In 1909, Motokichi Hirahara made a decision that would change the destiny of the Hirahara family. Frank’s grandfather took the courageous step to leave his family in Wakayama Prefecture, in Japan, to come to a foreign land, and ultimately raise four generations of the Hirahara family in the United States. After making preparations for his wife Sato and son George to come to America, he brought his family to the Yakima Valley in the State of Washington in 1910. Speaking little English and doing what they could to survive, the Hirahara Family became pioneers of this region as farmers, and had a 160-acre truck farm which they leased from 1919 until 1942.
Due to the signing of Executive Order 9066 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, which put over 110,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans into incarceration camps during WWII, Motokichi Hirahara had to sell all his equipment in preparation for their departure. In June of 1942 they were sent to the Portland Assembly Center in Portland Oregon, and finally on to Heart Mountain in Wyoming, where Motokichi Hirahara died in February of 1945. Widow Sato Hirahara died in Wapato, Washington in May of 1962, and both are buried in Yakima, Washington.