When I first met George Fujimori, he was introduced as one of the Three Musketeers. Not those of Alexandre Dumas fame, but an updated version of the inseparable trio, whose other members were Tets Asato and Ken Akune. They shared the same shifts as Docents at the Go For Broke Monument in the heart of Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo. Of these three, George was the quietest and had a very laid back personality, but he could be counted on for a funny observation.
It’s a rather ironic twist that your family would be held under guard because their heritage made them suspects for possible espionage and you’re asked to study the Japanese language as your primary duty in the US Army. George was in Manzanar with a pregnant wife when Col. Rasmussen came from the Military Intelligence Service Language School at Fort Snelling, Minnesota to look for linguists they could recruit for military duty. George passed the test but waited until his wife gave birth to their son before volunteering to serve. Like most who studied Japanese, George found the course to be very challenging, but graduated and was deployed to Australia and later went to the Philippines.
Read more of George's story in "The Go For Broke Spirit" book available at www.thegoforbrokespirit.com. Meet Shane Sato this weekend at Cherry Blossom Festival at Monterey Park this weekend (4/21-4/22 from 11 am-6 pm) and remember, his "Portraits of Courage" exhibition grand opening is 5/5-5/6 at Go For Broke National Education Center in Little Tokyo. Come by and meet Shane Sato, Robert Horsting along with few Nisei veterans from 11 am-6 pm on 5/5-5/6.
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