S. HRG. 98-1304
RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COMMISSION ON WARTIME
INTERNMENT AND RELOCATION OF CITIZENS
SUBCOMMITTEE ON CIVIL SERVICE,
POST OFFICE, AND GENERAL SERVICES
UNITED STATES SENATE
TO ACCEPT THE FINDINGS AND TO IMPLEMENT
THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COMMISSION ON WARTIME INTERNMENT AND
RELOCATION OF CITIZENS
AUGUST 16, 1984 -- LOS ANGELES, CA
AUGUST 29, 1984 -- ANCHORAGE, AK
Printed for the use of the Committee on
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1986
For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office
U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402
COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS
|WILLIAM V. ROTH,
JR., Delaware, Chairman
|CHARLES H. PERCY, Illinois
|THOMAS F. EAGLETON, Missouri
|TED STEVENS, Alaska
|LAWTON CHILES, Florida
|CHARLES McC. MATHIAS, JR., Maryland
|SAM NUNN, Georgia
|WILLIAM S. COHEN, Maine
|JOHN GLENN, Ohio
|DAVID DURENBERGER, Minnesota
|JIM SASSER, Tennessee
|WARREN B. RUDMAN, New Hampshire
|CARL LEVIN, Michigan
|JOHN C. DANFORTH, Missouri
|JEFF BINGAMAN, New Mexico
|THAD COCHRAN, Mississippi
|DAVID PRYOR, Arkansas
|WILLIAM L. ARMSTRONG, Colorado
|JOHN M. DUNCAN, Staff
|IRA S. SHAPIRO, Minority
Staff Director and Chief Counsel
|TERRY JOLLY, Chief
CIVIL SERVICE, POST OFFICE, AND GENERAL SERVICES
|CHARLES McC. MATHIAS, JR., Maryland
|JEFF BINGAMAN, New Mexico
|WILLIAM L. ARMSTRONG, Colorado
|JIM SASSER, Tennessee
|WAYNE A. SCHLEY, Staff
|EDWIN S. JAYNE, Minority
|PAT PHILLIPS, Chief
NOTE: [Bracketed] text in original. This excerpt starts from
page 35 of the record.
Senator STEVENS. We will now hear from the Honorable Samuel Hayakawa,
former Senator from California.
TESTIMONY OF SAMUEL I. HAYAKAWA,
FORMER SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF
Mr. HAYAKAWA. Good morning, Senator Stevens.
Senator STEVENS. Good morning, Senator.
Mr. HAYAKAWA. First, let me thank you for the opportunity of giving
testimony on this occasion. It is a real privilege.
I want to take a point of view this morning, Mr. Chairman -- this has
not been taken by anyone else to my knowledge -- I want to look at the
wartime relocation of Japanese-Americans from a strictly Japanese
of view, that is, the way it was seen by the Issei, or the
Let me explain, therefore, something about the Japanese ethical and
Every Japanese is born into a system of obligations -- to his
to his feudal Lord, to his parents. These are known as "on" -- O-n --
or the obligations he must fulfill throughout his life.
As an immigrant from another country, he may or may not continue to
revere the Emperor, but as long as he is in another country, he has
"on" toward the government of that country.
President Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066, required that Japanese,
both U.S. citizens and noncitizens, be removed from designated military
zones, which were the three coastal States and a part of northern
Arizona. The Japanese hastened to comply with the order,
tremendous difficulties of preparation for travel, disposition of
businesses and property, arrangements for transportation, thus showing
themselves to be, by Japanese standards of "on," men and women of honor.
Of course, to be uprooted from one's home and business and moved to
strange surroundings under military orders was a painful and
humiliating experience, but another Japanese moral imperative takes
over, and that is "giri to one's name," which means "self-respect,"
what Germans call "die Ehre," comes into effect. "Giri"
one, when deeply distressed, to weep, scream, to make a scene or create
a disturbance. One has to do what one has to do quietly and with
My wife and I were living in Chicago when all this was happening. We
followed with intense interest what was happening to the Japanese in
California. We read accounts in newspapers and weekly -- particularly
pictorial weeklies like Life Magazine. We saw newsreels. What
impressed us again and again was the dignity, the grace and realism of
Japanese behavior under these difficult and humiliating circumstances.
They kept their dignity.
