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Our victories, obstacles and leaders

Discover additional specific info on the many links (outlined in "red" or "blue") listed below

  Bruce Lee Montage, click here for more info
Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee was born on November 27, 1940, at the Jackson Street Hospital in San Francisco's Chinatown, while his father was performing with the Cantonese Opera Company in America. It is an incontestable fact that Bruce Lee was a great martial artist. His on and off screen persona oozed with charismatic flair making him one of the most popular action hero's of his time. In death, his popularity seemed only to grow as legends. Bruce trained hard and had objectives for himself. In a letter he wrote, he pledged in 1969 to become the highest paid Asian actor, to become well-known and financially independant by 1980 and to achieve inner harmony and peace. Bruce had goals and ambitions that drove him to levels of physical agility, strength and flexibility that none have been able to compare to as of yet.

Bruce was affected by Hollywood's and American television's lack of respect for Asian actors. He felt that if he remained in the U.S.A., directors and produces wouldn't look on him as a martial artist or an actor; they would rather see an Asian and be blinded by prejudice. Bruce took a sabbatical and went to Hong Kong where he received a hero's welcome. 'The Green Hornet' known as the 'Kato show' in Hong Kong was very popular because of Lee.

His popularity got him the attention of prominent movie producers who begged Bruce to star in their features which he did. From then on the world was introduced to 'The Big Boss a.k.a Fists of Fury', 'The Chinese Connection', 'The Way of the Dragon', and 'Game of Death' which was never completed by Lee


Bruce was affected by Hollywood's and American television's lack of respect for Asian actors. He felt that if he remained in the U.S.A., directors and produces wouldn't look on him as a martial artist or an actor; they would rather see an Asian and be blinded by prejudice. Bruce took a sabbatical and went to Hong Kong where he received a hero's welcome. 'The Green Hornet' known as the 'Kato show' in Hong Kong was very popular because of Lee.

His popularity got him the attention of prominent movie producers who begged Bruce to star in their features which he did. From then on the world was introduced to 'The Big Boss a.k.a Fists of Fury', 'The Chinese Connection', 'The Way of the Dragon', and 'Game of Death' which was never completed by Lee.

"When the opponent expand, I contract, When he contracts, I expand, And when there is an opportunity, I do not hit--it hits all by itself." Opportunity
"True refinement seeks simplicity." Honesty, Men, Truth
"To understand this fully, one must transcend from the duality of 'for' and 'against' into one organic unity which is without distinctions." Miscellaneous
"One great cause of failure is lack of concentration." Excellence, Failure
"Not being tense but ready. Not thinking but not dreaming. Not being set but flexible. Liberation from the uneasy sense of confinement. It is being wholly and quietly alive, aware and alert, ready for whatever may come." Dreams, Life, Men, Military, Monarchy, Reading, Sleeping, War
"Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do." Knowledge, Wisdom
"If you want to do your duty properly, you should do just a little more than that." Desires, Duty, Wants
"If you love life, don't waste time, for time is what life is made up of." Life, Love, Time
"Ideas are the beginning of all achievement." Accomplishment, Achievement, Beginnings, Goals, Men
"Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless--like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash! Be water my friend." Friends
"As long as we separate this 'oneness' into two, we won't achieve realization." Accomplishment, Achievement
"A good teacher protects his pupils from his own influence." Education, Evil, School, Teaching
"A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at." Goals, Intentions
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Chiune "Sempo" Sugihara, Japanese Vice-Consul to Lithuania in 1940, is credited with saving the second largest number of Jews from the Holocaust. (note: Just as Feng Shan Ho did in Vienna!) Haunted by the Jewish refugees outside his consulate in Kaunas, Lithuania, Sugihara was forced to defy his own government's orders, risk his career, and issue life-saving transit visas, or obey orders and turn his back on humanity. Sugihara & his wife worked 16 hours a day for three weeks to save over 40,000 people!

In 1945, Sugihara was captured by the Soviets. He, along with his wife and three children, spent the next 16 months in prison camps in Russia. When he returned to Japan, Sugihara was asked to resign from the diplomatic service, "...for the incident in Lithuania." And forced to take many odd jobs.

In 1984, Yad Vashem recognized Sugihara as "Righteous among the Nations," the highest honor which can be bestowed. Chiune Sugihara passed away in 1986, largely unknown, and unrecognized in his native country. It was not until 1991 that Japan finally apologized to his family. His life was documented in the film "Visas & Virtues."
Working in Alaska

The cannery work season lasted only 2-3 months. Several thousand men were dispatched out of union offices in Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco. Below a group waits on pier 40 to board the ship that will take them north. April 27, 1939. The arrow points to Tony Rodrigo.


Writer Maxine Hong Kingston born in Stockton, CA. Her book, The Woman Warrior, published in 1976, becomes the most widely taught college-level book by a living author.


Immediately after the Pearl Harbor attack, Koreans form the Tiger Brigade under the California National Guard.


Aug. 28, 1940: To comply with the Alien Registration Act, Los Angeles begins to register its estimated 125,000 foreign-born residents at its processing headquarters in San Pedro. Immigrants ranged from Mexicans, Japanese, Chinese, Poles, Finns, Germans, English and Canadians. Many of them had lived in the United States for years, some as long as 20 years. Against the backdrop of war in Europe, the new law required all foreign-born residents over 14 to state their occupation, political beliefs and personal status. d. It also forbade anyone from advocating the overthrow of the government. A fine of $1,000 and six months imprisonment was the penalty for failure to register.


Conscription Law, affecting the drafting of all men age 17 and over into the U.S. military, authorized the President to enact the "Selective Training and Service Act of 1940" to build up the U.S. Military forces for possible war. Approximatedly 5,000 Japanese-American soldiers are drafted in the U.S. armed forces.

In United States v. Masaaki Kuwabara, 27 Nisei (American-born citizens of Japanese ancestry) were arraigned for failing to appear for a draft physical—the first step in the conscription process. Like 120,000 other people of Japanese descent, they had been taken from their U.S. homes after Pearl Harbor and placed in internment camps. This particular group, however, were among those classified as especially “disloyal” and incarcerated behind barbed wire the nearby Tule Lake Segregation Center.

In a copy of the Selective Training and Service Act — the 1940 law (and America’s first-ever peacetime conscription) that required adult men to register with local draft boards— they found something on which to hang the case: The law’s prefatory Declaration of Policy stated that “in a free society the obligations and privileges of military training and service should be shared generally in accordance with a fair and just system of selective…service.” Arguing that the case against the Nisei was neither fair nor just and that they had been deprived of due process, Goodman dismissed the indictment. The 27 men were sent back to Tule Lake. The decision, which was not appealed, was the only one of its kind issued that was favorable to the Japanese-Americans.

(Judge Louis E.) Goodman, who was Jewish, took the opportunity to caution the government against “overzealousness in an attempt to reach, via the criminal process, those whom we may regard as undesirable citizens.” As Eric L. Muller and Daniel K. Inouye write in their book, Free to Die for Their Country: The Story of the Japanese American Draft Resisters in World War II, “Behind this defense of the Tule Lake ‘undesirables’ can be seen the passionate views of an immigrant’s son on the role of tolerance in good American citizenship.” And, it can be said, an inspiration for the passionate views of another Jewish immigrant’s daughter.


Indian Americans begin owning hotels and motels throughout the state. 50 years later they own one third of all motels and hotels in the country. In the 1970's and 1980's, Taiwanese Americans follow into the business.


In his 1937 book "Great Contemporaries," he (Churchill) described Hitler as "a highly competent, cool, well-informed functionary with an agreeable manner . . . . In 1938, he (Churchill) remarked to the press that if England were ever defeated in war, he hoped "we should find a Hitler to lead us back to our rightful position among nations."
With news of the attack on Pearl Harbor, "men girded for action with .45s slung from their hips and folks wielding various sorts of rifles and pistols descended upon the sheriff's office." They came to the Hall of Justice in response to "an erroneous radio request for 250,000 volunteers for the Civilian Defense Council." "Los Angeles was a city alert as every man and woman, electrified by the news that Japan had struck at this country 2,400 miles westward in the Pacific, took his or her stand solidly for total defense." Filipinos in the city gathered in a mass meeting to pledge their loyalty, police were put on 12-hour shifts and the FBI "began taking into custody Japanese aliens." In Little Tokyo, the people "were not excited. But they seemed sad. The area was "surrounded by a cordon of police."

In the event that my motherland (Japan) goes to war in America, just remember that America is your country. Your father and your uncles served in the Japanese Army with honor and I do not want you to return from service in the U.S. Army in discrace."
Richard Sakakida's mother, on the day of his departure for the Philippines

The first U.S. Army language school was founded in 1941 to teach Japanese to American soldiers. Originally known as the
4th Army Intelligence School and based at the Presidio in San Francisco, the language training program later became the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center at the Presidio of Monterey.

While one hand of the Army was removing Japanese-Americans from the West Coast, another was searching for qualified Nisei for its language and intelligence effort.

In San Francisco, the Army opened a small-scale language school in a converted hangar at Crissy Field on the San Francisco Presidio grounds. It hand-picked 58 Nisei for its first class - sitting on apple boxes and orange crates. When the top brass saw its value, the school was transferred to Camp Savage, Minnesota, where it was reorganized as the Military Intelligence Service Language School.

Classes began Nov. 1 of this year, with 60 students, 58 of them nisei. About five weeks later, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, plunging the United States into World War II.

American Stereotypes of
Asians Before WWII
The hostility toward Japanese on the West Coast, coupled with the relocation order, prompted the Army to seek another site for the language school.

The school moved to Camp Savage, Minn., about 25 miles south of Minneapolis, where it changed its name to the Military Intelligence Service Language School. The first language class there started in June 1942; two years later, the school moved to Ft. Snelling in the Minneapolis area.

By war's end, close to 6,000 linguists had graduated from the school. Graduates were assigned not only to the southwestern Pacific area with Gen. Douglas MacArthur's forces, Raugh said, but also to the China-Burma-India theater with Gen. Joseph W. Stillwell's forces, Merrill's Marauders and other allied units. They interrogated prisoners, translated enemy documents and intercepted radio transmissions.

In 1946, the language school moved to the Presidio of Monterey, where it was renamed the Army Language School a year later and added eight or nine other languages to its curriculum.

Shigeya Kihara, the last surviving original instructor of the first U.S. Army language school died on January 16, 2005. Kihara was one of the first four civilian instructors at the original school. Born in Fairfield, between San Francisco and Sacramento, Kihara earned a bachelor's degree in political science from UC Berkeley in 1937 and, after receiving a master's in international relations in 1939, moved to Japan to study and travel. With the advent of WWII, he came back to the U.S. during WWII because of his fear that he would be "stuck" in Japan.

Anti-Semitism was rife among the Allies. Of Franklin Roosevelt, Baker notes that in 1922, when he was a New York attorney, he "noticed that Jews made up one-third of the freshman class at Harvard" and used his influence to establish a Jewish quota there. For years he obstructed help for European Jewry, and as late as 1939 he discouraged passage of the Wagner-Rogers bill, an attempt by Congress to save Jewish children. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain said in 1939 of German treatment of Jews that "no doubt Jews aren't a lovable people. I don't care about them myself." Once the war began, Winston Churchill wanted to imprison German Jewish refugees because they were Germans. What a comfort such leadership must have been to the Nazis, who, according to the New York Times of Dec. 3, 1931, were trying to figure out a way to rid Germany of Jews without "arousing foreign opinion."
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A UC Berkeley professor suggested that he take the job teaching Japanese to soldiers. Kihara reported to the 4th Army Intelligence officer at the Presidio of San Francisco. A week later, Kihara received an appointment to the U.S. Civil Service as a civilian Army employee and instructor in Japanese.

In a 1991 interview with the Herald, Kihara called the government's decision to start the language school "unprecedented." "Heretofore, Japanese Americans were considered second-class citizens, linked to Japan and not to be trusted," he said. "Here they were asked to do something of vital service to the United States, very critical not only for the U.S. Army but for Japanese Americans."

