Blog post #1

Interview with Saburo Masada


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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