEAKS ABOUT HOW WOMEN WERE THE ONES WHO WERE REINFORCING EDUCATION. THEY WERE OPENING THE PLACES WHERE KIDS WILL COME TO AFTER SCHOOL. IF YOU COULD JUST — OF COURSE, IN TERMS OF YOU KNOW FURTHERING EDUCATION, WOMEN HAD A ROLE. IF YOU CAN SPEAK ABOUT THE PUBLIC AND THE PRIVATE — >> YES I WOULD. THAT IS PART OF YOUR QUESTION IS THE PART THAT I LOST. IS THIS OKAY, MICROPHONE? SO, MY MOTHER IN MY AUNT, WE USED TO HAVE A SLIDE FOR THAT. DID WE LOSE IT? YES! THERE THEY ARE. THEY HAD TO DO WITH BOTH AMERICAN AND JAPANESE GENDER EXPECTATIONS. AND IN BOTH, WOMEN WERE SUPPOSED TO BE RELATIVELY PASSIVE. RIGHT? AND AT THE SAME TIME AS THE MOTHERS OF THE NISEI CHILDREN, THEY WERE HAVING TO HELP THE CHILDREN NEGOTIATE THE TWO CULTURES. SO AS MUCH AS THEY WERE TOLD THAT THEIR DOMAIN WAS THE HOME, THEY KNEW THAT THEY WERE TALKING TO THE NEXT GENERATION THAT WAS GOING TO GO OUT THAT DOOR TO PUBLIC SCHOOL. SO THEY KNEW THAT THEY HAD TO PAY ATTENTION TO THAT TOO. THE FATHERS WERE EXPECTED TO GO INTO THE PUBLIC WORLD OF COMMERCE OR LAW OR MEDICINE OR LABOR OR WHATEVER IT WAS. BUT THE MEN WALK OUT THE DOOR AND EVEN THE SALES FOR THE COMPANY WOULD LEARN ENGLISH. BECAUSE THEY HAD TO. SO, WHERE ARE YOU? SO, THE ROLES FOR WOMEN WERE VERY CHALLENGING, I THINK. BECAUSE ON ONE HAND, THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE PASSIVE AND SO ON. ON THE OTHER, THEY KNEW QUITE WELL THAT THAT WAS NOT THE WORLD THEY LIVED IN. YOU KNOW, AND WHAT WOULD THAT, WHAT SHOULD THEY DO THEN? AS IT TURNED OUT FOR EXAMPLE, MY AUNT GOT MARRIED FIRST AND MY MOTHER WAS LATER. BUT MY AUNT GOT MARRIED, HAD TWO CHILDREN, THEN FOR REASONS THAT ARE IN THE BOOK, SHE DID NOT END UP GOING INTO THE CAMP. SHE WENT INTO A HOSPITAL AND THEN SHE ENDED UP GETTING DIVORCED LONG DISTANCE WHILE SHE WAS IN THE HOSPITAL. AND HER HUSBAND AND THE TWO GIRLS WERE IN CAMP. AFTER THE WAR, MY AUNT WAS THE BREADWINNER FOR THE FAMILY. SHE WAS THE BREADWINNER FOR HERSELF, THE TWO DAUGHTERS AND MY GRANDPARENTS. WHO NO LONGER HAD A LIVELIHOOD BECAUSE THEY LOST THAT BECAUSE OF THE WAR. SO SHE WAS, YOU SEE WHERE I’M GOING WITH THAT. AS A VERSION OF THE STORY THAT DID NOT FIT ANYBODY’S NORMS. BUT PRACTICALLY SPEAKING, SHE HAD TO BE OUT THERE AND WORK. AND SHE DID, SHE DID A GREAT JOB! SHE WAS — ANYWAY, YEAH. SHE HAD — AND MY MOTHER ENDED UP GETTING MY DADS ARMY CHECK EVERY, EVERY WHAT EVER SO OFTEN. ON A REGULAR BASIS. BUT BECAUSE OF FAMILY CIRCUMSTANCES, MY MOTHER ENDED UP BEING THE HUB OF THE WHEEL OF COMMUNICATION FOR EVERYBODY IN THE FAMILY. BECAUSE SHE COULD READ AND WRITE ENGLISH AND JAPANESE. SO SHE COULD WRITE TO HER PARENTS IN THE CAMP. SHE COULD WRITE TO MY DAD SOMEWHERE IN EUROPE. TO HER BROTHER SOMEWHERE IN THE PACIFIC. AND SO ON. AND SO, SHE HAD TO BE OUT THERE IN THAT SENSE IN THE WORLD TOO. AND TO UNDERSTAND WHAT WAS EVERYBODY’S REALITY OUT THERE AS MUCH AS SHE COULD. BUT LET ME GO BACK TO WHERE YOUR QUESTION MUST HAVE STARTED. I LEARNED MORE ABOUT THE WOMEN IN MY FAMILY THAN I EVER THOUGHT I WAS THERE. EVEN THOUGH I KNEW IT WAS THERE. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? I KNEW THERE WAS MORE I DIDN’T KNOW BUT BY POINTEDLY, CONSCIOUSLY ASKING QUESTIONS. I SAID, THIS IS A WHOLE DIFFERENT WORLD FROM ANYTHING I WOULD HAVE UNDERSTOOD WITHOUT ASKING THESE QUESTIONS. AND I WISH I HAD LEARNED FROM MY MOTHER HIS MOTHER HOW TO MAKE SUSHI. [LAUGHTER] SHE TRIED TO TEACH ME AND I THOUGHT — GIVE ME A BREAK! I WISH I HAD LEARNED IT NOW.>> LET ME — >> YES PLEASE, SORRY.>> THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS EVENING. AS YOU WERE RESEARCHING THIS BOOK AND TALKING WITH YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS AND SUCH, HOW DID THAT INFLUENCE THE MATERIAL THAT YOU BROUGHT INTO THE CLASSROOM?>> WELL, I WOULD — TYPICALLY IT WOULD BE IN A MULTICULTURAL LIT COURSE, SAY, BUT NOT ALWAYS STRICTLY — I’M TRYING TO THINK OF AN EXAMPLE FOR WHAT I’M ABOUT TO SAY. NOT ONLYSTRICTLY HAVING TO DO WITH JAPANESE AMERICAN WRITERS . BECAUSE SOME OF THE EXPERIENCES JAPANESE-AMERICANS ARE SIMILAR TO OTHER IMMIGRANT GROUPS. ONE OF MY GOALS IN THE COURSE WAS TO SHOW THESE OVERLAPS. SO IT WAS LIKE A DIAGRAM. I WOULD SAY THEIR WAYS THE GROUPS CAN UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER BECAUSE THEY SHARE CERTAIN EXPERIENCES. BUT I WOULD BRING UP EXAMPLES FROM MY FAMILY’S STORY TO ILLUSTRATE OUTSIDE OF SAY, A WORK OF LITERATURE. THE POINT I WAS MAKING. I WOULD SAY THIS HAPPENED TO REAL PEOPLE. THAT I TALK TO. I’VE GOT IT ON TAPE. YEAH AND — BUT IT AFFECTED MY TEACHING BECAUSE LIKE THE POINT I JUST MADE ABOUT WOMEN IN MY FAMILY. EVEN MORE THAN BEFORE, I PAID ATTENTION TO WHAT WAS GOING ON WITH THE WOMEN IN THE STORIES OR THE WOMEN POETS OR BECAUSE I SAID THERE’S MORE TO IT THEN I THOUGHT OF 10 YEARS AGO. YOU KNOW, SO THAT THOSE THINGS MIXED AROUND.>> IF I COULD ASK FOR TWO MINUTES ON THE TITLE OF THE BOOK AND THEN WE WILL WRAP THIS UP BECAUSE WE WILL GO TO — >> OKAY LOOKING AFTER — AS YOU SAID IT WAS QUITE CONSCIOUS. IT IS TIED TO THE FACT THAT THE INTERNMENT, INCARCERATION STORY WAS OFTEN BURIED. IT WAS OFTEN BURIED IN THE SENSE THAT NOBODY TALKED ABOUT IT. OR FEW PEOPLE DID. IN MY FAMILY WAS ALWAYS DEFLECTED. IT REFERRED TO CAMP AND I THOUGHT IT WAS LIKE, YMCA CAMP. I MEAN REALLY! SO IN GETTING INTERVIEWS FROM MY FAMILY MEMBERS AND DOING RESEARCH IN THE LIBRARY, LOOKING AT ALL OF THE JUNK IN THE BASEMENT. I AM LOOKING AFTER MINIDOKA. AFTER LOOKING HAS MULTIPLE MEANINGS, AFTER, AFTERWARDS, LOOKING AFTER AS IN TAKING CARE OF. AND TRYING TO BRING IT TO LIGHT AS BEST I CAN. SO THAT WAS WHERE THAT STORY — AND SUBTITLE, AN AMERICAN MEMOIR. THAT’S PROBABLY TIED TO THE FACT THAT MY DAD ALWAYS SAID, I AM AN AMERICAN OF JAPANESE ANCESTRY. I WAS IN THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA. YOU KNOW, I WANTED TO SERVE, MAKE SURE THIS IS AN AMERICAN STORY. THE LAST TWO WORDS, THREE WORDS. OF THE BOOK. THE WORDS THAT MY MOTHER TOLD ME REGARDING HER NAME. WHICH IS NOT, I THOUGHT IT WAS JUST MARY. SHE SAID WELL, WHEN I WAS NAME , MERIKO. SHE SAID IN THE JAPANESE, — THE WAY WE WERE TOLD TO WRITE IT, IT MEANS CHILD OF AMERICA. OR CHILD WHOSE COUNTRY IS AMERICA. I MEAN SHE SAID THERE ARE DIFFERENT WAYS YOU CAN DO IT. SHE SAYS THAT IS WHAT IT MEANS AND I SAID THE WHOLE BOOK IS A CHILD OF AMERICA. THIS WHOLE STORY IS AN AMERICAN STORY. GOOD AND BAD AND ANGRY AND SOMETHING TO REJOICE OVER AND BE PROUD OF AND TO BE FRUSTRATED ABOUT AND TO BE MAYBE LOOK THAT WE THINK WE ARE REPEATING IT ALL OVER AGAIN.>> ON THAT NOTE, I WOULD LIKE TO THANK DR. NAKADATE FOR JOINING US. THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING HERE. WE HAVE A NUMBER OF STUDENTS FROM THE CLASSES I WOULD LIKE TO THANK OUR COMMUNITY MEMBERS HERE SUPPORTING. I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO THANK THE MEYER FOUNDATION THAT SUPPORTS THE SERIES AND PROVIDES BOOKS FOR US. AND THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR WILLINGNESS TO ENGAGE IN THIS SUBJECT AND FOR LETTING ME HAVE A FEW MINUTES WITH ONE OF MY FAVORITE TEACHERS.THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE. [APPLAUSE]

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