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Ikemoto, Harry Yoshiaki

Biography:


Harry Yoshiaki Ikemoto was born on September 11, 1914, in Anaheim, California, the first child of Suyeichi and Saki Ikemoto. By 1920, the family had moved to San Jose, where Suyeichi was a farmer. Ikemoto had three younger brothers. His mother, Saki, died in 1926, leaving his father alone with four young sons. Ikemoto married his wife Etsuko before the war, and they soon had a son, Bruce, who was born in 1941. During the forced removal, they went first to the Santa Anita Assembly Center and then to Heart Mountain, where they arrived on September 17, 1942. They lived in apartment 1-17-D. There is little information in Ikemoto’s War Relocation Authority file about what he did while in camp. Instead, most of the records concern his desire to obtain some of his belongings from storage and their dispossession after incarceration. He was arrested on April 7, 1944, tried, and convicted as part of the mass trial of 63 draft resisters in June 1944 and sentenced to three years in the McNeil Island, Washington, federal prison. He was released in July 1946 and pardoned by President Harry Truman on December 24, 1947. Etsuko and Bruce Ikemoto moved to Kingsburg, California, from Heart Mountain and the family eventually returned to San Jose, where they lived in 1950, according to Census records. Ikemoto worked as a gardener after his return to San Jose. Harry Yoshiaki Ikemoto died on April 21, 1972, in San Jose.

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