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Nisei in His Imperial Majesty's Service

Japanese Americans Who Served the Fatherland During World War II

Approximately 20,000 second-generation Japanese (Nisei), born in the United States, spent World War II in Japan. There were at one time some 50,000 Nisei in Japan; see excerpts below. Even though they were American citizens, because of a special law the Japanese Government regarded them as citizens of Japan. Incidentally, many Nisei in the United States had dual citizenship; in the Territory of Hawaii alone, some 60% of the Nisei were also Japanese citizens (i.e. over one-third of Japanese in the territory were dual citizens). Per a US Navy Dept. intelligence report: "Out of a total Japanese population of 320,000 in the United States and its possessions, it is estimated that more than 127,000 have dual citizenship. This estimate is based on the fact that more than 52% of American born Japanese fall into this category." Per Roehner's research (2014):

For the 158,000 residents of Japanese ancestry in the Territory of Hawaii, the figures (in 1940) were as follows:
  • Japanese aliens: 38,000
  • Dual Japanese-US citizens: 55,000
  • Non-dual US citizens: 65,000
For the 162,000 residents of Japanese ancestry in the continental United States, the figures (in 1940) were as follows:
  • Japanese aliens: 38,000
  • Dual Japanese-US citizens: 62,000
  • Non-dual US citizens: 62,000
Hundreds of Nisei in Japan worked for the Imperial Government as translators and interpreters, some as guards at POW camps, and some even fought in the Imperial Japan armed forces. Official Japanese figures state that 1,648 Nisei had joined the Imperial forces; other estimates are as high as 7,000, but the true figure would be much higher if one considered the many other areas of sub-contracted work that supported the military. After the war, only 10,000 Nisei were allowed to return to the United States; quite a number remained in Japan and worked for the Occupation Forces. The US Military Intelligence Division produced in Aug. 1945 a 430-page document (names A-J, K-O, S-Y) listing Japanese, including a number of American-born Nisei, who were "reported to be loyal" and "expected to cooperate" with the Occupation Forces (N.B. the Nisei were "reported to be loyal," yet there is no record of their being interned in Japan).

Duplicity was normal then and no one thought it strange -- but to most Americans suddenly confronted with an aggressive Japan, it was paramount to being a traitor. The trial of "Tokyo Rose" is well known, and there were several others who were tried for their anti-American actions. The whole subject seems to be somewhat a taboo topic -- to many, no doubt, it is embarassing to talk about their chameleon-like past. You will not find this data on any other website, and even Wikipedia's page on Japanese-Americans will not sanction such data to be disseminated.

It is, nevertheless, a historical fact. You will find here an assortment of news articles and archival material which reveals the other side of these Nisei who were in Japan during WWII (alphabetical index here). This list is only a fraction of the total. I have also included below some who were probably not directly connected with the Japanese military. Further research is being conducted by author and professor-emeritus Hawaii, John Stephan, who is hoping to publish his massive work on the Nisei, Call of Ancestry: American Nikkei in Imperial Japan, 1895-1945; when he does, it will be noted on this page as the go-to reference book on the Nisei in Japan.

For further info regarding the numbers of Nisei in Japan, here this from my page on Civilian Internment Camps in Japan:

Figures do not include Japanese-Americans (Nisei), who, in accordance with wartime directives issued by Japan's Ministry of Home Affairs, were to be treated as Japanese nationals. As for the numbers of Nisei in Japan, "Japanese figures show that in 1937 there were 50,000 American citizens of Japanese ancestry residing in Japan" (Gentlemen of Japan by Haven, 1944) -- the Japan Foreign Office urged these kibei shimin (American returnee citizens) to return to the US. Approximately 20,000 Nisei were living in Japan in 1940 (Zaibei Nihonjinshi, 1940). According to an estimate by the U.S. Consulate in Yokohama, some 15,000 Nisei were residing in Japan at the end of the war, 10,000 of whom were eligible to return to the United States (Rafu Shimpo, March 22, 1947). See Were We The Enemy? by Rinjiro Sodei for further information. See here for number of resident aliens of Japanese descent as of June 1942. Forthcoming book by John J. Stephan will cover this subject in detail. For further info and extensive data on ethnic Japanese and Japanese Americans in the US prior to and during WWII, see my EO9066 website, The Preservation of a People, dealing with the evacuation and relocation of people of Japanese ancestry (assembly and relocation centers, internment camps, etc.).

From Were we the enemy? American survivors of Hiroshima by Rinjiro Sodei (1998):

    The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs estimated that the number of Nisei from both the U.S. mainland and Hawaii who were living in Japan for family reasons or for education reached almost 30,000 as of January 1929. Of these, 4,805, or sixteen percent, were living in Hiroshima Prefecture. Their ages ranged from one to thirty, but 3,803, or some eighty percent, were attending elementary and middle schools. According to the same statistics, 11,312 Nisei in the United States, excluding Hawaii, had parents who came from Hiroshima, while Nisei residing in Hiroshima numbered 3,404. When 2,759 of the latter group were asked in 1929 whether they wanted to go back to the United States, only 755 answered yes, while 2,004 said no. In other words, seventy percent expressed no desire to return.

    After the 1924 revision of the Immigration Act prohibited Japanese from immigrating, only Nisei possessed the right to enter the country without restriction. A book published in 1929 about Hiroshima immigrants in the United States emphasized, "From the viewpoint of the development of the Yamato race overseas ... some measures must be urgently taken to encourage the Nisei in Japan to come back to the U.S."

    The foreign ministry survey was made that same year, twelve years before Pearl Harbor. In the intervening years, how many Nisei returned to the United States? A history of the Japanese in America, published in December 1940 by the Association of Japanese Americans in San Francisco, states: "As a result of a nationwide movement that was started around 1935 to encourage Nisei educated in Japan to return to the United States as the only real successors to the Issei, it is estimated that about ten thousand Nisei have returned at the present time." This statement is qualified, however, by the observation that "around twenty thousand Nisei are believed to still be in Japan."

    How many of the latter were living in Hiroshima in 1940? No statistics are available, but if we assume that the sixteen percent of the total that prevailed in 1929 remained consistent, we get an estimate of around 3,200 for the number of Nisei in Hiroshima. Most of these would have been living in and near the city of Hiroshima itself.

The US Consulate estimated there were 15,000 Nisei residing in Japan at the end of the war, and 10,000 of those were eligible to return to the US. In May 1946, the GHQ ordered the J-Govt. to produce a list of all Nisei who lived in Japan during the war, including those who served in the J-military or in J-govt. Sodei says approx. 5,000 Nisei returned to the US after the war.

Some thoughts:

What made the difference between pro-Japan and pro-US Nisei? It could have been the home environment, where the parents were always talking about their motherland, reading news and literature from or about the motherland, with very little Americanism being absorbed in their lives, except perhaps through the American schooling their children were receiving. These Nisei children would then be receiving mostly news and views from a Japanese perspective via their parents as well as from the Japanese language schools (if they were attending) which were teaching not only the language but also the culture and ethics of Imperial Japan, all so that they would not forget their heritage. Compounding this with the fact that many of the Nisei had dual citizenship, it is no wonder, then, that there would be Nisei with a strong attachment to Japan, or at least ambivalence. This could be one of the reasons many in the US military were concerned about the Nisei's loyalties.

Further data:

Up to 7,000 Nisei in Japanese military -- excerpts (PDF) from Michelle Malkin's book, In Defense of Internment.

18,000 Nisei in Japan in 1933, per Horne book.

From a very enlightening work, The Pacific Era Has Arrived: Transnational Education among Japanese Americans, 1932-1941 (PDF), by Eiichiro Azuma:

The precise number of Nisei students in Japan during the 1930s is difficult to estimate. According to some contemporary sources, there were 40,000 to 50,000 American-born Japanese in the island country in any given year during the decade. The vast majority of them, however, probably resided in Japan permanently with their parents, who had returned home for good. Only about 18,000 Nisei were considered "Americans" by the Japanese police, who had kept a close eye on any "foreign" elements. Still, most of them had spent a substantial amount of time in Japan, receiving much of their formal education there rather than in the United States. In 1940, a survey of Nisei students over eighteen estimated the presence of 1,500 in the Tokyo area. This is probably the most reliable ballpark figure for the Nisei youngsters who are the subjects of this study. See Nisei Survey Committee, The Nisei: A Survey of Their Educational, Vocational, and Social Problems (Tokyo: Keisen Girls' School, 1939), 2; and Yuji Ichioka, Beyond National Boundaries: The Complexity of Japanese-American History, Amerasia Joumal 23 (Winter 1998), viii. For the general statistics of Nisei in Japan, consult Yamashita Soen, Nichibei o Tsunagu mono [Those who link Japan and the United States] (Tokyo: Bunseisha, 1938), 319-334.

See here for more on the 50,000 figure.

See also Chapter 5 re the Nisei in Japan in Japanese Americans and Cultural Continuity: Maintaining Language through Heritage by Toyotomi Morimoto.

Nisei_in_Japan_211_G-2_FEC_Jan-Dec_1946.pdf - List of Nisei employed by the Japanese Govt. and desirous of repatriation to US. Mention is made of 4,500 Nisei who were granted Japanese citizenship (possible correlation with number of renunciants at the relocation centers, viz. Tule Lake). Note also that Japanese nationality was NOT a pre-requisite; some even were advised not to acquire Japanese citizenship.

For more information on the Kibei, see this WRA article, Japanese Americans educated in Japan: The Kibei.

Transnationalism in education: the backgrounds, motives, and experiences of Nisei students in Japan before World War 2 by Yuko Konno

Beyond Two Homelands Migration and Transnationalism of Japanese Americans in the Pacific, 1930-1955 - Enlightening paper by Michael Jin (2013) on the "50,000 American migrants of Japanese ancestry (Nisei) who traversed across national and colonial borders in the Pacific before, during, and after World War II. Among these Japanese American transnational migrants, 10,000-20,000 returned to the United States before the outbreak of Pearl Harbor in December 1941 and became known as Kibei." A number of Nisei mentioned by name in this work.

See's article, Stranded: Nisei in Japan Before, During, and After World War II, review of the book Midnight in Broad Daylight by Pamela Rotner Sakamoto. Archives (guest login required) has a number of interviews relating to Life in Japan -- During WWII.

Books on this topic - much to be gleaned from these, esp. re the issues of loyalty and collaboration:
Citizens, Immigrants, and the Stateless: A Japanese American Diaspora in the Pacific by Michael R. Jin (2021)
Unthinking Collaboration: American Nisei in Transwar Japan by A. Carly Buxton (2022)
American Survivors: Trans-Pacific Memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by Naoko Wake - many names listed in the Select Bibliography

Nisei in Japan -- interesting excerpt from the Far Eastern Survey, Apr. 19, 1944

See Kabuki's Forgotten War: 1931-1945 by Brandon (2009), p. 390 note: "Ministry of Health and Welfare in 1943... called on Nisei to resist assimilation and 'remain aware of the superiority of the Japanese people and proud of being a member of the leading race.'" See also sections dealing with dual nationality Nisei and their inner conflict (search).

Additional Notes:

Image: Banquet for Nisei, Kaigai Doho Taikai (Overseas Compatriots' Convention), Tokyo 1940-11 (image courtesy of John Stephan). Also related organization Nisei Rengokai (Nisei Union).

"Bushido is the very core of the Nisei" -- Terry Shima, executive director for the Japanese American Veteran Association

A number of interpreters are mentioned in the Tokyo War Crimes Trials (IMTFE) Reviews. A search within this file for "interpreter" may give possible leads to more Nisei involved at the POW camps:

See further Assorted Notes at end of this page.

Alphabetical Index of Names

Akune, Saburo and Shiro
Domoto, Kaji
Fujisawa, Meiji
Fukami, Yasukuni Frank
Fukuhara, Harry
Funatsu, Toshiko
Hamada, George
Harada, Yoshio
Hikita, Toyokazu
Honda, Chikaki
Imamura, Shigeo
Inoue, Kanao
Ishio, Jack
Iwatake, Warren
Jibutsu, Fumitane
Kameoka, Masaji
Kanai, Hiroto
Kano, Toshiyuki
Kawakita, Tomoya
Kido, Shigemi
Kotoshirodo, Richard
Matsuda, Jimmy
Matsumura, Kan
Miho, Fumiye
Mikami, Yoshie
Miura, Kay Kiyoshi
Morishige, Torao
Murada (Murata), Hisao?
Muroya, Mary
Nakahara, Jiro
Nakatani, Kunio
Nakayama, Michael
Niimori, Genichiro
Nishikawa, Mitsugi
Nishimura, Kay
Noda, Eiichi
Okada, Haruo
Okimura, Kiyokura
Ozaki, Harley (Toyonishiki)
Ozasa, George
Sakakida, Richard
Sako, Sydney
Sano, Iwao Peter
Sasaki, James
Shinohara, Samuel
Suzuki, Jerry
Takamura, Clifton
Takeuchi, James
Tasaki, Hanama Harold
Tateishi, Kei
Toguri, Iva
Tomita, Mary
Tomita, Masao
Tsuda, Taihei
Ueno, Harry
Uno, Kazumaro Buddy
Uyeminami, Fred
Wakatake, Clyde
Yamada, Shigeo
Yamanaka, Bob
Yamane, George
Yamauchi, Kunimitsu
Yempuku (Empuku), Toru, Goro, and Donald
Yoneda, Karl
Yonekura, Mary and Alice
Yoshida, Jim

Saburo and Shiro Akune

Per article, MIS Members with Brothers Serving in Japanese Imperial Forces during WWII:

Harry and Ken Akune served in the MIS and their two brothers, Saburo and Shiro, were drafted into the Imperial Japanese Navy. After the death of his wife, Ichiro—father of the Akune boys—took his nine children to settle in his hometown in Kagoshima Prefecture. Later, before WW II, Harry and Ken were sent to California to work and send remittances to their family.

Following Japan’s attack of Pearl Harbor, Harry and Ken Akune were among the 118,000 persons of Japanese ancestry who were placed in internment camps against their will. “Then, one day an Army recruiter came with news that the government now wanted young men from the internment camps to join the military. I didn't care what the government had done to us," Ken Akune said.

"When they came around, it was a chance for me to do what Americans were supposed to do, go out and serve their country. When they opened their door, for me, I felt like my rights were given back to me. I also thought about if I met my brother out in the field, what would I do?" Ken Akune said. "You don't want to kill him, but if he points his rifle at you, what can you do?"

Ken and Harry graduated from the MIS Language School in 1942 and were deployed to the Asia Pacific war zone, Ken to Burma to work for the Office of War Information to conduct propaganda against Japan. Harry was sent to New Guinea and the Philippines to interrogate Japanese prisoners and to translate documents. Harry, who had not made a parachute jump before, joined his colleagues of the 503rd Paratroopers to jump onto Corregidor island. Their brothers in the Japanese Navy, Saburo was a spotter of American targets for the kamikaze pilots and Shiro, just 15, served in the training program for recruits at the Sasebo Naval Base.

After the war, Harry and Ken, while serving in the demobilization of Japanese armed forces, visited their family in Kagoshima Prefecture. The four brothers, two on each side, got into a heated argument as to which side, Japan or America, was right. The confrontation was stopped by their father, who reminded them the war was over.

Saburo and Shiro returned to live in America, where, ironically, Shiro was drafted and fought in the Korean War.

Kaji Domoto

From Foo Fujita's book:

From Kaji Domoto - Nisei at Omori camp - US News Hiroshima.html:

"The news came much quicker to Sgt. Frank Fujita, a Japanese-American held eight blocks from the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Kaji Domoto, a U.S.-born Japanese who liked to serve up anti-American diatribes, told the assembled POWs that the "murderers" had destroyed an entire city with one bomb. The GIs scoffed. Domoto was notorious for fanciful tales, including one about a U.S. plane downed by a rice ball. He convinced them this time by producing Western dispatches on Truman's announcement."

Domoto at Bunka camp with Cousens 1946-09-27.pdf - Sydney Morning Herald article: "Cousens said Domoto had been instrumental in saving the lives of three officers."


See Otten testimony, Nagoya POW Camp #10: "Civilian Interpreter Fujimoto (Thug) strafed [punished] POW's, was American born and educated." He was at the Osaka Chikko POW Camp first, according to this site.

Meiji Fujisawa

Oeyama POW camp interpreter (From Bamboo People by Chuman):

Lengthy chapter here about Kawakita (Chapter Four) in which Fujisawa (Fujizawa) is mentioned, Kawakita's childhood friend:
America's Geisha Ally by Naoko Shibusawa, 2006

Yasukuni "Frank" Fukami

Per Statement of Sachio Egawa (from bottom of page 26) of Fukuoka POW Camp #18 (Sasebo):

"About March or April [1943]... a seamen name FUKAMI, Yasukuni came to our camp. FUKAMI used to say that he was born in AMERICA [San Francisco, 1915] and indeed, excelled in speaking English. However, he was of an ugly temperament, and he often hit the young service personnel and workers. In spite of his behavior, he was liked by the superior, SAMEJIMA, and SAMEJIMA once used him to obtain blankets and towels from the prisoners against their will... I reported the matter to a superior named TAKAHASHI... [who] made FUKAMI return the articles to the prisoners... I heard of FUKAMI committing a great deal of outrages against the prisoners... WATANABE [Navy unit commander] learned of FUKAMI's acts and wildness and had him transferred about July or August."

Harry Fukuhara, brothers of (Frank, Pierce, Victor)

Second Lt. Harry Fukuhara left his native Seattle as a teen when his mother took him and his siblings to her hometown of Hiroshima following his father’s death in 1933. He returned to the United States for college; his three brothers remained in Japan. He served in the US Army; they served in the Japanese Army. His mother and oldest brother suffered radiation sickness, with his brother dying before the end of 1945. “‘Futatsu no sokoku’ hazama ni ikite” [Living Between ‘Two Fatherlands,’], Tokyo Shimbun, 11 June 1996, p. 28.

From Nisei Linguists review:

Toshikawa Takao, “Nikkei nisei, Beigun joho shoko ga hajimete shogen shita: ‘Futatsu no sokoku’ rimenshi,” [“Nisei, U.S. Military Officer Testifies for First Time: The Inside Story of ‘Two Fatherlands’”], Shukan Posuto, 3 March 1995: 219. Many Japanese histories, memoirs, and media reports tell the stories of Nisei in service to one country or the other. One history of Japanese Americans is Kikuchi Yuki’s Hawai Nikkei nisei no Taieheiyo Senso [The Pacific War of Hawaiian Nisei] (Tokyo: Sanichi Shobo, 1995). A story of Japanese Americans on the other side is Tachibana Yuzuru’s Teikoku Kaigun shikan ni natta Nikkei Nisei [The Nisei Who Became an Officer of the Imperial Navy] (Tokyo: Tsukiji Shokan, 1994). As Nisei who were living in the United States at the start of the war joined the US military and intelligence organs, so many of those in Japan at that time served as linguists in the IJA and IJN, the Foreign Ministry, and the official Domei News Agency which, like the BBC, monitored foreign media broadcasts.


U.S. Officer Feared Worst For Family Living in Japan / Brothers split by war and circumstance

August 05, 1995
By Tara Shioya, Chronicle Staff Writer

In the summer of 1945, U.S. Army Lieutenant Harry Fukuhara was assigned to the Philippine island of Luzon as a linguist with the 33rd Infantry Division. The end of the war was near, and Allied forces were preparing to invade Japan. Fukuhara's unit would head the invasion.

And for the first time since he joined the Army, Fukuhara thought of what that could mean for his family in Japan.

Before the war, his mother and his three brothers had returned to Hiroshima from the United States, where Fukuhara was born. He had not heard from them in four years, since the war broke out. When the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, on August 6, Fukuhara assumed the worst. There were no survivors, he was told. In Hiroshima, nothing would live for the next 100 years. Still, he knew he had to go see for himself.

He was not expecting what he found.

"I thought I should go to Japan and at least see if I could find them," recalls Fukuhara, now 75, a retired Army colonel who lives in San Jose. "But I figured there was no chance that they would have survived."

He arrived in Japan a month later, having been reassigned to the American occupation forces in Kobe. With the Army's permission, he and a driver set out for Hiroshima in a jeep one morning before dawn.

They drove all day and night, using train trestles to cross rivers where bridges had been destroyed. The next morning they reached Takasu-machi, the Hiroshima suburb where Fukuhara's family lived. The houses appeared to be intact, but on the streets there were no people. Through the neighborhood, the usual early- morning murmur of waking families, children's squeals, chickens in the back yard -- the sounds of life -- were not to be heard.

The Fukuhara home was among those standing. A row of shrubs had been charred, their silhouettes superimposed on the back wall of the house, which faced the center of the city. Inside the two-story house, daggers of glass jutted from the walls -- the windows and doors were gone. Fukuhara stood in the hallway and called out "moshi moshi" ("hello, hello"). But there was no reply.

As he surveyed the damage, his mother appeared.

"I was pretty surprised," remembers Fukuhara, a quiet man who seems to yield to his emotions only reluctantly. "We just stood there looking at each other."

His mother and her sister had survived the bomb by hiding in an underground shelter. At the time of the blast, his mother was rinsing her feet outside the house. Her oldest son, Victor, 32, had been less fortunate. When the bomb hit, he was on his way to work at a factory in Hiroshima. The radiation had left him scarcely able to talk or eat. The day after the bomb, relatives had found him wandering through town, dazed and with his shirt burned to rags, and had brought him home.

At first, Fukuhara's mother did not recognize her American son. His complexion had turned sallow from medication he was taking for malaria. She had not seen him since 1938 and was confused by the U.S. Army uniform.

After her husband's death in 1933, Kinu Fukuhara had left Washington state -- the family's home for more than 20 years -- and returned to her hometown of Hiroshima with four of her children. But Harry had come back to the United States soon after graduating from high school and had gone to California, following a sister. In the intervening years, the family wrote letters. But then, after Pearl Harbor, the letters stopped.

Now, from his mother and aunt, he learned that his other two brothers had also survived. They had not been in Hiroshima at the time of the bombing but on the southern island of Kyushu, preparing for what was expected to be imminent invasion by American troops.

Fukuhara learned several months later that while he was studying aerial attack-plan photographs of the island, his youngest brother, Frank, was digging foxholes for the Japanese army in the Kyushu mountains in expectation of the U.S. landing.

"That was pretty ironic," said Frank Fukuhara, from his home in Komaki, Japan. "We could have met up face to face, fighting against each other."

Now 71, he laughs as he recalls his army training -- learning to crawl on his stomach with a dummy bomb strapped to his back, to slip beneath the American tanks.

