OBITUARY: ‘Mits’ Kojimoto

Mitsunobu “Mits” Kojimoto, photo by Paul Kitagaki Jr.

Mitsunobu “Mits” Kojimoto unexpectedly passed away in San Francisco on Oct. 25. He was 86.

Kojimoto was born on Oct. 19, 1923, in San Francisco, to Kusujiro Kojimoto and Mitsu Nishitsuji Kojimoto. He graduated from Commerce High School, where he played varsity basketball.

When Executive Order 9066 was issued during World War II, Kojimoto’s family was sent to the Santa Anita Assembly Center and then to the concentration camp in Topaz, Utah.

At age 19, Kojimoto volunteered for the U.S. Army and joined the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, H company. He received the Bronze Star for his service in France and Italy.

Kojimoto supported and participated in many Japanese American community organizations and events. He, Wally Nunotani and other 442nd veterans formed Go for Broke, which later became the National Japanese American Historical Society.

Kojimoto tirelessly researched and collected archival information about Nisei World War II soldiers killed in action, which he gave to the Japanese American Living Legacy Project.

Kojimoto was a member of the Buddhist Church of San Francisco. He is survived by his wife, Sadame, of 59 years and their children Keith (Priscilla), Kathryn, and Carrie; granddaughter Gayle (Gary Hume); and great-grandchildren Kiana and Derek; his sister Misae Tanaka; his cousins, nieces and nephews. Kojimoto was preceded in death by his brothers, Yoshinobu and Yoneo.

A memorial service was held on Nov. 7, at the Buddhist Church of San Francisco.

The family wishes to thank Paul Kitagaki Jr. for permission to use his photo of Kojimoto; the person who called 911 after seeing Kojimoto collapsed on the sidewalk; and the kindness and generosity of Kojimoto’s friends and relatives.

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