Ray Nosaka
100th Infantry Battalion, B Company

Life After the War

For a time, Ray returns to his prewar position as a part-time recreation director and holds various other jobs.

He studies at the University of Hawaii but withdraws to support his growing family - wife Aki and three children.

Ray enjoys a 23-year career as an Internal Revenue Service agent. Seven years follow as a counselor with the Veterans' Administration. In the 1980s, he retires as a state social worker.

My sister, she vacated her home and she told us to stay over there. I don't know where she went but she went with her family. And so [Aki] and I got her apartment. I was lucky. I think [the apartment] was close to Alapai.

I was still was in the army.

In fact, my first daughter, when [Aki] gave birth to my first daughter, that was in Fort Shafter. They used to have a hospital over there. Those days, when they gave birth, they don't have sanitary, like have a window, like that. The baby just born and then I went there, they bring out the baby, tell, "Ey, you have a beautiful baby." Just like that. And then they take 'em back. But you know now days they have window yeah, and you have to look like this. Not at that time.

Ray Nosaka's family, Manoa Housing


[W]hen I first came out, oh, I went to my old job. I used to be part-time recreation director. They said, when you go in a war like that, they're supposed to give you back your same job. So I went back on the job and that was only part-time and then I have look for a full-time job.

That's when I found out it was so hard to get job because Hawaiian Electric, Hawaiian Tel, Pearl Harbor, they don't used to hire us yet, they still have the discrimination. But slowly, gradually, the thing went away. So now I feel so satisfied because if I didn't go to war, my kids like that, they won't have a fair play like this. Now they get pretty well, as long as you can show your knowledge.

But our days, no such thing. You can go to the best college and you won't get the job that you want. That's why most of them went to be a schoolteacher. That's the only place you can get inside the government, yeah. But government, they cannot discriminate, so the state used to hire. But other than that, it's very difficult to get an outside job. But I don't regret, I learned lots about human life.

I worked IRS about twenty-three years, I was an agent there. Then I transferred, I took a test, I became a veteran's counselor. I got restless, so I took a test again and I worked in the social services, they hired me. Then as soon as I got my maximum, I retired. Because they give me credit for army, too, see. So all that added up, I got enough to retire again. So I was very fortunate.

Then I retired from the federal over there. I worked about seven years and I retired.

Children and Grandchildren

I didn't even think about [what I want my children and grandchildren to remember about me] but I feel all my kids, like me, I guess, they take for granted. So I don't know how to explain that. And I have no favorites, the three children I have, I treat them all alike and they treat me good, too.

Ray Nosaka's 88th birthday, 62nd wedding anniversary

So I always say I'm lucky, I'm grateful.

My boy, especially, when he was going high school, oh, he used to give me bad time. You know boys, yeah, it's a little different from the two girls but he turned out to be all right. He's a Christian, too, so he followed the Christian path. I've never see him steal or dishonest. He find something, he always look for the owner to give him. That's why he's very honest. That's one of the things that I admire about him. Because I used to steal and all that, I used to be naughty, yeah. But he's not like that, so I think highly of him because of his honesty. He's not a perfect boy but when comes to honesty, ho, he's honest. He wouldn't take a dime that don't belong to him. But when he's right, he fights for it though. I don't know, he get my hard head, I think.

Thoughts on School

I did go back to University of Hawaii. I had two different jobs because my kids were growing up, yeah. But in the end, I couldn't take it anymore so I dropped out from school and I didn't finish up the university.

But even now, I don't know if I can go back because oh, over ten years, they might not give me even credit if I want to. So I just forget about it (chuckles).

And then I look back, I said, chee, I wonder if I should still go back. Would be a big joke if I go back and my son be my teacher.

Ray Nosaka's interview reprinted courtesy of the Center for Oral History. Photographs courtesy of Ray Nosaka.

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