PDF Nisei linguists : Japanese Americans in the Military Intelligence Service during World War II

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Army historian James C. McNaughton writes that the MIS Nisei "worked in an astonishing variety of roles to guarantee a peaceful and ultimately successful occupation during which former enemies became close allies. The MIS Nisei post-war efforts would help the United States and Japan move forward to form a strong alliance that holds to the present day. See also Crost, p. Keep tabs on our efforts to preserve and perpetuate this American story of character and values - sign up for our free eTorch newsletter. All rights reserved.

Yamamoto, and Tahoe P. Tagashi check Japanese documents used in the war crimes trials. War Ministry Building, Tokyo, Japan. Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration. Tokyo, Japan.

Japanese Americans In America’s Wars: A Chronology | Japanese American National Museum

September 3, Thank you in advance for your support Please provide us with your complete contact information by checking the "Share my information Nisei Linguists provides a detailed description of the training, the camps, and the field deployments of these servicemen. Illustrated throughout with maps and nearly 80 photographs. James C. McNaughton is command historian for U. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany.

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He previously served as command historian for U. Army Pacific and the Defense Language Institute. Army Reserve with the rank of lieutenant colonel. Convert currency. Add to Basket. Condition: New. New Book. Delivered from our UK warehouse in 4 to 14 business days. Established seller since One of the most dangerous yet valuable services the men of the MIS provided in Okinawa was to persuade people who were hiding in the numerous deep caves on the island to surrender.

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If they did not, the Americans would dynamite the caves to prevent Japanese soldiers from using them as hideouts. During the Battle of Okinawa, the men of Okinawan descent, such as Seiyu Higashi, Jiro Arakaki, and Shiney Gima, would often ask for permission to search for their parents or relatives in the mountains or civilian compounds. Throughout the war these linguists were often present at the most critical encounters—both military and diplomatic—between Japanese and American forces.

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MIS personnel had the greatest impact in the Pacific Theater where they participated in every major battle and campaign against Japan. Throughout their experiences, they confronted their dual identity as American citizens of Japanese ethnicity, fighting to prove their loyalty against the country of their parents. Numerous soldiers had family members within the incarceration camps, while others knew of relatives still residing in Japan. When the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima on August 6 and on Nagasaki on August 9, , all but ending the war, many Nisei experienced mixed emotions, as many had family members still living in these two Japanese cities.

Japanese American Soldiers in the US Army During WW2 - Military Training Film - 1943

According to Nisei veteran Hideo Uto, the "tremendous task of occupying the Japanese homeland" fell upon linguists skilled in communicating in Japanese, including second-generation Japanese Americans who were put to work in all phases of the occupation program and in all parts of Japan. In addition to issues related to public welfare and the rebuilding of cities, they were also responsible for the demobilization of Japanese military personnel from various overseas posts in Siberia.

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Another important concern for American forces was the arrest and prosecution of Japan's military leaders—a task which also involved Nisei personnel. Many Nisei participated in the prosecution of the individuals housed in Sugamo Prison during the war trials that began in December and lasted until In addition to working directly with Japanese and Japanese officials, many Nisei officers were assigned as language aides and cultural liaisons to key General Headquarters GHQ officers. Administrative matters also constituted an important concern for American forces as a new Japanese constitution needed to be written.

MIS graduate George Koshi became intimately involved in this historic undertaking, which forever renounced war as a "sovereign right of the nation. To maintain internal security, the constitution provided for a national Police Reserve force, which came about with the assistance of MIS personnel such as Raymond Aka.

Further, members of the MIS, including Shiro Tokuno and Shigehara Takahashi, participated in the implementation of the compulsory agrarian land law throughout Japan in October This revolutionary piece of legislation remanded nearly six million acres of farmland to individual farmers and eliminated the prewar rural domination by large landowners.

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During this period of upheaval and reorganization in Japan, two organizations staffed by MIS personnel proved critical to maintaining order. The first, the Civil Censorship Detachment CCD , extracted civil intelligence information from various mass media sources in Japan to monitor and ensure the orderly implementation of occupation policies originating from MacArthur's headquarters in Tokyo.


The CCD was responsible for censoring all forms of Japanese communication. The other important organization in the occupation was the Counter Intelligence Corps, or CIC, which had offices in all major Japanese cities. Several hundred Nisei special agents and investigators worked throughout Japan to detect and prevent subversive activities. According to the dominant literature, the efforts made by Nisei of the MIS during the occupation of Japan contributed to the rebuilding of Japan through the development of personal relationships between Japanese and Americans.