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Oki, Tadashi

Biography:


Tadashi Oki was born April 13, 1944, in Montebello, California, the third of four children of Hidejiro and Yuki, who were immigrants from Japan. Hidejiro Oki leased land for a truck farm. Oki was set to graduate from high school at the time of the forced removal, during which the family arrived at the Pomona Assembly Center on May 14, 1942. They arrived at Heart Mountain on August 13, 1942, the second day the camp was open. They lived in apartment 1-23-C. Oki suffered a broken ankle in December 1942. He had leave clearances in 1943 to work on a farm in Billings, Montana, and the Northern Pacific Railway in Idaho. Oki answered No to Question 27 and Yes to Question 28 on the 1943 loyalty questionnaire. He was arrested on April 7, 1944, and charged with violating the Selective Service Act. Oki was tried and convicted in June 1944 and sentenced to three years in the federal prison at McNeil Island, Washington. He was released in July 1946 and pardoned on December 24, 1947 by President Harry Truman. After prison, Oki returned to Los Angeles, where in 1950 he was operating a sewing machine in a war surplus store. He married Mae Kikuta on November 4, 1951. They had three children. Tadashi Oki died in Panorama City, California, on May 6, 2020.

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