Takashi Kitaoka
100th Infantry Battalion (Separate)

Life After the War

Discharged in Illinois, Takashi remains with Yuki in Chicago for a year. He takes a law refresher course.

Back in Hawaii, he works for the Veterans Administration, then joins the City and County of Honolulu prosecutor’s office, where he tries cases every day. Among his courtroom opponents is William “Bill” Quinn.

Takashi heads the Hawaii Labor Relations Board. He is appointed by now Governor Bill Quinn to be Hawaii Department of Labor director.

I was discharged in Fort Sheridan, [Illinois].

I stayed in Chicago a year. My wife was there. She stayed in Chicago. I had sort of a refresher course on law because I had been out of touch.

Return to Hawaii

I came back [to Hawaii] and worked for the Veterans Administration for about, oh, maybe close to two years.

Takashi and Yuki Kitaoka.
Takashi and Yuki Kitaoka.

Then I got a job with the City and County [of Honolulu] prosecutor’s office. I enjoyed that experience very much because I liked trying cases. In the prosecutor’s office, you try cases every day. I enjoyed the contact with the people, enjoyed the contact with the lawyers. I enjoyed the contact with the politicians, to some degree.

[John H.] “Johnny” Wilson was the mayor.

Director of the Hawaii Department of Labor, 1960 – 62

[Former governor William F.] “Bill” Quinn is my friend. I got to know him [when] he was working for a law firm [Robertson, Castle and Anthony] that represented Castle & Cooke [Ltd.]. He was with [J.] Garner Anthony and we used to have good battles in the courtroom.

Takashi Kitaoka being sworn in.
Takashi Kitaoka being sworn in.

Before I got to be director of [the department of] labor, I was on the [Hawaii] Labor Relations Board. A three-member board, and I was the head of the group because I’m the public member — one labor [member], [one] public member, and [one member representing the] employers. Very interesting.

They had a big pineapple strike on the island of Maui. They were dumping pineapples at the cannery. We went there, we had a hearing for several days, and luckily we settled the strike. So, everybody was happy. Even the union [International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union] got to know me. Jack Hall [was regional director of the ILWU in Hawaii]. They were pleased with the settlement.

Toraki Kitaoka and Takashi Kitaoka family.
Toraki Kitaoka and Takashi Kitaoka family.

Anyway, [Governor] Bill Quinn appointed me director of [Hawaii Department of] Labor and that was a good experience, too. That was a really good experience because we were in contact with Washington, D.C. and had to travel to the Mainland all the time to have close contact with that department [i.e., United States Department of Labor]. Everything that related to labor, to the labor force.

Takashi Kitaoka and family.
Takashi Kitaoka and family.

Takashi Kitaoka's interview courtesy of the Center for Oral History. Photographs courtesy of Takashi Kitaoka.

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