During most of the war, he says, he had avoided military service by enrolling in an engineering college. Eventually he was drafted, in April 1945, and was assigned to the Western Second Battalion Infantry and sent to Kyushu, like the fourth brother, Pierce.

By the time Harry returned to Japan, Frank and Pierce had gone back to Hiroshima to work as interpreters for U.S. forces just outside the city.

"When Harry showed up, I was really shocked," said Frank Fukuhara. "I thought that he was a prisoner of war, and that he had been sent back to Japan."

After several hours, he understood that his brother was in fact a U.S. Army officer and that the tall, blond soldier who accompanied them on the jeep ride home was not holding Harry prisoner.

The last Frank had heard, Harry was working as a houseboy in Glendale, Calif. He had heard nothing of the Japanese American evacuation and the internment camps. He had no idea that Harry and their sister, Mary, and her 2- year-old daughter were relocated to a camp at Gila River, Ariz., and that Harry had volunteered to join the Army -- or that circumstance had placed them on opposite sides of the war.

For Frank, who had always hoped to return to the United States, the choice between "American" and "Japanese" had been made for him when he was drafted into the Japanese Imperial Army. But for Harry, that decision was a conscious one.

"I felt I had to make up my mind to stay as an American," he says of his decision to volunteer. "I had no feeling of loyalty to Japan."

Today, Harry Fukuhara still spends considerable time thinking about the war, as president of the Northern California Military Intelligence Service (MIS) -- a 400-member association of Japanese Americans who served in the war in the Pacific.

He says he still believes that dropping the A-bomb shortened the war and ultimately saved lives, despite the price his family paid. His brother Victor died of radiation sickness in 1947. His mother died of similar causes in 1968.

Frank Fukuhara is unable to say whether he believes that use of the bomb was justified, especially when he thinks of their 13-year-old cousin Kimiko. On Aug. 6, 1945, she had just finished her wartime work duties at school and was on the roof of the building when the bomb struck. Blinded by the flash and badly burned, she crawled half a mile to a temporary hospital. Minutes after her mother found her, she died.

"I thought the atomic bomb was really miserable," Frank Fukuhara says, his voice faltering for a moment. "But it ended the war. It could have lasted much longer."

But the memory of Hiroshima is painful for both brothers.

Despite Harry Fukuhara's apparent pragmatism about the bomb, it was not until 1989 that he returned again to Hiroshima.

"I guess I wanted to avoid going there," he says. "I didn't even want to think about it. There was nothing positive about the time I was there in 1945."

See also this review of book on Fukuharas, "Midnight in Broad Daylight," by Pamela Rotner Sakamoto. The Japan Times had this article, The unbelievable true story of a Japanese family that went to war with itself.

From essay by Fukuhara, Military Occupation of Japan (WWW.NJAVC.ORG):

About two weeks after arriving in Japan, I was able to get permission from my division commander to travel by Jeep to Hiroshima to look for my family. I arrived in early October and found my mother and brothers in our partially-damaged family home on the outskirts of Hiroshima City. My mother had survived the atomic bomb because she had been in a bomb shelter, but my older brother Victor had been injured by the bombing. He was to die a few months later from radiation poisoning. Many of my relatives had died or disappeared in the atomic blast.

I was overjoyed to see my two younger brothers, Pierce and Frank. They had been drafted into the Japanese Army, and had returned home just a few days before I arrived in Hiroshima. Frank had been assigned to a suicide unit in Miyazaki Prefecture. He had been training to blow up a U.S. military vehicle by running up to it and detonating an explosive strapped to his back. I shuddered when I heard that he was supposed to guard the beaches of Miyazaki Prefecture on the island of Kyushu. That was where my division had been planning to land on November 1, 1945. I was glad that the atomic bomb had ended the war.

.....When I was first assigned to the Toyama CIC office, in September 1947, I met a young Nisei girl who became my wife two years later. Terry Yamamoto had come to Japan as a teenager before the war. She was working as an interpreter at the Toyama Military Government Team.

Japanese book:

日本軍兵士になったアメリカ人たち 母国と 戦った日系二世
門池啓史, 元就出版社, 発行年月: 2010年02月
Americans who became soldiers of Japanese military - Nisei who fought against their motherland

From Chapter 2:
Frank Fukuhara - brother in US Army 「二つの母国」 (Two Motherlands)

Toshiko Funatsu

Per Stephan, possibly worked as a communications monitor for the Imperial Army or Navy. After war was English instructor in Yahata, Kyushu (PDF).

George Hamada

Nisei? interpreter at Zentsuji POW Camp (photo). Affidavit by POW Nelson says that Hamada lived in the US for 20 years. Photo shows "Bibb County, Georgia" location.

Yoshio Harada

On island of Niihau, helped Japanese pilot who crashed there during attack on Pearl Harbor. See Robar p. 340 and Malkin p. 2+, photo on p. 289.

From Wiener testimony:
b. Another Nisei, Harada, committed treason against the United States within the constitutional definition (Art. III, § 3) of "adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort." A Japanese warplane, damaged during the Pearl Harbor attack, landed on the small Hawaiian island of Niihau. Local Hawaiians took away the pilot's pistol and his papers, but Harada supplied him with other arms belonging to Harada's employer, after which, for six days, the pilot and Harada terrorized the entire island. Then a Hawaiian who had been shot by the pilot managed to kill him, after which Harada committed suicide. S. Conn, Guarding the United States and Its Outposts, p. 194 [hereafter "Conn, Guarding"]; W. Lord, Day of Infamy, pp. 195-200; J.J. Stephan, Hawaii Under the Rising Sun, p. 168.

The Commission relegates this incident to a footnote (Rep. 430-431, n.14), does not recognize that Harada's acts constituted treason, and therefore fails to recognize that, flatly contrary to its own blanket assertion, Harada, like Kawakita and Tokyo Rose, was indeed an "individual American citizen... actively disloyal to his country."

Toyokazu Hikita

Born in Vancouver, BC, 1922. Went to Japan in 1939 and drafted into J-Army in 1943, then transferred to Tokyo Kempeitai. See p. 5 of this doc:
Yokohama Trial Dockets No. T294 HIKITA


In this article (More_Jap_Atrocities_KingsportTimes_1944-1-30.pdf), note on page 2 under "Demands Action," there is mention of a Lieut. Hirano, "a young Japanese from the United States, who was responsible for the horrible prison conditions existing there" at the Shanghai Bridge House jail. This could be the same person as Cmdr. Smith mentioned in his statement:
"There was one Kato there [at Bridge House, Shanghai], an interpreter, who was very vicious. One of the worst of all was a Japanese interpreter who designated himself as being No. 56, he being very careful to keep us from learning his name. No. 56 was this man's official number as an interpreter. I have his name and something of his personal history safely secured in Shanghai and full information can be obtained about him after the war. This man had spent at least half of each year in the states for a long period as he was in the export business from Japan. Although being a Japanese subject, he was married to an American Japanese and had several children. Two of his daughters at that time were attending the University of Southern California. All of his family except himself were American citizens. He was one of the vilest, most vicious men in the whole place. This man was cautious in handling us military prisoners and evinced strong wishes to remain incognito."

Chikaki Honda ("Eddie")

Born in Hawaii, went to Japan in 1929, renounced US citizenship in 1941, worked with other Nisei in Civilian Intelligence Corps, gave talks at Nisei Rengokai in Tokyo, became interrogator on Rabaul whom Boyington had met. From Black Sheep One: The Life of Gregory Pappy Boyington by Gamble):

Shigeo Imamura

Born in San Jose, CA, went to Japan when 10 years old, later becoming a kamikaze pilot. Wrote book, SHIG -- The True Story of An American Kamikaze: A Memoir.

Kanao Inouye ("Kamloops Kid")

Canadian Nisei (see Wikipedia entry) -- was at Shamshuipo prison camp, and interpreter for Kempeitai military police in Hong Kong. Mentioned in Roland's Long Night's Journey Into Day, pp315-316. Mentioned in The Damned by Greenfield. Mentioned also in Prisoner of the Turnip Heads: The Fall of Hong Kong and the Imprisionment by the Japanese by Wright-Nooth (2000).

See also trial case:

Kanao Inoue - Nisei interpreter for POWs at Shamshuipo - WarCrimesTrials-hkrs163-1-216_f60a204493 (PDF)

Jack Ishio

From Tacoma, WA; was registered as a dual-citizen. Served as an anti-aircraft gunner in the Japanese army, shooting down American dive bombers. Was a mile from Hiroshima when A-bomb was dropped. Helped cremate the dead over the next two weeks. Quoted in this article as saying, "It was dreadful. But I never felt a sense of anger at the U.S. that they used such a weapon to bring the war to an end. I think that was the right thing to do."

Nobuaki Warren Iwatake

From Wikipedia:

Nobuaki "Warren" Iwatake (1923-) was Radio Operator and communications intercepter and a veteran of the World War veteran of the World War 2 Imperial Japanese Army.

Family history

He was born in Kahului, Hawaii, USA. Warren was the eldest son of six children and was raised in Kahului. The father of Iwatake, a Kobayashi store employee, presumed drowned from a fishing trip at Peahi. With the loss of the family breadwinner, his mother, four brothers, and one sister moved to Hiroshima, Japan, to live with an uncle in November, 1940. Warren stayed on Maui to graduate with his Maui High School class of '41, and then left to rejoin his family in Hiroshima. The December 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor would eventually have a profound effect on Iwatake's family, and lead to an unlikely association with George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the United States.

Service in Imperial Japanese Army

Iwatake was beaten and drafted against his will to the Imperial Japanese Army from a Japanese college in 1943. He was present when former United States President George H.W. Bush was shot down over the Pacific in his Avenger bomber, during September 1944, and was later rescued by a submarine. Two American crewman with Bush were killed. Iwatake had missed the battle of Iwo Jima due to an American submarine attack on his ship's convoy, and was then placed on Chichi-jima, 150 miles north of Iwo Jima. American forces bombed Chichi-jima to cut radio communications between islands. Former President George H.W. Bush's task was to bomb the island's communication towers, and possibly any Imperial Japanese forces. Due to the "island hopping" strategy by American forces, the island was spared an invasion attack.

Iwatake was present when Japanese Imperial forces captured an American pilot from Texas by the name of Warren Earl Vaughn. Mr. Iwatake was assigned to guard and work with Warren Earl Vaughn on Chichi Jima. He and Warren Earl spent many hours talking and developed a personal relationship. According to Iwatake, one evening after a bath, the two were walking back when Iwatake fell into a bomb pit. "It was pitch black and I couldn't get out. He reached to me and said take his hand" and Warren Earl pulled Iwatake out. Shortly after the fall of Iwo Jima in March 1945, the pilot was taken away by other Japanese Naval Officers and executed at the harbor by beheading. On that day Mr. Iwatake adopted and kept the name "Warren" in honor and remembrance of his American friend Warren Earl Vaughn. The story of Warren Earl Vaughn, Iwatake's observation of the rescue of George H.W. Bush, and the experiences of other American "Flyboys" is recounted in the book Flyboys: A True Story of Courage by James Bradley. Warren Iwatake and President George H.W. Bush met on Chichi Jima in 2002 in a symbolic reunion of veterans from both sides of the conflict.

Iwatake lost his youngest brother in the Hiroshima atomic bomb attack. The youngest brother was 500 yards from the epicenter attending a school. Reportedly, the only thing left was a US Army canteen, as the youngest brother was vaporized in the atomic attack. Iwatake's uncle, Dr. Hiroshi Iwatake, was badly burned in the atomic explosion, but regained his health and lived into the 1980s. Dr. Hiroshi Iwatake's true story is recounted in the 1966 (1969 Kodansha English translation by John Bester) historical novel "Black Rain" by Masuji Ibuse. This title is not to be confused with the 1989 Michael Douglas movie of the same name, also set in Japan. The Ibuse "Black Rain", though centered around fictional characters, is based on interviews with actual atom bomb survivors, including Hiroshi Iwatake. Graphic details in the novel, such as the maggots eating away at Hiroshi's earlobe, are true. The nephew in the novel is Warren Iwatake's youngest brother Takashi. The novel states that Takashi's metal ID tag was found. However, Warren's brother Masaru reported that all he could find when he searched for Takashi amongst the ruins of Hiroshima was Takashi's U.S. Army canteen.

After the war, Iwatake served as a translator for the American Embassy in Tokyo for 35 years.

And this article:

Childress vet 'was a great man'

Marine Corps Public Affairs Office

CAMP S.D. BUTLER, Okinawa, Japan - On Feb. 23, 1945, on the tiny coral island of Chichi Shima, jutting out of the Bonin Islands east of Okinawa and north of Iwo Jima, anti-aircraft fire ripped through the sky.

A Marine Corps F-4U Corsair fighter, on an air-raid mission from the USS Bennington, lumbered over the island and slammed into the ocean after being shredded by the wall of lead.

Slowly descending in his parachute to the ocean, the pilot, 23-year-old Childress native 2nd Lt Warren Earl Vaughn, watched helplessly as his co-pilot sank silently into the ocean.

Hitting the water and swimming through shark-infested coral to the surf, Vaughn was snatched from the shore by defending Japanese soldiers and sailors and dragged into their camp.

Vaughn had not been the first to be shot down near this island. Five months before, future President George Bush, a naval aviator aboard the USS San Jacinto, also was shot down in his Avenger aircraft off this dreaded coastline. But Bush was rescued by the submarine USS Finback, narrowly avoiding the fate that awaited Vaughn.

Now a prisoner of war on desolate Chichi Shima, Vaughn was forced to work in a sweltering communications hut high atop Mount Yoake, routinely monitoring his own forces' radio communications along with a young Japanese army private.

Private Nobuaki Iwatake, now 76, also was stranded on the island after the freighter ship he and other Japanese soldiers were traveling on months before, the Nissho Maru, was torpedoed miles off the coast.

Iwatake, an unwilling Japanese conscript with dual U.S.-Japanese citizenship, was forced to join the Imperial Japanese Army because of his English skills.

Having attended Maui High School in Hawaii, he was a student at Mejii University in Tokyo when the war broke out. Two years after being drafted, Iwatake found himself on Chichi Shima monitoring U.S. radio transmissions and working with a fellow U.S. citizen who was labeled his enemy.

Meanwhile, the battle for Iwo Jima raged on just south of the island. As Americans and Japanese bled and died at each others' hands on the hot, black sands, Vaughn and Iwatake began to share a friendship that has remained in Iwatake's mind and heart to this day.

"Warren was a great man," Iwatake said. "Even as a prisoner, he had a sense of humor and often told us jokes and had a good, healthy spirit.

"I remember him being brought into our camp with his green flight suit on months after I had seen (George) Bush shot down and rescued by the U.S. Navy. Warren wasn't as lucky. Warren was tall and handsome and had a real Texas accent.

"I always wonder if he had been rescued, what would have become of him and what great things he would have done for his country, like Bush.

"One night, Warren was talking with some kamikaze pilots who had come into our hut, and they asked what he would do if they got on his tail. Warren stood up, towering over them and using his hands to depict flying aircraft, he explained how he would roll up and loop to get behind them and shoot them down. Impressed by his skill, they shook his hand and wished him luck as they departed."

Another time, while the two were in their hut working, their area was hit by bombs dropped by U.S. P-51 Mustangs that were attacking the island.

"They had no idea Warren was there, and he was very upset that they dropped bombs on him. He ran out and yelled at them as they flew past, shaking his hands and cursing," Iwatake said.

Late one evening, Iwatake even smuggled Vaughn into a Japanese-style bathhouse on the island, so he could clean himself up. On the way to the facility, the nearsighted Iwatake fell into a bomb crater, which offered Vaughn a chance to escape. Instead, Vaughn reached down into the six-foot pit and helped his friend out to safety.

"That's the way he was," Iwatake said.

While monitoring the nightly radio transmissions from Iwo Jima, Vaughn and Iwatake continued to trade stories of their lives and what they would do once the war ended. The two even had begun to plan an escape from the island, but as fate would have it, time ran out.

One morning in early March, Vaughn intercepted a message that stated, "All organized Japanese resistance has ended. The U.S. Marines have taken Iwo Jima."

He hesitantly passed the transmission to Iwatake, who translated it and forwarded it to his chain of command.

The morning after learning of the fall of Iwo Jima and the impending Japanese defeat, an irate Japanese Imperial Navy officer-in-charge of the communications unit on Mount Yoake, Capt. Yoshii, came into the hut. He removed Vaughn from his work area and collected seven other prisoners of war who also were shot down over the island.

Iwatake said Vaughn looked at him and replied, ' "They're taking me away. Goodbye and take care, my friend.' "

Vaughn was led down the mountain.

"I will never forget that sad look on his face as he left," Iwatake said.

That afternoon, in a horrific display of inhumanity, Yoshii and some of his men bayoneted and beheaded the prisoners by the seashore.

Months later, according to "The History of Marine Corps Aviation," Yoshii and many others were tried and hanged in Saipan for war crimes against Vaughn and the others.

"I found out the day after it happened. I was shocked, shaken and deeply saddened. They had killed my friend, Warren, and for what, I couldn't understand why," Iwatake said. "I hated Yoshii for that."

More than half a century later, the friendship that ended in such dismay still lives today in the mind of that unwilling Japanese conscript. Iwatake is still searching for final closure to the events leading up to Vaughn's death.

Recently, Iwatake expressed his desire to meet any of Vaughn's remaining family members to help heal the wounds and share the memories of his last days alive.

"Some of the men who witnessed the execution said he was very brave, and that was just like him. I want people to remember Warren," Iwatake said. "After the war, I changed my given name (to Warren) in remembrance of my friend. He lives in my memory forever.

"I vowed that if I ever survived that war, Warren Iwatake would do something to contribute to U.S.-Japan relations in some way."

Iwatake recently retired after 25 years of working in the press section of the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. While there, he often searched for Vaughn's family, and every time it produced nothing.

"Time is running out, and I want to see his family so bad," Iwatake said.

Vaughn is currently listed as a POW, killed in action, as of March 5, 1945, and his body never was recovered from the island.

His last known listed relative was his mother, Evia McDonald, from Childress.

Born in Childress on Sept. 20, 1922, Vaughn enlisted in the Marine Corps on Sept. 1, 1943, in Corpus Christi, said R.V. Aquilina, Headquarters Marine Corps History and Museums Division, who located some of Vaughn's information in Marine files.

"It's been a long time, but I remember Warren told me he was going back home to get married and teach. He had graduated from Southwest Texas Teachers College (now Southwest Texas University) and was looking forward to getting home," Iwatake said. "I can still see his face when I close my eyes, and it seems like yesterday. I'll never forget Warren for as long as I live."

Another article:

The Burma Campaign Society NEWSLETTER
September 2009


George Bush Sr. who later became US President made his first parachute jump on Chichi Jima during the Pacific
War when his plane was shot down. I saw his rescue and was happy to learn that he was picked up by the submarine
Finback. I am also grateful to the captain of the US submarine that sank our troopship, because if we had not lost
our artillery and ammunition, we would have gone on from Chichi Jima to Iwo Jima. Our anti-tank platoon, with
which we had trained in Hiroshima, was one convoy ahead of us and reached Chichi Jima safely, where we met
them. But it was not so lucky. A week later, they were sent on to Iwo Jima, only a hundred and fifty miles away,
and were all killed. Such is fate.

I had had dual American and Japanese citizenship and had been told by my high school teacher never to join the
Japanese Army or I would not be able to return to Hawaii. However, I was attending university in Tokyo in 1943
when the military government ordered all university students to be drafted into the army. Although they were
exempt from military service, the war was being lost and a hundred thousand students were drafted, and many
never returned.

I myself did three months basic training in Hiroshima, and life in the Japanese Imperial Army was a nightmare.
We recruits were constantly reminded that we were fighting for the Emperor, who was at that time considered to
be a God, and the army tried to pound it into our heads that we should be willing to sacrifice our lives for him and
for the country. Life was really tough, as we were beaten by our superiors, and when we were liined up at night
for roll call and our kit was inspected, our faces would be violently slapped if there was one speck of dust on our
boots.. The beatings were routine and since, in my case, my English was better than my Japanese, I was singled
out several times because of my enemy background. Since we were in the artillery, we trained with cannons which
were hauled by manpower. However, things improved after basic training, as attention was then focused on the
next batch of recruits and we were no longer beaten. After the war some soldiers called their basic training hell.
I took the name of Pilot Warren Vaughn to honour his memory, as I became friends with him until he was executed.
Despite being a POW, he managed to smile and tell us jokes. I had been ordered to join a naval radio facility to
monitor enemy communications and Warren Vaughn was forced to work with us for a while, and it was he who
caught a message from US Army Headquarters announcing that “all organized resistance on Iwo Jima has ended.”
One day, a member of our army unit passed by and asked me how the war was going, and when I told him that
I knew, because of the monitoring, that Japan was losing, he called me a traitor. The Japanese soldiers did not
know that it was being lost, because the High Command in Tokyo kept announcing victory after victory for the
Japanese Imperial Army, and during the Battle of Midway, which turned the tide of the war, and in which Japan
lost three of its top aircraft carriers, Japan announced that it had won a major victory, sinking several US carriers.
After the war, when the President learned that I had taken Warren Vaughn’s first name, he called me “a true friend
of America”, and when, in 2004, I was able to visit Childress. Vaughn’s home town in Texas, with a population
of ten thousand, I received a warm welcome and was made an Honorary Citizen.

As to the war, my opinion is that wars may be necessary to protect the democratic way of life and get rid of
dictators, but we must remember that war is a matter of kill or be killed. I lost my brother, who was only thirteen
when he was killed in his classroom in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and as a result of my experience, I am
opposed to war.

Warren Iwatake

Editor’s note
The above Article is drawn from two Emails which were sent to Akiko Macdonald.

And another one:

1 family's tradition: Tree that saw war, survived A-bomb goes up for 70th Christmas

Friday, December 21, 2007

TOKYO: Warren Nobuaki Iwatake's family has seen more than its share of calamity.

When he was still a child his father was lost at sea off Hawaii. With no breadwinner, his family was forced to move to Japan, where Iwatake was drafted during the war. He lost a brother when the bomb fell on Hiroshima.

But through it all one thing has remained constant.

The tree.

His parents bought it in 1937, and his family has brought it out every Christmas since, without fail, even when that meant risking arrest.

"This tree was a shining light, because it was a symbol of unity in my family," Iwatake said as he and his wife put the final touches on the frail, 1-meter-tall (3-foot-tall) heirloom that is, once again this year, the centerpiece of their small, neatly kept apartment in Tokyo.

"We have put this tree up every year for 70 years."