Harold Raugh, command historian of the language center, said of Kihara's involvement with the school: "It was a singularly outstanding contribution to the United States as well as the United States Army, especially during the years of trials and tribulations when we were fighting the Japanese and many Japanese Americans were interred in relocation camps in the United States. "It took incredible strength and conviction when one's family may be interred by a country, to serve that country," Raugh said.


These legendary fliers (a ragtag volunteer force) were the model of U.S.-Chinese friendship, young American pilots who fought for China in World War II that started in September 1941. The pilots were U.S. military men, many fresh from training, sent in secret by President Franklin D. Roosevelt before the United States entered the war. They joined an air force organized for China by Claire Lee Chennault, a retired U.S. Army colonel.

Churchill repeatedly praised Mussolini for his "gentle and simple bearing." In 1927, he told a Roman audience, "If I had been an Italian, I am sure that I should have been entirely with you from the beginning to the end of your victorious struggle against the bestial appetites and passions of Leninism . . . . In the 1930s, U.S. industry was free to sell the Germans and the Japanese whatever they'd buy, including weapons. Not to lose out, the British and French sold tanks and bombers to Hitler . . . . . .
There was no attempt (by the Allies) to contain, isolate, hinder or overthrow Hitler -- not because of naiveté but because of commerce. It was the Depression. There were Germans trying to overthrow Hitler, but the U.S. and Britain and their industries were obstructing that effort.
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The Flying Tigers had fewer than 100 pilots and 55 planes. And it flew for only nine months, until -- after Pearl Harbor and the American entry into the war -- U.S. forces arrived in China in May, 1942, and absorbed the unit. The Flying Tigers fought for the leftists' bitter enemies -- the Nationalists who ruled China in the 1930s and '40s. "The Flying Tigers supported the anti-Japanese war," declared Gen. Wang Dinglie, a retired octogenarian veteran of World War II and the 1949 revolution that ended Nationalist rule on the mainland.

When the Flying Tigers arrived, Japanese bombers were pounding undefended Chinese cities. Japanese forces had captured Shanghai and other coastal cities, forcing the Nationalist government to take refuge in the remote southwestern city of Kunming. The U.S. Air Force credits the Tigers with shooting down 286 Japanese planes, while losing just 12 of their own pilots.

Playing Days
Graduating in 2008

Jack Yoshihara, a Japanese American and a sophomore reserve on Oregon State's football team, was practicing in mid-December 1941, just as he had throughout the season. There was anticipation, with the Beavers preparing to play second- ranked Duke in their first trip to the Rose Bowl game. There was also fear, with the country still reeling from the attack on Pearl Harbor only a week or so earlier.

"I will never forget that day," said George Zellick, a teammate of Yoshihara's. "It was late afternoon. It was drizzling. We noticed two men coming onto the field. They were very well-dressed, wearing overcoats and hats. You could tell they were different people. They met with the coach and, the next thing we new, Jack left with them. It was the first indication that Jack had a problem."

The Beavers went to the Rose Bowl, which had been moved to Durham, N.C., because of the war, and upset Duke. They traveled without Yoshihara, who was not allowed to go to the game, left school and was soon sent to a civilian assembly center in Portland. Oregon State and Duke players went to war after the game. Yoshihara went to the Minidoka internment camp in Idaho. after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the United States Executive Order 9066 in was signed in the spring of 1942 and over 120,000 ethnic Japanese people were uprooted and were held in internment campus for the duration of the war.

This affected the lives of 42 Japanese American Oregon State University students as they were forced to leave campus, most of whom never returned and were unable to complete their degree. Those honored were: Noboru Endow, Raymond Hashitani*, Roy R. Hashitani*, Shigeru Hongo*, Kate Iwasaki*, Masao Kinoshita*, Kay Kiyokawa, Sigeo Kiyokawa*, Taro Miura, Kay Nakagiri, Tom Namba*, Jack Nomi, Todd Tadao Okita*, Lena Kageyama Omari*, Tommy Ouchida, Carl Somekawa, Aiko Sumoge*, Mabel Sadako Takashima*, Masao Tamiyasu*, Edward Ko Yada*, Mary Takao Yoshida, Jack Yoshihara, and Robert Yoshitomi. (*deceased, represented by family)


August 14: In a letter to President Roosevelt, Representative John Dingell of Michigan suggests incarcerating 10,000 Hawaiian Japanese Americans as hostages to ensure "good behavior" on the part of Japan

“They were concentration camps. They called it relocation but they put them in concentration camps, and I was against it.
We were in a period of emergency but it was still the wrong thing to do.”
Harry S. Truman in Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman by Merle Miller

The terms used to describe what happened to over 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II vary considerably amongst scholars, government officials, and even Japanese Americans themselves: relocation, evacuation, incarceration, internment, concentration camp. No one agrees about what is most accurate or fair.

NOTE: . . . that the Japanese, as early as 1934, were complaining that Roosevelt was deliberately provoking them. In January 1941, Japan protested the U.S. military buildup in Hawaii. Joseph Grew, our ambassador to Japan, reported rumors that the Japanese response would be a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Yet according to World War II mythology, America was blissfully sleeping, unprepared for war, when caught by surprise by the dastardly "sneak attack." (Isn't it curious that Asians carry out "sneak attacks," whereas Westerners launch "preemptive strikes"?) A year earlier, Baker shows, Roosevelt began planning the bombing of Japan -- which had invaded China, but with which we were not at war -- from Chinese air bases with American planes and, when necessary, American pilots. Pearl Harbor was a purely military target, but Roosevelt wanted to bomb Japanese cities with incendiary bombs; he'd been assured that their cities would burn fast, being made largely of wood and paper.

The language used to describe the treatment of Japanese Americans during World War II is often controversial. Some Americans feel that “concentration camps” is the most appropriate term for the places in which Japanese Americans were confined. Other Americans associate the term only with the Holocaust. Although many Americans are more comfortable with milder terms such as relocation or interment camps, these terms are historically and legally inaccurate.

Officially, the camps were named “relocation centers.” Many now acknowledge that “relocation center” and “evacuation” are euphemisms, used purposefully by the government to downplay the significance of their actions. Perhaps the most blatant example is the United States government’s use of the term “non-alien” to refer to American citizens of Japanese ancestry as a way of shrouding the violation of constitutional rights. As historian Roger Daniels has suggested, euphemisms are part of injustice.

The government, including President Franklin D. Roosevelt, used the phrase "concentration camps" in speeches and written documents during World War II to refer to the places where Japanese Americans were confined. It is important to note that a concentration camp is defined broadly as a place where people are imprisoned not because they are guilty of any crimes, but simply because of who they are. Many groups have been singled out for such persecution throughout history, with the term "concentration camp" first used at the turn of the twentieth century in the Boer War.

Despite their differences, all concentration camps have one thing in common: people in power remove a minority group from the general population and the rest of society allows it to happen.

November 7: Report prepared by presidential investigator Curtis Munson and submitted to the President, State Department and Secretary of War certifies that Japanese Americans possess an extraordinary degree of loyalty to U.S. Corroborates years of surveillance by FBI and Naval Intelligence, and do not pose a threat to national security in the event of war with Japan.

November 12: Fifteen Japanese American businessmen and community leaders in Los Angeles Little Tokyo are picked up in an FBI raid. Records and membership lists for such organizations as the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and the Central Japanese Association are seized. The fifteen would cooperate with authorities, while a spokesman for the Central Japanese Association states: "We teach the fundamental principles of America and the high ideals of American democracy. We want to live here in peace and harmony. Our people are 100% loyal to America."

December 7: Japan bombs U.S. fleet and military base at Pearl Harbor. Over 3,500 servicemen are wounded or killed. Martial law is declared in Hawaii.

Mochida Family
December 7: The FBI begins arresting Japanese immigrants identified as community leaders: priests, Japanese language teachers, newspaper publishers, and heads of organizations. Within 48 hours, 1,291 are arrested. Most of these men would be incarcerated for the duration of the war, separated from their families.

December 8: U.S. Congress declares war on Japan. Within hours, FBI arrests 736 Japanese resident aliens as security risks in Hawaii and mainland.

December 11: The Western Defense Command is established with Lt. Gen. John L. DeWitt as the commander.

December 1941 - January 1942: The FBI searches thousands of Japanese American homes on the West Coast for contraband. Short wave radios, cameras, heirloom swords, and explosives used for clearing stumps in agriculture are among the items confiscated. Over 2000 Issei in Hawaii and mainland - teachers, priests, officers of organizations, newspaper editors and other prominent people in Japanese community are imprisoned by the U.S. government.

NOTE: "War Relocation Authority Photographs of Japanese-American Evacuation and Resettlement" can be found at the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley.

For 65 years, a photo taken of Heihachi Ishikawa
(aka “"Ishikawa Fisherman”) by fellow Manzanar internee Toyo Miyatake was the only photographic evidence that more than 150 of the Manzanar internees "escaped" Manzanar War Relocatin Camp to go fishing. Ishikawa was a Manzanar legend and a seemingly mythical person because he would leave the camp for weeks at a time carrying only a scarce amount of rations in his trek to go after the “Golden Trout.” It is presumed that he must have had to catch a lot of trout to survive being away from the camp the weeks he was out. There was no way he could carried enough provisions to sustain life without living off the land. When he did returned, he had a stringer of trout.

Cory Shiozaki's "From Barbed Wire to Barbed Hooks" describes Ishikawa's incredible story of living off the land in the hard Sierra mountain range for a couple of weeks at a time - among other stories of survival. It is another story on how Japanese-Americans used their ingenuity and called on their bravery to fish Sierra streams and lakes. It symbolized how they survived as "The fabric of their character was like bamboo. They bent, but they bounced back and rebounded." These interned Japanese American fishermen also embraced an expression in Japanese 'shigataganai' - which loosely translated means, 'it can't be helped.' They embraced that and found a way to live through it.

Heihachi Ishikawa was 53 when he was interred at Manzanar in 1942, when Toyo Miyatake's portrait (who lived in the same block – Block 20, Barrack 12, Apartment 4) at the Manzanar War Relocation Center of him was taken with his catches and on display at the Eastern California Museum in Independence, Calif. - along with other images that Miyatake made inside the camp. No one knows exactly how Ishikawa slipped away to go fishing. He holds the only evidence of his travels, freedom in a string of trout. Ishikawa found himself between a rock (Mt. Whitney, highest point in the Lower 48) and a hard place (Badwater in Death Valley, the lowest). Perhaps a guard dozed when Ishikawa snaked past the machine guns and rifles in the towers, climbed the alluvial fans through scrub brush, then followed an ancient Paiute trail in Shepherd Canyon that eased the nearly vertical pitch of the Sierran escarpment. The fine brace he displays are the state fish, the riotously hued golden trout that exist at high elevations. Ishikawa may have fished the lakes at 11,000 feet, where there is but sky and rock, water and ice, where every granitic ledge is as sharp as a 1950s Cadillac fin.

The area he is presumed to have fished is a supremely spare landscape, mind-bending, almost psychedelic in the scarce air. It has the stark beauty of a Zen garden, the perfect retreat for a prisoner of his ancestry. He went a ways to find it: He left the wire behind at 3,900 feet. These are trophy-size goldens. They're a species known for overpopulating and having stunted growth. He must be holding lake fish in the portrait, fish that have wintered over a few years but bear snaky bodies and oversized heads. There isn't much for a fish to eat where Ishikawa explored.

Heihachi Ishikawa was a legendary and brave Japanese-American who would risk his life and sneak out of the well-guarded Manzanar World War II internment camp north of Lone Pine to go fishing. Ishikawa's mini-journeys from the mundane life in the relocation camp took him high into the Sierra where he created his own adventures with handmade fishing gear and caught California's golden trout. Said Archie Miyatake, 84, who was 16 when he first went AWOL, or angling without leave: "Once you were out, you feel like you were in a free area. It was quite a nice feeling just to be out, just to know you could sneak out."

Fourteenth Air Service Group (activated in November 1942 - they eventually had the largest concentration of Chinese American personnel in the Armed Forces) and the 987th Signal Company mainly consisted of approximately 1,500 men of Chinese ancestry who enlisted in the U.S. Army whose commanding officers were White.

