Building 640 at the Presidio in San Francisco

Building 640 at the Presidio in San Francisco
Information Source for the Military Intelligence Service Historic Learning Center

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Transcription for the Interview of Hatsuye Nakamura

I have just finished the transcription work for the Interview of Hatsuye Nakamura. Miss Nakamura is a former internee from the Tule Lake Internment Camp during the WWII. During her interview, she talked about her experience in the camp as a newlywed bride clinging onto her husband as they adjusted to their abhorrent predicament during the Japanese American internment period. Time and time again, she mentioned how fortunate her family was during the trauma and how resourceful they were to their environment. She stressed on the proudness of the Japanese race. She said that because Japanese Americans are a race of accepting, yet proud people, her family was able to make it through the Japanese American internment.
Hatsuye Nakamura was also very appreciative of her husband's talents as a civic mind, a well-established pharmacist and an elite member of the Japanese American Citizens League. She especially cried during the interview when she had to talk about her children's correlation to the internment camp experience in Tule lake. One memorable quote would be "I don't do these things for sympathy!" as she sobbed. It enphasized how proud she is that she's gone through such a historically significant experience with a gamely mindset and able to share it with us today in order to instill the importance of social justice in our society.
Though Japanese American were not able to seek a huge amount of monatery retribution for the mistreatment they received in the internment camps during the WWII, they did receive aids from the government to educate the current generations about their war stories of a demoralized government during their time.
I personally learned a lot from transcribing for Hatsuye Nakamura. I learned that "Desperate times call for desperate measures." is one of many excuses the U.S. government used frequently to cover up the hideous nature of its legislative actions in the past. I have deep sympathy for Miss Nakamura and anyone else who's had internment camp experience in the past. From this point on, we should vehemently voice our opinions about any subject that contributes to social injustice and rectify the problems as effectively and efficiently as we can as Americans with good will.


  1. I enjoyed reading the interview with Hatsuye Nakamura. I worked for this lovely couple in Linda Ca. in the 1980's.
    I would like to read the full interview if it is available.