Fred Y. Hoshiyama

(1914–2015) Nisei YMCA and Japanese American community leader

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Fred Yaichio Hoshiyama was the first of six children born to Issei immigrant farm workers who were members of the pioneering Yamato Colony of Livingston, California. His father died when he was only eight, and his family struggled to keep their farm, eventually losing it and moving to San Francisco in 1929. After earning a BA from the University of California, Berkeley in 1941, he was confined at the Tanforan Assembly Center in San Francisco and the Topaz “Relocation Center” in Utah in 1942 with thousands of other innocent Japanese Americans—victims of their racial similarity to the enemy that had attacked the U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawai‘i.

Even in confinement, Fred continued his lifelong association with the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association), helping to establish much needed recreational, educational and social programs. After obtaining an early release from Topaz to earn his Masters Degree at Springfield College in Massachusetts, he served as a YMCA youth program director in Honolulu before returning to California where he continued to work in urban youth programs. From 1976 to 1983 he helped to form the National Association of Student YMCAs. In retirement, he contributed his expertise and knowledge of financial planning, development and management to several non-profit organizations. (February 2016)

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Nikkei Heroes: Trailblazers, Role Models, and Inspirations

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