Federal government forced 881 Aleuts to move from their homes on the Pribilof and Aleutian Islands in the Bering Sea to dank wartime internment camps in the rain forest of Southeast Alaska 1,500 miles away after troops from Japan invaded Alaska's western outposts in June 1942. Aleuts were not suspected of spying or sabotage, as were tens of thousands of Japanese-Americans interned after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941. Officials believed that internment would protect Aleuts from the fighting in Alaska's distant western islands.

They were not allowed to leave the camps unless they were drafted into the military or coerced into working the Pribilof fur seal hunt, which brought millions of dollars to the U.S. government. Sanitation and pipe systems were never installed that resulted in a lot of sickness (i.e. pnemonia & tuberculosis) at the camp. One in 10 people died in the camps from 1942 to 1945. Families returned to the Aleutians and Pribilofs in 1944 and 1945 to find their homes and Russian Orthodox churches looted by U.S. soldiers and rotting from years of neglect in the wind, rain and salt air.

Aleuts joined Japanese-Americans in the 1950s through the 1980s in lawsuits seeking federal restitution for loss of property and civil liberties during internment. In 1987, Congress approved reparations of $12,000 each to interned individuals who were still living; $1.4 million for damaged homes and churches; a $5 million trust for evacuees and descendants and $15 million to the Aleut Native corporation.


Fourteenth Air Service Group (activated in November 1942 - they eventually had the largest concentration of Chinese American personnel in the Armed Forces) and the 987th Signal Company mainly consisted of approximately 1,500 men of Chinese ancestry who enlisted in the U.S. Army whose commanding officers were White.

They were formed at the specific request of then Brigadier General Claire L. Chennault, Commander of the China Air Task Force and Lieutenant General Joseph W. Stillwell, Commander of U.S. forces in the China, Burma, India Theater of Operations, to support aerial operations in China with Army Air Force support personnel who were fluent in both the English and Chinese languages. As administrators, mechanics, engineers and electricians, who could easily communicate with both Chinese soldiers and civilians, these Chinese American airmen contributed mightily to Allied success by maintaining aerial operations from airfields across unoccupied China.

14th Air Service Group

As a unit of the U.S. Army Signal Corps, the 987th Signal Company was raised from bilingual Chinese American soldiers and organized specifically for service in China, with the objectives of providing communication services and enhancing Liaison between American and Chinese military organizations.

In the history of World War II, their stories have largely been overlooked, overshadowed not just by the most famous Allied battles and troops but by other segregated groups as well, such as the all-African-American Tuskegee Airmen fighter pilots, and the highly decorated Japanese-American soldiers from the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the 100th Infantry Battalion, who fought in Europe partly because they served supporting roles as aircraft-maintenance and communication specialists, and partly because they served in remote areas of China, Burma and India.

By 1944, the new Chinese-American recruits were shipped to about two dozen remote airbases, mostly in China. Many recovered crashed planes or repaired bullet-ridden U.S. bombers and fighters.

Due to a manpower shortage, they flew Chinese troops and ammunitions over the Himalaya Mountains without bomber or fighter escort. They received no military ground support and were armed only with .45- caliber pistols. Luckily, they escaped any firefights.

When the United States entered World War II, about 29,000 persons of Chinese ancestry were living in Hawaii and another 78,000 on the mainland. By war's end, over 13,000 were serving in all branches of the Army Ground Forces and Army Air Forces. About one quarter of all Chinese-American soldiers served with the Army Air Forces. An estimated 40 percent of Chinese-American soldiers were not native-born citizens.


Ming Chin was born August 31, 1942 in Klamath Falls, Oregon. He received his law degree in 1967 from the University of San Francisco's Hastings School of Law and passed the bar in 1970 after a two-year stint as an Army officer, including a year in Vietnam. His first job as a lawyer was prosecuting felonies and misdemeanors with the Alameda County D.A.'s office. Chin is a recognized authority on the use of DNA evidence.

Ming Chin's 1996 appointment to the seven-seat California Supreme Court marked an almost inevitable milestone in a pioneering legal career. Chin had distinguished himself as a capable business litigation trial lawyer at a time when few Asian Americans had begun entering the legal profession. That led to his appointment to the Alameda County Superior Court. In November of 1994 he was elected to a 12-year-term as Presiding Justice of the First District Court of Appeals, Division Three, positioning him to be tapped to the state's highest court by Governor Pete Wilson.

Historical Side Note

In 1937, when imperial Japanese aircraft "mistakenly" attacked and sank the U.S. gunboat Panay and several other vessels on China's Yangtze River, some in the U.S. called for war; but FDR realized that the U.S. was in fact neither politically nor militarily ready for such a conflict.
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In the months following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, many expected an immediate attack against the West Coast. Fear gripped the country and a wave of hysterical antipathy against the Japanese engulfed the Pacific Coast.

A Nation Turns on Its Japanese Residents
The nation's Japanese population, sensing that it might be targeted in the wake of the Pearl Harbor attack, quickly went about demonstrating its loyalty to the United States. Japanese residents bought war bonds, gave blood, and even ran newspaper ads denouncing Japan. The day after Pearl Harbor, the Japanese American Citizens League sent a telegram to President Roosevelt, part of which read: "In this solemn hour we pledge our fullest cooperation to you, Mr. President, and to our country. There cannot be any
question. . . . We in our hearts know we are Americans, loyal to America."

Flag at Manzanar

The FBI quickly began rounding up any and all "suspicious" Japanese for internment. None was ever charged with any crime. Almost all were simply Japanese community leaders, Buddhist or Shinto priests, newspaper editors, language or Judo instructors, or labor organizers. The Japanese community leadership was liquidated in one quick operation.

Men were taken away without notice. Most families knew nothing about why their men had suddenly disappeared, to where they were taken, or when they would be released. Some arrestees were soon let free, but most were secretly shipped to internment camps around the country. Some families learned what had happened to their men only several years later. The action also included the freezing of bank accounts, seizure of contraband, drastic limitation on travel, curfew and other severely restrictive measures. But this FBI operation merely set the stage for the mass evacuation to come.

In January 1942, War Department classifies Japanese American men of draft age 4-C "enemy aliens." Status not changed until June 16, 1946.

In February 1942, Lt. Gen. John L. DeWitt, Commanding General of the Western Defense Command, requested authorization from Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson to evacuate "Japanese and other subversive persons" from the West Coast area. On 19 February, President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order No. 9066 authorizing the Secretary of War or any military commander to establish "military areas" and to exclude from them "any or all persons. A month later, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order No. 9102 establishing the War Relocation Authority, which eventually operated the internment camps. Roosevelt named Milton Eisenhower, brother of the future president, to head the WRA.

"Kenji" (Fort Minor) - Internment Camp Video

: On that night, the FBI surrounded the Torrance home of Nikuma Tanouye (Note: One of his sons, Ted Tanouye, joined the Army and won the Medal of Honor. He was killed in action.). Documents at the National Archives in Laguna Niguel tell the story of Nikuma Tanouye and nearly 2,700 other Japanese citizens and a smaller number of Germans, Italians and others who passed through Tuna Canyon Detention Station. Federal archivist Gwen Granados said the first 35 Japanese nationals arrested (for immigration violations who were mostly fishermen who worked on Terminal Island) here after Pearl Harbor were sent to Griffith Park, where there was a makeshift jail with tight security. They were transferred to Tuna Canyon, which opened Dec. 15, 1941; it had fences topped by barbed wire, sentry boxes at each corner and floodlights.

The Tuna Canyon facility was a former Civilian Conservation Corps camp built in 1933 on 54 acres near Glendale. It could hold 300 detainees. Authorities maintained a low profile there, as at the Griffith Park site. Detainees were subject to Justice Department hearings and trials for such offenses as curfew violations and failure to register as an enemy alien. Their detention ranged from a few days to a few months and they were were prohibited to go within 10 feet of the fence.

American law officers also went to Latin America in 1942, where they rounded up more than 2,000 Japanese nationals and brought them back to centers such as Tuna Canyon. Those detainees were held to exchange for American civilians trapped in Japan. As many as 500 Japanese Peruvians were traded.

Officials were supposed to detain people at Tuna Canyon temporarily, until they had received a hearing. But "temporarily" fluctuated: Usually they were held until there were enough inmates to fill a train, then were moved to inland internment camps. U.S. Border Patrol Officer Merrill Scott supervised Tuna Canyon. In a May 25, 1942, report to the State Department, he listed 76 Japanese, 10 German and 16 Italian male inmates.

(The order did not specify Japanese Americans, but they were the only group to be imprisoned as a result of it. Eventually 120,000 Japanese, aliens and citizens, were incarcerated.)


The terms used to describe what happened to over 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II vary considerably amongst scholars, government officials, and even Japanese Americans themselves: relocation, evacuation, incarceration, internment, concentration camp.

No one agrees about what is most accurate or fair.

Japanese stated "I Am An American"

The language used to describe the treatment of Japanese Americans during World War II is often controversial. Some Americans feel that “concentration camps” is the most appropriate term for the places in which Japanese Americans were confined. Other Americans associate the term only with the Holocaust. Although many Americans are more comfortable with milder terms such as relocation or interment camps, these terms are historically and legally inaccurate.

Officially, the camps were named “relocation centers.” Many now acknowledge that “relocation center” and “evacuation” are euphemisms, used purposefully by the government to downplay the significance of their actions. Perhaps the most blatant example is the United States government’s use of the term “non-alien” to refer to American citizens of Japanese ancestry as a way of shrouding the violation of constitutional rights. As historian Roger Daniels has suggested, euphemisms are part of injustice.

This is a portion of Lt. Gen. J.L. DeWitt's letter of transmittal to the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, June 5, 1943, of his Final Report; Japanese Evacuation from the West Coast 1942
Intelligence services records reflected the existence of hundreds of Japanese organizations in California, Washington, Oregon and Arizona which, prior to December 7, 1941, were actively engaged in advancing Japanese war aims.

These records also disclosed that thousands of American-born Japanese had gone to Japan to receive their education and indoctrination there and had become rabidly pro-Japanese and then had returned to the United States. Emperor-worshipping ceremonies were commonly held and millions of dollars had flowed into the Japanese imperial war chest from the contributions freely made by Japanese here.

The continued presence of a large, unassimilated, tightly knit and racial group, bound to an enemy nation by strong ties of race, culture, custom and religion along a frontier vulnerable to attack constituted a menace which had to be dealt with. Their loyalties were unknown and time was of the essence.

The evident aspirations of the enemy emboldened by his recent successes made it worse than folly to have left any stone unturned in the building up of our defenses. It is better to have had this protection and not to have needed it than to have needed it an not to have had it – as we have learned to our sorrow.
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The government, including President Franklin D. Roosevelt, used the phrase “concentration camps” in speeches and written documents during World War II to refer to the places where Japanese Americans were confined. It is important to note that a concentration camp is defined broadly as a place where people are imprisoned not because they are guilty of any crimes, but simply because of who they are. Many groups have been singled out for such persecution throughout history, with the term “concentration camp” first used at the turn of the twentieth century in the Boer War. Joseph E. Perisco (who wrote the book Roosevelt's Secret War) writes that President Roosevelt had convincing information from several intelligence sources that Japanese Americans and Japanese aliens posed no threat to American security in the event of a war with Japan and yet disregarded the intelligence reports out of political expedience. Earl Warren who later became Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and who will be remembered as a champion of civil rights: "So far as this great state of ours is concerned, we have had no fifth-column activities and no sabotage reported.

Despite their differences, all concentration camps have one thing in common: people in power remove a minority group from the general population and the rest of society allows it to happen.

On February 27, 1942 - Idaho Governor Chase Clark tells a congressional committee in Seattle that Japanese would be welcome in Idaho only if they were in "concentration camps under military guard." Some credit Clark with the conception of what was to become a true scenario.

Beginning in March, the Army organized the evacuation of some 77 000 U.S. citizens of Japanese origin ("Nisei") and 43 000 mostly older Japanese citizens ("Issei") from California and parts of Washington, Oregon and Arizona.

