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Kawamoto, Dave Tetsutaro

Biography:


Dave Tetsutaro Kawamoto was born on December 6, 1917, in Mountain View, California, to parents Ihei (James) and Miya. He had two younger siblings, Frances Sumiye, born in 1920, and Roy Kenji, born in 1923. Growing up, Kawamoto worked as a truck hand for his family’s berry farm. He graduated from Campbell High School in 1937 and began at San Jose State University, with a major in commerce and accounting. Kawamoto was also an NCAA champion wrestler. Immediately following the attack on Pearl Harbor, he volunteered to enlist in the U.S. Air Corps, but was refused because of his Japanese ancestry. Kawamoto was one semester short of graduating from San Jose State when his family was evacuated and sent first to Santa Anita Assembly Center, then a few months later to Heart Mountain. They lived in apartment 9-19-E. Kawamoto answered No to Question 27 and Yes to Question 28 on the 1943 loyalty questionnaire. Before his arrest, Kawamoto attended a few Fair Play Committee meetings, introducing Paul Nakadate as speaker at one, and was impressed by the leadership and organization of the FPC. Kawamoto was arrested on April 7, 1944 for violating the Selective Service Act. He was convicted in the June 1944 trial of 63 draft resisters and sentenced to three years in federal prison. After he was released in July 1946, Kawamoto eventually returned to the San Jose area, where he went into civil service and a fruit-selling business. On January 16, 1949, he married Toshi E. Furuichi. Dave Tetsutaro Kawamoto died on December 23, 1993, in Santa Clara County, California. He was awarded his business degree from San Jose State University posthumously.

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