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Draft resisters sent to jail

Anyway, the sixty-three had their trial during that period and uh, after they were found guilty we uh contacted the three that hadn’t, they had found an appeal and uh, the Pallot (?) Court rendered their decision uh, a few months, didn’t take too long, a few months after that but they uh, they uh, did not reverse their convictions. Uh, in fact one of the uh, judges intimated that the U.S. government is wrong too ‘cause the judge said “Two wrongs do not make a right.” Inferring that the government was also doing something wrong. So uh after that, their case was taken up to the U.S. Supreme Court, but that court refused to uh review the case. So their appeal process ended at that point.

But later in 1947, President Truman gave all the Japanese-Americans draft resisters a blanket pardon, restoring all their civil rights and political rights. So in fact they came out valiant (?) although they had spent their entire time uh, less than their regular statutory time for good behavior, uh they spent about 27-8 months, and the reason for that was, you know usually they can get out on parole, after one third of their sentence is finished, but uh, what’s his name the director of the uh WRA, Myers, Bill Myers, written a letter to the board of prisons asking the boys not be let out on parole because it would be bad for the morale of the camps. That’s why they had to spend the uh entire time there except for the time off for good behavior. And it was after they were convicted and sent to uh prison, 63, of the 63, 33 of the younger men were sent to McNeal and the older men were sent to Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary, in the uh, Kansas.


civil rights draft resisters resisters World War II

Date: May 9, 2006

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Lisa Itagaki

Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

Interviewee Bio

Frank Emi was born on September 23, 1916 in Los Angeles, CA. He ran the family produce business until life was interrupted by war. Emi was sent to Heart Mountain, Wyoming with his young wife and two kids.

Emi, along with many others, openly questioned the constitutionality of the incarceration of Japanese Americans. He helped form the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee and protested against the government’s actions by organizing a draft resistance. Emi was not even eligible for the draft because he was a father.

The Fair Play Committee argued that they were willing to serve in the military, but not until their rights as U.S. citizens were restored and their families released from the camps. The government convicted Emi and six others leaders of conspiracy to evade the draft. He served 18 months in jail. 86 others from Heart Mountain were put on trial and imprisoned for resisting the draft.

Following the war, Emi and other draft resisters were ostracized by Japanese American leaders and veterans. It was not until the fight for Redress, some forty years later that the Fair Play Committee was vindicated for taking a principled stand against injustice.

He passed away on December 2010 at age 94. (December 2010)

Yuri Kochiyama
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Yuri Kochiyama

Didn't have rights that whites had

(1922–2014) Political and civil rights activist.

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Grayce Ritsu Kaneda Uyehara
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Grayce Ritsu Kaneda Uyehara

Importance of education in achieving redress for incarceration

(1919-2014) Activist for civil rights and redress for World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans.

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Wakako Nakamura Yamauchi
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Wakako Nakamura Yamauchi

Her experience as a Japanese-American schoolchild in Oceanside, California, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor

(1924-2018) Artist and playwright.

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Peggie Nishimura Bain
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Peggie Nishimura Bain

Response to loyalty questionnaire

(b.1909) Nisei from Washington. Incarcerated at Tule Lake and Minidoka during WWII. Resettled in Chicago after WWII

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Frank Yamasaki
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Frank Yamasaki

Loss of happy-go-lucky adolescence in Puyallup Assembly Center

(b. 1923) Nisei from Washington. Resisted draft during WWII.

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Frank Yamasaki
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Frank Yamasaki

Memories of dusty conditions at Minidoka incarceration camp

(b. 1923) Nisei from Washington. Resisted draft during WWII.

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Frank Yamasaki
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Frank Yamasaki

Making the decision to resist the draft

(b. 1923) Nisei from Washington. Resisted draft during WWII.

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George Azumano
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George Azumano

Discharged from the U.S. Army after Pearl Harbor

(b. 1918) Founder Azumano Travel

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George Katsumi Yuzawa
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George Katsumi Yuzawa

Reaction to a 1942 speech by Mike Masaoka, Japanese American Citizen League's National Secretary

(1915 - 2011) Nisei florist who resettled in New York City after WW II. Active in Japanese American civil rights movement

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George Katsumi Yuzawa
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George Katsumi Yuzawa

Death of sister in October 1942

(1915 - 2011) Nisei florist who resettled in New York City after WW II. Active in Japanese American civil rights movement

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George Katsumi Yuzawa
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George Katsumi Yuzawa

First impression of New York City during war time

(1915 - 2011) Nisei florist who resettled in New York City after WW II. Active in Japanese American civil rights movement

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George Katsumi Yuzawa
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George Katsumi Yuzawa

Neighbors' sympathy after Pearl Harbor

(1915 - 2011) Nisei florist who resettled in New York City after WW II. Active in Japanese American civil rights movement

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Gene Akutsu
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Gene Akutsu

Reaction of Japanese American community toward draft resistance stance

(b. 1925) Draft resister

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Gene Akutsu
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Gene Akutsu

The role of the media in influencing people's opinions

(b. 1925) Draft resister

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Gene Akutsu
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Gene Akutsu

Living conditions in prison while serving time for resisting the draft

(b. 1925) Draft resister

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