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Imai, Masafumi

Biography:


Masafumi “Mas” Imai was born on February 20, 1925, in Los Angeles to parents Masao and Owai, both born on Maui, Hawai’i. Masao Imai worked as a landscape gardener and Owai was a janitress in the Hollywood area. Imai had one younger brother, Osamu, and completed three years at Hollywood High School before his family was forcibly removed. They arrived at Santa Anita Assembly Center on April 29, 1942, and at Heart Mountain on September 2, 1942. The family lived in apartment 25-15-B. He answered No on Question 27 and Yes on Question 28 of the 1943 loyalty questionnaire. Imai failed to report for his pre-induction physical in April 1944 and was arrested on May 13, 1944. He was tried and convicted in the June 1944 trial of 63 draft resisters for violating the Selective Service Act. He was sentenced to three years at the federal prison at McNeil Island, Washington. Imai was released in July 1946 and pardoned by President Harry Truman on December 24, 1947. After the war, Imai returned to Los Angeles, where he worked as a gardener. Masafumi Imai died on February 1, 1973, in Los Angeles.

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