Though he considers himself Buddhist, Iwatake was raised in a Christian tradition. He still keeps a photo of the tiny wooden church on Maui where he and his five brothers went to services and Sunday school.

Christmas was always a special time.

His father worked at a merchandise store, and Iwatake remembers the day he came home with a tree. It was nothing all that special, just metal-and-plastic, the kind of decoration that can easily be placed on a table, or in a corner somewhere. He got a string of lights, too, the kind with the big bulbs.

Soon after, his father died in a fishing accident. His body was never found.

Iwatake's mother had relatives in Japan, and took Iwatake's younger brothers there. Iwatake stayed behind to graduate from high school, then, in 1941, six months before Pearl Harbor, he moved to Japan as well.

"Things were pretty bad," he said. "There were war clouds hanging everywhere."

The United States and Britain were the enemy, and Japan clamped down on overt displays of anything Western, including Christianity. Though they had grown up speaking English, Iwatake and his brothers communicated solely in Japanese, and did their best to hide their past.

But their mother refused to give up on the tree.

"She was in charge and she wanted to put it up," Iwatake said. "During the war years, we had to do that in secret because in wartime Japan it was not welcome. We could have been arrested."

To keep the neighbors from asking questions, his mother found a place for it in the back of their house, on the second floor, away from the windows.

"We were afraid they would report it to the police, or become suspicious about why we were harboring Western things," he said. "But we were brought up in the American way of life. It is something that you cannot forget. It really is something from the heart."

The year after that first Christmas in Hiroshima, Iwatake went to Tokyo to study economics at university. At Christmas, he directed a school play, a nativity story, again keeping it secret so that the authorities wouldn't get involved.

Then, in 1943, he was drafted and sent to Chichijima.


Chichijima is a tiny island that virtually no one has heard of. To get there, you go out to the middle of nowhere, and turn south.

In 1944, Iwatake boarded a transport ship from Yokohama to assume his duties at a radio monitoring post on the remote crag. The ship was torpedoed and sunk by an American submarine, but he survived and was put on an oil tanker.

On the island, Iwatake's English skills were put to use listening in on U.S. military communications, and keeping watch over a handful of captured American pilots whose planes had been shot down on their way to and from bombing raids on Tokyo.

One day, he was in the hills digging bunkers when he heard that a plane had just been shot down. He saw a lone pilot on a bright yellow life raft paddling furiously away from the island. American planes provided cover, and the submarine USS Finback surfaced and collected him.

The aviator was 20-year-old George H. W. Bush, who would later become the American president. Iwatake met him years later and went back with him to the island. Signed photos of the two, smiling, are placed prominently about Iwatake's apartment.

But another American left a deeper impression on Iwatake's life.

Captured POWs were forced to monitor U.S. radio traffic. One of them was Warren Vaughn, a Texan.

"One night after a bath we were walking back and I fell into a bomb pit," Iwatake said. "It was pitch black and I couldn't get out. He reached to me and said to take his hand. He pulled me out."

Vaughn was monitoring the day Iwo Jima fell. Japan's defeat was virtually assured. Soon after, several naval officers called Vaughn and took him to the beach. "He turned before he left and gave me a sad look," Iwatake said.

For no apparent reason, Vaughn was beheaded, and his body dumped into the sea.

The atrocities committed against the POWs — which included acts of cannibalism — remained largely a secret for the next 50 years. But Iwatake said he did not want Vaughn's memory to die.

"I thought the best way of remembering him was to adopt his first name," Iwatake said.


Japan surrendered in August 1945, and Iwatake returned home in December.

"I used to think of those joyous days in Hawaii at Christmas, when we had food and treats," he said. "On Chichijima, we were starving."

But Hiroshima was even worse.

"Everything was bad, nothing was left," he said. "I couldn't even think of the joys of what I experienced in Hawaii."

Iwatake's younger brother Takashi had been in the center of the city attending school. His body, like their father's, was never found.

The Iwatake home was in the eastern part of the city, behind a small hill that provided a buffer from the blast. The front end was crushed and burned, but the back stood largely intact.

And that was where the tree was.

"Japan had surrendered, there was no food, nothing to celebrate," he said. "Everybody was in shock and a sad state, but we put it up. My mother put it up."

After the war, Iwatake became an interpreter for the U.S. government. He moved to Tokyo, and from 1950 he took responsibility for the family tree.

At first, putting it up was more of a simple tradition than anything else.

His family was once again spreading out. At one stage, four brothers worked for the Occupation Forces as interpreters and translators, including Iwatake. He eventually went back to Tokyo, while his brothers returned to Hawaii. When the Korean War broke out in 1950, three brothers volunteered, and one served in Korea.

The Iwatake family remains scattered.

One brother lives in Chicago, another on Maui. Another died of cancer, possibly the result of radiation from the atomic bomb.

But each year, the tree has gone up. For those not in Tokyo to see it, including Vaughn's cousins in Childress, Texas, Iwatake, now 84, sends photos. And each year, it becomes more poignant.

"Gradually, Christmas has become more meaningful again," he said. "Peace, good will toward your fellow man, you know? After the war, there was no such thing."

Fumitane Jibutsu

Mentioned by Patrick Aki (half Nisei, half Chinese-Hawaiian; interview):

Aki and his brother befriended a boy from Japan, named Fumitani Jibutsu, who had just moved into their Kauai neighborhood, an immigrant child who was shunned by everybody else, except them. It was a welcoming gesture for Jibutsu, whose parents were Shinto priests and spoke no English. Jibutsu also struggled with the language, making finding friends almost impossible. “No one wanted to be his friend because he could not speak English, so my brother and I befriended him because we were taught to love thy neighbor,” Michelle wrote about Aki’s memories. Little did Uncle Pat know then, but Jibutsu would return to Japan and become a soldier for her army.
Weeks later, the Japanese overtook Wake Island and Aki became a prisoner of war. Only 450 of the 550 laborers would be taken to POW camps in Japan, however. The Japanese soldiers executed the others, and Aki was singled out to be put to death. “They had us kneeling on the ground, with our heads hanging, each man would look up into the barrel of the gun to meet his fate as an officer would stand directly in front of him to help deliver his destiny,” Michelle wrote about Aki’s fate. “When it came to my turn, I raised my head so that I could see my executioner and to my amazement, the man that held the gun was Fumitani Jibutsu. He lowered the gun and just stared at me and before I knew it, I was taken to Japan as a prisoner.”

Per John Stephan:

Jibutsu Fumitane was, contrary to Patrick Aki's testimony, born not in Japan but in Lihue, Island of Kauai on 15 Jan. 1922, was taken by his mother in 1923 to sojourn with his maternal grandfather in Kano-mura, Tsuno-gun, Yamaguchi-ken, returned to Hawaii in 1925, attended the Wailua School, where in 1929 he was elected "junior cop." Upon the death of his father, Ginichi Jibutsu (both of his parents were Shinto priests, Ginichi doubled as a Buddhist priest), Fumitane departed with his widowed mother, Atsuko Miyamoto Jibutsu, for Japan on 24 July 1930 (in April, he and his mother were living in Wailua according to the 1930 US Census). He would have likely completed primary school, presumably in Kano-mura, Yamaguchi-ken, around 1937, possiblly entered Middle School, and was conscripted or volunteered for the IJA (or IJN) in 1941. I could find no record of either Atsuko Jibutsu or her son Fumitane returning to Hawaii after the war.

Masaji Kameoka

Nisei? interpreter at POW camp, Nagoya #2 Narumi:

Hiroto Kanai

Interpreter for the Kempeitai in Hiroshima; photo here. Below page from Race War!: White Supremacy and the Japanese Attack on the British Empire by Gerald Horne (2005).

Toshiyuki Kano

Toshiyuki Kano (1914- ). Hawaiian-born Kibei, Salt Lake City. Former military intelligence officer in the Japanese military.

Tomoya Kawakita

Kawakita was an interpreter at a POW camp in Oeyama, Japan, who was convicted of war crimes. See here for a Time magazine article:

For basic background info, see

Section in The Bamboo People (PDF) on Kawakita (p.288~). Note that the judge said that a US citizen owes allegiance to the United States wherever he may be! So this should be true for ALL the Nisei who were in Japan during WWII. Yet this was not brought up in the trials. He was later "successfully prosecuted for treason" (Kawakita v. United States).

Lengthy chapter on Kawakita (Chapter Four), how he was recognized, trial, etc.:
America's Geisha Ally by Naoko Shibusawa, 2006
Mentions other Nisei working at the camp: "Two other Nisei were there as interpreters: Kawakita’s childhood friend, Meiji Fujizawa, who translated in the POW camps, and Noboyuki Inoue, who worked in the company’s administrative office."
Also states that former prime minister of Japan, Takeo Miki, was the one who helped Kawakita get the job at Oeyama Nickel Industry Company, and later made appeals to the US Govt. for leniency in dealing with Kawakita.

See also this image series re Okimura, Kawakita, Nishikawa (Nisei in J-military) - Asian Americans and Supreme Court by Kim, in PDF format.

Los Angeles Times article:

Los Angeles Times
September 20, 2002


POW Camp Atrocities Led to Treason Trial

Tomoya Kawakita claimed dual citizenship, abusing captured GIs in Japan in World War II, then moving to the U.S.


Army veteran William L. Bruce, a survivor of Corregidor, the Bataan death march and three years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp, couldn't believe his eyes as he shopped with his bride one autumn day in 1946 at the Sears department store in Boyle Heights.

Standing a few aisles away amid the crush of shoppers in that quintessentially American setting was the man responsible for brutalizing Bruce and scores of other GIs held captive in Japan's Oeyama prison camp on Honshu Island.

Tomoya Kawakita, who held dual citizenship in the U.S. and Japan, served as an interpreter and self-appointed taskmaster at the camp, earning the nickname "Efficiency Expert" for his methods of inflicting pain on inmates weakened by malnourishment and forced labor.

"I was so dumbfounded, I just halted in my tracks and stared at him as he hurried by," Bruce, then 24 and attending college under the GI Bill, said shortly after the encounter.

"It was a good thing, too," said the former artilleryman. "If I'd reacted then, I'm not sure but that I might have taken the law into my own hands--and probably Kawakita's neck."

Instead, Bruce followed him outside the store, jotted down the license plate number of his car and notified the FBI.

Kawakita, who had returned to the United States after the war and enrolled at USC, was tried and convicted of treason in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles and sentenced to death.

The sentence was never carried out. In 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, responding to appeals from the Japanese government, commuted Kawakita's death sentence to life in prison. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy ordered him freed after 16 years behind bars on the condition that he be deported to Japan and never return.

Now more than half a century since his trial, Kawakita holds the distinction of being the last person prosecuted for treason against the United States.

He was represented at his federal court trial by Morris Lavine, a colorful Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer, who was fond of describing himself as "attorney for the damned." Lavine's clients ranged from the indigent, whom he represented at no charge, to the likes of mobsters Mickey Cohen and Johnny Roselli, and Teamsters boss James Hoffa.

Heading the prosecution team was U.S. Atty. James M. Carter, who went on to become a federal appeals court judge.

More than a dozen former POWs testified against Kawakita. They described how he forced prisoners to beat one another, and then beat those he thought didn't hit the other prisoners hard enough. They accused him of forcing prisoners to run laps until they collapsed in exhaustion simply because they had finished their work assignments early.

The camp was set up next to a nickel ore mine and processing plant, where most of about 400 American POWs were forced to work. Kawakita was employed by the mining company.

Once, he forced a prisoner to carry a heavy log up an icy slope. The prisoner fell and suffered a serious spinal injury. Fellow POWs testified that Kawakita waited five hours before summoning help for the injured American.

They also recalled being taunted by Kawakita with comments such as: "We will kill all you prisoners right here anyway, whether you win the war or lose it."

And, "You guys needn't be interested in when the war will be over, because you won't go back. You will stay here and work. I will go back to the States because I am an American citizen."

Kawakita's citizenship proved to be a crucial issue during the trial and subsequent court appeals.

By definition, treason can be committed only by someone owing allegiance to the United States.

Born in Calexico to Japanese parents, Kawakita held dual citizenship under U.S. and Japanese laws. In 1939, at the age of 18, he went to Japan to attend school. He remained there after the outbreak of war, graduating from Meiji University.

At the trial, Lavine advanced a novel argument. As a dual U.S. and Japanese citizen, he argued, his client owed exclusive allegiance to the country in which he resided. In this case, Japan. Lavine also contended that Kawakita had effectively renounced his U.S. citizenship by signing a family census register maintained by Japanese authorities.

In his instructions to jurors, U.S. District Judge William C. Mathes made it clear that if they found that Kawakita genuinely believed he was no longer an American citizen, then they must acquit him of the treason charges.

Sequestered during deliberations, the jury struggled mightily to resolve the question--declaring several times that they were hopelessly deadlocked. But ultimately they found Kawakita guilty on eight of 13 overt acts of treason charged by the prosecution.

When he appeared for sentencing, Kawakita continued to insist he was innocent. "As I have been found guilty by the jury, I ask your honor for mercy," he said.

By law, Mathes had leeway to impose a sentence ranging from a minimum of five years in prison to a maximum of death at Alcatraz.

He chose the latter, saying: "Reflection leads to the conclusion that the only worthwhile use for the life of a traitor, such as this defendant has proved to be, is to serve as an example to those of weak moral fiber who may hereafter be tempted to commit treason against the United States."

Today, most of those involved in the case are either dead or, if alive, could not be located. One exception is William J. Kelleher, then a federal prosecutor and now a senior U.S. District Court judge in Los Angeles.

Although he did not take part in the trial, Kelleher was assigned to draft the government's response to Kawakita's appeal of his conviction. As a result, he immersed himself in every detail of the case.

In an interview last week , Kelleher recalled being visited at his office by Bruce and two other former POWs while he was working on his brief for the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

"Me and the boys had a little meeting last night," he said Bruce told him. "And we want you to know that if he ever gets out, we'll be waiting for him."

Fortunately, Kelleher said, the appeals court upheld Kawakita's conviction by a 3-0 vote.

It was a much closer call when the appeal went before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1952. The vote was 4 to 3 to uphold the conviction. Two of the court's nine justices disqualified themselves.

At the crux of the case was this question: Where does the allegiance of a dual citizen lie when two nations, each claiming his loyalty, go to war?

"Of course, a person caught in that predicament can resolve the conflict of duty by openly electing one nationality or the other," said Justice William O. Douglas, writing for the majority.

Kawakita, the court said, chose neither option, trying instead to hedge his bets on the war's outcome while freely performing acts of hostility against the U.S.

"One who wants that freedom can get it by renouncing his American citizenship," Douglas wrote. "He can not turn it to a fair-weather citizenship, retaining it for possible contingent benefits but meanwhile playing the role of the traitor. An American citizen owes allegiance to the United States wherever he may reside."

Related treason case in the US regarding the three Shitara sisters can be found at: Prosecution of the Shitara Sisters. Another article here, in four parts: Betrayal on Trial: Japanese American "Treason" in World War II.

Shigemi Kido

From The Two Worlds of Jim Yoshida by Yoshida and Hosokawa:

Then I found Sergeant Kido's file. Apparently it hadn't been transferred back to Japan yet. My eyes widened and I broke out in a cold sweat at what I read.

Name: Kido, Shigemi
Place of Birth: Island of Maui, Hawaii
Education: Graduated McKinley High School, Honolulu,
Hawaii; some courses in Japanese universities.
Home Address: Yamaguchi Prefecture, Kumage-gun, Hirao

Kido was born in Hawaii! Educated in Hawaii! That made him a Nisei, just like mel And he lived in Japan in the same village where my father was born, the village where I had lived before being conscripted! (p. 119)

Richard Kotoshirodo

Finally, in knocking down my argument for the Roosevelt administration’s military rationale, Greg focuses on a few of my points and ignores the rest of the evidence of bona fide security threats that I present to readers, including:
- the Niihau incident, in which a Japanese-American couple and a Japanese permanent resident alien sided with a downed Japanese pilot in a violent effort to take over a tiny Hawaiian island;
- Japan’s ascendance throughout the Southeast Asia, and the efforts of ethnic Japanese residents throughout southeast Asia to assist Japan’s conquering troops;
- the numerous attacks on U.S. ships by Japanese submarines just off the West Coast;
- the thousands of ethnic Japanese in Hawaii and the West Coast who were members of pro-Japan groups considered subversive;
- the Honolulu spy ring that Richard Kotoshirodo assisted, which provided critical information to Japan that was used to design the Pearl Harbor attack;
- the Los Angeles-based spy ring led by Itaru Tachibana, which included numerous ethnic Japanese residents; and
- the thousands of U.S.-born Japanese-Americans who served in the Japanese military.

See The Broken Seal: The Story of 'Operation Magic' and the Pearl Harbor Disaster by Farago for quite a lot of info, p. 145~.

Jimmy Matsuda

Nisei Kamikaze: Sunnyvale Gardener Recalls Life on the Edge of Extinction

By editor. Posted on Friday, September 11, 2009.

Published in the Nichi Bei Times Weekly Sept. 3-9, 2009.

Nichi Bei Times

Jimmy Matsuda, an 82-year-old Japanese American gardener in Sunnyvale, Calif., had never talked about the experience he had as a kamikaze pilot during World War II, until a small plastic figure of a Japanese Zero plane caught his grandson Jonathan’s attention two years ago.

The then-11-year-old wondered what the item on his grandfather’s desk was. After Jonathan asked his father about the airplane, the elder Matsuda decided to talk about his wartime experience.

“I believed I should talk about my life story,” he said. “Otherwise, our grandchildren will never know what happened.”

Born in Hood River, Ore., the Nisei (second-generation Japanese American) visited Japan for Christmas vacation in 1938 at the age of 11. While there, he got sick and missed the ship returning to the United States. His whole family decided to stay in Japan for good.

In April of 1943, after graduating from high school, Matsuda volunteered to enlist in the Imperial Japanese Navy. Back then, Navy pilots were already known to eventually become kamikaze pilots. Yet he had no fear of certain death.

“The war atmosphere seemed overwhelming,” Matsuda said. “Everybody was chanting for the war.”

Kamikaze missions are believed to have started during the war in the Philippines in 1944. It was a suicide attack on one of the U.S. aircraft carriers in the Pacific. By the end of the war, more than 14,000 Japanese soldiers lost their lives in the suicide missions. Most of them were pilots, some were human torpedoes, and some were body attacks on tanks.

Matsuda recalled his mother telling him before he left home for the war, “If you die, the skull would go to Yasukuni Shrine so don’t come back alive. Don’t even think about becoming a POW, so that you can survive.”

Matsuda performed well in the training camp. His only obstacle was language. As English was his primary language, he had a hard time adjusting to various dialects that the other soldiers spoke. He was sometimes picked on as a result.

In August of 1945, the military headquarters ordered Matsuda’s unit to go to Okinawa, which the U.S. military had invaded.

“It was a suicide mission by airplane or running into the tanks with bombs to kill as much as possible,” he recalled.

However, Matsuda was ordered to stay at the city of Hakata in Fukuoka Prefecture to translate the U.S. military code. While working as a translator, the war ended. He still doesn’t know what happened to the rest of the Navy.

After the war, Matsuda worked for the U.S. military as a translator. When the Korean War broke, he was ordered to go to Korea to fight. He rejected the order by writing to then-U.S. president Harry Truman, saying what he went through as a kamikaze pilot — that he had seen enough dead bodies, and did not want to kill anymore.

During the early 1950s Matsuda came back to the United States, settled in California and married. He still works as a Japanese gardener. In the recent years, he has volunteered to talk about his war experience at the Santa Clara Valley Japanese Christian Church in Campbell, where he and his wife go every Sunday.

Impressed by Matsuda’s story, one of his son’s friends decided to film the former kamikaze talking about his experience. It is still in production.

photo by Kota Morikawa/Nichi Bei Times

*** Matsuda interview transcript to be posted


Takeshi (Japanese Army), Noboru (Japanese Army), Harue, Kaoru, Shizue. See work by John Stephan for details. Brother, Roy Matsumoto, was a US Army Ranger with Merrill's Marauders in Burma. Tsutomu Tom Matsumoto was a MIS linguist and served in the Occupation of Japan. Per article, MIS Members with Brothers Serving in Japanese Imperial Forces during WWII:

Roy’s other two brothers, Isao and Noboru, served in the Japanese military, Noboru in the artillery in Guadalcanal and Hiroshi in China. Roy’s third brother in Japan worked as a civilian for the Imperial Japanese Navy.

Kan Matsumura

From Hawaii Under the Rising Sun: Japan's Plans for Conquest After Pearl Harbor by John Stephan:

Fumiye Miho

From Hawaii Under the Rising Sun: Japan's Plans for Conquest After Pearl Harbor by John Stephan:

Yoshie "Johnny" Mikami

Taxi company owner in Honolulu. See The Broken Seal: The Story of 'Operation Magic' and the Pearl Harbor Disaster by Farago, p. 146~.

Kay Kiyoshi Miura

Worked as interpreter and translator for the Japanese Consulate in Hankow, China, then worked as announcer at a Japanese radio station in Shanghai, then for War Crimes Office after the war. Nisei wife, Toshiko, was also in Japan during the war. See details in this PDF (courtesy of Frank Baldassarre).

Torao Morishige

From Hawaii Under the Rising Sun: Japan's Plans for Conquest After Pearl Harbor by John Stephan:

Murada (or Murata - same as Hisao Murata?)

Mentioned in this article. Nisei Linguists has this:

The Hawaii Nisei well understood that they would have to fight against Japan, where many had family ties. Kenichi Murata, thirty-four, told a reporter he already had one brother in the U.S. Army, but also another brother “on the other side of the fence,” working as a radio broadcaster in Tokyo: “I’m ashamed to admit that I have a brother dishing out Jap propaganda. But both Jack, who’s in Louisiana, and I will try to wipe out that shame by our record in the army. We’re going to shove all that propaganda back down the throats of Tojo and the emperor and their militarists.”

From Linda Holmes:

I scanned the indexes of Unjust Enrichment and Guests of the Emperor, double-checking all Japanese names. I've come up with just one positive ID of a Nisei who went out of his way to abuse POWs, at the Mukden camp. He was Lt. Murada, who had round eyes and grew up in San Francisco. He is referred to by several ex-POWs, on pp. 33, 38, 55, 76 and 93 of Guests of the Emperor.

Mary Muroya

Nisei voices: Japanese American students of the 1930s--Then & Now by Hirohata

Joyce Hirohata, Paul T. Hirohata - 2004 - 262 pages - Snippet view
While Yamagata was a Russian POW, his American-born Nisei wife, Mary Muroya, suffered the fate of many civilian women waiting for repatriation to Japan. She worked at menial jobs and taught English, and was once almost raped...

