Tule Lake

An antiquated Nisei, born and raised in Sacramento and Florin, California. Orator during my high school days. Won the University of California, Japanese student s club contest two years and several JACL contests. Won the Northern California District Council contest and represented District at the National Convention in Portland, Oregon in 1940.

Then came December 7, 1941. Met this vivacious lassie at the Portland Convention from Puyallup, Washington. She was acting secretary for Walter Tsukamoto, National JACL President. When the war broke out, one thing led to another and I found her on my front porch. Being a gentleman, I proposed. When the war broke out, my intentions for a higher education went out the window. So I opted for marriage.

April 5, 1942 was my D day. Home wedding surrounded by sheriff's deputies with shotguns. I refer to it as our shotgun wedding. Curfew of 8:00 PM and 5 miles limit. Then off to Tule Lake. Never told our destination. One year in Tule Lake as Director of Youth Social Activities. Paid the magnificent sum of $19 per month, same as professionals.

Job offer in Dayton, Ohio as domestics. Jumped at it to get out of the depressing atmosphere of our incarceration. First evacuees in Dayton, Ohio. Arrived April 1943. Applied at the Borden Company. Reluctantly hired in September of 1943. Four months later, Personnel Manager asked if I could get him more Japanese Americans. Ran a milk route delivering to factories, schools and super markets. Thirty-seven years with the company and advanced as supervisor and eventually in complete charge of the wholesale delivery system. In the twilight of my career they came to see me and told me I was a prospect for the Sales Manager's position for both Dairy and Ice Cream Division. And it happened, the best years of my life. Became involved in civic affairs, received membership in the Rotary Club, the only Japanese American. Served as chairman of the Dayton, Oiso, Kanagawa Ken sister cities for several years. Represented the State of Ohio and met with the Governor of Kanagawa Ken. Represented the Boarden Dairy and met with Japanese dairies. Met with several Japanese Rotary Clubs in Japan. With the Dayton Council on world affairs, hosted Ambassador Kaname Ushiba through the Dayton JACL with Congressman Spark Matsunaga as our principal speaker. Founder and first president of the Dayton JACL. Served as Governor of the Midwest District, 1968 to 1970. Spoke on internment to service clubs, ABC, NBC, CBS, University of Dayton, Law School. Dean of the Law School and I were brother Rotarians. Retired and relocated to Houston in the early 1980's. Served as President at Houston JACL for a few years. Still very active speaking to groups on internment, working with high school students. Earlier still appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC during Pearl Harbor Day Observance. Lately addressed two history classes at the University of Houston and traveled to Collage Station and addressed class at Texas A&M. Will keep addressing groups until my voice gives out.

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