Bob Uragami video interview, Japanese American National Museum
Originally, Troop 64 was a Japanese American Boy Scout troop. And therefore when they organized the drum and bugle, the flags were crossed flags: one American—United States—and one Japan, with the “meatball.” Now we go a little bit fast forward, and we get thrown into Santa Anita, and there’s war going on. My dad says, “We can’t have that meatball.” And so he had the art department erase out the meatball and draw in the American flag. So if you really look close, you can see a round outline where the Japan flag used to be. Well, I guess he always felt that it is very important to steer kids the right way, and one way is to occupy them with something useful like Boy Scouts. Mr. Nako, he was a local tailor, and he was a musician, and so he organized the 379 Drum and Bugle. And so when I buried my dad, he was buried in a Boy Scout uniform—tailormade, not official. This is something Mr. Nako put together for him—a suit! And we buried him in Mr. Nako’s tailor-made Boy Scout uniform.
In this video, Bob Uragami speaks about the drum that was used by his Boy Scout troop while incarcerated at Amache. The drum can also be seen in one of the images in the scrapbook. As you watch this video, consider what Mr. Uragami says about the flags depicted on the drum.
When he refers to the “meatball,” he is using a nickname for the Japanese flag, which has one large circle on it.
How does the story about the flags reflect the identity of this group of Boy Scouts?
How does the story about the burial suit reflect the identity of Mr. Uragami’s father?