Jiro Nakahara

See webpage on Nakahara.

Kunio Nakatani

Was born in 1921 in central California and studied medicine at Keio University, becoming quite a model student. He was drafted, then trained to decipher code using his language skills. Became a crew member on the battleship Yamato, and died when the Yamato was attacked and sank. Nakatani's two younger brothers both fought in the American 442nd Regimental Combat Team in southern Europe.

Michael S. Nakayama

Interpreter at Fukuoka POW Camp #21, Nakama. See NAKAYAMA_Michael_interpreter_FUK-21_Nakama (PDF)

Genichiro Niimori

AKA "Panama Pete." Senior interpreter in Hong Kong. Excerpts from book, Prisoner of the Turnip Heads: The Fall of Hong Kong and the Imprisionment by the Japanese by Wright-Nooth (2000). Trial case file here:


Was at Fukuoka POW Camp #3, Yahata; born and raised in San Francisco (per Terrence Kirk in The Secret Camera: A Marine's Story: Four Years as a POW).

Mitsugi Nishikawa

From Japanese American history: an A-to-Z Reference from 1868 to the Present (Brian Niiya, editor):

See also Bamboo People, p. 281~.

See also this image series re Okimura, Kawakita, Nishikawa (Nisei in J-military) - Asian Americans and Supreme Court by Kim, in PDF format.

Kay Nishimura

From interview with Mr. George Fujii for the Japanese American Project of the Oral History:


1. According to one local historian, this earthquake "destroyed many buildings and severely damaged the downtown [Orange County] areas of Santa Ana, Garden Grove, and Anaheim, [and] twelve persons were killed." See Pamela Hallan-Gibson, The Golden Promise: An Illustrated History of Orange County (Northridge, Calif.: Windsor Publications, 1986), 205.

2. The late Orange County historian Leo Friis, in Orange County Through Four Centuries (Santa Ana, Calif.: Pioneer Press, 1965), 155, provided a vivid discussion of this incident. Because Friis was Anaheim's city attorney during the World War II years and closely connected with Orange County's civil defense effort, his account of this alleged event merits repetition here.

Shortly after midnight on February 25, [1942], American radar posts "reported an unidentified target about 120 miles west of the city of Los Angeles." At 2:27 A.M. it was tracked within three miles of the city and nine minutes later Orange County air raid sirens sounded. Simultaneously, anti-aircraft guns in the Los Angeles Harbor area commenced firing. Residents of much of Orange County could hear the explosion of bursting shells and see the vivid red-orange balls of fire popping from tracer bullets. On the following day Secretary of War [Henry] Stimson announced that "as many as fifteen aircraft, probably commercial planes," caused the air raid alarm. He theorized that they were flown by enemy agents in an effort to discover the locations of anti-aircraft batteries and to demoralize the civilian population. On the other hand, Secretary of the Navy [Frank] Knox dubbed the whole affair "a false alarm."... To this day the "Battle of Los Angeles" is a mystery. Supposedly all civilian planes had been grounded since December 7, [1941]. No bombs were dropped and no aircraft shot down although some 1430 shells were fired. It is probable that the range of the defending guns was inadequate.

3. The Meiji era in Japan began on January 3, 1868, with the successful coup d'état against the Tokugawa Shogunate by anti-shogunate forces and the restoration of the emperor to the throne, and ended on July 12, 1912, with the death of the Meiji emperor, Mutsuhito. These years witnessed the transformation of Japan into a Western-style modern state and the emigration of large numbers of Japanese to the Territory of Hawaii and the United States. In the words of Stacey Hirose, in Brian Niiya, ed., Japanese American History: An A-to-Z Reference from 1868 to the Present (New York: Facts on File/Japanese American National Museum, 1993), 230, "Because most of the issei [immigrant-generation Japanese Americans]... were raised during this period, they brought with them and passed on to their nisei children Meiji ideologies, values, manners and patterns of speech." The subsequent Taisho Era, reigned over by Emperor Yoshihito, extended from 1912 until December 25, 1926. During these years, Japan continued along the lines of modernization and Westernization begun in the Meiji period, and followed policies generally congenial to Western powers like the United States. Yoshihito was succeeded as emperor in 1926 by his oldest son Hirohito, who had been appointed prince regent in 1921 when Yoshihito became mentally ill; Hirohito's ascent to the throne officially launched the Showa Era.

4. For the background on and larger context of the Panay Incident, see Michael Montgomery, Imperialist Japan: The Yen to Dominate (London: Christopher Helm, 1987), 394-96, 424, and Edward Behr, Hirohito: Behind the Myth (New York: Villard Books, 1989), 170-71, 244. This incident is covered in many other secondary sources, but the two accounts mentioned here are both recent and succinct.

5. A terse but very useful social-economic-historical account of this island, located in San Pedro Bay some twenty-five miles south of downtown Los Angeles, replete with pertinent bibliographic references, can be found in Niiya, Japanese American History, 327.

6. See ibid., 344, for an in-depth discussion, with suggested sources for further reading, on the three-week period of "voluntary" relocation or resettlement that transpired following the U.S. government's announcement on March 2, 1942, that Japanese Americans would be excluded from the West Coast.

7. See ibid., 294-95, for a non-quantitative yet useful discussion (with references) to the resettlement pattern of Japanese Americans during World War II.

Of the some 2,000 people who comprised the Japanese American community in Orange County at the outset of the Evacuation, about 1,500 left the county from Huntington Beach and Anaheim on May 15 and May 17, 1942, for the Poston War Relocation Center in Arizona. This number did not include those Japanese Americans in the San Juan Capistrano area of the county, about 40, who were evacuated from Oceanside in north San Diego County. Then, too, approximately 450 Japanese Americans left Orange County prior to April 30, 1942 (presumably, either as participants in the short-lived "voluntary relocation" (see note 6 above) or as part of the population evacuated to one of the nine War Relocation Authority centers established in addition to Poston. See the letter, dated 26 August 1942, from Roy E. Black, Deputy Agricultural Commissioner, Department of Agriculture, Orange County, to Dr. A. E. Leighton, Coordinator, Bureau of Sociological Research, Colorado River War Relocation Project, Poston, Arizona, Folder 52, Box 15, Collection 3830: Japanese-American Relocation Records [JARR], Department of Manuscripts and University Archives-Cornell University Libraries [DMUA-CUL]. This letter is contained in the joint files of Dr. Leighton and Dr. Morris Opler, who served as the community analyst for the War Relocation Authority at the Manzanar center, at Cornell University, where both of these distinguished social scientists taught during the post-World War II years. For an inventory of the holdings in this collection of Evacuation materials, see D. Gesensway, M. Roseman, and G. Solomon, Guide to the Japanese-American Relocation Centers Records, 1935-1953 (Ithaca, N. Y.: Department of Manuscripts and University Archives, Cornell University Libraries, 1981).

The letter from Black to Leighton cited above is also useful in that it provides statistics as to the total acreage farmed by Japanese Americans in Orange County prior to their evacuation (approximately 10,000-8,825 leased, 1,175 owned), including a crop-by-crop breakdown and quantitative information on poultry and hog breeding activity. The spirit of the time is powerfully conveyed in Black's concluding remark to Leighton: "You will realize, of course, that considering the fact that the source of this information was largely Japanese, we can not guarantee its accuracy."

The Poston center, officially named the Colorado River Relocation Center, was located in Yuma County, Arizona; seventeen miles south of Yuma on the Colorado Indian Reservation, it consisted of three camps: Poston I, Poston II, and Poston III. Poston I, the largest and most studied of these camps (whose total peak population of 17,814 made it the most populous of the WRA's relocation centers), was opened on May 8, 1942, and closed on September 29, 1949. Poston was under the joint supervision of the Office of Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior, until January 1, 1944, when complete administration was assumed by the WRA. See, Niiya, Japanese American History, 285-86, for a profile of the Poston center and suggestions for further reading as to its history and demography.

Although some of the interned population at Poston originating from Orange County lived in the smaller two camps, the overwhelming majority lived in the thirty-six blocks of barracks residences (each housing about 250-300 people) comprising Poston I. According to the late anthropologist Edward H. Spicer, who served as Alexander Leighton's assistant for the Bureau of Sociological Research at Poston before accepting the position of head of the WRA's Community Analysis Section, the ten contiguous Orange County-San Diego County blocks (5, 12, 21, 22, 27, 28, 37, 38, 43, 44) at Poston I should be "classified together because of the similarity of economic, social, and cultural conditions under which they lived [during the prewar period]." In addition, two other blocks (6 and 11) contained a substantial number of former Orange County residents. See Edward H. Spicer, "Statistical Survey: Blocks," Folder 63, Box 7, Coll. 3830, DMUA-CUL.

George Fujii resided in Block 28 until spring 1943 when, following his marriage, he moved to Block 27. According to one source, the reason for this move was a lack of vacant living quarters for married couples in Block 28. See, "Block #28," Folder 25, ibid. However, Fujii's change of residence is explained quite differently in another primary document:

Nakase revealed today the circumstances under which George Fujii, executive secretary of the Local Council, was kicked out of block 28 recently. It appeared that at the send-off party for the first contingent of volunteers for the combat unit someone who worked in the subsistence departments brought a hunk of meat to celebrate the occasion. Kinjo and two others after the party accused the kitchen of using food which rightfully belonged to block residents. The fellow who brought the meat denied it saying, "It wasn't any of the stuff in the kitchen." They challenged him: "Then where did you get it?" He answered: "That's none of your business." They retorted: "Alright, we will report to Snelson." Kinjo and his gang persuaded George Fujii to report the affair to Snelson. When the kitchen crew heard of this they were indignant and called a strike. To settle the matter George Fujii was transferred to block 27.

See "Block 28 Politics," 20 July 1943, Folder J?, Colorado River Relocation Center [CRRC], Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study [JERS], Bancroft Library-University of California, Berkeley [BL-UCB]. For a guide to this extensive primary material, see Edward N. Barnhart, comp., Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement: Catalog of Material in the General Library (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California General Library Berkeley, 1958).

10. This seven-day general strike in the Poston I camp, extending from November 18-24, 1942, was precipitated by the beating on November 14, 1942, of a Kibei inmate (Kay Nishimura, the former brother-in-law of George Fujii) widely suspected among camp inmates of being an administrative collaborator and FBI informer. It led to the arrest and jailing (without formal charges filed against them) of Fujii and Isamu Uchida, two popular interness. Ultimately, the strike—which never entailed the curtailment of essential services or encompassed the Poston II and Poston III camps—was terminated with key concessions to the strikers, particularly in the area of self-government and Issei political control, and the establishment of improved relations between the camp's administration and imprisoned population. For the most thorough account of the strike and the events leading up to it, see Alexander Leighton, The Governing of Men: General Principles and Recommendations Based on Experience at a Japanese Relocation Camp (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1945). The rich and varied primary materials upon which this study was based derived from the Leighton-headed Bureau of Sociological Research (BSR) at Poston. See fn. 8 above for the bibliographical data pertaining to this invaluable collection's finding aid at Cornell University. Many of these same documents are also available in the Poston materials archived in the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement collection at the Bancroft Library at the University of California Berkeley (as cited in fn. 9 above); see, in particular, Folders J 1.12, J 1.811, J 6.16C-D, J 6.18, and J 6.24 (which is a chronological account of the strike prepared by Tamie Tsuchiyama). An influential revisionist assessment of the Poston Strike is found in Gary Y. Okihiro, "Japanese Resistance in America's Concentration Camps: A Re-evaluation," Amerasia Journal 2 (1973): 20-34. See also the trenchant entry on the Poston Strike in Niiya, Japanese American History, 286, and the relevant sections of the following three sources: Paul Bailey, City in the Sun: The Japanese Concentration Camp at Poston, Arizona (Los Angeles: Westernlore Press, 1971); Toshio Yatsushiro, Politics and Cultural Values: The World War II Japanese Relocation Centers and the United States Government (New York: Arno Press, 1978); and Rita Takahashi Cates, "Comparative Administration and Management of Five War Relocation Authority Camps: America's Incarceration of Persons of Japanese Descent during World War II" (Ph.D. diss., University of Pittsburgh, 1980).

11. Kay Nishimura lived in the bachelor barracks of Block 14 in the Poston I camp, where he worked as a translator and interpreter for the Issei Information Bureau and served on the Temporary Community Council. Born in 1911 in Seattle, Washington, he lived in Japan for fifteen years, before returning to Seattle in 1927 to complete his high school education. After working as a business manager and interpreter/translator for two Japanese American vernacular newspapers in Seattle and Los Angeles, in 1940 Nishimura became a rice grower in California's Imperial County. In the period between the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and Nishimura's evacuation to Poston in May 1942, he served as executive secretary for the Imperial County Citizens Welfare Committee and as an interpreter and translator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Naturalization Service, in El Centro, California. At 10:30 p.m., on November 14, 1942, Nishimura, while asleep in his Block 14 quarters, "was assaulted by a gang of eight men dressed in Samurai hoods and armed with pieces of pipe." See "Exhibit F: Personnel Record of Kay Nishimura," 23 November 1942, Folder?, JERS, BL-UCB. According to Alexander Leighton, Poston's reports officer, Norris James, said that Nishimura "had been beaten and almost killed,...[had] twenty-six stitches in his head [and] had been semi-conscious all the next day." See "Series #12: Employment," Folder 6, Box 10, Coll. 3830, DMUA-CUL. Isamu Uchida, like George Fujii, was a member of Poston I's Judo Club; a popular instructor, Uchida could boast of having some 100 dedicated students and loyal supporters. As with Fujii, also, Uchida resided in Block 28. This block was very homogeneous in that about 90 percent of its nearly 250 people came from the agricultural southern coastal region of California between Los Angeles and San Diego, while twice as many of the residents were Buddhists as against Christians. This block served as the camp's "city center," in which were located the main canteen or stores as well as the police department and the city jail—the focal point for the Poston Strike (which was solidly supported by Block 28 residents). See "Block #28," Folder 32, Box 7, ibid. For contemporary personality studies of Nishimura, Uchida, Fujii, see, respectively, Folders 57, 82, and 13, Box 12, ibid. In order for researchers to gain access to these studies, however, permission must be granted both by the individuals involved (or their heirs) and Alexander Leighton, the former head of Poston's Bureau of Sociological Research.

12. See, for example, the watercolor "Poston Strike Rally" by Gene Sogioka depicting the Rising Sun-like flag employed during the November 1942 uprising by Block 35 residents. Because Sogioka was employed by Alexander Leighton's Bureau of Sociological Research, the original watercolor is included within the Poston materials archived at Cornell University, Mapcase drawers 1-7, ibid. A color copy of this painting can be found in Deborah Gesensway and Mindy Roseman, Beyond Words: Images from America's Concentration Camps (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press), 153, and a black-and-white version is reproduced in Arthur A. Hansen's review of the Gesensway and Roseman volume, "Representations of an Imprisoned Poston Past," Journal of Orange County Studies 3/4 (Fall 1989/Spring 1990): 105.

13. Kay Nishimura and George Fujii were both members of the Temporary Community Council (TCC), which was comprised (by WRA fiat) entirely of Nisei and Kibei-Nisei (i.e., American citizens). Issei mockingly designated it the "Child's Council" (the average age of its representatives was 31.2 years); for them, it symbolized the creation of an artificial Nisei leadership at the expense of their natural community and cultural predominance. While the abolition of this council and its replacement with one whose membership was open to citizens and non-citizens alike was certainly one of the objectives (and outcomes) of the Poston Strike, the roles played by Nishimura and Fujii on the TCC do not, in fact, seem to have been an "important" factor in the strike. See, Edward H. Spicer, "Political Organization of Poston I" (25 September 1942), 7-10.

Fujii, in point of fact, was released unconditionally on the afternoon of November 20, 1942, because of a lack of evidence. Isamu Uchida, on the other hand, was not set free at this time because the Poston administration felt that it had strong evidence of his guilt. Between Fujii's release and the termination of the strike on November 24, the striking population's chief bone of contention was that Uchida be tried in camp by his peers instead of being prosecuted for attempted murder in Yuma County, Arizona (i.e., outside the camp where, it was argued, no Japanese could get a fair trial). The ultimate disposition of the Uchida case is clarified in a 12 June 1943 teletype sent from Poston's director W. Wade Head to Dillon Myer, the WRA's national director:


See Folder J 1.14, CRRC, JERS, BL-UCB.

15. In the words of Tamie Tsuchiyama, a University of California, Berkeley, doctoral candidate in Anthropology who served as a field researcher/participant-observer for Alexander Leighton's Bureau of Sociological Research and Dorothy Swaine Thomas's Evacuation and Resettlement Study, "I signed the petition along with the rest of the people without full knowledge of the situation. In fact, I had to sign it, for fear that not doing so would class me as an undesirable pro-administration individual in the eyes of the block residents." See Tamie Tsuchiyama, "Aftermath of the Strike," Folder J 6.18, ibid.

16. That the arrest and jailing of Fujii and Uchida were but the visible outward manifestation of the underlying grievances and dissatisfactions of the Poston I population is a point that is made pervasively in the relevant primary documents on the Poston Strike. On the other hand, Fujii's intriguing explanation about the communication gap between Poston's administration and interned population that allegedly was created by Kibei translators and interpreters does not assume saliency in these same sources.

page 103

17. At the time of the Poston Strike, according to Alexander Leighton, in The Governing of Men, 164, Isamu Uchida, like George Fujii, was twenty-seven. Leighton, ibid, drew comparative portraits of the two suspects:

He [George Fujii] was a Buddhist, single, aged 27, and a Kibei, but he spoke English well and was popular with numerous Niseis, Isseis and members of the Administration as well as other Kibeis. He had completed high school in Japan and had then gone to the University of Southern California for two years to study foreign trade. His family were wealthy and operated a large restaurant in a town in California.

In appearance, he was small, well-built, and exceedingly neat in dress. His manner was quiet, unobtrusive and friendly and almost all who knew him agreed that he was a very likable person. He took his responsibilities to the community seriously and seemed cooperative and well disposed toward the Administration.

One of his sisters [Fumi] had been married to and then divorced from the victim of the beating [Kay Nishimura] and there was considerable hostile feeling between the two men.

The other man [Isamu Uchida] was also a Kibei, single and aged 27, but he spoke very little English and was unknown to the Administration. The son of a farmer in California, he had received in Japan a fourth-grade rating in judo which is considered extremely high. Prior to evacuation he had been a judo instructor and after arriving in Poston he had continued in that activity at the Judo Club under the auspices of the Department of Adult Education.

He was not widely known to the Poston residents but moved among close friends, neighbors, the Goh Club, and his associates in judo. Because of his high judo rating, he enjoyed a good deal of prestige and was the leader of a group of younger men who were principally his students. Although he had a brother in the American Army, his own attitude was one of dislike toward the United States.

As far as the attack [on Nishimura] was concerned, there was no evidence that he had had anything to do with it, but there were considerable circumstantial data indicating that he had participated in one of the previous beatings.

18. Camouflage net factories were established at two other WRA camps, Manzanar and Gila River, aside from Poston. These "war work" industries were contracted by the Army to a private firm, Southern California Glass Company, and only citizen interness were permitted to work in them. In all three cases, these factories were productive, profitable for the company and its employees, and provoked strife among the interned population that led to their being shut down. Apart from contemporary studies by WRA community analysts and field workers for the University of California-sponsored Evacuation and Resettlement Study, this ironic facet of the Japanese American Evacuation experience has not been systematically studied.

19. For corroboration of this charge, see Richard S. Nishimoto, "Gambling at Poston," Folder J 6.09, CRRC, JERS, BL-UCB. This essay will appear in an edited anthology that Lane Ryo Hirabayashi is preparing on Nishimoto's ethnographic role at the Poston center for the Bureau of Sociological Research and the Evacuation and Resettlement Study. For a preliminary analysis of that role, see Lane Ryo Hirabayashi and James Hirabayashi, "The `Credible' Witness: The Central Role of Richard S. Nishimoto in JERS," in Yuji Ichioka, ed., Views from Within: The Japanese Evacuation and Resettlement Study (Los Angeles: Asian American Studies Center, University of California, Los Angeles, 1989), 65-95.

20. In the words of Kiyoshi Shigekawa, the evacuee police chief at Poston I and a resident of Orange County-dominated Block 21, "We came in on May 15th [1942].... We were the early arrivals, the same as some of the volunteers. That's why we got so many of the $19.00 [per month, professional scale] jobs. At one time we [Block 21 residents] had the largest number of policemen in camp. I was asked to organize the police department; naturally I chose many from my block." See "Block 21," Folder 21, Box 7, Coll. 3830, DMUA-CLC.

21. For a discussion of the role of the military police at the WRA centers, see Reagan Jack Bell, "Interned Without: The Military Police at the Tule Lake Relocation/Segregation Center, 1942-46" (Master's thesis, California State University, Fullerton, 1989).

22. According to the entry on "newspapers" in Niiya, Japanese American History, 252, "the mass removal and detention of all West Coast Japanese Americans put a halt on the major Japanese American papers—for a few, the halt would be permanent. Several papers that published inland kept going through the war—the Pacific Citizen, ...[the] Rocky Shimpo, the Utah Nippo, and the Colorado Times. " The Pacific Citizen, the official organ of the Japanese American Citizens League, and the Utah Nippo were published in Salt Lake City, Utah, while the Rocky Shimpo, which was also published under the prior name of the Rocky Nippon, and the Colorado Times, were issued out of Denver, Colorado.

23. Question 27 on the Army form that every male citizen of military service age was required to complete stated: "Are you willing to serve in the armed forces of the United States on combat duty, wherever ordered?" For a detailed discussion of the loyalty registration crisis of February 1943 at the WRA centers, see the entry on "loyalty questions" in Niiya, Japanese American History, 217-19.

24. On April 13, 1944, Dorothy Swaine Thomas, the director of the Evacuation and Resettlement Study, wrote a letter to one of that project's researchers at Poston, Richard Nishimoto, in which she said:

In your Journal, April 6 [1944]...I note that only around half of the fund that was collected for George Fujii was necessary for getting him out on bail, and so on, and I am curious to know what happens to the balance of the fund under these circumstances. I am interested in the great number of voluntary contributions that are received from time to time for one cause or another. In view of the low wage scale, these contributions seem to me to be very great.

In reply to Thomas's inquiry, Nishimoto wrote the following answer on April 18, 1944:

Re: Fujii donation. The "Friends of Fujii" expected a collection of about $2,500 from the three Units [Poston I, II, and III] originally. They were quite skeptical even for this amount, because of grumblings of the community toward the proposed drive when the news had gotten around prematurely. The figure of $2,500 was agreed on in its first meeting thus:

One thousand dollars for attorney's fee for trial in the Circuit Court.

