Takashi Hoshizaki and family

About Takashi Hoshizaki

Takashi Hoshizaki (b. 1925) was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, where his parents ran a grocery store in the Virgil District. While he was a student at Belmont High School, his family was forcibly removed from the area and incarcerated at Heart Mountain concentration camp in Northwestern, Wyoming. In camp, Hayami participated in the Boy Scouts, worked in the camp engineering department, and was in the first class to graduate from Heart Mountain High School in 1943.

In 1944, after the army began drafting Japanese Americans from the camps, Hoshizaki refused to show up for his pre-induction physical. He and 62 other Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee draft resisters were removed from the camp and jailed in various parts of Wyoming including Casper, Laramie, and Cody to await trial for violation of the Selective Service Act. The group was convicted and sentenced to three-year sentences. Takashi and about half the group were sent to McNeil Island Federal Correctional Institute in Washington. They were released after two years and pardoned by President Truman.

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Hoshizaki returned to Los Angeles, where he enrolled in college. In 1953, he was drafted into the Army and served in a medical corps. In the 1960s, he earned his doctorate in botanical science from UCLA.

Every day from March 1944 through July 1944, Hoshizaki recorded his daily routines and occasionally his more personal opinions in a small notebook as he awaited trial. This journal is now in the collection of the Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation. For more information on the organization, see Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation.

The Duty of Every Male Citizen
A glimpse into the intertwining issues of selective service requirements, civil rights, and loyalty as experienced by two Southern California Japanese Americans during World War II.

Introduction by Martha Nakagawa, In Times of War

Originally produced and published under KCET Webstories


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