On March 2, 1942 - Public Proclamation #1 issued by Lt. General John L. DeWitt, head of the Western Defense Command, specifies military zones 1 and 2. Zone 1 includes western halves of California, Washington and Oregon and southern third of Arizona. A curfew goes into effect in these areas; all those of Japanese ancestry must remain at home from 8 pm to 6 am.

On March 18, 1942 - The President signs Executive Order 9102 establishing the War Relocation Authority with Milton Eisenhower as director.

In March 1942 - The Wartime Civil Control Administration opens 16 "Assembly Centers," 13 of them in California, to detain approximately 92,000 men, women, and children until the permanent incarceration camps are completed. Many of the California residents who eventually end up in Arkansas are assigned to the Stockton, CA, center which operated from May 10 through October 17.

Posters appeared the length of the West Coast ordering the Japanese to evacuation points. "Instructions to all persons of JAPANESE ancestry," read the bold headline on a typical poster. The text read: "All Japanese persons, both alien and non-alien, will be evacuated from the above designated areas by 12:00 o'clock noon Tuesday, April 7, 1942." The evacuees were told to report for internment with bedrolls and only as much baggage as could be carried by hand. (A postwar survey showed that 80 percent of the privately stored goods belonging to the interned Japanese were "rifled, stolen or sold during absence.")

Soldiers stand guard as Japanese Americans await their living assignments at Santa Anita racetrack in April 1942. About 19,000 people lived in hastily constructed barracks or in converted horse stalls on the grounds. (National Archives)

Beginning in March 1942, about 19,000 Japanese Americans from Southern and Northern California lived at Santa Anita in hastily constructed barracks or in converted horse stalls, which some evacuees said never fully lost the stench of manure at the nation's largest assembly center for Japanese Americans on their way to the internment camps. The Army covered Santa Anita's parking lot with row after row of identical tar-paper-covered barracks. The camp was divided into seven districts, and included several mess halls, a hospital, stores, a post office, classrooms, and makeshift churches in the track's grandstand. Each evacuee was given an Army bed, one blanket and one straw tick, the racetrack was surrounded by barbed wire, searchlights swept the streets at night and residents were banned from possessing any literature printed in Jap

On April 18, 1942 - the internees at the nation's largest assembly for Japanese Americans on their way to the internment camps produced the first issue of the English-written Santa Anita Pacemaker newspaper. The first issue had just three question marks asking for a name for the newspaper. Editor Eddie Shimano stated, "This newspaper is supposed to set the pace for the Japanese at the center. . . . A pacemaker in a horse race is the horse that leads the way for the others to a certain point, and that's what we are going to do." The newspaper contained official annouincements and community news - along with some subversive humor when it profiled a Japanese American family from Arcadia who was interned at Santa Anita, the tongue-in-cheek headline read, "It Wasn't Much of A Move." The final (50th) edition was published on October 7, 1942.


War Relocation Authority / Washington, D.C. / May 1943
The relocation centers, however, are NOT and ever were intended to be internment camps or places of confinement. They were established for two primary purposes:

(1) To provide communities where evacuees might live and contribute, through their work, to their own support pending their gradual reabsorption into private employment and normal American life; and

(2) to serve as wartime homes for those evacuees who might be unable or unfit to relocate in ordinary American communities. Under regulations adopted in September of 1942, the War Relocation Authority is now working toward a steady depopulation of the enters by urging all able-bodied residents with good records of behavior to eenter private employment in agriculture or industry.
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In May 1942 - The evacuees begin transfer to permanent WRA incarceration facilities or "camps." They total ten: Manzanar, Poston, Gila River, Topaz, Granada, Heart Mountain, Minidoka, Tule Lake, Jerome, and Rohwer.

On June 3, 1942, the last of 3,677 Japanese-Americans were evacuated from Oregon, having been registered as potential threats to national security at the municipal building at 34 W. Sixth Ave. They were loaded onto the 87th Civilian Exclusion Order train at Eugene's railroad station and, after a stop in Medford, went on to Tule Lake detention camp in Northern California. It would not be until 1946 that anyone of Japanese ancestry could legally set foot in Western Oregon again.

On June 17, 1942 - Milton Eisenhower resigns as WRA director. Dillon Myer is appointed to replace him.

On July 1, 1942 - Construction begins on Rohwer Relocation Center by the Linebarger- Senne Construction Company of Little Rock, Arkansas.

On July 15, 1942 - Construction begins on Jerome Relocation Center by A.J. Rife Construction Company of Dallas, Texas.

On August 4, 1942 - A routine search for contraband at the Santa Anita "Assembly Center" turns into a "riot." Eager military personnel had become overzealous and abusive which, along with the failure of several attempts to reach the camp's internal security chief, triggers mass unrest, crowd formation, and the harassing of the searchers. Military police with tanks and machine guns quickly end the incident. The "overzealous" military personnel are later replaced.

In September, 1942 - The last of the 16 Assembly Centers close when the inmates are transferred to concentration camps. The first inmates arrive at Rohwer, Arkansas. Evacuees came from California and had to endure a three-day train ride from the assembly centers to reach Arkansas.
The argument works both ways. I know a great many cultivated, highly educated and delightful Japanese. They have all told me that they would feel the same repugnance and objection to having thousands of Americans settle in Japan and intermarry with the Japanese as I would feel in having large numbers of Japanese come over here and intermarry with the American population.
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These deplorable actions actually happened in the United States! Discover the specific details:

  • According to the census of 1940, 127,000 persons of Japanese ancestry lived in the United States, the majority on the West Coast. One-third had been born in Japan, and in some states could not own land, be naturalized as citizens, or vote.
  • The Census Bureau was deeply involved in the roundup and internment of Japanese-Americans at the onset of U.S. entry into World War II. On Dec. 9, 1941, two days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Census Bureau produced a report titled ``Japanese Population of the United States, Its Territories and Possessions.'' The next day the bureau issued a report on the Japanese population by citizenship and place of birth in selected cities. The next day it published another report, this one on the Japanese population by counties in states on the West Coast. All reports were based on data from the 1940 census. The Census Bureau stated "We didn't want to wait for the declaration of war. On Monday morning (January 1942) we put our people to work on the Japanese thing." ** The United States declared war on Japan that Monday afternoon! (see below) (Steven A. Lolmes/New York Times/San Jose Mercury News/March 17, 2000) The Census Bureau attempts to deny they released information confidential information such as the names and addresses of Japanese American citizens! The Census law ensures that your information is only used for statistical purposes and that no unauthorized person can see your form or find out what you tell us - no other government agency, no court of law, NO ONE.
  • The Census Bureau expresses regrets over this situation(!?!?!) in the year 2000!
  • President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066 authorizing the secretary of war to delegate a military commander to designate military areas in the US "from which any and all persons may be excluded" - primarily enforced against Japanese.
  • Congress passes Public Law 503 to impose penal sanctions on anyone disobeying orders to carry out Executive Order 9066. Japanese Americans at Poston War Relocation Camp, where 9000 West Coast persons of Japanese ancestry were held at various locations, begin a general strike.
    This story about Masumi Hayashi first aired March 25, 2004, on "Outlook." It was rebroadcast Dec. 21, 2006, shortly after Congress approved $38 million to presevere WW II internment camps. Our crew enjoyed meeting her, and learning about the history of the camps. So it was with sadness when we recently learned she was the victim of a senseless crime. In August, Hayashi was shot to death in her Cleveland apartment. As a tribute, we (WV Broadcasting Company) thought it would be worthwhile to take a second look at the work of Masumi Hayashi
  • Eight camps were in the West; the southeast Arkansas sites at Rohwer and Jerome were the only ones in the South. The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation gave $4 million in grants to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the Los Angeles-based Japanese American National Museum to preserve the information of the Arkansas internment camp.
  • At Idaho Hunt's Minidoka Relocation Center, 13,000 Japanese-Americans were rounded up from their homes in Idaho, Oregon and Washington and sent here in World War II. Unforgettable winter cold, the summer heat or the dust storms that the wooden barracks covered with tar paper did not keep out made life even more intolerable.
  • US Military Police fire on 1000 Japanese American protesters at the Manzanar Relocation Center; 2 die, 8 are wounded.
  • Civilian Exclusion Order #79 was the official word to the masses.
  • The history of the Internment Camps was a sad time in United States history. The final results of War Relocation Authority notes that 120,313 Japanese and Japanese Americans lived in the internment camps from 1942-1945 who had to survive the insanity through various ways possible.
  • It developed, ironically, the offical start of Asian American Jazz!
  • An interesting side note is that the California State Personnel Board voted to bar all "descendants of natives with whom the United States [is] at war" from all civil service positions." This was only enforced against Japanese Americans.
  • Witness the pictures of the Internment Discover specific details of what occured! Camps that truely can tell the true stories of the horrors!?!?!
  • All non-citizens were given the loyalty questionaire for female citizens, except that it was titled "Application for Leave Clearance." -- thereby asking them to swear sole allegiance to the government that excluded them from citizenship.
  • When the U.S. government also ordered the detainment of scores of talented Japanese American baseball players such as Henry Honda (Cleveland Indians), Herb "Moon" Kurima (Semi-pro league and pitched a no-hitter/21-strikeout game), Kenichi Zenimura ("Dean of the Diamond" organized Japanese-American), etc. Baseball leagues were formed in the camps with people such as Pat Morita playing on the teams. They paved the way for Ryan Kurosaki to became the first third-generation Japanese-American to play in the majors (1975).
  • These deplorable actions occurred, despite comments such as (On December 15, 1941) After a brief visit to Hawaii, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox tells the press, "I think the most effective Fifth Column work of the entire war was done in Hawaii with the possible exception of Norway."
For people interested in further information, please feel free to visit the following websites:

Racism was rampant following the Japanese attack on that infamous Sunday morning. Wartime hysteria led to the imprisonment of about 120,000 Japanese-Americans in concentration camps that peppered the western part of the nation. Ted Ohira?s (recipient of three Bronze Stars) memory of that white face, that voice so saturated with hate that stated "Hey you dirty Jap." After all that combat. I went through five major battles in Europe, and I received lots of awards and medals. ? And then one day, in downtown Los Angeles, I hear this: `Hey you dirty Jap.' "I don't cry. I didn't then. I got mad and I wanted to beat that guy up, but I said `this guy is ignorant.' I had enough of fighting and I just walked away."

In the interest of both accuracy and fairness, it is important to distinguish sharply between the residents of relocation centers and the militarists of Imperial Japan. Two-thirds of the people in the centers are American citizens, born in this country and educated, for the most part, in American public schools. At all centers, the residents have bought thousands of dollars worth of war bonds and have made significant contributions to the American Red Cross. Many of them have sons, husbands, and brothers in the United States Army. Even the aliens among them have nearly all lived in the United States for two decades or longer. And it is important to remember that these particular aliens have been denied the privilege of gaining American citizenship under our laws.

Americans like to think that victory in 1945 also solved the problem posed by Japan. Did it? Even today, as the controversial Yasukuni Shrine reminds us, many Japanese cling to a different understanding of the Pacific war's origins and justification. As far as China and South Korea are concerned, victory in 1945 did not solve their Japan problem; that problem persists and is growing. If East Asia becomes the locus of renewed great power competition between China and Japan, V-J Day will no longer look quite so decisive
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It is also important to distinguish between residents of relocation centers and civilian internees. Under our laws, aliens of enemy nationality who are found guilty of acts or intentions against the security of the Nation are being confined in internment camps which are administered not by the War Relocation Authority but the Department of Justice. American citizens suspected of subversive activities are being handled through the ordinary courts. The residents of the relocation centers, however, have never been found guilty?either individually or collectively?of any such acts or intentions. They are merely a group of American residents who happen to have Japanese ancestors and who happened to be living in a potential combat zone shortly after the outbreak of war. All evidences available to the War Relocation Authority indicates that the great majority of them are completely loyal to the United States.

The physical standards of life in the relocation centers have never been much above the bare subsistence level. For some few of the evacuees, these standards perhaps represent a slight improvement over those enjoyed before evacuation. But for the great majority of the evacuated people, the environment of the centers?despite all efforts to make them livable?remains subnormal and probably always will be. In spite of the leave privileges, the movement of evacuees while they reside at the centers is necessarily somewhat restricted and a certain feeling of isolation and confinement is almost inevitable.

