Special to The Hawai‘i Herald
The following interview write-up is the second of seven that will be published in The Hawai‘i Herald this year in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Honouliuli Internment Camp. It is part of a series titled, “In Their Own Words.” In 1980, I was fortunate to have interviewed seven former internees of Honouliuli Camp and Sand Island Detention Camp when their memories of their incarceration were still quite vivid. (For the backstory of these interviews, please see the March 16 edition of the Herald.)
The internees are: The Rev. Gyokuei Matsuura, Mrs. Haru Tanaka, Mr. Shigeo (Robert) Muroda, Mr. Dan Nishikawa, Mr. Shinzaburo Sumida, Mr. Edgar Genpachi (Jukichi) Tsushima and Mr. Harry Urata. These write-ups were crafted from extensive notes taken during the interviews and will become part of a book I plan to write, tentatively titled, “In Their Own Words: Issei, Nisei, and Kibei Share Their Stories of Being Interned in Hawai‘i During World War II.”
I would like to extend a courtesy to the families of the interviewees by showing them the write-ups before they are published. However, I have not yet been able to contact the families of Rev. Matsuura, Haru Tanaka, Dan Nishikawa and Harry Urata. If you, or anyone you know, is related to one of the interviewees, please contact me or have the family member contact me at (808) 942-4783 or firstname.lastname@example.org. — Gail Honda, interviewer and author
The following interview with Edgar Genpachi (Jukichi) Tsushima was conducted in the spring of 1980.
I am 82 years old and moved to Hawai‘i from Japan when I was 20. My father was here 10 years before I came and was working on a plantation. I was going to teachers’ college in Japan and came to Hawai‘i two months before graduation. Otherwise, I would have been forced to teach there.
At first, I lived on a Waipahu plantation for two years. I taught Japanese language in Honolulu from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Earlier in the day, I went to English school. I went to McKinley and graduated from there. I taught Japanese for many years. At UH (University of Hawai‘i), I taught literature and language. At first, I intended to go back to Japan and teach English.