Five hundred dollars for obtaining documents for appeal to a higher court. (They expected Fujii to lose his case in the Phoenix Court.)

One thousand dollars for attorney's fee in the District Court of Appeal.

There was a question, then, of taking the case to the Supreme Court. But the expense for such a move, it was decided, would be raised at a later date when an appeal to the Supreme Court becomes necessary. Later the committee agreed to bail Fujii out, because the result of the drive was much more than anticipated.

True, with other donations, residents could not very well to refuse to chip in when Yushi [leaders] of a block went around and appealed to them face-to-face. Especially in Fujii's case the residents were afraid to refuse to donate for a fear that they might be regarded by others as "anti-social" or "anti-Japanese." They are afraid of consequences from their refusals.... I suspect only a small number of people donated conscientiously agreeing with the purpose of the Fujii drive.

For this exchange between Thomas and Nishimoto, see Folder J?, CRRC, JERS, BL-UCB.

25. Documentation for this incident, including numerous press clippings, is sprinkled throughout the pages of the journal that Richard Nishimoto kept for the Evacuation and Resettlement Study. See, in particular, Folder J 6.15B, ibid.

26. Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945. Leighton's precise language on this point, 227, is as follows:

For a time following the strike, the Judo Instructor was a hero and he spoke of doing something for the community by taking a gang out to work on some of the projects, such as irrigation construction, where it had been hard to secure men. He did this for a while and contributed much help, but in time trouble occurred between his followers (nearly all of the aggressive Kibei type) and others. They participated in several other kinds of work and then joined the fire department, but wherever they went there seemed to be friction with the other residents and with government employees. The Judo Instructor seemed to sink lower and lower in the esteem of the community, and many of those who had most ardently followed the symbol he had represented came to feel "very disappointed." Had he died, or been taken away by force during the strike, he probably would still be a shining light of martyrdom, but since neither of these happened, people began to see him in his true proportions. He eventually went to the Tule Lake [Segregation] Center.

What Leighton, 226, 227, notes in his pioneering study of Poston about what happened to George Fujii and Kay Nishimura following the November 1942 strike is also worth quoting at length.

[George Fujii] The member of the Judicial Commission, whose plight as a prisoner had been one of the factors that set the strike going, was a friend and confidant of the new [Temporary Community] Council [of Poston I] Chairman and became Secretary to the second Council and to the ultimately established Permanent Council. He was particularly interested in the construction of the schools and did much to promote community interest in them. Later on he became Chairman of the Police Commission and then one of the three trustees for the Trust Fund.

He was one of those Kibeis who, instead of displaying reactions of maladjustment and aggression, seemed to use his marginal position between American and Japanese culture quietly and consistently to bring the poles in Poston closer together, to promote better understanding among Isseis, Niseis and Administration and to work for just and fair-minded solutions to the community's major problems. There were several such in the Council and the Central Executive Board and in other places, and their influence in the post-strike period was very important.

[Kay Nishimura] The victim of the beating, the forgotten man in all the turmoil, left camp as soon as he had recovered from his wounds and no more was heard of him.

28. The Lockheed Incident, in which high-ranking Japanese government officials and corporate officers were accused of perjury and bribery charges in connection with peddling influence on behalf of Lockheed, is covered briefly, 270-71, by David Boulton in The Grease Machine (New York: Harper & Row, 1978). Boulton's book was originally published in Great Britain under the title of The Lockheed Papers.

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Also mentioned in 日 本軍兵士になったアメリカ人たち 母国と戦った日系二世, chap. 2 (Americans who became soldiers of Japanese military - Nisei who fought against their motherland).

Eiichi Noda

See his Tokyo trial review PDF (esp. p9) and this Oct. 23, 1947 newspaper article re Noda's sentencing.


Other documents drawn from the Hoten prisoners’ experiences are also available. After their liberation, former POWs at the camp completed questionnaires that documented the atrocities they suffered or witnessed. Though not all POWs held at Camp Hoten were aware of the atrocities committed against other captives, some were eyewitnesses to the executions of comrades, and the majority claimed to have either experienced or observed beatings by Japanese guards. Many testimonies and affidavits, collected in part by Donovan’s recovery team, describe the behavior of Lt. Miki Toru and Corporal—later Sergeant—Noda Eiichi, two of the most infamous of Camp Hoten officials. The testimonies of American POWs led to the prosecution of Miki in 1946 and Noda in 1947. Both Miki’s and Noda’s trial records are also available in the SCAP records (RG 331).

Because of his background, Noda’s case is particularly interesting. A second-generation Japanese American, Noda was one of the most notorious abusers of Allied POWs at Camp Hoten. Affidavits and transcripts of U.S. POW testimonies can be found in his prosecution file. Based on evidence gathered from former U.S. POWs, he was tried as a Japanese war criminal in Yokohama, Japan, in September 1947. Citing his participation in the unlawful killing of at least four men and the beating of countless others, prosecutors charged Noda with violating the laws and customs of war. The court found Noda guilty on all ten counts of abusing prisoners, though not of participating in certain activities that led to the death of four of them. It sentenced him to twenty years’ imprisonment. One of the more interesting documents in Noda’s legal file is a clemency petition that is supported by remarks from an American POW whom Noda befriended in Hoten.

Fayal affidavit re Noda (JPG)

?? Nonin, son of Kuwaichi Nonin

From Hawaii Under the Rising Sun: Japan's Plans for Conquest After Pearl Harbor by John Stephan:

Haruo Okada

See IMTFE Review PDF, pp. 2, 33, 43; also his sister, Hiroka or Hiroko was in Japan, born in Pacific City, WA, p. 36.

Haruo Okada (age 27) born in US, graduated from Auborn High School, came to Japan in 1939.

Kiyokura Okimura

Possibly the same as Kikukuro Okumura (Okamura?) in Bamboo People, p.370, 372

See also this image series re Okimura, Kawakita, Nishikawa (Nisei in J-military) - Asian Americans and Supreme Court by Kim, in PDF format. Mentioned in this article.


Nisei interpreter at Fukuoka POW Camp #2 (Nagasaki). Note the interest of the Japanese personnel in having Fujita "join their side." Per Foo Fujita's book:

We had nisei interpreters in this camp who, like many, many, other nisei, were caught in Japan when the war broke out and were forced into the service of Japan even though they were American citizens; in many cases they did not fare much better than we POWs. The oldest one of these was the chief interpreter, a guy by the name of Onishi, from San Diego, California. He came to me and told me to have all my gear packed and be ready to leave. I asked him where I was going and if anyone else was going along. He told me that I was the only one going and that I was being sent to Tokyo and he thought that it might possibly have something to do with propaganda. I thought that he knew that I was going to be executed and was only trying to allay my fears by mentioning the propaganda aspect. I was convinced that "Sgt. Teeth" was correct and the fact that no one besides me was going convinced me of this. I felt that my days on this earth were truly numbered and so I went to the officer's room and called for Lt. Allen and asked to speak with him and Maj. Horrigan, the senior American officer in camp, and then proceeded to tell them what was about to happen and that I felt that the Japanese were going to make one final attempt to get me to join their side or else.

Harley Ozaki (Toyonishiki)

From Wikipedia:

Toyonishiki Kiichiro (3 February 1920 - 26 September 1998) was a Japanese-American sumo wrestler who joined the sport shortly before World War II. He was one of the first foreign-born wrestlers to reach the top makuuchi division.

He was born as Harley Ozaki in Pierce, Colorado, although he was to list Chikujo, Fukuoka as his birthplace on the banzuke ranking sheets. He joined Dewanoumi stable in January 1938. He had been introduced to the stable by a relative during a visit to Japan. Initially he knew nothing about sumo, assuming that the sand covered clay dohyo was made of concrete.

He was the fifth Japanese-American in sumo and the first to reach elite sekitori status. He never had a losing score in his eight years in sumo. He was promoted to the second juryo division in January 1943 and reached the top makuuchi division in May 1944. He scored six wins against four losses, but this was to be his last tournament before being drafted into the Japanese army.

He still had American citizenship and had really wanted to fight for the United States, but as he could not return to the US he agreed to change his citizenship at the urging of the Japan Sumo Association. He adopted the Japanese name of Kiichiro Ozaki.

He survived the war but decided not to return to sumo, believing he could make a better living as an interpreter. He regained his US citizenship and in his later years ran a ryokan (inn) in Tokyo with his wife.

Per Asahi News article (11-22-2022):

Toyonishiki, the first Sekitori of U.S. nationality, second-generation Japanese-American, under surveillance, drafted... tumultuous history

Toyonishiki was born Kiichiro Ozaki in Colorado, U.S.A., in 1920. When he was 17 years old, he came to Japan and joined the Dewanoumi stable, where he won many matches with his 187-cm height and springy movements. However, when the Pacific War broke out in 1941, he was watched by the Special Higher Police, and on the advice of his stablemaster, he became a Japanese citizen. He was drafted into the former army and worked as a monitor and translator for U.S. radio broadcasts. After the war, he ran an inn in Tokyo. His military service in Japan was a stumbling block, and he was only able to return to his home country 15 years after the war ended. From 1993, he lived in the town of Chikujo (Fukuoka Pref.), where he died in 1998 at the age of 78.

George Y. Ozasa

From Bamboo People by Chuman, starting on p. 381?:

Richard Sakakida

Perhaps could be called an undercover double agent, would make for a good comparative study of how citizenship change worked. Interesting chapter on him here:
America's secret army: the untold story of the Counter Intelligence Corps by Botting (1989)

Quite a bit on him, including what Roger Mansell had (sakakida19.htm):

More from GoogleBooks:

See this here for more Nisei names:

From Nisei Linguists:
Footnote 22: To avoid complications, some Nisei renounced their Japanese citizenship before they traveled to Japan. Richard Sakakida’s mother did this in the summer of 1941 on behalf of her son after he secretly enlisted in the Army and was sent to the Philippines. Richard Sakakida and Wayne S. Kiyosaki, A Spy in Their Midst (Lanham, Md.: Madison Books, 1995), pp. 137–38.

From a review of Nisei Linguists:
In fact, the story of the Nisei linguists extends from before the Second World War until the end of the Cold War. As McNaughton notes, the CIC had sent two Nisei officers, Arthur Komori and Richard Sakakida, under cover into Manila in the spring of 1941 to gather intelligence on Japanese fifth-column activity in the US colony.
FOOTNOTE: Sakakida related his wartime exploits to his brother-in-law, Wayne Kiyosaki, who wrote A Spy in Their Midst: The World War II Struggle of a Japanese-American Hero (1995). An unclassified review of this book appeared in Studies in Intelligence 40, no. 2 (1996).

Sydney Sako

Web Posted: 09/26/2009 12:00 CDT

After enduring Siberian work camp, Sako worked at Lackland

As a Soviet prisoner of war in World War II, Seiichi Sakamoto was far different from the other Japanese soldiers.

The Texas-reared soldier graduated at the top of his class at South San Antonio High School and was a very proud Aggie.

Sydney Sako, who changed his name when he became an American citizen, served in the U.S. Air Force and later taught at the Defense Language Institute at Lackland AFB. A former president of the Japanese-American Society who helped in the Japanese booth at the Texas Folklife Festival, Sako died Wednesday of heart failure. He was 91.

“He still was a kind, gentle, understanding person, even with what he went through,” said his daughter, Naomi Maulden.

Although he was born in Japan, his parents had lived in the United States for years and came to Texas when they returned from Japan. The young man graduated two years early from South San High School in 1934 as valedictorian, and decided to attend Texas A&M.

After college, he wanted to learn Japanese and become a missionary. In 1940, he used his savings and traveled to Tokyo, where he enrolled in a special school for American-born Japanese who wanted to learn the language.

The following year, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, and he was drafted into the Japanese army in 1943. After he finished his physical training, he was sent to Harbin, a city in northeastern China, for Russian language training.

Russian forces captured Harbin in 1945 and took thousands of Japanese soldiers as prisoners. Sako was sent to a labor camp in Siberia. Released as a Japanese POW five years later, he returned to Japan.

He made his way to Tokyo and wanted to report to American counterintelligence his observations of Soviet construction projects in Siberia. When he entered the intelligence building, he entered an elevator and saw a familiar face inside: one of his brothers, in an American uniform.

His mother sent him the money he needed to return home. His application to become a citizen was denied, but he was allowed to join the Air Force. Racial restrictions on immigrations were abolished in 1952, and he was naturalized two years later and changed his name.

A year after he became a citizen, a chaplain introduced him to an interpreter who became his wife, and in 1956, they returned to the United States.

Sako worked 32 years as a language instructor with the Defense Language Institute and Officer Training School at Lackland.

In November 1991, the local A&M Club named him Aggie of the Month.

Iwao Peter Sano

Iwao Peter Sano, a California Nisei, sailed to Japan in 1939 to become an adopted son to his childless aunt and uncle. He was fifteen and knew no Japanese. In the spring of 1945, loyal to his new country, Sano was drafted in the last levy raised in the war. Sent through Korea to join the Kwantung Army in Manchuria, Sano arrived in Hailar, one hundred miles from the Soviet border, as the war was coming to a close. In the confusion that resulted when the war ended, Sano had the bad luck to be in a unit that surrendered to the Russians. It would be nearly three years before he was released to return to Japan. Sano's account of life in the POW and labor camps of Siberia is the story of a little-known part of the great conflagration that was World War II. It is also the poignant memoir of a man who was always an outsider, both as an American youth of Japanese ancestry and then as a young Japanese man whose loyalties were suspect to his new compatriots.

Also mentioned in 日 本軍兵士になったアメリカ人たち 母国と戦った日系二世, chap. 2 (Americans who became soldiers of Japanese military - Nisei who fought against their motherland).

James Sasaki

Born in Japan, set up radio transmitter, spy?

Discussed in Unbroken. See also his Tokyo trial record (PDF). Was at Ofuna Interrogation Center as interpreter and translator; includes various testimonies re his actions, including by Zamperini.

Was spy per Zamperini's book, Devil At My Heels; see many references to him there in that book; excerpts in PDF:


Samuel Shinohara

Shinohara mentioned in Roger Mansell's guam war trials.wpd
Worst collaborator was Shinohara, Ben Cook and "Ozone." (Who was Ozone?)
All agreed the worst collaborators were T. Shinohara, Mrs K. Sawada, J.K. Shimizu and D.K. Takano.
Thomas Cruz Oka- charges of collaboration dismissed
Samuel Takekuma Shinohara file-
1966 entry- ship owned by his company (Tenyo Maru) entered Apra Harbor unannounced- spied on Polaris Missile sub- probably for the Russians.
He was tried, sentenced to death by hanging- lowered to 15 years- transferred to Japan for internment but paroled in 1951. He was allowed to re-enter Guam 26 June 1961. He was employed as a sales agent for Nissho Sangyo Kabushiki Kaisho, Tokyo. He worked for the company that owned the ship.
Here are the charges against him -- scans of these in SHINOHARA TRIAL folder:

From War Crimes Trials affidavit:


    The local Chamorro people got along well with members of the Marine Corps. Every once in a while, though, there was a snag in these relationships. Any Asiatic Marine, officer or enlisted man who wanted to marry a local girl, had to have the permission of his commanding officer. Permission wasn't generally given. Another good example of how relationships can sour comes from a letter dated Nov. 15, 1936:

    I think I had the worst scare in my life last night in the capital city. Another Marine and myself were in a place called "Shinohara's" eating chow, so as the meal progressed we noticed natives going into the men’s washroom and not coming out. After we had finished we went outside and were shooting the breeze when out of nowhere drops two patrolmen and goes upstairs and barges in on the men’s washroom and puts everyone under arrest. The natives were shooting craps which is a very serious offence and draws about $50 fine and 6 months in the civil jail. My friend and I separated after they had taken the natives to jail to answer questions. I was just looking the town over and in the meantime the eight natives were released to come back Monday and appear at the island court. After they left the jail they started looking for our friend "Chad" and found me walking in a very dark alley and, as sure as I write this, they were going to cut my throat. Their only thought was that my friend and I being the only ones eating in Shenohara's had left and tipped the patrolmen off as to the dice game. I talked for fully an hour before I convinced them I was innocent.

    For those readers who want a third example of a troubled Guam relationship, fast forward ten years until just after the end of World War Two. Restaurant owner Takekuna (Samuel) Shinohara was found guilty at his collaborator trial of "treasonous behavior," and sentenced to eight years in Tokyo's Sugamo Prison.

Jerry Suzuki

See this PDF file that mentions Suzuki on pg. 10 and others who were in Japanese Army: Wataru Misaka - Philippines - Jerry Suzuki

Clifton Takamura

Kamikaze pilot, Chiran Base. Crashed his Zero into the USS Missouri during battle for Okinawa. This article courtesy of John Stephan.

James Takeuchi

Nisei? interpreter in Taiwan:

Hanama Harold Tasaki

From Hawaii Under the Rising Sun: Japan's Plans for Conquest After Pearl Harbor by John Stephan:

Kei Tateishi

Per this article: Journalist; during the war, worked for Domei News Agency as a translator. Later worked for Time magazine and the Associated Press. Article quotes him as saying, "... perhaps thousands of Nisei were forced to serve in Japan's army and navy. But the exact number may never be known because the Japanese government did not record evidence of dual citizenship when it conscripted them."

Iva Ikuko Toguri

Probably the most well-known of all Nisei in Japan. She referred to herself as: "Orphan Ann(ie)," "your little playmate, Ann," "your favorite little enemy, Ann," "your sworn enemy," "your bitter enemy, Ann." There is an immense amount of archival material on her, not to mention all the books and online chapters on her life, e.g. here.

See transcripts of her broadcasts (rose1a.pdf) where she refers to the listeners as "my enemies the Orphans of the South Pacific," "a programme of dangerous and wicked propaganda for my victims in Australia and the South Pacific," "my Boneheads in the South Pacific... I'm lulling their senses before I annihilate them with my nail file," "Dangerous enemy propaganda, so beware!" Much other info in rose1b.pdf and rose1c.pdf files. Also rosecourt.pdf court summary.
NOTE: These have been compiled into Iva Toguri FBI files. This section excerpted: Henshaw interview - list of POWs at Bunka Camp - pages 8-19.
See also: US vs Toguri trial documents (includes photos at end)

Other Nisei with her (total of 12?) -- from They Called Her Tokyo Rose by Gunn:

Re Bunka Camp, known as Surugadai Gijitsu Kenkyusho (Surugadai Research Institute): see TOGURI DAQUINO v UNITED STATES - US Court of Appeals 1950

Nisei friends of Iva's who were at Waseda Int'l Institute:

Chiyeko Ito
Yoniko Matsunaga

Excerpts from Gunn's book
(PDF): DeWolfe memo re Toguri (2 pages) and re Toguri citizenship (3 pages)

Excerpts from Treason on the Airwaves: Three Allied Broadcasters on Axis Radio during World War II by Judith Keene (2008):
  • Issei and Nisei ties to Japan
  • hundreds of Nisei working for J-media
  • several hundred Nisei at Radio Tokyo
  • re Toguri and Nisei giving up citizenship
Broadcasts can be found here:
See also's Radio Propaganda Page: "Orphan Ann" ("Tokyo Rose")

Additional info in Tokyo Rose / An American Patriot: A Dual Biography by Frederick Close -- Toguri was not "a villain or a traitor," only a "flawed human being." For those interested in reading about "debunking the myth," see Tokyo Rose: Orphan of the Pacific by Masayo Duus.

Related treason case in the US regarding the three Shitara sisters can be found at: Prosecution of the Shitara Sisters. Another article here, in four parts: Betrayal on Trial: Japanese American "Treason" in World War II.

Mock US Navy "Citation" for Tokyo Rose, Aug. 7, 1945
by Capt. O'Brien, The Navy Reporter

Names of officials and employees associated with Radio Tokyo, or sought out after the war by the FBI for possible interviews:

Abbeg, Lilly - Swiss broadcaster

Domoto, Kaji - Nisei; graduated from Amherst College; lived in Japan from 1925; was in contact with the Emperor's household; after Uno, took over senior civilian position at Bunka Camp in early 1945 and became main interpreter; helped POWs; Foo Fujita quoted Domoto as saying, "America is a very bad nation. They have no respect for life and are a bunch of muderers."

Fujimuro, Nobuo - listed in Streeter PDF

Fujiwara, Katherine - typist

Furuya, Mieko - born in Calif.; became Japanese citizen; typist and broadcaster on Zero Hour (Feb.-May 1945); sometimes substituted for Toguri; later married Kenkichi Oki

Hayakawa, Ruth Sumiko - native of Fukuoka, Japan, but lived in the US from childhood through college; usually replaced Toguri on Sundays after Toguri became a broadcaster; suspected of being a Kenpeitai agent; Uno stated that the Zero Hour "featured Miss Ruth Hayakawa as Tokyo Rose"; "soft voice and Boston accent"... probably the "Tokyo Rose" GI's remembered as she had the soft and sweet voice; after the war worked as interpreter for the Commanding General of the US Army in Fukuoka
SAME PERSON?: A Ruth Sumiko Kacho is mentioned in MICHI KAWAI, JAPANESE EMIGRANTS AND NISEI by Tomoko Ozawa (2015): "'I applied for a position at the Overseas Broadcasting Station Radio Tokyo as an English announcer and was hired in March of 1943.' After working for the radio station, Kacho entered the American Department of the Ministry of Trade and Industry in Occupied Japan."

Hayasaki, Edward H. - doctor called in to administer shots at Bunka Camp; Per Mark Streeter: "Hayasaki laughingly said he was only a horse doctor."

(Higuchi, Mary Kazuko - born on Maui Island; arrived in Japan in 1935; affiliated with Radio Tokyo; returned to Hawaii in June 1941; worked with FCC)

Higuchi, Mary Morris - Eurasian; worked with NHK overseas bureau 1940-1945; typed some of the radio scripts

Hirakawa, "Joe" Tadaichi - born in Okayama, moved to Portland, OR, in 1919, then to Seattle; returned to Japan Oct. 1937; worked at NHK, replaced Ikeda as chief of broadcasting section

?(Hirakawa, Yuichi - chief announcer of the English division) <-- same as above?

