tv Japanese American National Museum CSPAN February 22, 2017 5:40am-6:09am EST
spot. pennsylvania james buchanan is ranked last. andrew jackson 7th president found rating dropping from 13 to 18 of the but the survey had good news for outgoing barack obama. on first time on the first historic placed him at number 12 overall. george w. bush move three spots up with big gains in public persuasion and relations with congress. how did our historians right your favorite. who are the winners and can loser. you can find out of this and more on the web side at c-span.org. >> each week american history tv american artifacts take viewers behind the scene, at historic skiets. next a tour of the jan teen in
tokyo. tokyo in 1930 and spent three years at heart mountain relocation center during world war ii. located near downtown los angeles, little tokyo is one of three remaining in california where as many as 40 japan towns thrived prior to world war ii. los angeles first started way back in 1781 when 11 settlers came from mexico to get land for the king of spain in 1843. the first recorded japanese landed in fair haven, massachusetts. haminoske. he was a shipwork sailor from off the coast of hawaii and the whaler ship picked up five japanese men and four of them were left in hawaii but he was
brought to fair haven, massachusetts. so he is probably the first recorded japanese to be here. and then in 1850, los angeles was incorporated. at that time, we had about 1,600 people in a square mile of 28 square miles. today, we're about 4 million population and the square mile is about 469. but california was the site of the immigrants from japan. port of entry was san francisco, and the first colony was up there in northern california at gold hill. about 30 miles south of sacramento. and it was an ill fated wakamatsu tea and silk colony. they lasted about two years. so that was the first organized colony from japan. los angeles little tokyo started when we had also a shipwrecked
sailor from the san diego area. he came up here and then in 1885, he started the first japanese american restaurant here in little tokyo. common ground, the heart of community. in this instance, we're talking about the japanese american community here in the united states. the japanese were enticed to go to hawaii. the sugar plantation people came to japan to recruit workers. they said, gee if you work three years in the sugar plantations of hawaii, it's equivalent to working ten years in a factory of japan. so close to 1,000 people way back in 1885 went on a three-year labor contract to sugar plantations of hawaii. but when they got there, they found out differently. they had foremen or lunas that had whips. they used the leather whips on the workers. so it was slave-like condition. so many of them got out of their
three-year labor contract, escaped to maybe the coffee plantations or the pineapple plantations and some of them went back to the cities. others were enticed to go to the main land. many of you heard of benjamin franklin. he was a great statesman. however, he wanted to keep america white. so way back in 1751, benjamin franklin said he didn't want the blacks or the asians here in america. in the 1850s, america wanted to build a transcontinental railway from new york to california, but they couldn't get enough workers. so what did america do? they went to china to recruit the chinese to come and build a railroad. after the railroads were built they didn't want the chinese here so they had an anti-chinese movement as early as 1879. every dog has his day. red gentleman, pale face trade you crowd him out, as did me.
this was 1879. three years later, chinese were excluded in 1882. this is an actual remnants of world war ii. this is one-third of original bar rack in heart mountain, wyoming. that was the camp i was incarcerated in. so we'll go on the inside and see the structure. during world war ii, we had ten camps in seven western states. they were all similar but not the same. the smallest camp was about 7,000. the largest camp around 19,000. i was incarcerated in heart mountain, wyoming, about 60 miles from the east gate of yellowstone national park.
i was 11. came out at 14 years old. so basically three years and three months. i'll show you some of the illustration. this is by estelle peck. she was married to a japanese person so she came into the camp. she wrote the book "lone heart mountain," and this is some illustration of it. here is a hot pot belly stove. we had coal fed into it. and california, they fed oil into it and in arkansas, they used wood as a fuel. so those are some of the differences of the camps. by the way, we use all military terminology, so we lived in barracks. and then we ate at the mess hall. so we were fed three meals a day. this is what really broke up our family unity.
as a family, we sometimes ate breakfast together, but lunchtime and dinnertime, forget it. we were regulated by the dinner gong. any time we heard the dinner gong, we ran to the mess hall, lined up, ate, then went out to play or went to school. so we didn't have chance to discuss family matters over the dinner table because we didn't eat together. then the latrines. the women in heart mountain complained, so they put partitions, but still no doors. so in camp, they said, gee, they have to use strategy just to use the bathroom. so they go to the end stall. it's the least amount of traffic. no, it backfired. everyone went to peek to see if someone is in the end stall so it got the most traffic. but on the men's side, we didn't have any partition so we had to sit next to strangers and do our personal business. this was probably the worst thing of camp life. and then we had the shower room.
the shower room was about eight feet by ten feet on one wall. we had four shower heads and the other wall, another four. so about eight shower heads in a room about 8 by 10 so no privacy. you see the seven people taking a shower there. and the woman didn't have showers in heart mountain. they had bathtubs. so, still, you could see the seven other women taking a bath. so no privacy. here is a pile of coal. that was one of my job is to make sure we had enough coal to keep us warm throughout the evening. but as you notice, any time we had any wind, we always had a dust storm because the camp was on raw dirt. the bulldozer scraped away the tumble weeds and plopped down the barracks and that's where we lived. so any time we had any wind, we always had a dust storm. there was a partition here, so this used to be the smallest room.