Now, the gap between the Issei who went to camp, and the Sansei --
their grandchildren -- who are now pressing for redress, is revealed by
the contempt shown by the latter for the former. A statement issued
the Seattle chapter of the Japanese-American Citizens League says that
the Issei went to camp without a struggle because they had been brainwashed
by white racism into believing in their own racial
Mr. Chairman, what incredible rubbish.
The younger Japanese-Americans, having learned to analyze the world in
the trendy language of Black Panther ideology, have no idea what gave
backbone and courage and character to their parents and grandparents in
times of stress.
Among those whose lives were seriously disrupted by the relocation
order were the students attending colleges and universities in
California. Washington, and Oregon.
John H. McCloy, Assistant Secretary of War, requested Clarence
Pickett of the America Friends Service Committee in May
1942 to start planning a program of student relocation that would
enable young people to continue their studies. Distinguished educators
from west coast universities and other institutions from elsewhere,
plus the Japanese-American Citizens League, Government agencies and
church groups and so on, began to form within a few short weeks a National
Student Relocation Council. The problem was not only to relocate
students already in college, but to place students in college as they
graduated from high schools in the relocation centers. A further
problem was to raise scholarship money to enable students to pay for
The efforts of the Student Relocation Council were supported by the
Staff of the War Relocation Authority as well as by the internees
In 1941, according to a study by Robert O'Brian entitled "The College
Nisei," there were 271 Nisei students in colleges and
universities east of the Rockies. Then, because of the combined efforts
of everyone concerned, including especially the America Friends Service
Committee, from 1942 to the end of the war, almost 4,300 students
were relocated in all parts of the United States outside the west coast.
Among the many institutions that had never had Nisei students before,
but received them during the relocation, were Illinois Institute of
Technology, fashionable schools like Bryn Mawr, Carleton, Kenyon,
Louisiana State University, University of Texas, Rutgers, Antioch,
Oberlin, Haverford, Mount Holyoke, and Purdue University and so on.
In most places, Nisei were alone or virtually alone in a white society,
but they soon found themselves among friends in their classmates and
their professors, who received them warmly. Many Nisei distinguished
themselves scholastically, others distinguished themselves in sports,
and some in both. But all found themselves at home in a larger America
than they had ever known before.
Their basic learning was summed up by a girl who attended an eastern
school, who is quoted by O'Brian. She said,
I've always wanted to be looked upon as an American.
I have found it here. They treat me as an American. They do not treat
me as a Japanese-American.
Now, whatever the heartbreaks and losses created by the wartime
relocation, there were unforeseen benefits. Through the
adventure of relocation, almost all Nisei and many Issei were thrown
out of their ghettoized Japan-town existence into the mainstream of
American life -- and learned to converse, joke, quarrel, bargain, or
pray with their fellow Americans without racial self-consciousness.
They learned to be at home in their own country.
Professor Thomas Sowell, the economist, has accurately described what
In short, the internment of Japanese-Americans...
eventually worked to their advantage. It gave the group greater
occupational and residential mobility, it released the young and
ambitious native-born Japanese-Americans from the strict control of
their parents. It decisively broke the back of the anti-Japanese
prejudice and discrimination which had held them back for decades.
Despite irreparable personal and financial damage to individuals,
Japanese-Americans as a group prospered more after they returned from
the internment camps than before. The Japanese-Americans did not
put their main emphasis on trying to get justice, but rather on trying
to get ahead. And they did.
This is from Race and Economics, published in 1975.
Mr. Chairman, it was a great humiliation for the Nisei of the 100th
Battalion of the Hawaii National Guard to be sent to Camp McCoy,
WI, where they were trained with wooden guns. Mr. Chairman, that is a
degree to which they were distrusted, despite the fact that they were
wearing American uniforms. But most seriously this distrust was an
affront to these young men. America was saying to them, "You are not to
be trusted. We doubt your loyalty."
Our distinguished colleague, the Honorable Spark Matsunaga, now a U.S.
Senator from Hawaii, was in that unit. He has written as follows:
We wrote home of our great desire for combat duty to
prove our loyalty to the United States. It was not known to us then
that our letters were being censored by higher authority. We learned
subsequently that because of the tenor of our letters, the War
Department decided to give us a chance. Our guns were returned to us
and we were told that we were going to be prepared for combat duty --
grown men leaped with joy.
Well, you know the story after that. On January 28, 1943, the War
Department announced that Niseis would be accepted as a special combat
unit. They volunteered in the thousands both from Hawaii and from the
relocation centers. They were united with the 100th Battalion as the 442d
Regimental Combat Team at Camp Shelby, MI.