Hishikari, Takabune - replaced "silly giggling" Count Ikeda as Bunka camp director

Hiyoshi, Naomichi - listed in Streeter PDF

Hollingsworth, Reggie - German broadcaster; looked and talked like an Englishman

Hyuga, Seizo David - along with Domoto, was in contact with the Emperor's household and would pass information to Cousens

Igarashi, Shinjiro - radio announcer for Radio Tokyo from Nov. 1943 to Aug. 1945

Ikeda, Norizane - chief of broadcasting section; was instructed to research ways to influence Pres. Roosevelt, also to watch for news re wild fires on the US West Coast as a result of the balloon bombs from Japan; was later replaced by Joe Tadaichi; was in Australia when war broke out and subsequently interned for a short time

Ikeda, Yukio "Count"? - became associated with Radio Tokyo in May 1944; head of Personnel Section at Radio Tokyo 1944-45

Ishii, Kenneth  - announcer for Radio Tokyo; sister is Mary Ishii; worked for Reuters after the war

Ishii, Mary - half Japanese, half English; broadcaster on Zero Hour (June-July 1945); spoke with a British accent as some listeners claimed Tokyo Rose did, and she too replaced Toguri at various times; brother is Ken Ishii

Ito, Chieko (Chiyeko) - at 18 years of age, accompanied Toguri to Japan in 1941

Kabayama, Count - Per Mark Streeter: "Count Kabayama’s connection with Bunka was in an advisory capacity to the other Japanese authorities. Count Kabayama spoke perfect English, having been educated at Oxford in England and having spent a great deal of time in the Unites States. The Kabayama family was on of the most influential in Japan."

Kanzaki, Yoneko - Nisei; broadcast from Radio Tokyo on the "German Hour"

Kato, Margaret - brought up in London

Kojima, Taisaku - listed in Streeter PDF

Kuroishi, Yoshio Edward

Matsuda, Emi - Japanese Foreign Office employee with dual citizenship

Matsunaga, Yoneko Ruth "Toots" - introduced records on the German Hour; said the Japanese forced her to work as a torpedo painter and later as a broadcaster <--CONFIRM NOT SAME AS ABOVE KANZAKI, YONEKO

M(N?)iino, Hiroshi

Mino, Kan

Mitsushio, George Hideo  (aka George Nakamoto) - born in San Francisco, Calif.; worked for Domei before Radio Tokyo; registered as Japanese citizen but had dual citizenship before, presumably (per FBI, "regained his Japanese citizenship."); head of the Zero Hour program from June 1942
Per Close in Tokyo Rose American Patriot (2010):
To prevent confusion, I have used the name "George Mitsushio" throughout the book. Mitsushio was his correct name after 1944, and it appears most often in FBI files. His birth name was Hideo Tanabe. His father, Sanzo Tanabe, died in Japan in 1911, his mother remarried, and he was adopted by his stepfather, Kanehito Nakamoto. During his years in the United States, he was known as George Nakamoto. Iva referred to him as Nakamoto. His biological father's actual birth name was Mitsushio, but following Japanese custom, Sanzo adopted the family name of his mother (Tanabe) when that family produced no male children. When George returned to Japan, he again became Hideo Tanabe. He assumed the surname Mitsushio on July 1, 1944, when that family name was restored. Were all this not complicated enough, on Radio Tokyo Mitsushio assumed the persona of "Frank Watanabe." Worse, an actual Watanabe worked on Zero Hour for the Japanese military to make sure nothing favored the Allies. In summary, George Mitsushio, George Nakamoto, Hideo Tanabe, and broadcaster Frank Watanabe are the same person.

Momotsuka, Kiwamu - expert radio engineer qualified by Japanese Govt. and worked at Radio Tokyo from before the war

Moriyama, Hisashi - staff member of Zero Hour program

Muraoka, Kaoru Katherine - born in Calif.; married Reyes on Sept. 29, 1944; typist; substituted for Toguri regularly as a broadcaster; her support of the Japanese caused Toguri to remark with some bitterness, "I never could figure out how she came out smelling like a rose. I never could figure that out at all"

Murayama, Ken - from New York; reporter for Domei News in Manila; wrote scripts for Myrtle Lipton ("Manila Rose")
Per Kawashima in The Tokyo Rose Case: Treason on Trial (2013):
According to Duus, the deposition by Ken Murayama, a New York nisei, seemed more crucial. A Domei News Agency reporter in Manila, Murayama had written scripts for Myrtle Lipton, known as “Manila Rose.” Murayama, in his deposition, testified that the scripts he wrote for her “were designed to create a sense of homesickness among troops in the Southwest Pacific. Their tone was one of trying to make the soldiers recall certain good times they might have had when they were back in the United States. . . . We had stories of girls having dates with men at home, while possibly their sweethearts and husbands might be fighting in the Southwest Pacific area.”

Murayama also testified that Myrtle Lipton had a very sexy voice, like “a torch singer . . . quite low-pitched, husky . . . the sort of voice that would carry well and was in keeping with the general tenor of the program itself.”

The objective of the defense in the trial was to distinguish the “Orphan Ann” broadcasts from those of Tokyo Rose, which were originating either from Radio Tokyo or from one of the other Japanese stations in Asia, like the “German Hour” and Myrtle Lipton’s broadcasts. The latter two certainly more closely resembled “Tokyo Rose” broadcasts of rumor. More specifically, Myrtle Lipton, whose broadcasts were confused with Iva’s, was the strongest candidate for “Tokyo Rose.” The government had thus failed to prove that Iva had been Tokyo Rose and had made those announcements that Myrtle Lipton was supposed to have announced.

Murayama, Tamotsu - Nisei interpreter


Mutsu, Jan - Domei News

Nakabayashi, Jim

Nakamura, Satoshi - Master of Ceremonies on Zero Hour from Aug. 1944 to Feb. 1945

Nakashima, Leslie S. - from Hawaii; was with Domei News Agency, then worked at Radio Tokyo

Nii, Motomu - born in Hawaii; script rewriter

Noda, George

Okamoto, Shigeru - radio engineer qualified by Japanese Govt. and worked at Radio Tokyo from before the war

Oki, Kenkichi - born in Sacramento, Calif.; attended New York University; became Japanese citizen in 1940?; supervised "Zero Hour"; per Close: Oki and Mitsushio "were among the 10,000 Nisei who had returned to Japan because they could not find work in America. Although they never formally renounced their U.S. citizenship, both disliked the United States, now considered themselves Japanese, and openly supported Japan's war efforts."

Oki, Mieko - Kenkichi's wife, née Furuya

Os(z?)aki, Ray? Roy?

Oshidari, Shinichi - Nisei musician and skit writer

Ozasa, Teruo - born in Salt Lake City; moved to Japan in 1940; became a Japanese citizen because "it was impossible to get a job if you weren't Japanese"; was sound engineer for Zero Hour

Saisho, Foumy - Japanese-born but married and then divorced a Nisei; was in charge of censoring scripts prepared for broadcasting

Sato, Asako  - worked for Domei; said Tokyo Rose was either Suyama, Hayakawa or Toguri

Sawada, Shinnojo

Shimomura, H.

Sugiyama, F. Harris "Bucky" - staff announcer at Radio Tokyo

Suyama, June - from British Columbia, Canada; previously known as "The Nightingale of Nanking"; "the most exciting female personality... top salary of 150 yen"; Toguri recalls "she was the one with the soft, sultry voice but she mainly did the news"

Tanabe, Yoshitoshi  - radio engineer qualified by Japanese Govt. and worked at Radio Tokyo from before the war

Tasaki, Hanama - civilian Japanese interpreter. Per Mark Streeter in They Called Us Traitors:
I was very much surprised to find out that Tasaki was a very active member of the Japanese underground who was working for the overthrow of the military clique who were in control of the Japanese government, and that Major Hifumi was also high in the underground movement. Tasaki was not content with just telling me these things but took me to see quite a number of Japanese who were in the underground movement. They had agents in Naval Headquarters, Army headquarters, Domei, the Japanese Broadcasting Company, the Japanese Information Bureau, the foreign office, the Tokyo police department, and the neighborhood associations, even the Japanese Diet. The Emperor’s Brother Prince Kuni was in favor of their actions, however belonging to the Royal family could not be an active participating member. A former member of the Japanese Diet was now working in the Bunka offices, as was Maso Takabatake of the foreign office and others including some Japanese women translators. Bunka was fast becoming one of the principles working centers of the underground movement. Tasaki solemnly told me that if any of us were caught it would mean certain death and for that reason, we had to be doubly careful, working right under the noses of the military clique.

Togasaki, Kiyoshi "George" - born in San Francisco and graduated from the University of California in 1920; per Toguri: "Mr. Togasaki took over the running of the Zero Hour program from about August of 1944 to about March 1945. He was connected with the English paper, Nippon Times, offices in Tokyo, Japan. He is at present English editor for the same paper. I understand he is a national of Japan, educated in the United States, speaks English very well." Per Close: Ran the Nippon Times until 1956, was a Christian who helped missionaries in Japan, and became president of Rotary International.

Toguri, Ikuko Iva - employed at Radio Tokyo from Aug. 23, 1943 until Sept. 26, 1945; never registered as a Japanese citizen, but tried to recover her Japanese citizenship, then later cancelled that request.
Per Close in Tokyo Rose American Patriot (2010):
After the war ended, the other women who broadcast and worked for the Japanese on the dozens of radio programs, including Zero Hour, also disappeared from public view. So did the many Nisei, male and female, that Iva met at Domei, Radio Tokyo, and elsewhere in Japan. They were a sore subject with her because too many sold out their allegiance. Remembering them elicited from Iva a rare outburst of anger. "I dropped many of my Nisei friends because they would say, 'Oh, isn't it great! We're winning the war!' And I said, 'What the hell do you mean? We are winning? By we, do you mean the Japanese?' Isn't it ironic that these people came back to the U.S. without any problems as devoted United States' citizens. They deserted the victorious Japanese and now they're with the victorious Americans. I just want to spit in their faces. Some of them had the gall to write me and say how happy they were I had gotten my pardon and all that baloney-I'd use another expression if I weren't a lady. It just burns me up. Every one of those monkeys would say, 'We're winning the war!'"

This bitter complaint represents Iva's hardened attitudes late in her life. In 1948, she did not condemn her fellow Nisei so universally, writing, "In December of 1943 there were quite a few Nisei girls who started to work at Domei and ... I felt it best to ... get away from the Niseis who were hard to size up in their feelings towards the war. I had heard that some of them had taken Japanese citizenship and wondered why I never said anything about becoming a Japanese citizen." Her assessment of fellow broadcaster Ruth Hayakawa typifies her change over the decades. In 1987, Iva disparaged Hayakawa as "someone who's going to make damn sure she's not on the losing side." But in 1948, she wrote that Ruth "came to see me on the Sunday before I was rearrested on August 26, 1948. She offered to help in every way possible and she asked that she be called as my witness should it be necessary to do so." Hayakawa testified via deposition.

Topping, Genevieve - known as "Mother"; 83 yrs. old, the wife of an American missionary; along with Hayakawa and Furuya as the first women broadcasters for "Humanity Calls"

, Shigetsugu - Major with Army Propaganda Section at Radio Tokyo, taking part in psychological warfare against US troops; "in charge of propaganda and the collection of news and information regarding the military activities of Americans"; prior to end of the war referred to Toguri as "Tokyo Rose"

Uno, Kazumaro "Buddy" - grew up in Salt Lake City, UT; first came to Japan in 1937; was civilian journalist with Japanese Army in Shanghai; in March 1942 was on Corregidor to interview captured US GI's; supervised POW scriptwriters and broadcasters at Bunka Camp; in autumn of 1944 was transferred to Manila to oversee NHK broadcasts

Watanabe, Hodge (Chujo?) - "Chujo" is listed in Streeter PDF

Yamaz(s?)aki, Isamu - Vice-Chief of American Continental Section of Radio Tokyo

Yoshii, Charles "Chuck" - worked at NHK since 1935 and was called the "Japanese Lord Haw Haw"

Mary Tomita

Book by Tomita, Dear Miye: Letters Home from Japan, 1939-1946.

Masao Tomita

Interpreter from Pomona, CA, suspect under investigation in Sasebo, Nov. 30, 1945:

Taihei Tsuda

TSUDA Taihei (Nisei, interpreter) at Tokyo POW Camp #11D, Tsurumi. Was born in the US in 1906, lived there till 7 yrs. old, in Japan 1913-1925, in US until 1935, in Italy until 1939 then back to US, then back to Japan in 1940, became interpreter in April 1944 as civilian for J-military.

See full IMTFE trial document T-308.

Harry Ueno (and wife, Atami)

From The Asian Reporter, V21, #09 (May 2, 2011):

Henry spent his childhood in the shadow of a war between his two countries. A U.S. citizen, he lived in Japan from 1931 to 1949. While people of Japanese ancestry were imprisoned in the United States during World War II, in Japan he and his family were dodging bombs day and night. Two houses belonging to Henry’s uncles — with whom Henry was staying on both occasions — were destroyed by incendiary bombs. The aftermath of that war, he says, "was even worse. There was nothing to eat for two years."

Both Henry and Atami were born in the U.S. — Henry in Pendleton, Oregon and Atami in Hilo, Hawaii. Atami moved from Hawaii to Japan when she was 12, but met Henry on a ship travelling from Japan to the United States in 1949. Atami disembarked in Honolulu, but Henry was headed for Portland.

From Henry Ueno Interview at Densho Digital Archives:

When I was sixteen, the year 1941, I was, I received a letter from district office of city that I should appear to take a physical, and those days, a lot of my friends included too, volunteer for the youth military schools and that type of thing, and I suppose they desperately need soldiers, but they cannot draft underage people, so they probably direct the young mens for the different schools, the trainings and that type of thing, and I took a test and passed the physical. They asked me whether my mother, my parents were, approved of my joining the service. And I didn't really expected this because, young, but I start thinking, gee, what to answer this, you know.

At that time, I knew I was American citizen, but I just stop, think, and quiet for a while, then I thinking all the situations how my mother feels, all the relatives. My brothers, the Japanese army, and can I refuse. That's the biggest fear, can I refuse. If I refuse, tell them I can't serve, I'm American citizen. Then how they feel, how they'll treat it, so I didn't answer that questions, and the city people said, "How come you don't answer all my questions?" Then I have to confide, you know. Finally, I'm American citizen, so that was it. They cannot draft me, draft American citizen. And then the day goes on. And about a few months later, my mother in hometown received from town hall that I was given Japanese citizenship. I wasn't asked for it, you know.

So anyway, so they could technically draft me, I was dual citizenship, and they did. But fortunately because of the incident, being American citizen, war ended just a few days before my induction date. I didn't know exactly what they're going to do to me because I'm sixteen years old. They probably send me to youth training center and whatever, but I was saved by the bell. That was just a terrible things in my situations. My life is just so complicated, the half brothers and my brothers and all that type of things.

Fred Uyeminami

Born in Seattle, WA, consultant to Imperial Japanese Navy; " Japan during the war and is mentioned in several of the US Navy’s technical reports of Japan after the war... and he is mentioned somewhere in the public press of the 1930s justifying Japan’s arms and weapons programs."

Kazumaro "Buddy" Uno

NOTE: one of Buddy's brothers --> Edison Tomimaro Uno, "father of the redress movement"

See CIA DOC_0000112821.pdf on p.16 and p.29.

See Tokyo Rose doc rose1b.pdf (p. 17, heavily redacted; p. 57) re info on Uno being in charge of the "Hinomaru Hour."

Whole chapter on him, The Meaning of Loyalty: The Case of Kazumaro Buddy Uno (from Before internment: essays in prewar Japanese American history by Yûji Ichioka).

From a fellow researcher:

I'm presuming that most list members are aware of Kazamuro "Buddy" Uno, the
American Nisei who lost his citizenship due to his service in the Japanese
Army before Pearl Harbor, and who became a well known figure in the Japanese
Army Press Bureau before and during the war.

In 1942, he wrote a book, in English, which was published in Shanghai by the
Shanghai Evening Post and Mercury - it had been taken over by the Japanese
and run as an English language daily in the city. During my research I
interviewed people who recall reading this book in occupied Shanghai.

The text, I believe, is posted on the web. However, I recently viewed a
copy of this book and took digital photos of the pictures in the book.
Should anyone wish to receive copies of these, let me know.


To those who expressed interest in the Corregidor photos taken by Kazumaro
"Buddy" Uno, the American Nisei who joined the Japanese Army Press Bureau, I
will send them out in a few days.

Several people asked about Kazumaro Uno. He was an American who grew up in
Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. He went to Japan in 1938 and spent most of
the war in Shanghai, overseeing the Japanese controlled English language
daily, the Shanghai Evening Post and Mercury. He was covered the fall of
Corregidor and on his return to Shanghai wrote his account as a book. He
was sent back to the Philippines in late 1944, and was captured there after
the war. After being imprisoned in Manila for a period, he was sent back to
Japan. He died there in the 1950s. Three of his brothers fought for the US
during the war. The rest of his family was interned.

The book is rather scarce. The text can be found on the web at:

Because Uno grew up in America, he was fluent in "American" English and
spoke to many of the men captured on Corregidor. He also spoke to many of
the Fourth Marines, who had only a few months before been stationed in
Shanghai, and thus had many friends in that city. Uno brought back many
messages from these Marines to friends and acquaintances in Shanghai when he
returned to the city in the summer of 1942.


-------- Original Message --------
Subject:     RE: Uno
Date:     Thu, 5 Mar 2009 20:58:57 -0500

There were a number of American Nisei who served in the Japanese armed forces or worked in support roles. The best known was Buddy Uno, probably because of his presence during the surrender at Corregidor, and his work with American POWs producing propaganda radio shows. According to Lt. Col. Shigetsugu Tsuneishi, who was in charge of Japanese propaganda in English, there were “more than 200 Japanese Americans were employed by the Japanese government in propaganda roles.” These included several American Nisei women who collectively became known among GIs as Tokyo Rose.

Corregidor, Isle of Delusion was published in Shanghai during the war in an English and Japanese language version. Some time ago I came across a copy in the Cornell library and I made copies of the photos and sent them to a number of list members. The text of the book is available online. I also have it as a Word Document.

There is scattered information about Uno on the internet, some of it erroneous. (One source claims he did not survive the war, but he did.) The US Justice Department ruled that by joining the Japanese Army Press Bureau in 1939 he expatriated himself and thus was not a US citizen at the time of this alleged treasonous activity. He was captured in the Philippines and eventually returned to Japan. He died there in the 1950s.

Hajima Masuda, a graduate of Venice High School, Venice, California, was a Nisei captured at the end of the war – in Canton, where he had ties to German intelligence. Jim Katsumi Yoshida was another Nisei who served with the Japanese army in China. He stated that he knew of several Nisei who served in the Japanese army. I have documents from NARA pertaining to both of these men.

Another name which has popped up: Ray Uyeshima (or Ueshima). Don’t have anything on him but I believe he was from California and worked for the Japanese in Shanghai.

Another Nisei who was convicted of treason and ended up in Alcatraz was Tomoya Kawakita. He was a prison guard who was recognized by a former American POW after the war, while shopping in a Los Angeles department store. Here are a couple of links pertaining to him:

I am slowly collecting material on Uno, as he is one of the main focuses of my next project – a nonfiction account of several Americans in Shanghai before and during the war, including an undercover ONI agent.

Excerpts from Treason on the Airwaves: Three Allied Broadcasters on Axis Radio during World War II by Judith Keene (2008):

Frank Wada

Born in California, served as a truck driver for the Japanese army in Manchuria. After the war, went back to his job as a mining engineer for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Mentioned in this article.

Clyde Wakatake

Worked for Domei News Agency in Tokyo, then as a translator under the Japanese Naval Press Bureau in Shanghai, then later with the War Crimes Office. See details in this PDF (courtesy of Frank Baldassarre).

Shigeo Yamada

Yuzuru Tachibana wrote about Yamada in his 1994 book, Teikoku Kaigun shikan ni natta Nikkei Nisei (A Second-Generation Japanese-American Who Became an Officer of the Imperial Japanese Navy). Yamada, born in Idaho, was at Keio University (one of several colleges in Japan accepting American Nisei) when the war broke out, was drafted and became an officer (ensign) in the Japanese Navy. He participated in the suicide attack mission to Okinawa on board the Yahagi as radio officer, accompanying the battleship Yamato, and survived after both ships were sunk (April 1945). Yamada later worked as a salesman for Japan Airlines in the US, later becoming executive vice president. The book mentions a total of six Nisei who were on the two ships. Only Yamada survived. Nisei 2nd Lt. Kunio Nakatani was also among those who died aboard the Yamato; details in the book, Senkan Yamato no Saiki (The Final Days of Battleship Yamato) or Senkan Yamato to Sengo (Battleship Yamato and Postwar Period) by Mitsuru Yoshida. A movie was produced in 1953 (Senkan Yamato) which also features Nakatani.

Bob Yamanaka

Nisei interpreter who was at Karenko POW Camp, Taiwan; from San Francisco; parents were evacuated to a relocation center. "...he was so afraid the Nipponese authorities would think him pro-American..." See PDF of excerpts from The Hard Way Home by William Braly.

George Yamane and sister, Nobuyo

From George Yamane led fight to honor two nisei veterans (Aug. 7, 2002):

Born in Tacoma on June 11, 1923, Mr. Yamane moved to Japan at age 13 to take care of his grandmother. He almost died from sickness because food and drugs were scarce during the war. His sister Nobuyo saved his life by traveling more than 24 hours by train to give him fresh eggs to eat, said Jeff Yamane, Mr. Yamane's second son. He moved back to Washington in 1948 and settled in Seattle, where he met his wife, Charlotte, at a church function. They married in 1957 and had four sons.
George YAMANE Born June 11, 1923 and died peacefully on July 31, 2002 in Seattle at the age of 79. George was born and raised in Tacoma until, at age 13, he went to live in Japan to take care of his grandmother. The most difficult period of his life occurred when World War II started in 1941. He decided to stay in Japan to continue caring for his grandmother but, as an U.S. citizen in Japan, he worried about his family in America and, also, what would happen to him in Japan. Food and material resources were very scarce and he almost died from illness. In 1947, he graduated from Tokyo University with a degree in Civil Engineering. George returned to Seattle in 1948. He was drafted into the U.S. Army and served in the Korean War in 1951. - See more at:

There is an article on George's sister, Nobuyo: A Nisei Woman in Rural Japan. Amerasia Journal: 1997, Vol. 23, No. 3, pp. 183-196. Born in Tacoma, WA, in 1921, moved to Japan in 1935. Michael Jin has this in his paper:

Mary was an American citizen and Nobuyo retained her dual citizenship while Frank obtained exclusively Japanese citizenship to receive graduation certificates from his elementary school. "The Japanese police asked me where I would go, but did not detain me because I looked Japanese," Mary states. However, she continues, "I had to keep a low profile so my American mannerisms and conspicuous speech would not be obvious." Her interpersonal conflict was even more shocking. She suffered from cruel treatment by a Japanese woman for whom she worked as a maid. “Mrs. Sakai used to lord over me and boast about how Japan was winning the war and looked down on me as the enemy.” Nobuyo was actually summoned by the police. "All Nisei living in Japan during the war were monitored by the police," she recalls. "I received a police summons once to appear at the Yanai police station.... I was scared because the police had great power and was suspicious of the Nisei."