Life @ Internment Camp

The physical standards of life in the relocation centers have never been much above the bare subsistence level. For some few of the evacuees, these standards perhaps represent a slight improvement over those enjoyed before evacuation. But for the great majority of the evacuated people, the environment of the centers?despite all efforts to make them livable?remains subnormal and probably always will be. In spite of the leave privileges, the movement of evacuees while they reside at the centers is necessarily somewhat restricted and a certain feeling of isolation and confinement is almost inevitable.

Housing is provided for the evacuee residents of the centers in tarpaper-covered barracks of simple frame construction without plumbing or cooking facilities of any kind. Most of these barracks are partitioned off so that a family of five or six, for example, will normally occupy a single room 25 by 20 feet. Bachelors and other unattached evacuees live mainly in unpartitioned barracks which have been established as dormitories. The only furnishings provided by the Government in the residence barracks are standard Army cots and blankets and small heating stoves. One bath, laundry, and toilet building is available for each block of barracks and is shared by upwards of 250 people.

Food is furnished by the Government for all evacuee residents. The meals are planned at an average cost of not more than 45 cents per person per day (the actual cost, as this is written, has averaged almost 48 cents), are prepared by evacuee cooks, and are served generally cafeteria style in mess halls that accommodate between 250 and 300 persons. At all centers, Government-owned or Government- leased farmlands are being operated by evacuee agricultural crews to produce a considerable share of the vegetables needed in the mess halls. At nearly all centers, the farm program also includes the production of poultry, eggs, and pork; and at a few the evacuees are raising beef and dairy products. Every evacuee is subject to the same food rationing restrictions as all other residents of the United States.

Medical care is available to all evacuee residents of relocation centers without charge. Hospitals have been built at all the centers and are manned in large part by doctors, nurses, nurses' aides, and technicians from the evacuee population. Simple dental and optical services are also provided and special care is given to infants and nursing mothers. Evacuees requesting special medical services not available at the centers are required to pay for the cost of such services. As all centers, in view of the crowded and abnormal living conditions, special sanitary precautions are necessary to safeguard the community health and prevent the outbreak of epidemics.

Work opportunities of many kinds are made available to able-bodied evacuee residents at relocation centers. The policy of WRA is to make the fullest-possible use of evacuee skills and manpower in all jobs that are essential to community operations. Evacuees are employed in the mess halls, on the farms, in the hospitals, on the internal police force, in construction and road maintenance works, in clerical and stenographic jobs, and in may other lines of activity. Most of those who work are paid at the rate of $16 a month for a 44-hour week. Apprentices and others requiring close supervision receive $12 while those with professional skills, supervisory responsibilities, or unusually difficult duties are paid $19. In addition, each evacuee working at a relocation center receives a small monthly allowance for the purchase of work clothing for himself and personal clothing for his dependents. Opportunities for economic gain in the ordinary sense are almost completely lacking to the residents of the centers.

Internment Camp Kid

During their time in the Internment Camps, a group of volunteer teachers (mostly White) gave Japanese American students hope. In classrooms that initially lacked desks, textbooks and school supplies, the teachers somehow ignited the young minds and inspired students to pursue careers in science, medicine, education. Teachers such as Margaret Harvey, Katherine Stegner Odum, Joseph Goodman, Margaret Crosby Gunderson, Lois/Frank Ferguson (who wrote his 1942 thesis at UCLA boldly criticized prevailing public attitudes that Japanese Americans were disloyal and unassimilable, and urged understanding of them), Alberta Kassing, Thomas Temple and Ralph/Mary Smeltzer told students at the Tule Lake camp not to give up on the Constitution; that the nation's flawed political leadership was to blame for their unjust internment.

"They gave to us the link to the America we knew: the sense that not all Americans were racist, not all of them saw us as a threat but saw the potential we had as individuals," said Glenn Kumekawa, a retired Rhode Island professor who was sent to Topaz camp in Utah at age 14 after winning his San Francisco grammar school's American Citizenship Award.

From 1942 to 1945, an estimated 30,000 children attended the K-12 schools, which were operated by the federal War Relocation Authority. Teachers were recruited and hired by U.S. civil service representatives; some signed up for altruistic reasons, while others just needed a job. The schools were plagued by inadequate facilities, supply shortages and, in some cases, frequent staff turnover, according to reports, and most were closed in late 1945 along with the camps.

Street @ Manzanar
Manzanar was one of 10 internment camps to which the U.S. government sent citizens of Japanese ancestry following the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. It is in the high desert at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains, northeast of Los Angeles, not far from the community of Lone Pine. Manzanar, officially called the Manzanar War Relocation Center began as an "assembly center" under U.S. army control. In the 1940s, it housed 10,000 internees. The interred were not suspects in any crimes, not guilty of any wrongdoing.

The camp, which consisted of 36 blocks of barracks within a confined area of one-square mile, was the scene of many hardships as men, women, and children sought to establish some semblance of normal life while attempting to overcome the trauma of forced evacuation and facing an uncertain future.

Manzanar officially closed Nov. 21, 1945. It was designated a National Historic Site in 1972 after a vigorous, yearlong campaign by Japanese Americans. The National Park Service maintains the site, which is open to visitors year-round.
Joyce Yuki Nakamura (1943)

TULE LAKE: Surrounded by a 10-foot-high barbed wire "man-proof" fence and 28 watchtowers, and guarded by a battalion of soldiers and eight armored tanks, the Tule Lake Segregation Center - 20,000 people, it had more than 1,600 buildings spread across 7,400 acres - near the Oregon border was the nation's largest Japanese American internment camp and in time became the only one of the 10 in the country that was designated for internees considered security risks. Most of those internees were known as the "No-No boys," because they had answered "no" to — or refused to answer — a two-part loyalty question that asked internees to renounce the Japanese emperor and agree to serve in the U.S. armed forces. Within a few years of the camp's closing in the summer of 1946, the once-sprawling settlement was dismantled. Some buildings fell victim to weather and time. Much of what remained was scavenged: The jail's metal bars were salvaged for scrap; the internee barracks were cut in half and given to homesteading veterans; and an officers club was converted into a grocery store. Even the headstones from the camp's cemetery were taken as souvenirs and the cemetery was converted into a landfill.

POSTON: Poston was built on the Colorado River Indian Reservation for a specific reason: Japanese detainees were brought to the desolate location to provide free, forced labor for the American government. U.S. government sent nearly 20,000 of them to three camps on a Colorado River Indian Tribe reservation at Poston with an explicit plan to use Japanese Americans -- most of them Californians skilled in farming -- to help develop tribal lands for later Indian use. Under the plan, the Japanese Americans helped clear lands and build irrigation systems, started farms and built schools from handmade adobe bricks. Their work in developing a reservation that previously had no electricity, running water or modern homes -- many families lived in mud huts -- laid the foundation for the tribe to jump-start its standard of living and thrive financially. The Japanese were ordered to build the infrastructure — schools, dams, canals and farms — so the U.S. government could consolidate scattered American Indian tribes from smaller reservations in one place after the war.

In this time of racial discrimination and hatred for the Japanese, the plan was a way to displace one group of unwelcome people and use their hard work to build the infrastructure so another displaced group of people — American Indians — could be isolated there after the war.

Native Americans and two dozen former Japanese American internees gathered in Poston to memorialize their experiences and view a new documentary about it, "Passing Poston," by New York filmmakers Joe Fox and James Nubile. They also discussed plans to restore some of the barracks, seek national historical landmark status for the site and build a museum about their shared history. This fact was discovered by Berkeley artist and researcher Ruth Okimoto, 71 years old Tokyo native brought to San Diego in 1937, who began researching Poston in a personal quest to understand the experience that had torn her life apart - as noted by the dark and troubling images began to surface in her work -- a two-faced portrait of herself, the American flag covering her child's eyes and adult mouth.

The Japanese American population, peaking at 19,000 scattered over three camps, dwarfed the 1,200 Mohave and Chemehuevi Indians living on the reservation at the time. But the encounters were limited, both sides say. An armed guard was posted at a canal that divided the populated upper reservation with the lower reservation where the internment camps were placed. And the Indians were told not to mingle with them.

Official name: Colorado River Relocation Center
Location: Yuma County, Arizona, 17 miles south of Parker
Land: On the Colorado Indian Reservation
Size: 71,000 acres; Poston was the largest of the camps
Climate: Desert; perhaps the hottest of all camps

Origin of camp population: Mostly from Los Angeles (2,750), Tulare (1,952), San Diego (1,883), Orange (1,636), Fresno (1,590), Imperial (1,512), Monterey (1,506), and Santa Cruz (1,222) Counties Via "assembly centers": Most either came to Poston directly (11,738) or came from Salinas (3,459) or Santa Anita (1,573) "ASSEMBLY CENTERS"; Poston also received 469 transfers from Justice Department administered INTERNMENT CAMPS, the highest figure of any WRA camp

Peak population: 17,814, the most populous besides Tule Lake
Date of peak: September 2, 1942
Opening date: May 8, 1942
Closing date: Unit I: November 28, 1945 / Unit II: September 29, 1945 / Unit III: September 29, 1945
Project director(s): Wade Head and Duncan Mills Community analysts:
Alexander Leighton, Edward H. Spicer, Elizabeth Colson and David H.
French; Conrad Arensberg and Laura Thompson were consultants

 Percent who answered question 28 of the loyalty questionnaire positively: 93.7
Number and percentage of eligible male citizens inducted directly into armed forces: 611 (4.8 %)

Miscellaneous characteristics:
The most notable incident at Poston was the POSTON STRIKE, described in detail in the following entry. There was another strike involving
56 adobe workers in August 1942 that was quickly settled.

Poston was named after Charles Poston, the "Father of Arizona."

What Okimoto discovered was that the U.S. government had deliberately selected Japanese Americans with farming experience from California Central Valley towns like Sacramento, Bakersfield and elsewhere, to help develop the reservation's agricultural potential, Okimoto said. Researching documents in the National Archives, along with Colorado River Indian tribal archives and other sources, Okimoto discovered the then-named Office of Indian Affairs partnered with the War Relocation Authority to develop an internee labor plan..

Okimoto discovered an April 1942 letter from William Zimmerman, the Indian office's assistant commissioner, to the House of Representatives that outlined the plan. Zimmerman proposed using the Japanese to transform 10,000 acres -- clearing it and constructing canals, drainage ditches and flood levees -- and then cultivate it "as rapidly as possible."

But was the suffering worth it for America? By the end of the war,
only 10 people had been convicted of spying for Japan.

And all of them were white.


MIS Timeline

January 1943
Allied Forces take Buna in New Guinea after brutal island combat. Phil Ishio saw action.

February 1943
U.S. War Department administers the loyalty questionnaire at all 10 relocation centers. The questionnaire asks Japanese-American internees about their loyalty to the United States.

U.S. Army forms the all-Nisei 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Eventually the 442nd and the 100th Infantry Battalion unify and become the most decorated unit for its size in U.S. military history.

March 1943
U.S. forces sink eight Japanese transports and four destroyers headed for New Guinea during the Battle of the Bismarck Sea.

April 1943
Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto dies when his plane is shot down by U.S. forces over Rabau, Solomon Islands. MIS linguists had intercepted and translated Japanese radio traffic, which revealed the admiral's plans to travel to Bougainville. Yamamoto was the commander-in-chief who masterminded Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor.

May 1943
U.S. forces retake the island of Attu, 1,000 miles off the coast of Alaska, beginning the recapture of the Aleutian Islands. MIS members, Major White with Nobuo Furuiye and George Hayashida, participate by making spot translations of captured documents and interrogating POWs. These actions aid the U.S. forces in formulating an offensive plan and shortening the campaign.

July 1943
U.S. forces attack the main Japanese base in the Solomon Islands during the Battle of New Georgia. Captain Eugene Wright, a graduate of MISLS, leads the MIS team that includes Mamoru Noji. Allied forces take New Georgia and Solomon Islands.

