Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community

Getting stuck in Seattle without citizenship papers – Sada Omoto (OH0090)


Right after the war began, I was then at that point attending the University of Washington as a freshman, and I was commuting. One day, which was probably soon after, soon as the war started, the… we had to show our citizenship papers, which we didn’t have, obviously, other than saying… you had to have proof of birth, your birth certificate. As I was ready to get on the boat, I was stopped by George Freeman — who was one of my classmates at one point — and he said I couldn’t go on.

At that point, what do I do? The ferry is… it’s getting later in the fall, and getting dark. And do you know who came to my rescue? Frank Kitamoto, Senior. He had then, at that point, a jewelry store in Seattle. And he said to me to come with him. That he had relatives or friends and so forth. The first night I stayed. I don’t know who it was. All I know is that was a good thing. Otherwise, what was I going do?

Video Interview — June, 2008

Sada Omoto

Sada was 19 years old at the time of evacuation. At that time, he had three brothers: Setsuo (27), Masakatsu (21), Taketo (24). When the US entered the war, Sada was a student at the University of Washington. He evacuated with his mother and brother Taketo. Sets and Mas, or "Bear," were serving in the military. Daikichi Omoto, Sada's father, passed away in 1931. Sada also had a sister, Kanee, who passed away in 1932. All four of the Omoto boys served in the army during WWII. Sada is a retired professor of Art History from the Michigan State University.