From email received:

The drive was through only partly repaired roads, rough and nervewracking. Considerable traffic, slowly moving trucks, and some military vehicles on the highway made progress very slow. On the way we picked up a young man named Yamashita who was working as an interpreter. He is one of the Los Angeles "double citizens" who had returned to Japan before 1941 and had apparently felt that Japan would be winning the war. He had gotten himself well-fixed for a post-war job, had Japan in fact been victorious.


Kunimitsu Yamauchi

Nisei interpreter at Fukuoka POW Camp #17, Omuta; renounced US citizenship in 1942. See Tokyo War Crimes Trials, Case #29.

Toru, Goro, and Donald Yempuku (Empuku)

Per article, MIS Members with Brothers Serving in Japanese Imperial Forces during WWII:

Lieutenant Ralph Yempuku served as Commander of the 2nd Battalion of Detachment 101, Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in Burma, and subsequently in Detachment 202 in Kunming, China. Three of his brothers served in the Imperial Japanese Army.

Yempuku and 17 other Nisei of the 442nd Combat Team were selected to serve as linguists in the OSS. Yempuku’s unit in Burma consisted of Americans, British and several thousand Kachin natives of northern Burma. A Kachin served as Yempuku’s body guard and interpreter and their language of communication, ironically, was Japanese. When Detachment 101 disbanded on July 12, 1945, Yempuku joined OSS Detachment 202 in Kunming, China.

Yempuku had frequently thought of his brothers in Japan. On September 12, 1945 Yempuku was in the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong where he came close to meeting his brother Donald.

Donald, an interpreter for the Japanese Army, walked into the hotel with the Japanese surrender delegation. Donald later told a Nisei interrogator that seeing Ralph in “enemy uniform was the most trying moment in my life. For a brief second I felt the urge to call out but I could not allow myself to do that. I just couldn’t. In my mind the war was still going on and we were enemies.”

The data does not show that Ralph remained for the surrender ceremonies. Following the War, fearing that his family had perished from the atom bomb, Ralph visited Ataka Island near Hiroshima City. He found his mother and father alive and well as all his brothers, Paul, Goro, Donald, Joshu, and Toru. Toru, Goro, and Donald served in the Japanese Army.

Karl Yoneda

Was born in 1906 in Glendale, CA; later lived in Hiroshima; arrested for radical publication in 1926; drafted into Japanese Army but ran away and returned to California; joined American Communist Party in 1927; took the name Karl Hama; placed in Manzanar Relocation Center for a short time; joined with MIS for service in India, Burma and China.

Mary and Alice Yonekura

Interpreters for Occupation Forces in Saga, Kyushu, Japan. Were in Japan during WWII as well? See this file:


Jim Yoshida

Excerpts from The Two Worlds of Jim Yoshida (also at Google Books here):

SYNOPSIS: Life is nothing if not an identity crisis, but few of us have had to face the extreme paradox that Jim Yoshida did. A great paradox requires a great affirmation, and Jim fought hard to make it, succeeding outstandingly finally. Raised in Seattle, a high school football star there, he travelled to Japan with his family in 1941 to return his father's ashes and was caught by the outbreak of war. A student of martial arts, especially Judo, he suddenly found the two dearest sources of his identity in mortal combat with each other. Drafted into the Japanese army, he was carried away weeping and shouting for his mother. Thanks to the harsh treatment of Sergeant Kido, he was not of much use to the Japanese army and never rose far within it. As it turns out, Kido was another nisei, looking after him and making sure he drew no suspicion on the two of them. After the war Yoshida fought long and hard to win back his American identity, serving more usefully in the Korean War, and taking the matter to court. He won the backing of the veteran, Senator Inouye, a significant character reference. The judge simply ruled that he had been a citizen all along, and thanked him for his Korean War service.
At the time I was born in Seattle, the Japanese government laid claim to my allegiance simply because I was the child of Japanese citizens. The law stated that a child is a Japanese if his or her father is a Japanese at the time of his or her birth. This, I learned later, is called the law of jus sanguinis and is practiced by many countries. In 1924, three years after I was born, Japan changed its citizenship laws, largely at the request of Japanese residents of the United States who foresaw complications. The new law stated that a child born of Japanese parents in the United States, Canada and many South American countries no longer would be considered a Japanese subject unless the parents indicated within fourteen days their intention of claiming Japanese citizenship for the child. This meant a child was no longer automatically Japanese. It required a positive act to claim Japanese citizenship. The law also provided that those born prior to 1924, and who consequently possessed dual citizenship, could cancel their Japanese citizenship by filing formal papers. My parents had neglected to do this. Apparently it was just a lot of red tape they didn't understand. And so even though I had known nothing about it, I was legally both Japanese and American. (pp. 59~60)

A few days after the examination I received a red card in the mail. It stated that I had passed my examination and that I was to report to the 42nd Division in Yamaguchi City on the first Sunday of February, 1943. The notice was not unexpected. In fact, even though I dreaded the thought of serving in the Japanese Army-what would I do if I were sent to the South Pacific to fight the Americans?-it was almost a relief to be called and get the suspense over with. (p. 60)

I recalled a New Year's celebration in Seattle when I was only fourteen years old. Dad made it a custom of drinking a toast to the Emperor, shouting three loud banzai's for his long life and good health. There was nothing political about it. It was just Dad's way of paying his respects to an institution that he had been taught to revere and respect. All of us children were expected to take part in the rite, performed in front of a portrait of Emperor Hirohito, but for some reason I had refused on that morning. Perhaps it was teen-age rebellion. Perhaps I was simply expressing my independence. At any rate, I stubbornly shouted that the Emperor meant nothing to me and refused to join in the toast. (p. 61)

"You are still stubborn. I worry about you very much. You must remember that this is Japan, not America, and you are powerless. You must do what you are told to do. In a few weeks you will be in the Army. in the service of the Emperor whether you like it or not. The important thing is that you come back sound of mind and body. It is all very well to stand on principle, as you did back in Seattle on that New Year's Day so long ago, but principle will not mean a thing if you are imprisoned, or perhaps executed, for insubordination. Remember, the military knows no law. To die in battle is one thing. but it is another matter to bring shame to the Yoshida name. I know you will have a very difficult time in the Army. but you can endure anything if you make up your mind to do so. You have an excellent constitution, toughened and disciplined by football and judo. Your body will serve you well if you will only toughen your mind and spirit in the same manner. And don't worry about your mother and sisters. They will be all right. You will be in our thoughts always. Son, take good care of yourself."

This is the gist of what she said and I think I quote her accurately. There was still a communications barrier between us through the fact that her English was halting and my Japanese only rudimentary. We could talk easily about the ordinary, everyday, housekeeping type matters. But when it came to discussing philosophical and moral concepts like honor and responsibility, I could only guess at the meaning of her words. Mom was not accustomed to revealing her feelings, so I knew she spoke from the heart, and I sensed rather than understood the precise import of what she said that day.

I had many occasions to think about her admonitions. What did she mean by the importance of not bringing shame to the Yoshida name? How did she expect me to behave? As an American? As a Japanese? Honor meant as much in the United States as it did in Japan, I knew.

These thoughts always ended up with the question as to what I would do if by some great misfortune I should meet, face to face, friends like Pete and Mud and Joe on the field of battle. They were almost like brothers. They would be in American uniforms, serving their country. I would be in Japanese uniform through circumstances beyond my control. Would they shoot me? Would I shoot them? Would I shoot other Americans who were simply nameless boys like those I had played football againstand with? I had no answers except this: If I met Pete and Mud and Joe, I could not hurt them. I would let them kill me before I pointed a weapon in their direction and pulled the trigger. Of this I had no doubt whatever. (pp. 62~63)
Re his citizenship restored:
Judge Wiig rendered his "decision" nearly two months later, on December 4, 1953. He reviewed the case in a fivepage document which was delivered, most undramatically, through the mail. Miho summoned me to his office and we went through the decision together. The news I had been waiting for was contained in two totally unemotional sentences:

"The defendant offered no evidence proving expatriation, and has failed to rebut the presumption that plaintiff's service in the Japanese Army was involuntary... It is the opinion of the Court that plaintiff's conscription into the Japanese Army under the circumstances of this case was not his free and voluntary act within the meaning of Section 401 (c) of the Nationality Act of 1940 and that his service in the Japanese Army did not cause him to lose his status as a national of the United States."...

On April 16, 1954, Judge Wiig took the most unusual step of assembling all parties to Civil Suit No. 1257 in his court· room to hear his "judgment." With Mr. Miho at my side, I stood to hear Judge Wiig intone the unforgettable words:

"Now, therefore, it is ordered, adjudged and decreed as follows: That the plaintiff Katsumi Yoshida was born at Seattle, Washington, on July 28, 1921, of parents born in Japan. At all times since his birth, plaintiff has been and he now is a national and a citizen of the United States of America with all the rights, privileges and immunities of such a citizen. The plaintiff, Katsumi Yoshida, did not lose his United States citizenship by virtue of or because of his service in the Japanese Army from February, 1943, to July, 1946." (p. 253)

Good article, Jim Yoshida's Strange, Strange Story of Divided Patriotism from Black Belt magazine, May 1974.

Asian American Autobiographers: A Bio-bibliographical Critical Sourcebook has piece on Jim Yoshida.

Also mentioned in 日 本軍兵士になったアメリカ人たち 母国と戦った日系二世, chap. 2 (Americans who became soldiers of Japanese military - Nisei who fought against their motherland).

Assorted Notes

Nisei mentioned in Our House Divided by Tomi Knaefler (1991):

Fumiye Miho p. 36~
Asami kids - Kinichi and Jane p. 49~; Harold - died on Asama Maru; Morris and Alice
Muriel Chiyo Tanaka p. 60~
Isamu Shimogawa (POW) p. 63~
Yempuku kids - Toru p. 78~; Goro p. 79~; Paul p. 81~; Donald p.85~
Florence Honda p. 85
Albert Miyasato p. 97~
Robert Fujiwara p. 107~
Kazuyuki Yamamoto, an Issei, with good comments p. 115~

Nisei who lost citizenship due to their voting in elections in 1946 and 1947; later citizenship restored via court cases (p. 370, 372); from The Bamboo People by Frank Chuman (1976):

Etsuko Arikawa
Miyoko Tsunashima
Hatsuye Ouye
Haruko Furuno
Haruko Kai
Harumi Seki
Fumi Rokui
Fujiko Furusho
Akio Kuwabara
Hichino Uyeno
Kikukuro Okumura (Okamura?) - or is this the Kiyokura Okimura below??
Teruo Naito
Minoru Furuno
Fusae Yamamoto
Hisao Murata
Yukio Yamamoto

p. 281~
William Ishikawa
Noboru Kato
Paul Nobuo Tatsuguchi? p. 266

Names of men from Chapter 2:
Ben Saito - hit by friendly fire
Henry Yasuda
Mike Iwasaki - kamikaze pilot

NOTE: Names can be looked up in Japanese American history: an A-to-Z reference from 1868 to the present.

Mentioned in Nisei POW on Saipan:

ISHIDA, Charles - Age about 35, from State of Washington. Broadcaster for Radio Tokyo.
KUWABARA, Mitsugi - From Alberta, Canada. Radio monitor on Saipan, March-July 1944.
NAKANO, Aiko - From Arizona. Worked for "Japan Times."
NAKASHIMA, Miss ? - From Canada. Radio monitor in Japanese War Ministry.
SATO, Minoru - From B.C., Canada. Radio monitor on Saipan (March-July 1944).
SHIMOGAWA, Isamu - From Hawaii. Radio monitor on Saipan, (March-July 1944).
SHIRAKAWA, Takeshi - From B.C., Canada. Radio monitor on Saipan (March-July 1944).
SUYAMA, Miss ? - Canadian. About 27. Broadcaster for Radio Tokyo.

From Nisei Linguists (McNaughton, GPO, 2007):

Some Nisei who had served in the Japanese Army in the 1930s subsequently returned to the United States, even though foreign military service cost them their U.S. citizenship. One was Terry Takeshi Doi, who regained his U.S. citizenship and earned the Silver Star as an interpreter with the 3d Marine Division on Iwo Jima. John Weckerling, “Japanese Americans Play Vital Role in United States Intelligence Service in World War II ” (1946), first printed in Hokubei Mainichi, 27 Oct–5 Nov 71, reprinted as a pamphlet. Harrington, Yankee Samurai, p. 276. Another was Karl Yoneda, who was born in California and sent to Japan, where he was conscripted into the Japanese Army. In 1927 he escaped and returned to America. He volunteered for the MIS and later served in China-Burma-India.

See Roger Mansell's file (guam war trials.wpd) re these men:

Worst collaborator was Shinohara, Ben Cook and A Ozone. (Who was Ozone?)
All agreed the worst collaborators were T. Shinohara, Mrs. K. Sawada, J. K. Shimizu and D. K. Takano.
Thomas Cruz Oka - charges of collaboration dismissed.

Nisei aboard the Yamato battleship; mentioned in A Glorious Way to Die: The Kamikaze Mission of the Battleship Yamato by Russell Spurr (2010): Kunio Nakatani (Sacramento, CA), Kuramoto (from Santa Monica, CA), Shigeo Yamada (Idaho).

Bozo Wakabayashi, baseball player -- see this book by Fitts.

Mary Muroya Yamagata in Manchuria -- this book

Fumio Kido -- lots of refs here

Nisei born and raised in Pasadena, CA, until going to Japan in 1936, later serving in Japanese Navy as an ensign; interesting comments re communication problems with Japanese language (PDF excerpt)

P/W 1458


Because there has been considerable discussion of the issue of loyalty of persons of so-called "dual citizenship" in the present war, this report of interrogation of an American-born Japanese P/W, who volunteered to serve as a radio monitor in Japan, is being reproduced. P/W was captured 9 July 1944 on Saipan and interrogated in the U.S.A. 31 March 1945. Information given is considered truthful on civil matters but unreliable as regards military.
      Opinion of U.S. Broadcasts. Evaluation of Japanese Medical Services. Temporary Workers. Uniforms Worn by Radio Monitors. Pay of Radio Monitors. Pay of Regular Army Men in Overseas Service.
See here for the rest of the report: Nisei POW.

Is this the same??
Just posted this about a Nisei who worked for the IJN as a radio monitor and interpreter on I-8. Sad sad story he relates. I wonder what became of him, and other Nisei like him.

I imagine SCAP hired him after the war... with immunity. Like a bunch of other guys.

This site bring up the story:

And his name is on a memorial thing here:

50,000 Nisei in Japan

Gentlemen of Japan: a study in rapist diplomacy by Violet Sweet Haven (1944):

A number of leading American-born Japanese in . responsible government positions co-operated in the development of the ... Japanese figures show that in 1937 there were 50,000 American citizens of Japanese ancestry residing in Japan. ...

In May 1937 Japan was campaigning to induce some 50,000 American-born Japanese to return to the US per McClatchy:

Race war: white supremacy and the Japanese attack on the British ... - Page 131 - by Gerald Horne (2004)

15 Caught up in the frenzy of distaste for white supremacy, one Japanese general inquired, "Why should the United ... that "over 50000 boys and girls... returned" to Japan proper.22 A few months later, "75 American- born youths of ...

Stats re Nisei in J-military here in Michele Malkin's book - 1,648 (official J-Govt figure) or as high as 7,000; these figures from John J. Stephan, "Hijacked by Utopia: American Nikkei in Manchuria" and his book, Hawaii Under the Rising Sun.

From Nisei Linguists (PDF), with footnotes:

As war approached, many Americans became increasingly suspicious of the loyalty of the Nisei regardless of the evidence of assimilation of American values. Many white Americans found support for their suspicions in the tangle of U.S. and Japanese laws that left many Nisei with dual citizenship, claiming this as proof of loyalty to the emperor. The truth was more complicated. Until 1924 Japan automatically extended citizenship to children born abroad of Japanese nationals. After 1924 the parents had to register their children with the local consulate for Japanese citizenship. Many Issei, denied U.S. citizenship themselves, took this simple step for their children. Realizing that their antagonists could use dual citizenship as propaganda, Nisei leaders seized the issue as yet another way to demonstrate their loyalty. They encouraged and assisted Nisei to file with Japanese consulates the necessary paperwork to revoke their Japanese citizenships. Nevertheless, the War Department was sufficiently concerned about the issue that in the spring of 1941 the Military Intelligence Division (MID) recommended that Congress allow individuals to clarify their status simply by swearing an oath of allegiance to the United States in naturalization court.22

Moreover, some suspected that Japan was conscripting American-born Nisei to serve in the Imperial Japanese Army. In 1940 Senator Guy M. Gillette (D-Iowa) even charged that Japan was conscripting Nisei for espionage, which the JACL vigorously protested. Nisei visiting Japan in the 1930s indeed risked conscription while in Japan, but there is no evidence that Nisei in Hawaii or on the mainland were being conscripted. Nevertheless, this accusation circulated widely.23

For the U.S. government and most white Americans, Nisei loyalty remained an open question. In the autumn of 1941 the White House secretly dispatched an investigator to make an independent assessment of the “Japanese problem.” After conferring with Army and Navy intelligence and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Curtis B. Munson reported that the Nisei were “approximately ninety-eight percent loyal.” “The Nisei,” he concluded, “are pathetically eager to show this loyalty. They are not Japanese in culture. They are foreigners to Japan.” 24

Another aspect of the Nisei culture that raised suspicion was their Japanese language schools. Like other immigrants, Issei parents set up private language schools so their children could learn something of the Japanese language and culture. Typically these schools held classes one hour each afternoon after the public schools let out, as well as on Saturday mornings. Caucasian Americans pointed to these schools as one more example of how even the children of Japanese immigrants were being indoctrinated into Japanese culture and loyalty to the emperor.25 In fact, these schools did little to inculcate Japanese values in the Nisei and even less in teaching the language. For most Nisei it reinforced their sense of.....

22 Frank F. Chuman, The Bamboo People: The Law and Japanese Americans (Chicago: Japanese American Citizens League, 1981), pp. 167–68; Murphy, Ambassadors in Arms, pp. 17–24; “Dual Citizenship,” in Encyclopedia of Japanese American History, rev. ed., ed. Brian Niiya, (New York: Facts on File, 2001); Okihiro, Cane Fires, pp. 201–04; Tamura, Americanization, Acculturation, and Ethnic Identity, pp. 84–88. For War Department memos on the issue of dual citizenship in 1941, see Security-Class Gen Corresp, 1926–1946, Far Eastern Br, Ofc of the Dir of Intel G–2, RG 165, NARA. To avoid complications, some Nisei renounced their Japanese citizenship before they traveled to Japan. Richard Sakakida’s mother did this in the summer of 1941 on behalf of her son after he secretly enlisted in the Army and was sent to the Philippines. Richard Sakakida and Wayne S. Kiyosaki, A Spy in Their Midst (Lanham, Md.: Madison Books, 1995), pp. 137–38.

23 Pacific Citizen, Jan 41, p. 1. For a discussion of Nisei serving in the Japanese Army before the war, see John J. Stephan, Hawaii under the Rising Sun: Japan’s Plans for Conquest after Pearl Harbor (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1984), pp. 35–37, 44; and John J. Stephan, “Hijacked by Utopia: American Nikkei in Manchuria,” Amerasia Journal 23, no. 3 (Winter 1997–1998): 23–24, note 168.
During the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, a number of Issei returned home from Hawaii to serve in the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy, which may have been the source of white American concerns in 1940–1941. See Stephan, Hawaii under the Rising Sun, p. 15; Franklin Odo and Kazuko Sinoto, A Pictorial History of the Japanese in Hawaii, 1885–1924 (Honolulu: Bishop Museum, 1985), p. 206.
For the autobiography of a California-born Nisei who was conscripted into the Japanese Army, see Iwao Peter Sano, One Thousand Days in Siberia: The Odyssey of a Japanese-American POW (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1997). Some Nisei who had served in the Japanese Army in the 1930s subsequently returned to the United States, even though foreign military service cost them their U.S. citizenship. One was Terry Takeshi Doi, who regained his U.S. citizenship and earned the Silver Star as an interpreter with the 3d Marine Division on Iwo Jima. John Weckerling, “Japanese Americans Play Vital Role in United States Intelligence Service in World War II ” (1946), first printed in Hokubei Mainichi, 27 Oct–5 Nov 71, reprinted as a pamphlet. Harrington, Yankee Samurai, p. 276. Another was Karl Yoneda, who was born in California and sent to Japan, where he was conscripted into the Japanese Army. In 1927 he escaped and returned to America. He volunteered for the MIS and later served in China-Burma-India.

24 Murphy, Ambassadors in Arms, pp. 31–32; Greg Robinson, By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2001), pp. 65–72.

25 “Japanese-language Schools,” in Encyclopedia of Japanese American History; Murphy, Ambassadors in Arms, pp. 8–11; Okihiro, Cane Fires, pp. 153–56; Toyotomi Morimoto, Japanese Americans and Cultural Continuity: Maintaining Language and Heritage (New York: Garland, 1997).

The National Defense Migration Hearings (excerpts in this PDF) mentions the 50,000 in a few places (figure first appears early 1937 perhaps?):
Another Japanese organizational activity which is worth noting is the Kibei Shimin movement. The Kibei Shimin movement was sponsored by Japanese Association of America and had as its policy the encouragement of the return to America from Japan of American-born Japanese. At the time the movement commenced it was ascertained that there were around 50,000 American-born Japanese in Japan. The Japanese Association of America sent representatives to Japan to confer with prefectural officials on the problems of financing and transportation, and a policy of publicity to induce these Japanese to return to America. The Japanese Association of America also arranged with the steamship companies for special rates for groups of 10 or more returning to America and requested all Japanese associations to secure employment for returning American-born Japanese. In addition, they printed leaflets and sponsored lectures throughout Japan to urge American-born Japanese to return to this country. That this campaign was successful in securing the return of a large number of American-born Japanese is apparent.

Likewise, through the years there have been what are known as Kibei Shimin, meaning those who are the sons or daughters of a United States citizen, one who was born in the United States of Japanese forebears who have returned to Japan. There are instances where, if the parent was a United States citizen, even if they were born in Japan, they would be entitled, under our immigration laws, to be considered as a citizen of the United States, provided before reaching the age of 18 they have come here, probably at the age of 14, to be educated and continue forth and declare themselves a United States citizen.

