Sam Horino

Name Sam Horino
Born July 17 1914
Died April 18 2002
Birth Location Gardena, California
Generational Identifier


Member of the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee (FPC) and one of the seven who was convicted of conspiracy to counsel, aid, and abet violation of the Selective Service Act. Born in Gardena, California, on July 7, 1917, Horino became a gardener in the Hollywood area before the war. He learned about the attack on Pearl Harbor while watching a movie. Forcibly removed with his family along with all other West Coast Japanese Americans, he refused to walk out on his own, making the soldiers carry him out of his home.

At Heart Mountain , Horino was introduced to the FPC and its founder Kiyoshi Okamoto by Frank Emi , a prewar acquaintance from judo training. He became one of the group's leaders and was one of men who tried to walk out of the gates of the camp as a protest to demonstrate their lack of freedom. He was eventually sent to Tule Lake at the end of March by Camp Director Guy Robertson, who used the mechanism of a "leave clearance hearing" that Horino did not request to send him there. After his conspiracy conviction, he was one of the four leaders given more severe sentences of four years' imprisonment. 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.

After the war, he returned to Southern California and resumed gardening, retiring in Monterey Park, California. Among the FPC leaders, he and Emi were the only two to live long enough to see the revival of interest in the draft resistance movement that began in the 1980s.

Authored by Brian Niiya , Densho

For More Information

Densho interview with Sam Horino by Frank Abe , February 22, 1993.

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.

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

" Sam Horino ." Conscience and the Constitution website.

Last updated May 9, 2024, 4:13 a.m..