Boarding ship for Japan
Boarding ship for Japan.
Original caption: "Seattle, Washington. Japanese repatriates embarking for Japan."
"I know there are people who say this country is going to become more democratic and that minority groups are going to be treated better in the future. I can't see much improvement in my life. The Negroes have been in this country for generations, and look how they are treated. And the Japanese have it particularly tough, for there will be relatives of soldiers killed in the Pacific all over. I don't think that it will be the returning soldiers that will be as bad as the relatives of the ones lost in the Pacific. Maybe things are going to get better in this country for minority groups in a couple of hundred years. But I haven't got that long to wait....
Here this government can draft me and send me anywhere to fight. And yet I am not free. I can't go a few miles to Lone Pine to buy myself something. I'm not afraid to die, and I'll fight for any country that treats me right, but I've gone through too much to fall for talk about democracy in this country any more."
A Nisei Requests Repatriation (anonymous), reprinted in Only What We Could Carry
Courtesy of National Archives
November 24, 1945