Internment – Time of Remembrance – Charles Kobayashi
Charles Kobayashi, former internee, shares his stories of resilience and determination to overcome post war barriers to pursuing a career in law.
Charles Kobayashi Interview
00:00 – Introduction
00:18 – Clip 1: Background on parent’s life in Japan, immigration, and making a life in America. Memories from childhood related to lifestyle, discrimination, social connections, and attitude toward education.
04:34 – Clip 2: Family forced to evacuate to Pinedale after Pearl Harbor, then moved to Tule Lake. The family lived in Block 52 which was a hotbed of anti American sentiments. As the eldest son, he was educated in the camp through both English and Japanese schools. It was assumed that those who stayed at camp would eventually return to Japan. During this time he was influenced by pro-Japanese teachers.
09:37 – Clip 3: After the war ended, he saw people leaving camp, but had no other indication the war had ended. His father left to work in 1945 and found discrimination in Shingle Springs. While living in Clipper Gap he attended a one room school as a twelve year old who could barely speak English. After high school his family settled in Oak Park and he attended Sacramento City College.
15:28 – Clip 4: His mother’s citizenship status and his exposure to the ACLU challenging the constitutionality of the the internment, sparked his interest in law. He relates this to protecting rights today. People have certain rights and the constitution needs protecting and defending.
19:47 – Clip 5: We need to educate people about the tragic wrong of internment.
20:46 – Clip 6: Charles describes what happened to Japanese Americans after the war, and how many Americans helped them. He is very grateful to his parents and those who helped him and his siblings.
First-Hand Accounts of the Internment Experience
It is our hope that these stories will build on the work and legacy of the late Mary Tsukamoto, who devoted her life to promoting social justice for all, regardless of race, creed, or ethnicity.
To learn more about the Time Remembrance Project, please visit: http://blogs.egusd.net/tor/
For more information about the Vietnam War, please visit: http://blogs.egusd.net/tor/interviews/vietnam-war/