Paul Bannai oral history interview, part 6 of 8, September 15, 2002


Dublin Core


Paul Takao Bannai recalls meeting Ken Nakaoka and working in real estate in Gardena. Ken is active in the community and runs for city council, and Paul himself becomes active. Paul's political career starts when he is the Planning Commissioner. Later he becomes a City Councilman and Assemblyman.

In Gardena, Paul recalls being discriminated against by the Elks Lodge when they would not accept him and Ken Nakaoka as members. In Carson, there is an Elks Lodge chapter, and Paul joins. Paul becomes active in the Elks Lodge to demonstrate that Japanese Americans can be good members and there should be no prejudices.

Paul's motto is to help others. Even though Paul is active in the Republican Party, Paul says he doesn't help just the Republican Party, but he helps people who can do a job for the community. Paul has helped with passing a bill for acupuncture therapy, naming of the highways after Nisei Veterans, and helping Daniel Inouye and others to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. Paul feels it is important to remember and honor people.

Paul explains Veterans Affairs is a lot of legislative work called lobbying. Paul is a lobbyist for the Veterans Affairs, a Commander of the Disabled American Veterans, and a National Representative Legislative Representative from California. The goal is to have the President, the Head of the Veterans Administration, and the legislators work to help veterans.

Nisei veterans are important to Paul. He discusses raising funds for monuments at Evergreen, the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC), and the Go For Broke Monument. He also helps raise funds for Japanese American National Museum (JANM). If there is a good project, Paul likes to help and be involved.



Oral History Item Type Metadata


Date of Birth

1920 Jul 04

Location of Birth

Incarceration Facilities

War or Conflict

Branch of Service

Entrance into Service


Bannai, Paul: narrator, Nakaishi, Russell: interviewer, and Go For Broke National Education Center: publisher, “Paul Bannai oral history interview, part 6 of 8, September 15, 2002,” Japanese American Military History Collective, accessed April 21, 2024,