Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community

FBI Roundups – Vic Takemoto (OH0013)


I really do not remember much about the round–up. I was in school that day. I believe they came on a Monday, Monday or Tuesday, and I was in school. Then I found out that they were around when I got home from school. Also, I had a part–time paper delivery route, and as I was coming home from my route I noticed, I went by one family and I noticed that one person was handcuffed and being taken away. And I kind of wondered what was going on, but after I got home I found out what, what it was. That they were rounding up people who they felt were leaders in the community or had maybe something that they weren’t supposed to have.

I know a lot of farmers used dynamite to clear their land. Instead of a tractor, they would use dynamite to blast the stumps and then probably pull ’em out with a, with a horse. A horse would pull it out after it had been blasted. So most every farmer had some dynamite, and their only purpose for having that was for blasting stumps so they can pull them out. I think that the FBI were after leaders in the community, too, and some of them that were leaders were taken in. Some of them were separated from the rest of us for, oh, I’d say five, six months even, some of them. And they were sent to various places, like I heard Montana and some had to go to Texas, I understand. But, but they were… most of all, all that I knew, they were able to get back to their family eventually.

Video Interview — October, 2007

To see this interview in its entirety, go to the Densho website archives. You will have to register to be allowed access to their archives. Once in the archive, visit the Visual History Collections: Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community Collection.

Vic Takemoto

Victor Takemoto was 15 years old and in the ninth grade when he and his family were evacuated. He is the oldest of six siblings, five boys and one girl. The Takemoto family stayed in Manzanar during the entire war and was the first family to return to Bainbridge Island after the war.