a. wallace

A. Wallace Tashima

Atsushi Wallace Tashima (born 1934) is the third Asian American and first Japanese American in the history of the United States to be appointed to a United States Court of Appeals.

Early life

Tashima was born in 1934 in Santa Maria, CA, to Yasutaro and Aya Tashima. He is Nisei Japanese American. During World War II he was interned at the Poston War Relocation Center in Arizona, an internment camp for Japanese Americans. After the war his family moved to Southern California. He lived in Boyle Heights, graduating from Roosevelt High School in East Los Angeles. From 1953 to 1956, Tashima served in the United States Marine Corps, and was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant. He received a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1958, and an LL.B. from the Harvard Law School in 1961.


Upon graduation from law school, from 1962-1968, Tashima became the Deputy State Attorney General for the State of California. He then joined the Amstar Corporation as an attorney in its Spreckels Sugar Division (1968-1972) and then as the General attorney and vice president of Amstar from 1972 to 1977. Tashima returned to private practice in 1977, as a partner at Morrison & Foerster, in Los Angeles.

In 1980, President Jimmy Carter nominated Tashima to a seat on the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Tashima served for fifteen years on the district court before he was then elevated by President Bill Clinton to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 1996. Tashima assumed senior status on June 30, 2004.

Personal life

Tashima is married and has three children and three grandchildren. He resides in Los Angeles. He is the father of Academy Award-winning filmmaker and actor, Chris Tashima.


  • Trial Jurist of the Year, Los Angeles County Bar Association (1995-96)


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