14 June 2020

Dr Edward Hashimoto Became Known as the Ambidextrous Irishman Following the Bombing of Pearl Harbor

The Ambidextrous Irishman - Dr. Edward Hashimoto ca. 1980s.
Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, University of Utah
Continued from previous post

In 1911, E.D. and Lois’s only child, Edward Ichiro Hashimoto was born, he often went by the name “Eddie” and became a physician practicing family medicine out of this home and teaching gross anatomy at the University of Utah School of Medicine for 53 years.

E.D. died in 1936, before WWII, leaving his widow and his son living in the house through the war years.

Eddie and Lois were not subject to Japanese relocation policies during WWII and continued owning and living in their house.

In his oral history, Dr. Eddie said if his father were still alive his father would certainly have been interred because he was such as prominent Japanese businessman. Dr. Eddie was working for the University of Utah at the time of the war and said he was under the protective wing of the University. The University even obtained a waiver from the draft for Dr. Eddie because he was the University’s only teacher of anatomy at the time.

Dr. Eddie tells a story about him returning to teach anatomy the day after Pearl Harbor. He entered his classroom and said “What are you fellows staring at? I’m Irish. I was home in Dublin at the time!” Everyone laughed and moved on. Dr. Hashimoto was also known for drawing human figures with both hands simultaneously and became known as the “Ambidextrous Irishman.”

Dr. Eddie said he wasn’t really affected by the prejudices during WWII. Only one time was he wrongly detained for fear that he might sabotage a water pump. But he promptly called his friend the Utah Attorney General and was immediately released with an apology.

Dr. Eddie saw many patients out of his medical office in the basement of his home. He died in 1987. The house continues to be owned by the Hashimoto family.

Sources: Peoples of Utah; Japanese Americans in Utah; Oral Histories of Hashimoto family; SL Herald June 3 1909.

Young Dr. Hashimoto in his car on 1200 East, 1926.
(Duplex in background is 302-304 S. 1200 East).
From the book Japanese Americans in Utah. 

Party at the Hashimoto house 1926. From Marriott Library, University of Utah.

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