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Japanese American Confinement Sites /
World War II American Home Front Oral History Project

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Norman Hirose Transcript

Conducted by Samuel Redman in 2012, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2015.

 
Photo of Norman Hirose

Norman Hirose was born in Oakland, California and moved to Berkeley with his family in 1936. He discusses how his parents, both from the Fukuoka Prefecture in Japan, met and married in the United States. He describes his father’s occupations during and after the Great Depression.┬áBefore the start of the war, he attended school while watching the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, and Treasure Island. Following Pearl Harbor and Executive Order 9066, his family was taken to the First Congressional Church in Berkeley, then to Tanforan Relocation Center, and finally to the Topaz incarceration site in Utah. At Tanforan, he attended a makeshift high school organized by incarcerated Bay Area college students and completed his education at Topaz High School. After the camp closed, he was sent to Santa Fe, New Mexico, with other "no-no boys" and was finally released several months thereafter. After being drafted to and serving in the Army, he attended and graduated from UC Berkeley. The interview ends with Hirose’s reflections on the overall experience of incarceration.



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