Segment 1


Masaji Inoshita was born in central California. At an early age he moved down to the Santa Barbara area. His father had started a small farm there. By 1940 Inoshita was 21. His father had a stroke and he took over the farming operation. It was a well run farm. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor it was clear to them that their lives were going to change. On December 9th Inoshita’s birthday was interrupted by FBI agents arresting his father. They just took him and they gave no information. He disappeared from Inoshita’s life for awhile. Inoshita found out that 73 other persons who were immigrant Japanese were arrested by the FBI. No one knew where they went. They had been taken to a place called La Tuna canyon near Los Angeles and later transferred to Montana to be interviewed. Parts of the group were sent to Fort Lincoln, North Dakota. It was an old World War I prisoner of war depot. Others were sent to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Immigrants from Japan were gathered up. They were leaders of their community. They were the literate ones in their communities. They were the influential members and they maintained contact with Japan for the other illiterate immigrants. Inoshita’s father was registered in the 1900 census. His mother came to the United States in 1916. They had a good marriage. They had ten children. The first child died in infancy. Inoshita was by default the head of the family. He was given the best education to make sure that he could lead. Inoshita’s family had an assistant that helped them. She was an Apache. It was a good arrangement because there were a lot of people in the family. The FBI had record of the fact that his father was a foreman and had access to dynamite. That is probably the reason why he was picked up by the FBI. When his father was picked up, Inoshita was determined to keep the farm operating. He had 15 very good workers and they continued to farm. On the 19th of April 1942 President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. It is an outrageous anti-Japanese document even though the word Japanese did not exist anywhere in the order. The Army was in control of the evacuation. The mayor of San Francisco at the time was of Italian descent and there was a large number of Italians living in the San Francisco area. Many of which were not legal citizens. He wired Washington and asked about Italians but was informed that 9066 only applied to persons of Japanese descent.


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