Santa Cruz County History - Executive Order 9066 and the Residents of Santa Cruz County

Full Text Newspaper ArticleWatsonville Register-Pajaronian. Nov. 22, 1943. p. 1


Watsonville, at one time, was "central headquarters" of the Japanese Butoku-kai or "North American Imperial Way society," which was organized in 1929, according to an article in Sunday's San Francisco Examiner written by Ray Richards at Washington, D. C.

Richards quotes James Steadman of Los Angeles, west coast investigator for the Dies committee, who conducted an inquiry into the Butoku-kai, which the Japanese claimed was an innocent fencing society. The article further quoted Steadman as reporting to Washington:

"The War Relocation authority has accepted the word of the Japanese that the Butoku-kai was merely a sports organization. The facts disprove these protestations.

"Sworn statements were obtained from witnesses qualified to testify to the un-American activity of this Nisei organization. Committee investigators obtained many of the Butoku-kai records, which have been translated by the committee's translators.

"The purpose of the Butoku-kai in the United States was to train the Nisei in the military arts as practiced by the Japanese army.

"There were approximately 10,000 male members of the Butoku-kai, all American citizens, the so-called Nisei group. This is the same group that since the Japanese evacuation from the western coastal areas has been proclaiming so loudly its loyalty and devotion to the United States."

Copyrighted by the Watsonville Register-Pajaronian. Reproduced by permission.