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Dr. Kazue Togasaki

Dr. Kazue Togasaki was one of the first Japanese-American women to become a doctor in the United States.

Born in San Francisco in 1897, Dr. Togasaki faced extreme racism and sexism, but excelled in her studies, earning a degree in Zoology from Stanford. After struggling to find work in California, she attended medical school in Philadelphia, graduating in 1933. She then returned to California to start her own practice.

However, things changed for her in 1942, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order allowing armed forced to place people of Japanese ancestry in internment camps. Dr. Togasaki was taken from her home and placed in Tanforan Assembly Center.

While interned, Dr. Togasaki set up medical centers in various camps, working to provide much-needed care to her communities. After being released in 1943, she continued to serve for another 40 years, before passing away in 1992 at age 95.

May 20, 2022