Sansei male. Born August 9, 1945, at the Manzanar concentration camp, California, where his parents were incarcerated during World War II. Grew up in the Venice area of California, and became increasingly politically active while attending the University of California, Berkeley, during the Free Speech Movement during the late 1960s. Earned a master's degree at the University of Southern California, then helped to found the UCLA Asian American Studies Center. Became an administrator at California State University, Long Beach, eventually advancing to the position of Associate Vice President, Student Services. Became a community activist in Los Angeles and helped to form several important community organizations such as the Little Tokyo People's Rights Organization and the Little Tokyo Service Center.