Gary Shiota

Gary Shiota was born in Huntington Beach, California, on January 26, 1926. Gary was the third of six children. When his father passed away in 1931, the family returned to Japan for help. His mother later returned to Lodi, California, with Gary and his older brother. The three younger siblings were adopted by relatives. Gary attended Lodi High School. In 1942 the family was evacuated to the Stockton Assembly Center and sent to Rohwer, Arkansas. In 1945, Gary was drafted and served with the Occupation Forces in Germany. He re-enlisted as military intelligence interpreter and served with the Occupation Forces in Japan until 1949. Following the war years, Gary went on to study international trade.

Video Timeline

Note: To listen to a specific clip, move the slider on the video to the designated clip time listed below.

00:00 – Introduction

00:18 – Clip 1
Origin of his first name and meaning of last name.

01:46 – Clip 2
Father passes away. Gary talks about the difficult situation his mother was put in and Japanese family decision-making.

03:18 – Clip 3
Talks about how parents lost control of their kids in the internment camps.

04:13 – Clip 4
Loyalty Questionnaire (27th and 28th Questions); consequences of varying responses.

06:45 – Clip 5
Re-up for the military; sent to language school in Monterey to be a Japanese interpreter for US military; Sent to Tokyo prison (Sukagawa) interpreted for Tojo’s wife; Admin Toshido; worst experience telling a woman of her husband’s execution; describes other duties he performed.

Video production provided by the Sacramento Educational Cable Consortium –

Photo Gallery

Primary source image to accompany Gary Shiota’s story.

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