Frank Emoto was born in Watsonville, California in 1922. In 1942 he was taken directly from his home in Watsonville to the Poston Internment Camp in Yuma County, Arizona where he spent the next three years.
As a youth it is likely that he was influenced by the works of Chiura Obata who was also interned. During Emoto's Poston period his works show the influence of Tom Tanaka who was also interned at Poston. After his release from Poston, Emoto went on to study painting at the Art Institute of Chicago.
In the mid 1960s he settled in southern California where he continued to paint spontaneous, bold, richly colored landscapes in watercolor until his retirement.