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Kawasaki, Kiyoto

Biography:


Kiyoto Kawasaki was born on February 25, 1915, in New Castle, California, to parents Shihei and Rise. From 1920 to 1929, Kawasaki lived in Hiroshima, Japan, where he attended grade school from 1922 to 1928. After returning to the United States, he finished 8th grade in Gilroy, California. Before the war, Kawasaki worked as a farm hand and tractor driver, and was a member of his local JACL chapter. After Pearl Harbor was bombed, Kiyoto and his wife, Haruko, were sent first to Santa Anita Assembly Center, arriving on May 28, 1942. The couple arrived at Heart Mountain on September 30, 1942 and their first child, Victor, was born on October 1, 1942. Their second child, Allen, was born on January 1, 1944. They lived in apartment 30-14-A. While incarcerated, Kawasaki left Heart Mountain for seasonal farm work in Nebraska and Idaho. Kawasaki answered No to Question 27 and Yes to Question 28 of the 1943 loyalty questionnaire. He was arrested on April 7, 1944 for violating the Selective Service Act and was tried and convicted in June 1944. Kawasaki was sentenced to three years in the federal prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Haruko, Victor, and Allen left Heart Mountain in July 1945. Eventually, the family was reunited in the San Jose area, where Joyce, the couple’s third child, was born. Kiyoto Kawasaki died on March 29, 2009, in Los Gatos, California.

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