Uyeno, Shigeru


Shigeru Uyeno was born on September 19, 1921, in San Jose, California. He was the oldest of two children, the only son of Katsuhichi and Moto Uyeno, who were immigrants from Japan. Katsuhichi Uyeno was a farm worker in San Jose until 1924, when he returned to Japan for the first time after the death of his wife. He came back to the United States in 1926 and then left for good in 1933 and took his two children with him. Shigeru Uyeno returned to the United States in 1937 and lived with his cousin, Hideo Naminatsu, on his farm in San Jose. After the signing of Executive Order 9066, Uyeno was sent to the Santa Anita Assembly Center on June 24, 1942, and he arrived at Heart Mountain on September 17, 1942. He lived in a bachelor apartment 7-11-B. Uyeno answered No to Question 27 and Yes to Question 28 of the 1943 loyalty questionnaire. He later changed his Yes answer to a No, which led Heart Mountain Director Guy Robertson to recommend that Uyeno be sent to the Tule Lake camp. Uyeno received leave clearances to work on a farm in Riverton, Wyoming, and to go to a hospital in Billings to give blood. He was arrested on April 7, 1944, and tried in the trial of 63 draft resisters in June 1944. Uyeno was sentenced to three years in the federal prison at McNeil Island, Washington. During his sentence, Darell Farnham, a pastor in Ogden, Utah, volunteered to be a sponsor for Uyeno if he was pardoned. Uyeno was released in July 1946 and returned to the San Jose area. He was pardoned on December 24, 1947, by President Harry Truman. After prison, Uyeno married another former Heart Mountain incarceree, Elaine Hisaye Shiraki, on February 10, 1952. They had two sons and lived in San Jose, where Uyeno was a welder and sheet metal technician. Shigeru Uyeno died on January 15, 2007, in Modesto, California.

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