A combined American and Canadian force begins assault on Kiska, one of the Aleutian Islands. MIS linguists become part of the task force to recapture Kiska.

August 1943
Allied Forces take New Georgia and Vella Lavella islands.

September 1943
Based on the loyalty questionnaire, separation of internees begins. Those deemed "disloyal" are sent to Tule Lake.

U.S. Army creates Women's Army Corps (WACs). Japanese-American women are accepted into the corps. During World War II and in the immediate postwar period, more than 300 Nisei served in WACs.

September 7, 1943
Joint Intelligence Pacific Ocean Area (JICPOAS), opens. Translation Section Chief was Lachlan Sinclair. Eventually 800 MIS graduates, including Don Oka, Nobuo Furuiye, and James Yoshinobu, are assigned to it.

In the New Guinea campaign, the following were assigned: Steve Yamamoto, Buna Pat Neishi, Salamaua Harry Fukuhara, New Britain Kazuhiko Yamada, Finschafen

November 1943
U.S. Marines attack Bougainville in the Solomon Islands. Throughout the Battle of Bougainville, MIS linguists' interrogation work elicits valuable information for the U.S. troops. Shig Yasutake is assigned to Vella La Vella, Solomon Islands, and William Fisher and Roy Uyehata are assigned to Bougainville.

U.S. forces begin assault on Tarawa and Makin in the Gilbert Islands. MIS linguists help gather intelligence during the attacks.

U.S. forces begin attack on Tarawa. MIS linguists who help during the attack are Jack Tanimoto, Frank Hachiya and Edwin Kawahara.

December 1943
Allied Forces begin assault on New Britain. One MIS team lands on Arawe Peninsula toward the southern tip of New Britain; another lands on Cape Glouster on the western end.

January 1944
Allied Forces send Merrill's Marauders to participate in the second Burma campaign. Fourteen MIS linguists are assigned to this special combat unit, which cleared ground routes in Burma so that Allied Forces could send supplies to China. With General Vinegar Stillwell are Captain Chan, Yas Koike, and Grant Hirabayashi, during the second Burma campaign.

MIS member Roy Matsumoto is awarded the Legion of Merit for his contributions during this campaign.

U.S. War Department announces the reinstatement of the draft for the Nisei in the detention camps.

At PACMIRS, Camp Ritchie, Maryland, the following MIS are assigned: Jim Matsumara, Kazuo Yamane, Seishin Kondo and John Kenjo.

February 1944
U.S. forces take Kwajalein and Majura in the Marshall Islands where Howard Hiroki and Frank Hachiya participate. American planes destroy Japanese bases at Rabaul (New Britain) and Truk (Caroline Islands). Admiralty Islands are also taken by General Douglas MacArthur's forces.

MIS members, including Noby Yoshimura, participate in the Battle for Los Negros in the Admiralty Islands, northwest of Rabaul. S/Sgt Thomas T. Sakamoto, assigned to the 1,000 men Resconnaissance 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, participated in the enemy landing to capture Los Negros Island from February 29–March 15, 1944. General Chase awarded Sakamoto the Bronze Star for bravery. Once the beachhead for Los Negros was secured, Noby Yoshimura and Kenji Omura followed with elements of the 2nd Brigade. This is where Kenji Omura loses his life.

MIS members also participate in the assaults on Gilbert and Marshall Islands.

The Joint Headquarters of Generallissmo Chiang Kai Shek and General Archibald Stuart is located in Chungking, China. MISers present are Major John Burden and John Morozumi.

March–June 1944
MIS members Yoshikazu Yamada, George Kamashiro, John Anderton, Fabian Bower and Richard Bagnall translate the Japanese Z-Plan that called for an all-out counterattack in the central Pacific. The document is considered the most significant enemy document seized during the war and leads to the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot in which U.S. forces shoot down more than 400 Japanese planes during the Battle of the Philippine Sea. This victory is greatly due to the translation of the Z-Plan.

April 1944
U.S. forces land at Aitape, New Guinea, eventually taking Hollandia. For their work in the capture of the Aitape airbase, Masato Iwamoto and Haruo "Slim" Tanaka are awarded the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star, respectively. Gene Uratsu serves in New Guinea.

June 1944
U.S. Navy destroys three Japanese aircraft carriers and 450 aircraft during the Battle of Saipan in the Marianas Islands.

MIS members take active part in cave flushing duties. MIS men Ben Honda and George Matsui receive Silver Stars while Hoichi "Bob" Kubo receives the Distinguished Service Cross for their work convincing soldiers and civilians to vacate the caves. MIS member Yukitaka "Terry" Mizutari is killed in action; he is awarded the Silver Star posthumously.

By July 1944, the U.S. Forces took over Saipan, Tinian, and Guam in the Marinas Islands. George Inagaki, Don Oka, Shiro Sakai, Shigeo Ito, Tomotsu Koyanagi, Asao Abe, Hiroki Takahasi and James Kai serve here, and Joseph Kinyone loses his life.

July 1944
U.S. forces take Saipan, Tinian, and Guam in the Mariana Islands.

Twelve MIS linguists are attached to each of the two regiments of the Mars Task Force in North Burma. They not only provide language services but also act as riflemen. Through their efforts, U.S. obtains information about ammunition dumps and enemy positions and movements.

First contingent of the Dixie Mission lands in Yenan, China—the wartime headquarters of Mao Tse Tung and Chou En Lai. Colonel David Barrett, George Nakamura, Sho Nomura and three other MIS members serve with the mission to gather military intelligence information.

August 1944
Pacific Military Intelligence Research Section (PACMIRS) is established at Camp Ritchie, Maryland, to coordinate the efforts of all document sections in the various war theaters. All field documents from which information of immediate operational value had been taken are sent to PACMIRS for detailed scanning.

Increased enrollment and the need for larger facilities force the MISLS to move to Fort Snelling, Minnesota. Many new students are draftees or enlistees from the detention camps or from the "free" zones outside the camps.

Myitkyina, Buma, where Herbert Miyasaki and Kenny Yasui serve, falls.

Click HERE to continue the timeline
For MIS Background Info, Click HERE
MIS Timeline - January to December 1942
MIS Timeline - January -1943 to August 1944
MIS Timeline - September 1944 to August 1945
MIS Timeline - September 1945 to December 1947
MIS Timeline - June 1950 to September 1953
MIS Timeline - 1962 to Decembere 1969
MIS Timeline - March 1972 to 1978
MIS Timeline - May 1980 to April 2000

The Japanese American
100th Infantry Battalian and the 442nd Regimental Combat troops are united. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Government was wary of Japanese-American loyalty and considered them 4C (Enemy Alien), making them ineligible for the draft. Dismayed at their exclusion, the discharged veterans of the Hawaiian Territorial Guard offered services in whatever capacity that the Army might choose to use them -- cleaning up the grounds, building installations and other menial tasks. After their diligence and dedication were acknowledged, these Japanese Americans were recommended to the War Department for a special unit and sent to the mainland for training in the event of another enemy attack.

  The 100th Infantry Battalion was activated, better known as "The One Puka Puka". In advanced training, the 100th scored top scores and received a two-week rest period. In the nine months that the 100th Battalion existed, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the War Department were forced, by the steady stream of petitions and interventions by prominent Americans, to re-open military service to Americans of Japanese ancestry.

On February 1, 1943. President Roosevelt announced the formation of the 442nd RCT with his famous words, "Americanism is not, and never was, a matter of race or ancestry." A call to arms was sounded. Nearly 10,000 Hawaiian nisei (second generation Japanese-Americans) volunteered and over 2,600 were accepted. From the mainland concentration camps, 1,256 nisei volunteered, and 800 were inducted into the Army.

The Hawaiian National Guard (made up largely of Nisei) was federalized and later became the 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team.1

In June 1943, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team arrived at Camp Shelby while the 100th Battalion was finishing up advanced training. There were reunions of cousins and old friends, and in July 1943, the 100th Infantry Battalion received its colors em-blazoned with the motto, "Remember Pearl Harbor" -- they left Camp Shelby for North Africa. It would be nine long months of heavy fighting before the 442nd would team up with the 100th in Italy.

The Japanese internees at Northern Wyoming's Heart Mountain relocation camp did not hesitate to served on the 442nd Regimental Combat Team - so stated Ted Asato (who is one of the 799 veterans from the camp whose names were painted on scrap tiles during their internment to create an honor roll at the windswept site between Cody and Powell, Wyo., where U.S. Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta also was among the 11,000 internees.

Eight Campaigns of the 100th Battalion and the 442nd RCT
In less than two years, they fought in eight campaigns in France and Italy. By the end of the war, the nisei unit suffered 9,486 casualties with 680 soldiers killed in action, earning eight Presidential Unit Citations:

442nd Rescue Mission of the "Lost Battalion" (1st Battalion / 141st Infantry - the "Alamo Regiment" - 36th Division was named one of the 10 major land battles in American military history by a special commission of the U.S. Army. They were led by Lt. Robert Foote. It has been ranked with the battles at Gettysburg and Guadalcanal.

A historian, Pierre Moulin, a native of Bruyeres (site of the battle), has chronicled in his book, U.S. Samurais in Bruyeres - People of France and Japanese Americans: Incredible Story, the events prior to, during, and after the battle for his hometown and the Lost Battalion that "In a single day the Germans have left more than 350 men in this single (and small) combat area. As for the 442nd, alas, it will have lost more than half of its combat force. Companies I and K are practically wiped out. . . ."

At the site of the battle, a plaque mounted on a modest granite slab had, in both English and French, this legend: "To the men of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, U.S. Army, who reaffirmed a historical truth here . . . that loyalty to one's country is not modified by racial origin. These Americans, whose ancestors were Japanese, on Oct. 30, 1944, during the Battle of Bruyeres broke the backbone of the German defenses and rescued the 141st Infantry Battalion which had been surrounded by the enemy for four days." The memorial itself had been placed here by the Japanese American Citizens League.

The 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team became the most decorated unit for its size and length of service in US history. Here is a list of decorations received:  

The 442nd RCT and 100th Battalion earned 18,142 individual decorations for valor. The numbers below denote how many medals they were awarded. They also received numerous other medals for valor, including 28 Oak Leaf Clusters (in lieu of a second Silver Star), 1,200 Oak Leaf Clusters (in lieu of a second Bronze Star), 22 Legion of Merit Medals, 12 French Croix de Guerre with two Palms representing second awards, two Italian Crosses for Military Merit and two Italian Medals for Military Valor:


Japanese Canadians suffered persecutions during World War II which are now almost universally deplored in Canada. Beginning a few weeks after Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941), 21,000 people of Japanese origin, four fifths of them Canadian citizens, were "evacuated" from their homes in British Columbia, deprived of their property rights, held in camps or forced to live elsewhere . Unlike Germans and Italians who could be detained for security reasons in individual cases, the Japanese Canadians were deprived of their freedom en masse. The round-ups were performed without benefit of judicial procedure ; in retrospect , it is difficult to find any justification for these actions, either in the security requirements of the time or on any reasonable grounds whatever.


In a little-known chapter of American history, Latin American families of Japanese, German and Italian ancestry were forced into custody during World War II, stripped of their passports and shipped to detention camps in Texas.

They were put on American military ships and held in Department of Justice camps. Along with the 120,000 Japanese-Americans that everyone knows about, there were about 6,000 Latin Americans and 13,000 ``enemy aliens'' who had been picked up by the FBI in the United States and held in detention.

Some historians have called it what it was: U.S. government-sponsored kidnapping to come up with prisoners to exchange for American soldiers. Thirteen Latin American governments cooperated with the United States government to identify thousands with ancestral roots in Axis countries -- often successful business owners with hard assets that would be left behind.

2,300 Latin Americans of Japanese descent picked up in their home countries, stripped of their passports and taken to internment camps in the United States during World War II. Japanese Latin Americans not only were subjected to gross violations of civil rights in the United States by being forced into internment camps ... but additionally, they were victims of human rights abuses merely because of their ethnic origin.

About 800 of them were used in prisoner exchanges with Japan, but most languished in the camps until after the war. In many cases, detainees' families moved to the camps to be with them.

Eight of every 10 interned Japanese Latin Americans came from Peru, but others lived in Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.

