Lou Kitashima

Sansei Gardener

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Lou Kitashima is a Sansei gardener from Los Angeles. As a child, he and his family were incarcerated at the Gila River concentration camp in Arizona during World War II. After the war, the family returned to Los Angeles where his father was a gardener. As a young man, he was stationed overseas in England with the Air Force's Strategic Air Command. While in England, he met and married an English woman. After his service was over, he returned to the U.S. with his wife and had three children.

Upon his return, he entered the gardening profession and became known as the "Gardener for the Stars," working for celebrities such as Rod Stewart, Sylvester Stallone, and Ann Margaret. He later returned with his family to England where he started a gardening business. He later returned to the U.S. although his family remained in England.

He resumed his gardening business in Los Angeles and also spent 17 years as the Head Gardener for West LA College before retiring in 2003. He continues to work for a few customers even now to keep active. (July 7, 2007)

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