James Kirihara

Talks about his father immigrating to the U.S. in 1902, experiencing the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, returning to Japan to marry his wife and moving to Oakland.  He discusses his siblings, his family’s move to Livingston in 1919 and difficulties buying land to farm under the Alien Land Law.  He discusses growing up and playing sports, making friends, and participation in church and Boy Scouts.  He talks about attending Japanese school, having mixed feelings on being Japanese vs. American and prejudice he faced when younger.  He discusses hearing about Pearl Harbor, being sent to the Merced Assembly Center where he served as a policeman before being sent to the Granada War Relocation Center in Colorado.  He tells how he got a job picking potatoes during the war and then permanently got out of the camp by working as a janitor before joining the army.  He talks about serving in the 442nd in France and Italy and some of the battles he was involved in, how he got home after the war and returned to farming and got married.