When the war ended, many of them wanted to go back to their homes. Most found they couldn't because their home countries wouldn't accept them. The United States deported a large group of them to war-ravaged Japan, which some had never seen.

The issue of Japanese Latin Americans interned in the United States surfaced in official Washington in 1982 in an appendix to a report on the internment of Japanese-Americans. The 120,000 Japanese-Americans who were interned in the United States during World War II received a formal apology and $20,000 each in reparations in the 1980s from the U.S. government.

But that action didn't include the Japanese Latin Americans, who sued the government in the late 1990s. The Clinton administration offered them $5,000 each and a letter of apology.

Judoka in Portland, Oregon, circa 1936.
Front row, seated, left to right: Shigeru Hongo, Victor Davey (?), Bunuyemon Nii Sensei, Mokuo "Frank" Tomori, Toru Kobayashi.

Back row, standing, left to right: Unidentified, Art Sasaki, Chiaki "Jack" Yoshihara, Senta Nii, Unidentified, Unidentified. In 1926 Bunuyemon Nii began teaching Kito-ryu jujutsu at Portland's Foster Hotel, and in 1927 his student Frank Tomori began teaching Kito-ryu in Hood River. In August 1932, Jigoro Kano visited Portland, and as a result Nii and Tomori converted to Kodokan judo; the still-extant name Obukan ("Oregon Martial Hall") commemorates this conversion. This photograph was taken during late 1935 or early 1936, and commemorated Nii's retirement (he listed his occupation as chiropractor) and return to Japan.

Senta Nii was no relation to Bunuyemon Nii. Jack Yoshihara was the only Nisei to play on the Oregon State varsity football team the year it went to the Rose Bowl (1942). Meanwhile, if the identification is correct, then the individual identified as Victor Davey is the late father of the well-known martial art teacher Hugh Davey. If not, then the judoka is instead Mike Arnold.

Photo courtesy of the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center. Copyright © 2000 All rights reserved.


Conventional wisdom has it that Japanese American athletes took to judo and other Japanese sports before World War II because they were too small to participate in varsity athletics. A by-name listing of Pacific Northwest athletes suggests that the conventional wisdom is wrong. First, while Nisei athletes were shorter than their European American counterparts, they weighed nearly the same. Therefore they were at no significant disadvantage in strength. Second, at least 5% of the available Nisei male population earned varsity letters in football or high school wrestling, which is more than "very few." Finally, a by-name listing shows that Northwest Nisei were more likely to earn varsity letters than judo black belts, and more likely to become professional boxers than graded kendoka.
Typical 17-year old Nisei (second generation) athlete of the 1930s packed 132.3 pounds on a 5’5½" frame. T

he average incoming European American freshman stood 5’8" and weighed 134.58 pounds. While this was 5 inches and 34 pounds more than the average Issei (first generation Japanese American), it was only 2-1/2 inches and as many pounds more than the average Nisei. So while the European American youths may have enjoyed some advantages when playing basketball, their greater height was probably irrelevant in other sports provided that the individual players had comparable strength-to-mass ratios.

Noting only a handful of Northwest Nisei became Golden Gloves or professional boxers, even fewer became kendo champions. And, while Oregon’s Hal Hoshino was among the best boxers of Japanese descent anywhere, Washington’s best kendoka (the Kibei, or Japanese-educated, Kazuo Shoji and Kiyoshi Yasui) were simply local champions.


Frank Fong was one of the first Chinese American fighter pilots in WWII. Despite being told that he would be barred from joining the military, despite his 1 ½ years of civilian pilot training, his telegram to Air Force Gen. Henry ''Hap'' Arnold brought the response that ?Americans of Chinese ancestry, if otherwise qualified, are eligible for aviation cadet [air crew] training'' on January 29, 1942. Fong's landmark appointment came at a time when the federal government prohibited the Chinese from entering the United States under the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act. Not until 1943, with China as an ally, did the government repeal the act.

After completing training in 1943, Fong shot down two German Focke-Wolf 190 fighters in P-47 Thunderbolt. He provided air cover during the D-Day invasion of June 6, 1944, in Normandy, France and rescue more than 1,000 pilots between January and May 1945. In 1972, Fong left the Air Force as a major with more than 400 hours of combat time and 20 accolades, including eight Air Medals, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, eight Air Medals and a Purple Heart.

FRANK FONG'S ATTEMPT TO GET VA BENEFITS: It took 48 years for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to concede that a plane crash scarred his left eye and eventually took his sight. It took two more years for the VA to agree that Fong is seriously disabled by nightmares and flashbacks of violent air combat missions. And nearly three years to fully compensate him for his blind eye and for a back injury from the plane crash, VA records show.

Fong's battle with the VA isn't over. He's still seeking back pay for the years 1950-1997, when the VA refused to acknowledge his blindness. This 54-year ordeal illustrates how technicalities in the VA's disability compensation system shortchange those who lack well-trained advocates and the persistence to keep fighting for years.

HISTORY: But during a mission over Germany in the spring of 1944, flying low at 300 mph, Fong was strafing locomotives when his P-47 Thunderbolt skimmed over a small hill, crashed through the top of some trees and then hit the ground. His face slammed into the gun sight as the plane bounced back into the air. With torn propeller blades and battered wings on his plane, Fong made an emergency landing.

Shards from his sunglasses had lodged in his left eye, and his back had suffered a tremendous jolt. After about 10 days in the hospital, Fong said he told his doctors he was fine to return to duty - even though his vision wasn't quite right. The glass shards had gouged his retina, altering his depth perception and making landings particularly dangerous.

Still, Fong flew two missions on D-Day with the 359th Fighter Group, this time in a P-51 Mustang. On his second mission, flak tore a hole the size of a basketball in the plane's canopy, slamming pieces into his head and aggravating his eye condition. From June 5-13, his flight record shows that he flew 10 missions before a flight surgeon ordered him transferred to a regional hospital for treatment and evaluation.

By April 12, 1945, Fong's flight rating was downgraded and a flight surgeon noted: "Severe spinal injury. Healing. Curvature is evident. Eye (retina) damage." Fong was reassigned to an air-sea rescue unit. Then in November 1945, he was sent to Nautilus Hospital in Miami Beach with recurring problems with his left eye and spinal injuries, records show. Yet when he left active duty in May 1946, Fong's official Army discharge exam listed his eyesight as 20/20 in both eyes. It makes no mention of any crash injuries. The VA used that against him for decades.

Fong first asked the VA to compensate him for his blindness in July 1950. The VA denied his claim, saying that being near-sighted "is not a disability within the meaning of applicable laws." But the VA awarded him $15 a month for an ear infection. The VA doctor's report notes that his vision was far from perfect: 20/70 in the left eye and 20/60 in the right. The exam appears to be the work of a general practitioner, and there's no indication that he examined Fong's retina.

Dr. Harry Hamburger, a Miami ophthalmologist and eye trauma expert, stated that "He's got a permanent scar there. He's worse than legally blind," said Hamburger, a former consulting surgeon at Florida's Homestead Air Force Base who's examined Fong and his military records. "He just sees shapes, just gross shapes." In 1951, the Air Force recalled Fong to serve during the Korean War in the Air Intelligence Group in Washington, D.C. His official military medical exam in March 1951 reports near perfect vision in both eyes.

In contrast, various reports written by a Bolling Air Force Base flight surgeon show Fong was cleared only for temporary flight duty: "Officer has history of severe eye and spinal injuries. Some hearing loss. Vision loss due to air crash mainly to left eye. Severe spinal injury from impact." But the VA never pulled Fong's flight records. A week after he was discharged from active duty in April 1953, Fong reopened his VA disability claim. Again, it was denied.

Fong built a life in the Miami area. But the blindness in his left eye was making work as an artist impossible and he also wasn't coping well with life, although he didn't know why. In 1997, this time with the expert help of a service officer from the Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs, Fong filed another claim with the VA for his blindness, as well as a new claim for his back injury.

At a reunion of his World War II fighter group, Fong learned how to get copies of his flight logs to prove his claims and the VA granted his claims for blindness and back injury in October 1998 - along post-traumatic stress disorder, making payments retroactive to the filing of his 1997 claim. The VA denied his post-traumatic stress disorder claim, based on a VA doctor's opinion that Fong didn't have the disorder. Finally in June 2000, the VA finally granted his claim.

In 2002, the VA denied Fong's request that the effective date on his blindness claim be set back to 1950 - the date he first applied. In 2005, he is still appealing his case by way of telegram to Five Star General "Hap" Arnold, head of the Air Force, who personally appointed Colonel Fong into the military. Colonel Frank Fong broke the barrier for all Chinese Americans.

"I'd rather live in this country behind bars than in another country where the dictator holds the olive branch in one hand and the dagger in the other," Mr. Ito told the jury, as his wife watched from the gallery. "If you convict me, I will know that it's the verdict of Americans."

He wasn't interned, though. He was arrested for espionage in a case similar to what happened to many Americans after 9/11. Ito was one of hundreds rounded up by the FBI in a wave of anti- Japanese mass hysteria following the attack. No one arrested was ever found guilty of espionage. Ito himself was acquitted of spying charges by an all-white jury in 1942.

Despite the acquittal, his entire family was subject to U.S. Executive Order 9066, which evacuated 110,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast and sent them to internment camps.

Kenji Ito, who died in 2003 at age 94, was a gifted debater and public speaker. He became the first Japanese American admitted to the State Bar of California after World War II and was a pioneering force in the establishment of Los Angeles' Little Tokyo district.

The Argus newspaper was a weekly publication edited by H. D. Chadwick.
Months earlier in December, Frank Knox, the Secretary of the Navy, told the press that he believed a fifth column of saboteurs was present in Hawaii before Dec. 7th. The fifth column was supposed to include both Japanese immigrants and American born Japanese, lending support to Japan in the form of spying, sending reports of American actions to Japan, or even sabotage. The Argus applied these ideas to local experience in its story, “The Fifth Column at Work," which stressed that “japs are employed at Harborview hospital. Japs are living in, and even operating, hotels on the western slopes of Seattle’s hills.
The story went on to condemn the government for allowing “American born Japs” and nationals alike to “remain at large.” Finally, the story concluded that not all Japanese and Japanese Americans may be guilty, but it was better to be safe than sorry: “if the innocent are interned with the guilty, it will not be a very serious matter. If any japs are allowed to remain at large in this country, it might spell the greatest disaster in history.”( Argus, February 14, 1942 p.1)
The West Seattle Herald was another weekly publication. Almost out of the blue, on February 26, 1942 along the bottom of the front page read, “Complete evacuation of aliens -- a common sense move – why delay?” There was no article on the front page that would tie this statement into it. On page seven of the same issue there was an editorial entitled “GET ‘EM OUT!”
On Bainbridge Island, there were a considerable number of Japanese American families—most of them connected to various kinds of farming. We spoke of an American recoil to Japanese treachery and wrote: and in such recoil of sentiment there is danger of a blind, wild, hysterical hatred of all persons who can trace ancestry to Japan…who can say that the big majority of our Japanese Americans are not loyal…their record bespeaks nothing but loyalty: their sons are in our army…it [the Review] will not dispute the federal government if it, in its considered wisdom, calls for the removal of all Japanese. Such orders... will be based on necessity and not hatred. (February 5, 1942 p.4)
The Northwest Enterprise was a weekly publication and the region’s most prominent African American newspaper. On Friday, December 12, 1941 the Enterprise published an editorial by E. I. Robinson titled “Let Us Keep Our Record Clear.” In it, the editor spoke about how there was no need to lose one’s head or commit crimes in the name of patriotism. He described the Japanese Americans as good citizens who tend to their own business. But while this piece was the only one of its kind to appear so close to December 7th and argued against harming Japanese Americans just because of their ancestry, the Northwest Enterprise did nothing to oppose internment, and did not mention the plight of the Japanese Americans again.
The Japanese American Courier was a weekly newspaper published and written by Japanese Americans. James Y. Sakamoto was the paper’s founder, its editor, its publisher, and its main voice. Under a microscope of suspicion after Pearl Harbor, and already marginalized by racism, Sakamoto and others at the Courier sought to assure the nation of Japanese American worthiness of citizenship rights and showed as many outward signs of their loyalty as they could.

