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Blog post #1

Interview with Saburo Masada

https://ddr.densho.org/interviews/ddr-manz-1-157-1/?tableft=segments

Description:

The name of the interview is “Saburo Masada Interview”. It was conducted by Christine Lucamar* (I am not sure what her last name was from the audio of the interview) and filmed by Mark Hatchmen. The interview occurred on September 11st 2014, and it was a part of the park ranger’s oral history project. The first segment of the interview lasted for 10 minutes and it focused on the background of Saburo Masada, who was a Japanese descent that was put into concentration camps during the second world war for his Japanese identity. The interview was presented to the public in the form of video recording with full audio.

“I didn’t know him too well…And he became ill…When I must’ve been young…fairly young.”

Saburo on his impression of his father

Saburo as one of the few remaining Japanese-American who went through the camps, gave his story in the camps and the historical account of living the life of a Japanese descent in that time period.

In the first segment of the interview Saburo talked mainly about his background. Such as when did his parents arrive in the U.S, how did his parents meet, and breif descriptions of his parents.

What I found most interesting was his description of his mother. As a person with a Chinese origin, I first found the fact that his mother was a teacher in Japan very interesting. During the same time period, for a woman to become a teacher in China was virtually impossible, as females were seen unfit to fulfill such responsibility. Then I realized that Japan went through political and socio reforms (such has the meiji restoration) earlier than China, so it sounds normal for a Japanese woman to become a teacher at that time. I find this as a good example of why oral history records are so important, as it can preserve live record of these first hand witnesses. However, there can also be limitations to this approach of recording history. For example, Saburo said due to the language barrier he had with his father, and his fading memory, he couldn’t recall much detail regarding his father’s background and personality.

Generally speaking, I find these interviews very fascinating. Especially about this specific subject of Japanese-Americans being mistreated for their ethnicity. The media and public in the U.S tend to blame and shame other countries for their questionable actions, when it comes to humanitarian topics. However, they also overlook this nation’s history on such violations as well.

Target audience of this interview:

The target audience of this interview are likely to be Japanese Americans who suffered or had relatives who suffered the same or similar experience as Saburo. As these demographics can learn about the history of their grandparents or parents throught this interview.

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Blog Post #2

Veteran interview on Veterans day with Jesse Beazely and Louis Bower.

November 10, 2017

http://nunncenter.org/veterans-stories-veterans-day/

Description:

This 18 minutes podcast is the third episode of the Wisdom Project, hosted by Douglas A. Boyd. To honor Veterans Day, this episode focuses on two WWII veterans who both participated in the D-Day invasion of 1944. The veterans, Jesse Beazley and Louis Bower told a few intriguing and powerful stories about their campaign on D-Day.

“…And that little episode I will remember as long as I breathe.”

Louis Bower on the dying German officer he gave morphine to.

The usage of the interviews

The interviews in this podcast were used as examples of why the public should listen to oral history archives of veterans to honor Veterans Day, instead of watching fictional war movies. As the podcast believes that because these veterans are real people and tell real stories, therefore, listening to their stories is the best way to honor the veterans.

The historical narrative

The interviews support the historical narrative of the Second World War by showing us the grittiness of the most deadly conflict in human history in the form of the perspective of two individual soldiers who participated in the D-Day invasion.

In my opinion,the podcast was merely a short example of how listening to real veterans talk about their personal experience can be educational and intriguing. The podcast itself might not necessarily be a good form of presenting the Second World War. However, as the host Boyd suggested that the audience should spend time listening to oral history interviews with veterans, which is, in my opinion, a superior form of presenting a historical topic such as the Second World War. It is a reliable way of accessing primary sources from the people who were personally involved in the war.

In Bower’s interview, he mentioned that he shot a German officer and proceeded to give him a shot of morphine before he died. Despite it making a touching story, I have my doubts regarding the realism and accuracy of this piece of memory. In the interview he didn’t mention having anyone else around him when he shot the German officer, which I find a hard time to believe that he were alone in the middle of campaign. Should there be someone there with him, I doubt that he can give a piece of important medical supply to a dying enemy.

Per my last blog, I believe despite this form of recording history has its advantage over certain others. However, I also believe that the biggest detriment of this practice is that the memory of the interviewee can’t always be accurate, leading to misinformation or exaggerations. Causing future problems with the historians attempting to analyze these sources.

Overall, I think the podcast raises good awareness for the effort to conduct oral history interviews with WWII veterans. Which the number of them are whittling down due to the forever moving time. Our generation is basically the last that will get a chance to have face to face conversations with these people. Thus, it is imperative to the historians of the modern days to utilize the technologies within their grasps to preserve these precious data.