Isamu Saito oral history interview, part 2 of 6, June 28, 2005


Dublin Core


Isamu "Sam" Saito recalls his school years. At school, the students are primarily Japanese Americans. The teachers had a hard time pronouncing the Japanese names. Therefore, many of the Japanese American students used English names for the benefit of the teachers. Sam keeps his Japanese name during his school years to avoid the teachers calling on him. Later in life, he changes his name to Sam.

Schooling was challenging for Sam because he had to rely on himself since he is the oldest child of Issei. He mentions the language and culture barriers with the Caucasian teachers as well.

Besides primary school, Sam attended Japanese language school. Therefore he did not participate in after-school activities. In the summertime, Sam is busy with summer school and working part-time. He works delivering the Japanese newspapers or working on a farm to earn money for new clothes.

In high school, Sam is aware of world news. He recalls December 7 and the aftermath of Pearl Harbor. At school, Sam's friends blame the Japanese Americans. However, Sam does not feel the Japanese Americans are responsible. At home, Sam recalls the visit from the FBI.



Oral History Item Type Metadata


Date of Birth

1925 Apr 27

Location of Birth

War or Conflict

Branch of Service

Entrance into Service



Saito, Isamu: narrator, Hawkins, Richard: interviewer, and Go For Broke National Education Center: publisher, “Isamu Saito oral history interview, part 2 of 6, June 28, 2005,” Japanese American Military History Collective, accessed May 27, 2024,