Lillian Matsudaira oral history interview, part 1 of 3, August 25, 2007


Dublin Core


Lillian Matsudaira describes life before the war and remembers how her mother would make Udon. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, a curfew is in effect for Japanese Americans to return home early. Lillian also speaks about differentiating between Chinese and Japanese Americans. The Chinese children would wear a button to identify they are Chinese.

Lillian identifies with her Japanese heritage, but after the war, she realizes there is a need to emphasize being American. She recalls three individuals that show support to the Japanese American Community and her family.

Lillian and her family are sent to Puyallup and Minidoka. She describes the living conditions and life behind barb wires. At Minidoka, she meets John Matsudaira. John volunteers for service and leaves in June 1943. They stay in contact through correspondences.

Lillian leaves camp and goes to Ohio and Philadelphia to reunite with her sisters Fran and Ruby.



Oral History Item Type Metadata

Date of Birth

1922 Nov 26

Location of Birth

Entrance into Service


Matsudaira, Lilian: narrator, Horsting, Robert: interviewer, and Go For Broke National Education Center: publisher, “Lillian Matsudaira oral history interview, part 1 of 3, August 25, 2007,” Japanese American Military History Collective, accessed June 4, 2023,