A Howard Watson Intrigue

Happy New Year 2019.

Glad you’re still around.  I’ve been getting a lot of questions about one of my colleagues – Tim Yamamoto. He’s a great guy and even greater Agent..but then again, I’m biased.

Tim Yamamoto’s father Akashi is straight up Japanese and his mother Carrie is half-Japanese and half-Black. During World War II, twelve year-old Akashi, along with his father, mother and older brothers, were shoved into an internment camp in Colorado. During this time the Japanese had to constantly prove that they were as American as anyone else. It didn’t help that they lived on the west coast and it was feared that the transplanted Japanese might be loyal to their mother country.  FDR’s Executive Order 9066 gave the military broad powers to ban any citizen of Japanese heritage from living on a 50 to 60 mile-wide coastal area stretching from Washington state to California and extending inland into southern Arizona.

Years after the war, Akashi’s father became enraged when he found out his son was dating a “half-Japanese” woman, specifically considering that the other “half” being a Black woman. He was of the opinion that Blacks in America were lazy. Akashi had heard these statements from his father so many times that they no longer registered. He married Carrie anyway. Although Akashi lived in the same town as his parents and brothers, all of them refused to speak to him or see him after he married Carrie.

The picture changed several years later when Tim was born. His skin is brown like his mother’s but his coal-black straight hair and eyes are every bit his father’s. Akashi’s mother and Carrie would often sneak behind Akashi’s father’s back to let the grandmother hold little Tim and to share pictures. The surprise was not that Akashi’s father finally caught the two women together,  but that Akashi’s father fell instantly in love with little “brown Tim”. (He smirks whenever I call him this.)

After graduating from Stanford University Tim moved to New York City to attend graduate school. This is where he met his future wife Kelly, who was also a biochemistry major. After graduation, Tim stayed in New York to join the Medical Examiner’s office and Kelly accepted a job offer in Pennsylvania.  She moved without hesitation, and, more specifically, without receiving a marriage proposal from Tim.

Only months after joining the Medical Examiner’s office Tim was “requested” to assist on a case alongside the FBI. That’s where we first met.  I found him and his work to be quite credible.  Two years later when he applied to the FBI Academy and asked if I would be serve as one of his references, I jumped at the honor.

Tim’s entry into the FBI was proof of Hoover’s ignorance and served to confirm and vindicate his families’ and Japanese-Americans loyalty to America. Forty-five years after World War II ended, the Yamamoto’s became monetary beneficiaries (U.S. paid remunerations for the illegal seizure of Japanese property) from one of the most shameful and tragic events in American history. This is the stock from which Tim hails.

Talk soon.


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