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Taken: Oregonians Arrested after Pearl Harbor

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The Authority for the Arrests: Sadaji "Hood" Shiogi

Born in the Japanese Alps, Sadaji Shiogi came to America and purchased ten acres of farmland just east of Portland in Montavilla, growing produce that they took by wagon to the early morning Italian market in Portland. During World War I, Sadaji Shiogi leased a thousand acres in Troutdale to grow potatoes for the war effort. He believed in the United States, even naming his eldest son Woodrow after President Wilson. The children were never registered as dual citizens, a further indication of his commitment to America.

Managing through the Great Depression, Sadaji started a retail grocery in North Portland. THe family lived in the back of the store, and the boys delivered groceries while his wife Chiyo and their daughters managed the store. Business was so good that they were able to purchase a house nearby, registering the property in daughter Lury’s name (Japanese immigrants were not allowed to own property).

The evening of December 7, Sadaji Shiogi was arrested, causing Chiyo great worry due to his ill health. Her diary chronicles the emotional turmoil of those days:

A horrible, horrible day finally arrived. As we huddled together in fear, at 7:30 in the evening, three big FBI men came and picked up sick Shiogi.

Alas! They searched through the house and even took the slightest correspondence.  Between yesterday and today, it is almost like day and night. Everything changed ever so drastically.

Before her marriage, when Chiyo was living at the Mormon mission in Tokyo, she became friends with Elbert Duncan Thomas, later a U.S. Senator from the state of Utah. She telegraphed him news of her husband’s arrest, and it was through his influence that Sadaji was eventually released to join his family in Minidoka.

When the war was over, the family returned to Portland, and were eventually able to reclaim their house. When the Walter-McCarran Act passed in 1952, allowing citizenship to Japanese immigrants, the Shiogis became U.S. citizens.

Based on this original

Shiogi family with Consul General
uploaded by Oregon_Nikkei
The Sadaji "Hood" Shiogi family with the Japanese Consul General. ONLC 505, gift of Lury Shiogi Sato. More »


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