Early Years

George Akimoto was born on November 13, 1922 in Stockton, California in the family of the Japanese immigrants Dr. Kensuke and Tatsumi Yamada Akimoto.  Dr. Akimoto graduated from the Aichi Medical College in Japan in 1907 and after arrival to the United States in 1917, was practicing medicine in Stockton as a Physician. In 1921 Tatsumi joined her husband, along with their son Takehiko and daughter Masako in the United States.

Baby George Akimoto with his brother Takehiko in Stockton 1923.

In 1940 Stockton City directory Kensuke Akimoto was listed as a Physician in private practice at 18 South El Dorado Street and his family was residing in the rented house on 430 West Charter Way.  George was enrolled in Stockton High School and at the age of 13 had joined Sea Scouts rapidly advancing in ranks having regular training aboard S.S. Albatross. “Stockton Record” in the May, 20 1939 article announced the Eagle Award, Ordinary Sea Scout Award and Merit badge being presented to George Akimoto during the Sea Scout senior ball at the Stockton Golf and Country Club.

On 28 May 1940 George Akimoto was promoted to the rank of the Able Sea Scout and awarded a Long Cruise badge.

George began to show the talent of the artist at a young age, as evidenced by the publication in “Stockton Record” newspaper on May 7, 1940: “George Akimoto, Stockton High School, was announced today as having captured a coveted achievement award in the sixteen annual scholastic competition of the Scholastic magazine. A total of 25,000 students from over 800 schools in all parts of the United States were entered. In addition to scholarship and prize awards, the winning entries in the contest’s arts and crafts division have been placed on current exhibition in the Fine Arts Galleries of the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburg, where they will be open to the public through May 26. The display will be followed by a tour of the country under the auspices of leading museums and art galleries. Akimoto is the pupil of Miss Amy Pahl of the high school faculty.”

Stockton High School June 1940 graduation class with George Akimoto in the upper row center

After graduation from Stockton High School in June 1940 George became an Art student at the Stockton Junior College at the campus of the College of the Pacific. 

The Pacific Student Association “Naranjado” 1942 Yearbook page 63 reads: “George, now in a Japanese Reception Center, was the creator of the division pages.”  On the bottom right corner photograph “George Akimoto, Art Editor; William Ramsey, Music and Radio Editor. In the upper corner of the page 64 photograph with the smiling artist “George Akimoto, Cartoons.” 


The Pacific Student Association “Naranjado” 1942 Yearbook page 165 with “Japanese Club” Corresponding Secretary and Historian George Akimoto on the left of the upper photograph.

Division pages for the Pacific Student Association “Naranjado” 1942 Yearbook were illustrated by the Stockton Junior College student, art editor and cartoons illustrator George Akimoto. He signs his name as G.Akimoto and Geo.Akimoto:





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