Takashi Hoshizaki's Diary

Excerpts from the Takashi Hoshizaki's diary:

March 26, 1944
They got me at 5:00. Took me down to Visitors Center. F.B.I. then took us to the city jail and held us there... They just stuck us one at a time in the county jail and held us there. I didn't eat today until 6:00.

We were questioned by McMillian. Finger printed by "Red" Smith. And went to sleep at 12:00.

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April 1, 1944
...We wash the dishes for everyone in jail. Sweep it clean. Had to eat again at 11:00. Had some soup, cabbage, raw onions for supper.

April 16, 1944
Usual day. F.B.I. came to question me. I wouldn't talk. They got sore.

May 15, 1944
Today, several more boys left this jail and went to Rawlins. I guess tonight we won't be so crowded but I am still sleeping on the floor. Maybe we might be able to go to another jail tomorrow. We had meat loaf and potatoes for lunch.

May 23, 1944
From the inside of jail we can see that the weather is getting better every day. I hope I can go out and enjoy it pretty soon. We received a "Sentinel" today and we all read it. Judging by it, they must be drafting those guys in camp awfully fast. I guess they want them in the army before our trial ends.

June 11, 1944
Today we had church service and the preacher prayed for us. About 6:00 in the afternoon, the rest of the gang came in from Rawlins and Laramie. We are all in high spirits. We sang songs. I wonder what it's going to be tomorrow.

June 12, 1944
Today we went to the court at 9:30. Boy, when the trial started, I thought we were sunk, but when Mennin, our lawyer, cross-examined the witness Christenson, I felt much better. The D.A. and Mennin argued like hell...it rained and thundered. Sometimes you couldn't hear the testimony.

June 16, 1944
We had our trial only in the morning. The D.A. fell backward from his chair and created a scene. Our lawyer gave a brilliant speech on Jack Tono's case. We all had tears in our eyes. Mennin asked for a recess until Monday because some evidence was coming in from outside.

June 19, 1944
The trial was over at 3:00. All except for the decision. It may take a week or two. The D.A. claims that we might communicate with the enemy by boat or bright signals. We all laughed at him about it. He also said that we got good food in camp. What a laugh!

June 26, 1944
Today we went to the courtroom at 1:45. Got our 3-year sentence at 2:30. Judge Kennedy assumed that the evacuation and detention is constitutional. I think he's nuts. Anyhow, we are going to appeal our case.

June 28, 1944
I wrote a letter home and also to the gang. We are getting tired of this place.

June 29, 1944
Today we found out that we are going to either McNeil Island in Washington or Leavenworth, Kansas. We may leave Monday or later.

June 30, 1944
Today we drew cards... our group will go to McNeil Island. Everybody is hoping optimistically that we will be home by next Christmas...

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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