Higuchi, Mutsuo


Mutsuo Higuchi was born on June 7, 1925, in San Jose, California, to Yasumasa and Tumeyo, who both immigrated to the United States from Fukuoka Prefecture in Japan. They worked on farms in Santa Clara County before the Higuchi family–Mutsuo, his parents, and four siblings–was forced from its home and sent to the Santa Anita Assembly Center on May 29, 1942. By that time, Higuchi had completed four years of a six-year high school program and planned to specialize in the sciences. The Higuchi family arrived at Heart Mountain on September 13, 1942. While incarcerated, Higuchi attended Heart Mountain High School and graduated in 1943. He answered No/Yes to Questions 27 and 28 on the loyalty questionnaire on February 26, 1943. Higuchi wrote that he would not serve in the military “unless citizenship is clarified and recognized.” After failing to appear at his pre-induction physical, he was arrested on August 9, 1944, and was tried and convicted in the second group of draft resisters in July 1945. Mutsuo was sentenced to three years in the federal prison at McNeil Island, Washington. After his release, he eventually returned to Campbell, California, to join his family. He was pardoned by President Harry Truman on December 24, 1947. He married his wife, Chiyuki, and they had two children, Ellen and Donna. Mutsuo Higuchi died on September 23, 2013, in Campbell, California.

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