Teruo "Ted" Fujioka (b. 6/12/1925) came to Heart Mountain on September 4, 1942 via the Santa Anita Assembly Center, assigned family number 9770. He was accompanied by his Issei parents, Shiro and Chiyo and nine siblings/in-laws: Dick Hideki, Peter Sadamu, Shunro, Yoshiro, and Ayako, Peggy Kaoru, Setsuko, Doris Mitsuye, and Toshiko. In December 1942, his sister Masa and her husband Jack transferred to Heart Mountain, moving in with the family. Before reporting to Santa Anita AS, the family lived in Los Angeles and Hollywood, California and Fujioka was enrolled in Hollywood High School.
View the WRA Accountability Roster page for the Fujioka family.
While at Heart Mountain, the family lived at 22-14-CD. Fujioka was the first student body president at Heart Mountain High School, news editor the student newspaper "The Echoes", contributor to the Heart Mountain Sentinel, and president of the Hi-Y Club.
From June 1942 thru August 1943, Fujioka maintained a correspondence with his Hollywood High School history teacher, James Lloyd. Fujioka had been an honor student in Lloyd's class. Lloyd kept these letters and cards (nine in all, with one additional letter from Lloyd to a friend "Jo" in 1989 re: Fujioka), which were discovered after Lloyd's passing by his daughter Kathy, who subsequently donated these original, mostly handwritten letters, to the HMWF after sharing them also with the Fujioka family.
Fujioka provides an illuminating glimpse of a young man wrestling with his situation and the decisions he had to make, while also expressing concern for his peers and community.
On December 15th, 1942, he writes of his schooling, the morale of the student body, and the effort the Hi-Y Club made to get the first flag pole installed at Heart Mountain, which featured the Boy Scout Drum and Bugle Corp playing "To the Colors" during the ceremony. The event was reenacted two weeks later for photographers Mieth and Hagel for Life magazine, although the images they captured were not published until four years later.
View the 12/15/1942 letter. (Ted Fujioka Letters, HMWF Collections, Accession 2013.038)
In a later letter, dated June 24, 1943, Fujioka addresses his decision to enlist.
View the 6/24/1943 letter. (Ted Fujioka Letters, HMWF Collections, Accession 2013.038)
Fujioka volunteered early for the U.S. Army and departed on August 23, 1943 reporting first in Powell, Wyoming for military service. He completed his basic training at Camp Shelby.
Fujioka was a Private in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, 1st Antitank. He was killed in action on November 6, 1944 in France. The flag on flagpole he helped erect at Heart Mountain was flown at half-mast when news of Fujioka's death reached the camp on November 20, 1944.
Fujioka was awarded the Purple Heart. He is buried, with many other fallen 442nd soldiers, at the American Military Cemetery in Epinal, France.
Nakagawa, George. The Cross on Castle Rock: A Childhood Memoir. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc. 2003, pp. 88-89.
*Most items below are available for on-site search at the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center in Powell, Wyoming.
Ted Fujioka Letters, HMWF Collections, Accession 2013.038
Heart Mountain High School. Fujioka, Ted. 1944 Tempo Yearbook, back endpaper, HMWF Collections, Accession 2000.008
Kunitomi, Dale S. Paying Homage to "Uncle Ted". Kokoro Kara, Spring 2015,
available online at http://www.heartmountain.org/newsletter_22_510916871.pdf (scroll to page 5 of the newsletter)
Lloyd, Kathie. Donor Letter of August 6, 2013. HMWF Collections Administrative Files
War Relocation Authority. Accountability Roster. 12/31/1944, NARA, WRA Record Group 210
[Page last revised: 05/10/2016, N. Blechynden]