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Okuma, Fred Toru

Biography:


Fred Toru Okuma was born on October 11, 1913, in Berkeley, California, to Kaso and Wasa Okuma, who were both immigrants from Japan. He was the oldest of five children. The family had a 20-acre vegetable farm in El Monte, California, where Okuma worked until the forced removal. The family arrived at the Pomona Assembly Center on May 14, 1942, and then at Heart Mountain on August 26, 1942. They lived in apartment 1-22-B. Kaso Okuma was arrested by the FBI on March 13, 1942, because of his connections to a Japanese language school. He was sent to Heart Mountain in October 1942. Okuma received leave clearance to work on the Northern Pacific Railroad in Hatton, Washington, and in Idaho. He answered No to Question 27 and Yes to Question 28 on the 1943 loyalty questionnaire. Okuma was arrested on April 9, 1944. He was tried with the 63 draft resisters in June 1944, convicted and sentenced to three years in federal prison. He was released in July 1946 and pardoned by President Harry Truman on December 24, 1947. After the war, Okuma, his parents, and three brothers owned a farm in El Monte. Okuma married Mary T. Goka on June 18, 1960. Fred Toru Okuma died on April 26, 1977, in Los Angeles.

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