Episode 8: When You Look Like the Enemy…

Ep 8 - Lawson Ichiro Sakai, Army

With Lawson Ichiro Sakai, Army’s 442nd Regimental Combat Team

Connecting service and sacrifice of the interred Japanese farmers and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

Ep 8: Jan 27, 2020

Think success in farming has nothing to do with sacrifice on the front line? 

At the start of World War II, Japanese American farmers controlled 40% of California farm production, dominating crops like tomatoes, celery, and snap beans made newly available nationwide with the success of refrigerated railway cars. 45% of Japanese Americans held agricultural jobs on the west coast as a result. 

In this episode, we follow Japanese American veteran Lawson Ichiro Sakai’s Service story, from his family farm in Montebello, California through the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the internment of Japanese immigrants, and the segregated 442nd Regimental Combat Team’s sacrifice as they proved their patriotism in the European theatre. 

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Misti Boettiger assisted with transcription of this episode. Coby McDonald and Andrew Stelzer engineered interviews with Lawson. Thank you to the Japanese American Veterans Association for connecting us with Lawson for this interview. Learn more at their website, and on Facebook and Instagram

Behind The Episode:

Extra Audio Clips:

How did “Lawson” become Ichiro’s name?

On the Japanese migration and “shikata ga nai”

Watch Lawson!
Fascinating vintage footage of the 442nd
Learn more about Lawson in this video from the Department of Veterans Affairs


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