18 feet by 20 feet for a family of two or three. this was the largest room. this is where my family was incarcerated. my two parents, my two brothers my two sisters, myself. so there were seven of us about the size of a two-car garage, 20 feet by 24 feet. and we only had one light bulb. we had one pot belly stove to keep us warm, but no water. what did we need water for? well, to bathe, to cleanse ourselves, to cook, to drink. but we had no water here. so we had to go to the public laundry room or the public latrines or go to the mess hall to get a drink of water or go to the latrines to do our business. so initially there was another unit beyond here for family of four or five and then it duplicated. a total of six units for six families.
25 people lived in one barrack which was 20 feet wide and 120-foot long. initially, we didn't have any insulation, so very cold. we had happened to get one of the coldest winter in wyoming history. minus 28 degrees. so we suffered the first winter, but by the second winter, we had insulation called celetex. it's a small piece up there, left up there about a half inch thick insulation that we had. most camps did not have a ceiling but we did have a ceiling so it cut down on heat as well as sound. so some people said, gee, us kids were fortunate that our parents wouldn't dare raise their voice because they'd be heard throughout the 120-foot of the barracks. one week's notice right there.
okay. on the exclusion orders, there was 108 of these exclusion orders that general john dewitt issued. moving 120,000 people, japanese ancestry from washington, oregon, california and arizona. right here, we have a world war i veteran. he's protesting, but he was labeled as an enemy alien. so he was protesting, but he had to go into the camps, even though he fought for america during world war i. little known fact is that we had about 2,200 japanese latinos, japanese latinos from these white named countries, central america and south america. president roosevelt requested of all the countries to send people of japanese ancestry here to crystal city, texas.
brazil had the largest japanese population, but they refused to cooperate with president roosevelt. peru kidnapped around 1,800 japanese peruvians, went through the panama canal and brought them here to crystal city, texas. and the central american countries also had about 400 of them incarcerated here in crystal city, texas. president roosevelt wanted prisoners of war. so during the war, sweden, being a neutral country, sent a ship here to long island, new york. there they got 5,000 japanese. some japanese latinos and some japanese that wanted to go back to japan from the camp. so-called troublemakers. so they got 5,000 of them, bordered the ship. the ship went around africa to india. there they met a red cross ship with 5,000 americans that were
stranded in japan and they exchanged prisoners of war there. >> back from her fourth wartime journey of mercy, the swedish exchange "gripsholm" arrives. home are americans home from nazi internment prison camps. >> in the camps, they are trying to make it as normal as possible. so when someone passed away, they try and give them a respectful funeral service. but sometimes they could not get fresh flowers, so sometimes these flowers were made of paper. so they had origami flowers. so they tried to make an abnormal situation as normal as possible. for example, right here, they chose the high school prom queen. she didn't have a beautiful crown but at least they went through the procedure of electing a prom queen. during world war ii, "life"
magazine presented this. i sort of snicker at it because it could be either/or japanese or chinese. or korean or vietnamese. it could be any of those, but i sort of snicker at it because this is, how you could tell the difference between a japanese and a chinese. heart mountain camp was infamous for the protesters. right here is a court trial in cheyenne, wyoming. 63 members of the heart mountain camp were -- got draft notices. they resisted. they said unless you free our family, then they would not serve uncle sam in the united states army. but the courts said, no, regardless of the family situation, they have to report to the service. they refused, so they got federal penitentiary service, two to three years. so a total of 85 protested from
heart mountain, wyoming. a total about 300 protested from the ten camps. when we were incarcerated in the camps, everyone got one of these. they told us to go to the haystack and fill it with hay. so this was our temporary mattress. the military was not prepared to house 120,000 people, so initially we had to make our own mattress. it didn't smell too good and sometimes it pokes us, but eventually we got standard distribution of mattresses. sometimes you see these tin can lids nailed to the floors. why? because they had knot holes in them. and the knot holes, any time you had any wind, the dirt would come through the floors. so to prevent that, we put the tin can lids to cover the holes. and being from california, we didn't have winter clothing.
