Jimmy Ko Fukuhara

(b. 1921) Nisei veteran who served in the occupation of Japan

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Jimmy Ko Fukuhara was born on September 21, 1921 in Los Angeles, California to Japanese immigrants, Ume and Ichisuke Fukuhara. In 1927, his father moved the family to Santa Monica, California, and got started in the nursery business. After graduating from Santa Monica High School, Jimmy worked at the nursery, until 1942, when he and his family were sent to the Manzanar concentration camp.

Jimmy was able to leave camp early, and moved to Pennsylvania with his younger brother, George. Within sixty days, Jimmy was drafted into the army, and volunteered to serve in the Military Intelligence school. After going through basic training, Jimmy was sent to Tokyo, Japan. There he worked for the labor department in General MacArthur’s headquarters. Before leaving Japan, he visited Hiroshima in hopes of connecting with his parents’ relatives. After being discharged, Jimmy returned to Santa Monica and the family nursery business. Jimmy continued to work in the nursery with his four brothers, until he retired in 1986. (May 2016)

business california nursery santa monica depression great japanese school Pearl Harbor world war II bus incarceration manzanar barracks camps jobs military police riot farming potato farming sugar beet farming agriculture sugar beets draft military reserves Chicago MIS basic training Tokyo occupation Hiroshima relatives flowers post-war marriage mother wife

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