Paul Nakadate


Name Paul Nakadate
Born August 18 1914
Died April 14 1964
Birth Location Los Angeles
Generational Identifier

Nisei

Vice-chairman of the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee and one of the seven who was convicted of conspiracy to counsel, aid, and abet violation of the Selective Service Act. Born in Montebello, California, Paul Nakadate grew up in San Diego and had graduated from San Diego State College before setting in Los Angeles, where he sold insurance before the war. After the forced removal of Japanese Americans from the West Coast, he and his family were incarcerated at Heart Mountain. At Heart Mountain, he joined the teaching staff of the night school and later became vice-president of the Heart Mountain Teachers' Association.[1]

Nakadate, who had been secretary of the Heart Mountain Congress of American Citizens, was one of the leaders of the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee (FPC) and its vice-chairman, known for his speechmaking. After FPC chairman Kiyoshi Okamoto was dispatched to Tule Lake, Nakadate assumed chairmanship. However, after questioning by Heart Mountain director Guy Robertson on March 30, 1944, Nakadate too was exiled to Tule Lake in mid-April. After his conspiracy conviction, he was one of the four leaders given more severe sentences of four years' imprisonment. As a married man with a young child, Nakadate took on a leadership role in the FPC despite the fact that he would not have been eligible for the draft. His conviction and those of the other FPC leaders was overturned on appeal at the end of 1945, and, with the government ultimately deciding not to pursue the case further, he was released from prison in February 1946.

Nakadate died at age 49 in Los Angeles.

Authored by Brian Niiya, Densho

For More Information

Chin, Frank. "Come All Ye Asian American Writers of the Real and the Fake." In The Big Aiiieeeee!: An Anthology of Chinese American and Japanese American Literature. Edited by Jeffery Paul Chan, Frank Chin, Lawson Fusao Inada, and Shawn Wong. New York: Meridian, 1991. 1–92.

Muller, Eric L. Free to Die for Their Country: The Story of the Japanese American Draft Resisters in World War II. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001.

"Paul Nakadate." Conscience and the Constitution website.

Nelson, Douglas W. Heart Mountain: The History of an American Concentration Camp. Madison: The State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1976.

Footnotes

  1. Heart Mountain Sentinel, Oct, 31, 1942, 8 and Nov. 14, 1942, 6.