so in wyoming, snow country, we were issued these world war i navy peacoats. so since everyone got a peacoat, people had to identify their own. so this happened to be jim's peacoat. everyone got a peacoat. so these were all adult sizes. i was a young kid of 11 years old, so when i wore it, it looked like the jacket was walking. as i mentioned, i was a young kid of 11 years old. so fortunate we had the boy scout movement. heart mountain camp had the largest boy scout movement of all the camps. we had seven boy scout troops, various cub scout troop, girl scout troop, brownies. so we had thousands of kids in organized sports to keep us active in the camps. this drum happened to go into the camps during world war ii. and initially when it went into camp and had american flag and
japanese flag, but it wasn't popular to be japanese so they changed the japanese flag to american flag there. everyone 17 or older had to fill out a loyalty questionnaire. where were you born? where were you educated? what newspaper do you subscribe to? but the controversial question was question 27 and 28. basically it says, will you give up the loyalty to the emperor of japan? people did not know how to answer that. 17 years old, probably never been to japan. never had loyalty to the emperor of japan, but they didn't know how to answer that. how could they give up their loyalty to the emperor of japan if they never had it. but they could only answer yes or no. so people were confused on that. and then the real other one was that, are you willing to fight for the military wherever called for?
and again, they are 17 years old. does that mean yes, you are willing to fight for america and go today, or would they wait until you finish your high school, get your high school diploma and go fight for america at a later date? so those were the two controversial questions, number 27 and 28. this is about the saito family. they had four boys. three of them says they're going to go fight for america. the father protested. he says why should you fight for america? we are incarcerated behind barbed wire fence and armed guards. no charges against us. no due process of law. but just because we look like the enemy we're incarcerated. so why should you fight for america? well, these three boys insisted they are going to fight for america to prove their loyalty to america. so they went overseas. one of them got killed so the brother wrote to the father. feel proud that your son gave the supreme sacrifice for his country.
so he was really sad about that, but then two months later, he got killed, so now the father is really concerned so he asked the department of army to return the third son from combat area. he was refused on the ground that he had one more son at home. but fortunately, he did get home. okay. initially, the 104th 42nd combat team were issued that circular patch there. the arm and the sword with dripping blood. they said that's not us. so they, given permission to draw up their own patch so they drew the red, white and blue background with a liberty torch. so that represents the 104th, 442nd regimental combat team. this is one of the models of one of the ten camps. this is manzanar camp about 200 miles north of los angeles. and this was the only camp that had an orphanage right here.
we have three barracks here. there's about 101 orphans. it had about 10,000 people here. here you see this statue. this is in the cemetery. so it goes to a pilgrimage so there are third, fourth generation about april or may of the year and remember what happened to them during world war ii. i feel america is the greatest
country in the world. he gave us an official apology an official apology president george bush, even though president reagan signed it in 1980 it was not implemented until 1990. we got this and we got a recreation of $20,000 that sounds like a lot of money. are you willing to give up three years of your life for $20,000? i wish my parents got it. he had to start all over again at 50 years old. so i wish he got it but he was long gone by 1988. it was a great feeling got $20,000 from the government but
still felt my parents hatd got it. he had to raise five children. i put it into this museum to build. my $20,000 plus to tell our story that this never happens to anyone again, any where. just because we look like the enemy we were incarcerated even though we were young american citizens. i went on and eventually graduated from the university of southern california as a teacher. so i put in about 25 years in teaching and hope that we learn. still, i feel america didn't earn its lesson.
after 9/11 what happened to the american muslim? american people look down upon them because they look like the terrorists. that's what happened to us. we looked lielk the enemy and after strifts attacked the twin towers they looked down on the american muslim because they look like a terrorist so they would have to learn from our world war ii lessons it should not happen again the letters
moh. but in 1999 they ask president clinton to review the records of world war ii and after reviewing it president clinton upgraded 20 more people to receive the congressional medal of honor. we have 20% that receive the medal of honor during world war ii. shall we say the biggest name that got it was daniel inouye. he lost his arm fighting for america and he is now the senator from hawaii. so also we have a catch-all memorial over here.
this is the monument, the 144th regiment combat team during world war ii. the team was the mes decorated unit in military history for size and length of service. it got over 9,000 purple hearts. there is over 16,000 names here. they are placed by computer. you cannot find someone's name. we have an index to locate anyone that fought during world war ii. there is the units they fought
with throughout world war ii. here is the list of medal of honor and the various decorations that they received. >> you can learn more about little tokyo and the history of the japanese and united states at the national museum web site. at 8:00 eastern dale green ton history of morgan state university. at 8:50 bowie state and how it
part of american history tv each night this week on cspan3. in 2011 a center was opened in wyoming where the u.s. government forcibly relocated 14,000 japanese american. former transportation secretary who lived in the camp spoke at the opening ceremony. we'll also hear from allen simpson. this is 45 minutes. >> you go first.
IN COLLECTIONSCSPAN3 Television Archive Television Archive News Search Service
Uploaded by TV Archive on