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Jim Hisato Kinoshita


1914 - 2012 Obituary Condolences
Jim Hisato Kinoshita Obituary
Jim Hisato Kinoshita 1914 - 2012 Jim Hisato Kinoshita, loving husband, brother, uncle, and friend passed away peacefully on September 17, 2012 at the age of 97. Jim was born in Bakersfield on October 1, 1914, to Kanetaro and Hisayo Kinoshita. He was four years old when his mother died of influenza. Jim's father, unable to work his farm and care for Jim and his two brothers, took the young boys to Japan to live with relatives. His father married Maki Nakagawa and returned to Bakersfield. Uncle and aunt, Tom and Chiyoko Kinoshita, in 1920, brought the three boys back to the United States and the family was reunited in Bakersfield. Jim attended elementary schools in the Bakersfield area and Kern County Union High School. In high school he was an accomplished athlete participating in football and track. As a member of the Class B track team he consistently placed in the top three of the low hurdles and the pole vault. Jim was farming when he was drafted by the U.S. Army in March 1941. He was extremely proud of his service in the Army during World War II. After basic training at Camp Roberts, he was assigned to the 40th Division National Guard in San Luis Obispo. December 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and Jim was assigned in June 1942 to be a member of the first class at the Japanese Military Intelligence Language School (MIS) at Camp Savage, Minnesota. After six months of intense studying, he graduated top of the class from MIS school and was assigned to Washington, D.C. for briefing by the War Department. His assignment, to recruit volunteers for the 442nd Regimental Combat Unit, sent him in 1943 to Poston Arizona Relocation Camp where his family was interned during WWII. His next assignment as an interpreter was the "Americal Division" in the South Pacific under command by Admiral Halsey. In many locations in the South Pacific, he honed his interrogating skills as he questioned captured Japanese soldiers. On February 4, 1944, a Bronze Star medal for meritorious service was awarded to Technician Third Grade Jim Kinoshita. In 1945, he was sent back to Cebu, Phillipines to interpret the surrender of the Japanese 35th Army. After his discharge, he returned to farming, but later became a self-employed landscape gardener until his retirement. At the age of 63, Jim married for the first time. Jim and Yaeko celebrated 34 years of marriage in June, 2012. He was a member of the Southern California Gardeners' Association and was an active member at St. Andrews Methodist Church where he served on the board for many years. He was a caring and compassionate individual; he will be missed by all his family and friends. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Kaneto and Sadao (Sid), his sisters Yoshiye Murotani and Phyllis Kinoshita. He is survived by his wife, Yaeko, sisters-in-law Mitsie Kinoshita and Michie Kinoshita, numerous nephews, nieces, and cousins. The family wishes to thank Susan, Ulysis, Jay, Gen and all staff members at Divine Mercy for their loving care of "Lolo" during the past two years. A viewing will be held on Friday September 21, 2012 from 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. at Doughty-Calhoun-O'Meara, 1100 Truxtun Avenue followed by interment at Union Cemetery, King and Potomac Avenue, at 2:00 p.m. A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday September 22 at 11:00 a.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2080 Stine Road. Doughty-Calhoun-O'Meara Funeral Directors www.bakersfield.com/obits
Published in Bakersfield Californian on Sept. 20, 2012
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