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Shimane, Fred Katsumi

Biography:


Fred Katsumi Shimane was born in San Jose on November 3, 1915, to Shinzo Shimane and Shizue Miura, farmers from Japan. He was the oldest of his six sisters and three brothers, who all worked together on the family vegetable farm. Shimane attended San Jose area schools, eventually graduating from San Jose High School in 1934. He continued to work with his family until he struck out on his own, starting a truck farm in 1940 with the help of his brothers. During the forced removal, Shimane arrived at Santa Anita on May 30, 1942, and then at Heart Mountain on September 13, 1942. As the family was so large, they were given two adjoining units: 23-11-BC. Shimane acted as the head of household for the larger of the two units, while his parents stayed in the other unit. He answered “no, vital to farm work and many dependents,” to Question 27 and Yes to Question 28. Shimane worked outside the camp in Garryowen, Montana during the growing season of 1943, but not until after he married Riyoke Nishikawa in June. Two of Shimane’s brothers, Chester and George, refused to comply with draft orders and were arrested on April 7, 1944. Shimane was drafted a month later but did not appear for his pre-induction physical. He was arrested on May 13, 1944. Shimane’s younger brother, Jun, was arrested later in 1944. All four of the Shimane brothers were taken to Cheyenne for trial. Shimane was tried and convicted in June 1944 and sentenced to three years in the federal prison at McNeil Island, Washington. Shimane’s daughter Linda was born December 5, 1944, while he was in prison. Shimane was released in July 1946 and pardoned by President Harry Truman on December 24, 1947. 

By 1950, Shimane, his wife, daughter and mother-in-law lived in Los Angeles, where he worked as a produce salesman. Fred Katsumi Shimane died on February 26, 1986, in Los Angeles.

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