Eto, Yukio


Yukio Eto was born on September 12, 1924, in Sunnyside, Washington, to Itaru Eto and Sugiye Yonemura, who were immigrants from Japan. Eto and his six siblings–five sisters and one brother–grew up in a farming family near Wapato in Washington’s Yakima Valley. The family struggled to make ends meet before the war, so Eto worked as a truck driver and farmhand, eventually leaving high school to work full-time. In an interview with officials, Eto’s sister Kimiko explained that he worked a lot during high school to help the family and spent his free time reading and playing basketball. At Heart Mountain, Eto worked as a fireman, which resulted in a few visits to the hospital for work-related injuries, such as a bruised jaw suffered when a nozzle hit him in the face. On the 1943 loyalty questionnaire, Eto responded to Question 28 by saying, “I was advised not to sign this by [assistant project director] Mr. Todd.” In July 1945, he was sentenced to a term of two years at McNeil Island Federal Penitentiary for his violation of the Selective Service Act, later pardoned by President Harry Truman on December 24, 1947. After prison, he moved to San Jose, married in 1951, and worked as a gardener. Yukio Eto died on October 5, 2015, in San Jose.