Horino, Sam Isamu


Isamu “Sam” Horino was born on July 7, 1915, in Gardena, California. Before the war, Horino worked as a gardener in the Hollywood area, meeting Frank Emi during this time through judo training. During the forced removal, Sam refused to walk out of his home by himself, forcing soldiers to carry him from his house. At Heart Mountain, he became one of the leaders of the Fair Play Committee (FPC), after Emi introduced him to Kiyoshi Okamoto. After the first 12 men were arrested from Heart Mountain for refusing to report for their pre-induction physicals, Horino and two other men, Emi and Minoru Tamesa, attempted to walk out the front gate of the camp without a pass, in order to prove that they were not free citizens. They were arrested and Guy Robertson, project director at Heart Mountain, worked quickly to punish these men in an attempt to shut down any further resistance to the draft. Under the guise of “leave clearance hearings” for Horino and Okamoto that neither had requested, Robertson conducted what was essentially a full-blown interrogation about the FPC’s activities. Though the hearings were merely a pretense for this interrogation, Robertson nonetheless denied them leave clearance and immediately sent the two to Tule Lake for “indefinite segregation” with the other “disloyals.” Horino was eventually one of seven convicted of conspiracy to counsel, aid, and abet violation of the Selective Service Act. He was one of the four leaders who received a more severe sentence of four years in federal prison. He was sent to the maximum-security prison at Leavenworth, Kansas. His conviction was overturned on appeal at the end of 1945, and he was released from prison in February 1946. Sam Horino returned to Southern California and gardening, settling in Monterey Park. Horino and Emi were the only two FPC leaders who lived to see the resurgence of interest in the draft resistance movement that began in the 1980s. Isamu “Sam” Horino died on April 18, 2002.

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