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Hirayama, Susumu Harold

Biography:


Susumu Harold Hirayama was born on February 25, 1907, in Hamakua, Hawai’i. His father, Itaro Hirayama, immigrated to the United States from Fukuoka Prefecture in the late nineteenth-century. Itaro worked as a boilerman in Honoka’a, though Hirayama lists his mother, Sakiyo, as “name unknown.” He finished eighth grade in Honoka’a in 1921. Hirayama’s two siblings remained in Hawai’i, while he moved to California in the early 1930s. Before his imprisonment at Santa Anita and then Heart Mountain, Harold worked as a cook and driver at Tomoye Tatuya Bean Cake Factory in Los Angeles from 1937 to 1942, with a brief break from August to December 1941, when he worked as a waiter at Frisco Cafe in San Diego. He was arrested for resisting the draft on April 7, 1944, and was tried and convicted of violating the Selective Service Act in the first trial of 63 draft resisters in June 1944. Hirayama was sentenced to three years in the federal prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. After his release, Hirayama returned to Los Angeles and, on June 29, 1957, he married Georgia Sakamoto. Susumu Harold Hirayama died on June 23, 1969, in Los Angeles.

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