Takashi Kitaoka
100th Infantry Battalion (Separate)

Second Circuit Court Judge

In 1962 Republican Governor Bill Quinn appoints Takashi to the Second Circuit Court on Maui with jurisdiction over Maui, Molokai, and Lanai. He is the first Maui-born circuit court judge.

When Takashi’s term is up in 1968, Democrat Governor John Burns does not reappoint him.

Second Circuit Court Judge, 1962-68

Then [in 1962], Governor [Quinn] appointed me judge of the Second Circuit Court on Maui.

Takashi Kitaoka being sworn in as a judge.
Takashi Kitaoka being sworn in as a judge.

[This was his last year in office.] That’s the irony of politics. You see, Bill Quinn appointed me and when my term was up, the Democrats were in — of course, you know Bill Quinn is a Republican. I became a Republican, too. But when my term was up, I was never reappointed. [John A.] “Jack” Burns was the [governor, 1962 – 74]. So I was replaced.

Takashi and Yuki Kitaoka.
Takashi and Yuki Kitaoka.

That’s politics. I was hoping that because of my tenure and I hope good work on Maui, that I would have been reappointed. But that’s not the way politics works. I expected that.

I enjoyed my work on Maui. The jurisdiction is Maui, Molokai, and Lanai. Every quarter, I would go to the neighbor islands and hold court there, come back. But overall, it was a very enlightening experience for me. I learned a lot being the judge.

[I was the first Maui-born circuit court judge.] I’m proud of that. I’m proud of that.

My good friend [Judge] Jack Mizuha was on the [Hawaii] Supreme Court and he told me, “You know, you’re the first local [Maui-born] boy who’s going to be appointed to that position.” I didn’t know that. As a matter of fact, when I was inducted on Maui, he was the man that swore me in, Jack did.

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

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