The 100th Battalion first saw action in Salerno, Italy, in September
1943, and took heavy casualties. The 442d landed in Italy in June 1944,
and at once gained a reputation as an assault force, and accomplished
the famous rescue of the "Lost Battalion" of the 36th Texas Division,
at an enormous cost in blood. Fighting in seven major campaigns, the
men of the 442d suffered 9,486 casualties and won more than 18,000
individual decorations for valor.
Another 3,700 Niseis served in combat areas in the Pacific as
translators and interpreters. The Japanese military, believing the
Japanese language was too difficult for foreigners to master, were
unbelievably careless about security. They did not count on Nisei on
every battlefront reading captured documents and passing information on
to Allied commanders. Kibei -- that is, Nisei who are born in
but educated in Japan and were therefore the object of special
suspicion and distrust -- the Kibei turned out to be especially helpful
in this respect, in assisting the American Armed Forces.
In short, the Nisei covered themselves with honor and made life in
America better for themselves, and their parents -- who a few years
after the war won the right to be naturalized -- and their children.
I remember vividly the returning Nisei veterans I saw in Chicago soon
after VE Day. They came home from Europe. Short of stature as they
were, they walked proudly down Randolph Street, with infantry combat
citations on their chests, conscious that they were home -- home in
their own country. And, Chicago, known throughout the war for its
hospitality to servicemen, outdid itself when the Nisei returned. The
Nisei had really earned that welcome.
I do not believe, Mr. Chairman, that it suffices to say as an
explanation, to say that the Nisei troops were brave. What was driving
them was a profoundly Japanese motivation, namely "giri to one's
name." I didn't know the word myself, but I knew I had it, and I know
many other Nisei who have it, but they weren't told about it in those
Since they had been suspected of disloyalty, they had to prove
themselves loyal beyond all questions, beyond all doubt.
This is the basic reason the Nisei volunteered in such numbers. This is
the reason they fought so well. More than 33,000 Niseis served in
the war -- a remarkable number out of a total Japanese-American
population -- Hawaii and mainland combined -- of something like
200,000. They had a fierce pride in their reputation as a group.
And, Mr. Chairman, the Issei were also motivated by "giri to
one's name." Those who found jobs outside the camps, as a result of the
efforts of the War Relocation Authority, proved to be exemplary
workers, as if to prove something not only about themselves, but about
their entire group. Japanese-Americans, young and old alike, accepted
the mass relocation with dignity and maturity making the best of a
humiliating and unjust situation. In so doing, they exhibited the
finest resources of their ancient background culture.
To me as a Japanese-American, I find myself both awed and humbled by
Japanese-American behavior during World War II.
First, I was deeply impressed by the ability of the Issei, the
immigrant generation, to draw upon their moral resources and their
ethical traditions to accept the discomforts and the agonies of
relocation with stoicism and dignity. Thrown into ugly barracks in the
desert, they made bearable the unbearable with patience and humor. And
to relieve the emptiness of camp life, they drew again upon the
resources of their own culture. They started to work on painting,
sculptures, flower arranging; they recalled much of it from memory:
Kabuki music, the ancient art form of Kabuki drama, the recitatives of
nagauta, which is long narrative poems that the Japanese like to
recite. They would sit around bridge tables reciting nagauta to each
other, or quoting each other passages from Kabuki drama and responding
to each other, taking all parts. This was one of their amusements in
camp. Again, the Japanese culture was a defense and the resource in
times of trouble.
The Nisei as servicemen, both in the Pacific Theater and the 442d in
Europe, also make me proud to be a Japanese-American. Their
determination to prove themselves, their sense of giri that
led them to reckless deeds of heroism and also to record casualty rates,
proved over and over again their high sense of honor -- both as
Americans and as Japanese.
Now, perhaps I have made clear why I object so profoundly to the
idea of monetary redress for the anguish and the injustices of the
relocation. The Japanese-Americans, both Issei and Nisei, acted
like men and women of honor, fulfilling their obligations of "on,"
protecting "giri to their names," both as individuals and as a
group -- and in the course of all this, they proved themselves to be
good Americans, as well as good Japanese.
Do they have to be paid for being men and women of honor?
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator STEVENS. Thank you, Senator. I appreciate your coming to
testify. Good to be with you.