Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community

Golfing, never heard of Pearl Harbor – Jerry Nakata (OH0004)


I was on the golf course at Wing Point, playing with Mo and the two Okazaki boys. It was a private club. It was nine holes, sand greens. We got to know the pro real well, he treated us — being a private club, we weren’t members — but he let us play. There was one, seventh tee, the tee box was near the road.

My cousin Mas Omoto came by and says, “Hey, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor,” and the first thing we asked was, “Where’s Pearl Harbor?” We never heard of Pearl Harbor. We finished the round and we came home, and everybody was listening to the radio. That was, that was an odd feeling, being Japanese. But the next morning, I went to work with my brothers and the customers came in and sympathized with us. I thought that was, that was special. But that’s Bainbridge. Bainbridge is very unique.

Video Interview — February, 2006
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.

Jerry Nakata

Jerry Nakata was 19 years old when he was evacuated. He was the second youngest of six children. As a young child, Jerry's parents both owned a barbershop in Winslow and farmed strawberries. In the late 1930s his older brother John started a small grocery business. Before the war Jerry was working for his brother. Jerry graduated from Bainbridge High School in 1941. Following the war, the Nakata family returned to Bainbridge Island and re–built their grocery business in partnership with Ed Loverich.