Interview with William Shunsuke Ito, M.D. Public Deposited

Dr. William Shunsuke Ito (1914-2001) is a graduate of the University of Oregon Medical School. In this interview, he shares his experiences as a Japanese American physician and World War II veteran. Dr. Ito shares how he encountered racial prejudice when applying for internships and residencies due to growing anti-Japanese sentiment due to the war. Ultimately, he interned at the Multnomah County Hospital and was accepted for residency at Queen’s Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. The interview includes Dr. Ito’s accounts of the chaotic days following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the treatment and detainment of his family members; his father was taken by the FBI and his mother and brothers were imprisoned at the Minidoka War Relocation Center. In 1943, Dr. Ito was drafted into the Army, where he served until 1946. He went into private practice in Honolulu.

Appended to the interview transcript is a short autobiography, written by Dr. Ito after the interview. Hoping to remedy perceived shortcomings in the recorded dialogue, Dr. Ito “took the liberty of summarizing what [he] thought Dr. Porter probably wanted in this interview.” The same topics discussed with Dr. Porter are chronologically organized and supplemented with additional information in the addendum.

Publication Date
  • 1998-02-20
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Document type
  • OHSU Oral History Program


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