We are learning more about Sam Horino, one of the seven leaders of the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee. A nephew of his contacted us from Chicago, uncertain as to whether it was his uncle featured in this April 6, 1942, story that Time Magazine has put online, “Moving Day for Mr. Nisei” (now requires subscription).
Son Isamu Horino, 26, is a tough, wiry Nisei boy with a shock of unkempt hair and a stubborn jaw. He never did like the way white citizens treated him. (But he went to school in Japan for a while, did not like the way yellow men treated him either.) Rebel Isamu decided a few years ago to make a lot of money just to prove he was “as damn good as a white.”
Said Isamu: “I decided if I was going to be a bastard, I’d be a first-class bastard. . . . I figured I could beat a big bunch of white gardeners out of their business. I did. I acted just like a white man, but I did it better, and my gardens are the best in town.” Isamu paid more than $1,000 in income taxes this year; owned four trucks, a half-dozen power-mowers; had three full-time assistants—two Japs and a Mexican; hired white college boys for part-time work. Said Isamu Horino: “Why should we support anything in this country with a whole heart? I don’t mean any of us give a damn about Japan. We hope they get licked. But . . . nobody ever let us become a real part of this country. . . . If they want to take away all we’ve got and dump us out in the desert, we’ve got no choice. But we don’t like it. . . . And we’re expected to buy bonds, too. Not me!”
Yes, that’s the voice of Sam Horino, and what the article fails to mention is how when soldiers showed up at his home in Hollywood to force him out, he refused to comply and made them carry him out in their arms. That’s the spirit of resistance that led Sam to later lead the Constitutional challenge to incarceration inside Heart Mountain, alongside Frank Emi, Kiyoshi Okamoto, Paul Nakadate, Guntaro Kubota, Min Tamesa, and treasurer Ben Wakaye.