Sako, Tom Tamotsu


Tom Tamotsu Sako was born April 30, 1922, in Sunnyvale, California, the second of two sons to Nizo and Mishi, immigrants from Japan who ran a truck farm. Sako worked on his family farm and another in the area until the forced removal. The family arrived at the Santa Anita Assembly Center on May 27, 1942, and then at Heart Mountain on September 13, 1942. They lived in apartment 30-13-D. Sako had a leave in 1943 to work at Blue Mountain Canneries in Dayton, Washington. He answered No to Question 27 and Yes to Question 28 of the 1943 loyalty questionnaire. Sake’s older brother, James Satoru Sako, also resisted the draft and was arrested on April 7, 1944. On June 10, 1944, Sako received a leave to visit his brother in Cheyenne, Wyoming, before the trial of 63 draft resisters. Sako failed to appear for his pre-induction physical and was arrested on September 5, 1944. He was in the second trial of 22 resisters in July 1945, convicted and sentenced to two years in federal prison. Sako was pardoned by President Harry Truman on December 24, 1947. He returned to California after prison and married Michiko Tanouye on June 8, 1951. They had two sons. Sako was a concrete and cement contractor in Palo Alto, California. Tom Tamotsu Sako died in Sunnyvale, California, on January 7, 2022.

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