When my Japanese-American family was treated as less than human
Congressman Mike Honda
382

In 1975, when I was in high school in Sacramento. I saw one boy display a flag to his friends. His family must have kept it hidden. If this flag were possessed by a German boy, and the flag were the Nazi flag, how would you feel, 30 years after the war that a German family is in the possession of the Nazi flag? A flag that was illegal.

You’d be up in arms.

But it wasn’t a German boy and it wasn’t the Nazi flag , it was a Japanese boy, with the Rising Sun flag. A flag that was illegal.

During the war, the U.S. military controlled all news. The news of Japanese balloon firebombings and port shelling attacks were suppressed. During the war, the Japanese government convinced tens of thousands of its citizens to jump to their deaths. The Japanese military convinced hundreds of young men to become Kamikazes. Do you think for one second that the Japanese government was unable to find one sympathizer in the U.S.? Maybe activate one or two terrorists from the families who dress in traditional clothing, speaking the home language, and keeps the Rising Sun flag hidden away?

Do you think that the U.S. military couldn’t keep the activities of domestic Japanese terrorists quite? Do you think no one in the Sacramento Japanese community knew that this family was in the possession of an illegal flag?

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