In this group there are many thousands. The exact number we are not in a position to say. But we do know, according to the Japan foreign office announcement, that there were about 50,000 of these Kibei Shimin. Many thousands of them returned to the State of California and to Hawaii and there they became a part of and partially responsible for the conditions that existed at the time that the 1924 Exclusion Act was passed. Those particular individuals, being foreign in ideas and background and purposes and so forth, have created a very bad situation so far as the native-born American-Japanese citizen is concerned, who was born here and educated here, because by their actions and conduct they have indicated their lack of loyalty to this country. There may be Japanese who are loyal to this country, yet there is no way of proving that loyalty.
The Japan Foreign Office has recently urged the return of 50,000 "Kibei Shimin," now in Japan, to California and other Pacific coast States, where their American citizenship can be of most service. The Japanese Association of America is promoting the movement. "Kibei Shimin" are Japanese born in the United States and sent back in early childhood to Japan and there trained through youth to maturity in the duties and loyalty of Japanese citizenship. "Kibei Shimin" are received without question into full membership by the Japanese American Citizens' League. (Osaka Mainichi, March 19, 1937. C. J. I. C. Doc. No. 506.)
Many American-born children are sent to Japan in early childhood for education, and when they return are practically alien Japanese, frequently speaking no English. There were about 50,000 of these Kibei Shimin in Japan until recently, when the passage of the 1940 American nationality law, presuming expatriation of those who have been in the country of their parents for more than 6 months was passed. To avoid losing their American citizenship under this law many of them are scurrying back before the deadline in the middle of July. After that time they will be in grave danger of losing it.
The following facts in connection with the California situation are of interest: The Japanese American Citizens League, a powerful organization with approximately 50 chapters in the Paeific States, has for its main proclaimed purpose the training of American-born Japanese so that they may properly discharge their obligations as American citizens. The league admits to membership without question, however, all Japanese born under our flag, many if not most of whom, it would seem, still retain Japanese citiz.enship. It even admits the Kibei Shimin, Japanese born here and sent in early childhood to Japan and there brought up to manhood and womanhood as Japanese citizens. They are, to all intents and purposes when they return here, alien Japanese immigrants who have the privileges of American citizenship. Japanese authorities place the total number of Kibei Shimin at between 40,000 and 50,000 and say they are returning now at the rate of 1,000 per year. The Japanese Association of America is planning to bring back at once to California all the Kibei Shimin still in Japan who will come.
DeWitt in his Final Report has this, cutting the figure down by 30,000, which agrees with the Zaibei Nihonjinshi in 1940:
The Kibei Shimin movement was sponsored by the Japanese Association of America. Its objective for many years had been to encourage the return to America from Japan of American-born Japanese. When the movement started it was ascertained that there were about 20,000 American-born Japanese in Japan. The Japanese Association of America sent representatives to Japan to confer with Prefectural officials on the problems of financing and transportation. The Association also arranged with steamship companies for special rates for groups of ten or more so returning, and requested all Japanese associations to secure employment for returning American-born Japanese.

During 1941 alone more than 1,573 American-born Japanese entered West Coast ports from Japan. Over 1,147 Issei, or alien Japanese, re-entered the United States from Japan during that year.
At the end of the war, a census conducted by the US Consulate in Yokohama showed that there were 15,000 Nisei residing in Japan. For more information on the Kibei, see this WRA article, Japanese Americans educated in Japan: The Kibei.

From Report on Japanese Activities:

Investigation has revealed that a number of Nisei (first generation American-born Japanese) have returned to Japan at the insistence of these Japanese military and naval organizations to serve in the Japanese Army.

In the Japanese magazine Japan-to-America (Japan and America) edited in the United States but printed in Japan and sent to the United States for distribution, in the issue of January 1941, is an article stating:

In view of the latest Japanese-American relations and in anticipation of the enactment of the peacetime conscription law in America, many Japanese parents, fearing their sons' pointing guns against their parents' country, have sent their sons back to Japan, where available manpower is sorely needed.

Rishin Nakamura, second son of Nazaemon Nakamura, of San Francisco, Calif., was made a sub-lieutenant in the Japanese Army Medical Corps after graduating from the Showa Medical School in Tokyo. Donald Seichi Murata went to the army in January 1941. He is a graduate of Waseda University in Tokyo and was a radio announcer in the international department of the Japanese Broadcasting Society of Tokyo. He is the third son of Ryuichi Murata, principal of the Manao Japanese Language School in Honolulu, Hawaii.

In Los Angeles several months ago some Nisei applied for United States passports so that they could return to Japan. They stated they had been called up to serve in the Japanese Army. When they were informed that American passports were no longer issued for travel to Japan, they remarked that they were going to Japan, passport or no passport, and were going to serve in the Japanese Army even if it meant the loss of their American citizenship. These are probably not the only instances of such feelings on the part of the Nisei in the United States.

From the National Japanese American Veterans Council, George Yoshinaga relates right at the end of the war his conversation with two Nisei in Okayama, Japan, who had repatriated from Tule Lake:

George Yoshinaga

As the troop ship S.S. Pennant slowly docked at the port in Yokohama about three weeks after peace in the Pacific War was declared, I stood on the top deck of the vessel and peered down at the Japanese men working on the wharf and thought to myself, "I finally made it. I'm finally going to set foot on Japanese soil."

These thoughts crossed my mind because who would have imagined when I was growing up that a war would make it possible for me to finally enter the country where my immigrant parents originated from.

A fellow GI, a Caucasian youth spit towards the men below.

One of the Japanese men glared up and bellowed "bakayaro."

Of course, the GI didn't know what the man was saying so he laughed and waved at him.

I moved away and grabbed my equipment to prepare to disembark from the vessel. We were loaded into a truck and we rumbled away from the pier.

None of us knew where we were going. There were a dozen other Nisei in the group, all of us members of the U.S. Army Counter-Intelligence-Corp.

When we arrived at our destination, we learned that we were at Camp Zama about thirty miles from Tokyo.

En route, I was amazed at the sight which we witnessed from the back of the truck. People, men, women and children were wandering along the road aimlessly with the bombed out wreckage of the city as the background.

At Zama we were moved into tents because there were no buildings large enough to hold the troops.

And, we still had to dine on C and K rations since there were no mess halls set up to feed the troops.

Our stay was short, however, as each of us were assigned to units throughout Japan. Two other Nisei and I were ordered to Okayama in Central Japan.

Living conditions were better there since the Army took over houses belonging to the Japanese because as members of the CIC we did not have to live at the military housing set up by the Army.

As CIC personnel, our work was vastly different from those of the regular GIs who were members of infantry units whose main job was to maintain law and order in the area.

Using our Japanese language skills, we were assigned to interrogate former Japanese military officers in an effort to take into custody those who were considered to be on the "wanted list" by the U.S. Army.

On one assignment we took into custody a high ranking naval officer who was alleged to have been part of the Pearl Harbor attack. We turned him over to the proper Occupation Forces department in Osaka.

While the Nisei had official duties as members of the Occupation Forces, there are two experiences that I, and other Nisei in the military, encountered that is a story which has never been told but we encountered while stationed in Japan. The first was the face-to-face encounters with the native Japanese.

We quickly learned that almost all of the native Japanese were completely ignorant about Japanese Americans.

Their confusion about Japanese Americans was compounded by the fact that we were serving in the U.S. Military as part of the Occupation Forces.

As I moved around on my official duties, the most frequently asked question was "ana ta was Nihonjin desuka?" (Are you really Japanese.)

When I explained that my parents immigrated to America and I was born there, therefore I was classified as an American, they seemed just as puzzled.

Some comprehended my explanation but many were befuddled.

When told of my parents were from Japan, the next question usually was, (in Japanese of course) "where in Japan did they live before going to America?"

"Kumamoto," I would tell all of them.

During these give and take discussions, the tension between us seem to lighten considerably.

Some of the Japanese even invited me to come to their home and have dinner. It was an invitation I did not accept but in retrospect, regretted that I didn't because it would have been an educational experience for me to learn about the Japanese and what their lives were like during the height of the Pacific War.

Of course, during my seven month tour of duty in Japan I did become friends with a few Japanese but most were hired by the Occupation Forces to work with us in various capacities.

The other experience which I encountered but which was equally veiled in mystery involves those Japanese Americans who repatriated to Japan during the war, most from Tule Lake which was converted from a relocation camp into a segregation center for those desiring to go to Japan.

I spotted two of them while riding in my jeep in downtown Okayama. They were easy to distinguish from the native Japanese simply by the way they were dressed. They wore their flannel plaid shirt and blue jeans and leather boots, the style of clothing most of us wore when we were in camp before entering the U.S. Army.

Initially, I was hesitant about making contact with them because I did not know what their reaction would be in meeting a follow Nisei in an Army uniform. About the third time I saw them on the street, I stopped my jeep and said, "hey guys, what going on?"

They were surprised that I addressed them in English.

"How come you didn't speak Japanese to us," one of them responded. "How did you know we were not Japanese Japanese?"

I explained about their clothing.

We laughed about it "Yeah, these were the only clothes we brought along."

During the conversation, I learned that life was tough for the repatriates because life condition in Japan was terrible and it was tough to adjust to things like food shortages land poor housing because of the damage inflicted by U.S. Air Force bombing raids.

Both of the fellows I talked to said they were 17 years old.

"If we knew what it was going to be like, we would probably have refused to repatriate and part with our Issei parents who were determined to return to Japan."

"We hope that we can return to America one day," they both lamented.

I also learned that one of the determining factors in their families to repatriate was that everyone seem to agree that Japan was going to win the war and life would be better for Japanese Americans in Japan.

"Man, that was a lot of crock," one of them said.

In an effort to lift their morale, I said "well since both of your were minors when you left Tule Lake, when all the turmoil is settled, it may become possible to return because, after all, you are still U.S. citizens and were too young to have made the decision that your parents made for you."

"Do you really think so?" they said in unison.

I explained that I had heard something about this from some knowledgeable people. "Man, I hope you're right."

I told them that my sister repatriated from Tule and was living in Kumamoto and her son, (my cousin) was trying to volunteer to join the U.S. Army and that things were going pretty well.

They both looked at each other and said, "hey, maybe when we turn 18 we might try to go that route."

We then parted company. As I drove away from them I looked in the rear view mirror and saw them smiling and waving goodbye.

To this day, I wonder if they ever did make it back to the good old U.S.A.

And this is the story about the Nisei and the Occupation of Japan that should be told to the Japanese Americans who might have wondered happened to all those who gave up on America and journeyed across the Pacific to a land they had never seen before.

From The Nisei Coming to Japan (by ????, year ????):

In 1934, Foreign Minister Koki Hirota delivered a speech to the members of the cabinet and the several hundred industrial leaders of Japan, seeking their support for Nisei education in Tokyo and the establishment of an educational institution to prepare the Nisei with the prerequisites necessary for entering a recognized college in Japan. Hirota stated, “it is the policy of the government to look after the welfare of our countrymen’s education whether they are abroad or at home in the light of the relation of our nation to the other countries and the effect bearing upon our foreign relationship.” He continued as follows:

Second generation Japanese born on a foreign soil and who [have] never seen Japan are often in a position where they may lose their affection for their parents through the difference in environment and culture and that of their parents’ education or the difference in language. Added to this, oppression by the people of that country may cause the individual to lose his self-respect... I suggest that the second generation Japanese be given an opportunity to visit our country, obtain a supplementary or intermediate education to fit the needs of the individual, to come [in] direct contact with the spirit of Japan, to realize the true value of Japan and the Japanese race.

Hirota explained that the Japanese government had always taken into consideration the social and economic condition of the country in which Japanese resided. They were spreading forth the Japanese culture in order that “they [might] be good Japanese subjects or faithful citizens of their adopted country—that they [might] well contribute to the culture of the world as the tie that binds the friendship bonds between the two nations.” (Rafu Shimpo, February 25, 1934) Hirota extended the Japanese race to include the Nisei. The practical purpose behind the Japanese government’s aid was helped by the political climate of the time. In addition to the developments in the transportation system, Japan’s secession from the League of Nations demanded a stable bi-national foreign policy. As one response to this situation, it is likely that as one of many sources the Nisei were expected to contribute as go-betweens of Japan and the U.S.
In general, the parents who sent their children to study in Japan seem to have counted on their Japan-educated Nisei to fall back on when their careers in the U.S. ended in failure or in anticipation of returning to Japan. At the same time, being able to send their children to college in Tokyo was probably a proud achievement for most parent(s), and hence had some driving force in sending their children to Japan. Also, the Issei were seeking a realistic way to narrow the linguistic and cultural as well as generational gap between themselves and their children.

Imperial Japan at Its Zenith: The Wartime Celebration of the Empires 2,600th Anniversary by Kenneth J. Ruoff (2010)
Remarks re Nisei: Kumamoto p169 and Murokuma p170

Nisei interpreters at Omuta and Yahata POW camps?

Mentioned by Terrence Kirk:

Maybe this interpreter:

POW Language Use, Nagasaki, 1944-45

My sociolinguistics professor in grad school once opined that the best place to learn a foreign language was in a foreign prison. I assume he was thinking of the advantages of a complete immersion environment, total physical response methodology, and very rigorous incentive structures.

He must have been at least half serious, because he later applied for a grant to fund an audacious experiment to see what innate linguistic structures might emerge in an isolated, silently administered camp whose workers were recruited in equal numbers from communities speaking languages of a full range of word-order typologies and in minimal prior contact with typologically different languages. I believe the granting agency’s Committee on Human Experimentation nixed the proposal, for reasons one can well understand.

What makes me recall this is the abundance of fascinating bits of data about foreign language learning in prison that I’ve been finding in one of the books I’m currently reading, First into Nagasaki: The Censored Eyewitness Dispatches on Post-Atomic Japan and Its Prisoners of War, by George Weller (1907-2002), ed. by Anthony Weller (Three Rivers, 2006). Here are some of the insights of the reporter and the prisoners themselves, arranged under a few general headings.

Incentive Structure

Tervald Thorpson (Wadena, Iowa): “I managed to go a whole year without being beaten. Americans worked hard in the mine, but some had difficulty learning Japanese, and misunderstanding commands got them beatings.” (p. 97)

Sergeant Robert Aldrich (Capitan, New Mexico): “I was in the mine ever since it opened, but I was more fortunate than most because I learned Japanese, thus avoiding beatings due to misunderstanding.” (p. 101)


Oscar Otero of Los Lunas, a husky New Mexican captured on Bataan, learned Japanese by being chauffeur to a colonel. By refusing to allow him to talk any Filipino [?], the Japanese furnished the coal mine prisoners with their ablest unofficial interpreter. (p. 88)

Bilingual Assistants

Dark-skinned Junius Navardos (Los Angeles): “Pressure in the mine caused me to pass out once while working. When I came around in the hospital I found myself with burned patches all over my skin. The boys told me that the burns had been made by an American-educated interpreter, Yamamuchi [Yamaguchi], whom we called Riverside because he was brought up there. Asked whether he had done the burning, the interpreter told the doctor, ‘Yes, I did this, because I thought he was feigning.’”

Leland Sims (Smackover, Arkansas): “Many guards could speak English. One who we called Long Beach, because he was educated there, caught me smoking and said, ‘It’s all right with me, but don’t let the other guards catch you.’” (p. 96)

Japanese for Special Purposes

Corporal James Brock (Taft, Texas): “I was most often overworked by a boss we called Shitbird, usually with a hammer handle or a mairugi—that’s a small timber [丸木 maruki 'round wood = log'?]. He hit everybody who passed him, whether you belonged to his shift or not. I’m sorry he’s disappeared since the camp was liberated.” (p. 86)

Henry Sublett of Cisco, Texas, a Marine captured on Corregidor: “I was down with pneumonia and worked in the mine both after and before. Our first Buntai Joe [分隊長 buntaichō 'squad leader'], or overseer, used to be drunk all the time and beat me every day for my first three months. He always used to the day start off with a few savas [サービス = sābisu 'freebie']—meaning ‘gifts’—of blows.” (p. 88)

Runge, captured at Singapore, was “an old Aussie,” which means he arrived at the Mitsui camp and entered the coal mine in June 1944, joining the Bataan and Corregidor Americans who had already been toiling for nearly a year underground. By February 1945 Runge was instructing “new Aussies” in the use of a jackhammer. He was showing F. R. Willis and Robert Tideswell how to chip rock, the whole party being under an overman named Katu-san [prob. Katō], when three cars carrying coal ran off the rails, causing Katu-san’s temper to do likewise. Saying “Dummy, dummy, that’s no good,” the Japanese promised that he would report Runge for haitis savis [兵隊サービス heitai sābisu 'soldier freebie'], meaning “military gifts”—that is, a beating. (p. 104)

The idea of the camp administrator, Captain Yuri, was that a prisoner’s main and only job was to dig coal for the Japanese, and his only reward for twelve hours’ daily labor should be his salary of three-quarters of a cent daily, plus a yassamai [休み yasumi 'rest'] or rest day every ten days or so. (p. 108)

With the arrival by train from Nagasaki of the first Army-Navy team for the evacuation of Kyushu’s largest prisoner of war camp, the final sinkes [出欠 shukketsu 'attendance, (take) roll'] (Japanese for roll calls [otherwise 点呼 tenko lit. 'point call']) were sounding today over the grimy buildings and meagerly-clad G.I.s. This camp, 1,700 strong—700 being Americans from Bataan and Corregidor—has been thinned already to 1,300 by impatient ex-prisoners, mostly Americans, who have hit the high road for the American airbase at Kanoya in southernmost Kyushu. (p. 92)

So profound is the prisoners’ hatred of Baron Mitsui’s coal mine, the Japanese military police, and the aeso [営倉 eisō] or guardhouse where five Americans have found a violent death, that the entire camp would probably have been deserted had not the Army-Navy team arrived today. Hospitals filled with cases of malnutrition, diarrhea, beriberi, and mutilated men offer special problems. (p. 92)

Graduate Assistants

Pharmacist William Derrick (Leesville, Louisiana): “The Korean straw bosses were decent to us except when the Japs were around, who frightened them.” (p. 96)

Sergeant Wiley Smith (Coushatta, Louisiana): “We looked across the bay toward Nagasaki after emerging from the mine and saw black smoke starting up. The atomic bomb, falling ninety minutes before, had kindled Nagasaki. Our Japanese bosses kept pointing that way and chattering. It was better than Germany’s surrender, which we only heard about from Korean miners.” (p. 91)

Thoughts on Graduation

Navy Cook Laurel Whitworth (Bourne, Texas): “Leaving Japan for me means not having to cook any more dogs to eat. One day I had to cook sixty-nine, another seventy-three, another fifty-five. I hate cooking dogs.” (p. 94)

Also this article:

The terror that ended World War II

Frank Brennan June 24, 2008

Mike Holt
17 Dec 2009

Michael Walzer has no idea what he is talking about. The fact is that the Japanese were planning to completely eliminate up to 15,000 Australian POWs, not to mention the thousands more Americans in custody. Coincidentally, the date was set for 9 August, 1945.

The top secret order was issued by Field Marshal Terauchi. The order directed POW camp commanders to build special machine gun emplacements around the parade grounds. The prisoners were to be assembled as usual, and then gunned to death. Failing this, the camp commanders were to make every effort to completely eliminate the prisoners so that there was no evidence they had ever existed. Only the atomic bomb stopped the massacre.

As well, the Emperor had ordered all Japanese, not just troops, to fight to the death. The ONLY way to get the Japs to see any sense was to show them such overwhelming strength that even the Emperor was forced to accept total capitulation.

Dr Ian Duncan, one of the POW leaders at the Omuta camp about 50 kilometers east of Nagasaki was read the order by the camp interpreter "Riverside" Yamaguchi, who was later executed for war crimes. Dr Duncan reported that Yamaguchi was a "callous man who had seemed to take perverse pleasure in reading the execution order to the camp doctors."

If Allied troops had been forced to fight on Japanese soil, at least half a million men would have died. And for what?

It was far better to drop the atom bombs than to suffer the useless murder of so many young men. Imagine what our lives would have been like if we had lost so many men who later went on to rebuild our countries? Perhaps the inventors of many of the machines and technology we take for granted now would have perished.

Yes, the bombs killed many civilians. But they supported the Emperor and their war mongering military without reservation. They were just as culpable as the most vicious soldier.

As for our Australian PM visiting the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, he was just doing what he does best: playing the politician to curry favor, without any regard for reality, or the feelings of most Australians. He has lost my vote.

日 本軍兵士になったアメリカ人たち 母 国と 戦った日系二世

門池啓史, 元就出版社 (2010/02)
Americans who became soldiers of Japanese military - Nisei who fought against their motherland

神 風特攻隊員になった日系二世
今 村 茂男 (著), 大 島 謙 (翻訳), 草思社 (2003/07)
Nisei who became members of the Kamikaze special attack force

帝 国海軍士官になった日系二世
立 花 譲 (著),  築地書館 (1994/08)
Nisei who became officers in the Imperial Japanese Navy

或 る英雄 日本軍に見捨てられた日系二世
河 崎 明彦 (著), 文芸社 (2009/8/1)
Some heroes: Nisei abandoned by the Japanese military


二つの祖国で日系陸軍情報部 (DVD) 2013/04/26
Nikkei Intelligence Unit with Two Fatherlands - interesting that this term 祖国 (native country) is used

Japanese American history: an A-to-Z reference from 1868 to the present
By Brian Niiya, Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, Calif.)

Search in this work for all instances of "Japanese army" "inducted" etc. Some mentioned are:

Mitsugi Nishikawa p.265 (see above) - DONE
Paul Nobuo Tatsuguchi? p. 266

Interesting history of JACL p.182, starting as American Loyalty League in 1918 (why "loyalty"? perhaps there were disloyals??). First convention was held in 1930 by older nisei to "emphasize loyalty, patriotism and citizenship.

TIME magazine articles, collection either in folder or in emails from 11/11/2006: \J-A Relocation\Scans\TIME articles

Excellent article on the work of some of the Nisei involved in translation and interpreting work during WWII and the Occupation of Japan:

Nisei Role as America’s “Eyes and Ears” Against Japan During War II and as a “Bridge” Between the Two Nations During the Occupation - Part 1
Nisei Role as America’s “Eyes and Ears” Against Japan During War II and as a “Bridge” Between the Two Nations During the Occupation - Part 2

It has been said that the efforts of these brave Nisei in the MIS contributed towards saving a million lives and shortened the war by two years. However, that exaggeration does not hold up to any factual evidence. There were many factors involved, and many other non-Nisei intelligence personnel who were trained in the Japanese language. I'm sure the Allied codebreakers in the Pacific would take offense at such a statement.