Jack Dairiki recounts his vacation trip to Japan in 1941, being caught there, and surviving the bombing of Hiroshima.
Note: To listen to a specific clip, move the slider on the video to the designated clip time listed below.
00:00 – Introduction
00:18 – Clip 1
Jack traveled with his father to visit his ailing grandfather in Japan just prior to the Pearl Harbor attack. Re-entry into the U.S. was denied at that time. He had to adjust to the Japanese lifestyle and culture.
16:07 – Clip 2
In Japan, Jack was considered a foreigner and was subject to peer pressure and street scuffles. He joined track and became popular. In order to pass grammar school, Jack had to pass a “manners” test.
22:26 – Clip 3
Jack had to take several trains through the mountains to get to “middle school.” If one student was late, all students were considered tardy. He learned to appreciate and respect fellow students. Teachers were always honored.
27:41 – Clip 4
Towards the end of WWII, all students over 13, spent their school day working toward the war effort. Jack lived in a war zone, bombings were frequent. He remembers waving at American planes, shouting, “I’m American, I want to go home!”
36:25 – Clip 5
Jack remembers the warm feeling of eating meals together with his family. His father received news via the Red Cross, that his eight year old brother died in Tule Lake from an ear infection. His father did not understand why they were not at home in Sacramento. After four years of war, Jack could decipher the difference between Japanese and American aircraft sound.
45:31 – Clip 6
Jack recalls events leading up to the bombing of Hiroshima. There were numerous false alarms just prior to the actual bombing.
52:59 – Clip 7
Hiroshima is bombed. Jack is two and a half miles away from the actual bombing. He describes the hours immediately after and shares family and friends’ stories. Jack reflects on his father’s stories as he was searching for Jack. His aunt is finally found and is severely wounded. Saddened by her maimed appearance, his aunt had suicidal thoughts.
1:10:45 – Clip 8
Within one month of the bombing, Jack returns to his school with no windows, and no supplies. He returned to the United States three years later and transitioned back to Sacramento schools.
1:16:01 – Clip 9
Jack discusses that the Japanese were glad the war was over, but that it ended at such a high cost.
1:19:25 – Credits