Minoru Shinmoto

Minoru "Min" Shinmoto was born in Upland, California on June 30, 1925. He was the third son of five children to Tsunetaro and Haruyo Shinmoto from Hiroshima, Japan.

He recalls living and growing up in the Seinan area in the mid-1930s. The family moved in 1939 to Kingsburg, California in the San Joaquin Valley, near Fresno. When America entered World War II, the Shinmoto family was interned in Gila River Relocation Camp, Arizona, where Min graduated from Canal High School in 1943.

Min was drafted into the US Army in 1944 and took basic training at Fort McClellan, Alabama. He spent the next few months in Fukuoka, Japan with the Occupation Forces, and later lead a contingent of ten MISers, interrogating repatriates from Manchuria. Finally, he was discharged from the US Army in November, 1946.

Min spent the following 51 years in the family's retail nursery business, Southern California Nursery, Inc. in Culver City. The family-owned business closed on March 1, 1999 and Min retired with his wife of 55 years in Torrance, California. They had three children, two grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Updated October 2011

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Shinmoto Family - Part 3

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The Shinmoto family was back together again in the Los Angeles area by late 1946. Father and son, Tony, had set up a gardening route and we were put to work right away. No further schooling was possible when the family decided to purchase a three-bedroom Spanish-style house in Culver City for $25,000, with nearly 2 acres of land to raise nursery plants in the backyard, much like others did in the prewar Seinan homes.

Early in 1948, our family purchased 2½ commercial lots on Sepulveda Boulevard in Culver City, then a main state thoroughfare. Mr ...

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Shinmoto Family - Part 2

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It was August 1942 when we boarded trains to unknown places. I remember going through Los Angeles with the shades drawn; the trip ended a few days later in the hot deserts of Arizona. They transported us by bus from Phoenix to Gila (Canal) Relocation Camp. The temperature outdid Fresno’s heat! How the city people could cope with this was unbelievable! One former schoolmate from Kingsburg died from valley fever. The internment should never have happened!

Life in Canal Camp was bearable for the Shinmoto family, but it was time to make a move after two ...

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Shinmoto Family - Part 1

The Shinmoto family history in America dates back to 1923, when Tsuneo Anthony (Tony), then five months old, and his father, Tsunetaro (1897-1972) and mother, Haruyo Tanaka Shinmoto (1902-1982) landed in San Francisco from Hiroshima, Japan. The new arrivals moved south to Upland, California, where second and third sons, Kiyoto (Herky) and Minoru (Min) were born in 1924 and 1925, respectively. Then to Salinas, where their fourth son, Hiroshi was born. The next move was to Kingsburg, a small farming community about 20 miles south of Fresno, where daughter, Mitsuko (Mitsy) was born.

Around 1929, the family moved to the ...

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