HISTORY - In 1937, he was a 28-year-old lawyer known for his outspokenness about the Sino-Japanese War, in which Japan and China fought over Manchuria.Though the United States supported China, Ito spoke out for Japan. "I was expressing myself as an American -- of Japanese ancestry, of course -- who knew something about Japan and Japanese history," Ito told The Pacific Citizen, a publication of the Japanese American Citizens League in 1985.

He made more than 200 pro-Japan speeches over a three-year period.

"But that's not spying," said Lee. "People in covert operations don't just go around giving speeches." The speeches were the main reason Ito was arrested for plotting to overthrow the U.S. government. The spy charges were later reduced from espionage to failure to register as an agent of the Japanese government. The case ultimately ended with Ito's acquittal.

JAPANESE AMERICANS IN HAWAII: More than 120,000 Japanese-Americans were ordered into internment camps during World War II, but despite their large numbers, few in the territory of Hawaii were forced to leave their homes. Lt. John A. Burns, a Democrat who went on to be elected governor in 1962, three years after statehood, was assigned to assist the FBI with interrogations.

Lt. John A. Burns wrote in a Honolulu Star-Bulletin column that Japanese- Americans in Hawaii were loyal to the United States and it was in America's interest to cultivate that loyalty. An interracial group started meeting in Hawaii in 1939 in anticipation of war, fearing the effect on the U.S. territory would be devastating. Their premise was that how well we get along during the war will determine how well we get along after. The greatest sense of urgency came from the Japanese community. But overlooked are the Caucasian community, business community, Chinese community."

The group, including Shigeo Yoshida, an educator whose unarchived and uncategorized files were found at the University of Hawaii,
began working as the Council for Interracial Unity to council combine"pragmatism and idealism." "The group struck on the idea of involving military intelligence and the FBI - noting that intelligence agencies had been keeping watch on the Hawaii populace.

The group made contact with Robert Shivers, the head of the Honolulu FBI office who was charged with determining whether the estimated one-third Japanese population would be loyal to the United States. The group enlisted Shivers in their cause and surrounded him with advisers that were Nisei second-generation Americans of Japanese ancestry.


After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, the United States became an ally of China. This changed American foreign policy, and the Chinese Exclusion Acts were repealed in 1943. Chinese could become naturalized American citizens. The Magnuson Act resulted in the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act.

Protest at Topaz Relocation Center. Registration crisis leads to Tule Lake Relocation Center's designation as a segregation center. Hawaiian Nisei in the 100th Battalion sent to Africa. Congress repeals all Chinese exclusion laws, grants right of naturalization and a small immigration quota to Chinese. This occured after Madame Chiang Kai-shek gives address at Hollywood Bowl and asks Congress to repeal Chinese Exclusion laws. After the repeal of the Exclusion Act and the enactment of the War Bride Act, acculturation and assimilation began to take place. The once bachelor society began to shift toward a new American Chinese community filled with families and children. Finally Chinese immigrants were legally allowed to become citizens and to own property.

REMEMBERING 1882 PANEL (Part 7& 8 of 8)
Click HERE to Go to Part 1

Panelists Are the Following

Justice Harry Low
He is the former Insurance Commissioner for the State of California, Presiding Judge for the California Court of Appeal and judge for the San Francisco County Superior Court. He was a Past President of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, the San Francisco Police Commission, Chinese American Citizens Alliance and the Center for Pacific Rim at the University of San Francisco. He has 25 years of judicial experience in civil, criminal, and government law while authoring opinions on virtually every area of California law.

Attorney Michael Lee
He has been the Past President of the Bar Association of San Francisco, Legal Aid Society/Employment Law Center, and the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area. He has argued cases before the United States Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, and U.S. District Courts. His principal practice areas include complex civil litigation, unfair competition, and employment and labor while serving as a Pro Tem Judge in the San Francisco Superior Court.

Bill Ong Hing
He is a Professor of Law and Asian American Studies at the University of California, Davis. Throughout his career, he has pursued social justice by combining community work, litigation, and scholarship. He has authored books on immigration policy and race relations, including Deporting Our Souls—Morality, Values, and Immigration Policy (Cambridge Univ. Press 2006) and Defining America through Immigration Policy (Temple Univ. Press 2004). He is on the board of directors of the Asian Law Caucus and the Migration Policy Institute and serves on the National Advisory Council of the Asian American Justice Center in Washington, D.C.

Donald Ungar
He has been practicing immigration law since 1962 and has litigated numerous cases before the Board of Immigration Appeals, the federal district courts, and the United States Supreme Court. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt School of Law and was the recipient of the first Jack Wasserman Award for excellence in litigation by the American Immigration Lawyers Association as well as the Phillip Burton Immigration and Civil Rights Award.

Connie Young Yu
She has documented the affect of the exclusion laws on the lives of her grandparents, following a paper trail from Canton to Angel Island to various Chinatowns. She has written extensively on Asian America and issues of civil rights and is a board member of the Chinese Historical Society of America and the Chinese Historical and Cultural Project. Her books include Chinatown, San Jose, USA (History San Jose 2001).


On January 17, 1943 - Colonel Young Oak Kim became the first Asian American officer to exercise command in a combat battalion. Upon graduating as a second lieutenant from Infantry Officer Candidate School in Fort Benning, Georgia, Kim chose to join the newly-formed all-nisei 100th Battalion though, as a Corean American, he could have joined a regular Army unit.

Kim's most famous exploit was a daylight mission in Anzio. Having volunteered to capture German soldiers for intelligence, he and another soldier crawled more than 600 yards directly under German observation posts without cover. They succeeded in capturing two prisoners and obtaining information that significantly contributed to the fall of Rome, for which Kim was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. His 100th, along with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, became the most decorated unit of its size and length of service in U.S. military history.

Even after participating in four deadly battles in Italy and France during World War II and suffering severe injuries that forced him out of action, Kim felt obliged to resume service as a battlefield commander when the Korean War broke out. He became the first Asian American to command a non-segregated U.S. combat battalion as CO of 1st Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th US Army Division. Kim retired from the U.S. Army in 1972 as a full colonel after 30 years of active duty and became a respected leader in the Japanese American community. He remains history's most decorated Asian American soldier.  


Korean National Revolutionary Party of Los Angeles begins publishing The Korean Independence. Its politics result in harassment by Dept. of Justice and deportation proceedings against staff.  


In 1943, Chinese American women were recruited to serve with the Army Air Force as "Air WACs." They were often called the Madame Chiang Kai-Shek Air WAC unit. Hazel Toy Nakashima and Jit Wong were the first two women to become "Air WACs." They served in such jobs as photo interpretation, air traffic control and weather forecasting.

Other noteworthy examples include Chinese American Hazel Ying Lee and Maggie Gee. Hazel was one of 38 Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPs, who died in the line of duty. Maggie Gee, took male military pilots up for qualifying flights to renew their instrument ratings and co-piloted B-17 Flying Fortress bombers through mock dogfights staged to train bomber gunners.

Many Japanese women served in the armed forces while their families were in internment camps. Many Japanese and Chinese women were trained as interpreters and translators, and some Filipino American women put their lives on the line as members of the underground resistance in the Philippines.


Hirabayashi vs. US Supreme Court rules that the curfew law imposed on Japanese Americans during WWII is constitutional.


This case centered around
Gordon Hirabayashi, a university student in Seattle and a devout Quaker. He was a conscientious objector to military service and had refused to report to the WCCA evacuation center. Hirabayashi was arrested and convicted on May 16, 1942. The Supreme Court ruled on his case on June 21, 1943.

Sixty-one years ago, Eugene V. Rostow published the first major academic article on the Japanese American internment of World War II. The article's title left little doubt about Rostow's view of the Supreme Court's decisions in Hirabayashi v. United States (1943) and Korematsu v. United States (1944): The Japanese American Cases - A Disaster. Rostow's claim was that these two cases were a substantive disaster of constitutional doctrine - a fundamentally mistaken endorsement of a repressive military program.

Rostow's conceptualization of the disaster of the Japanese American cases continues to define - and, in a sense, to confine - our view of the legal history of this wartime period. There are, in fact, many more wartime Japanese American cases to remember than Korematsu and Hirabayashi. These two cases were really just one small part of a much broader program of litigation in which the government sought both to capitalize on and to reinforce the image of Japanese Americans as disloyal subversives.

. . . . Rostow's assessment of the Japanese American cases as a disaster by recasting both of those terms. It widens the focus of the term Japanese American cases to include stories of the many wartime Japanese American cases that the literature has slighted or forgotten. This broader view reveals that the Japanese American cases of World War II were a disaster of a different sort: a litigative debacle, in which an astonishing number of cases ended in acquittals, dismissals, stern judicial rebukes, and other repudiations of the government's legal and factual positions. His article concludes that the overall litigative project was a misadventure in using the law - especially the criminal law - to tar a racial group with the badges of disloyalty during wartime.


Exclusion order against Japanese Americans are revoked and effective January 2, 1945.  

"When you separate out fact from myth, why, their case falls apart," Kurtis said. "In this great admiration we have for the greatest generation, Iva Toguri should be included in those patriots loyal to America."

Asked about patriotism in the face of such adversity, Toguri often quoted her father's admonition: "A tiger doesn't change his stripes."Another journalist, Ron Yates, became intrigued by the story while serving as Tokyo bureau chief for the Chicago Tribune. During a golf game, he asked a friend who had worked for Radio Tokyo about Tokyo Rose.

"He said, 'She was convicted on really bad testimony.' I said, 'What do you mean?' " Yates told The Times on Wednesday. His friend handed him the phone numbers for the two witnesses whose testimony had led to Toguri's conviction.

"They said, 'I think it's time for us to come clean,' " Yates said. "They said they were coached for two months every day before the trial began. That kind of blew me away."

The two former Radio Tokyo employees admitted they had perjured themselves under heavy pressure. Yates wrote a series of articles in 1976 that made a powerful case for Toguri's innocence.


Up to the end of World War II, there had only been some 30 treason cases in United States history. When
Mrs. Iva Ikuko Toguri D'Aquino went on trial, five Americans had been convicted of treason for actions in the war, four having broadcast for Nazi Germany, most notably Millard Gillars, known as Axis Sally. Tom DeWolfe, a special assistant attorney general, told the jury that Mrs. D'Aquino had engaged in "nefarious propagandistic broadcasts" without being under duress. Former supervisors for Radio Tokyo testified that she had made propaganda broadcasts willingly, and a few broadcast tapes were played for the jury, though none were identified as containing Mrs. D'Aquino's voice.

Testifying at the 12-week trial, Mrs. D'Aquino denied that she had ever made any disloyal statements on Radio Tokyo. She was supported in testimony from former Allied prisoners of war who had worked in the Japanese broadcasting operation. In a statement that she had given to the F.B.I. in Japan and that was entered in the court record, she said that she had sought to reduce the programs' effectiveness as propaganda by inserting double meanings in some of her broadcasts.

Mrs. D'Aquino was convicted on a single count of treason, relating to a broadcast she was alleged to have made to American servicemen in October 1944, referring to the loss of their ships. According to prosecution testimony, she said: "Orphans of the Pacific, you really are orphans now. How will you get home now that all your ships are lost?"

In one of his last official acts in office, President Ford pardoned Toguri and restored her citizenship.

Those who tell her story like to point out that she was born on the Fourth of July, 1916. Raised by Japanese immigrants in a predominantly white neighborhood in Compton, she spoke almost no Japanese. She attended a Methodist church, was a Girl Scout, loved big bands and hated sushi.
For info, click HERE

Several years ago, Toguri invited Yates to dinner. "She sat across from me and said, 'I always wanted to meet you and thank you. If it wasn't for you I'd still be a criminal,' " Yates recalled Toguri saying."It was journalists who got you into trouble," he replied. "And a journalist who kind of got you out."


Korematsu vs. US - Supreme Court rules that the order excluding Japanese Americans from the West Coast was justified because of military necessity.

On December 18, 1944, the United States Supreme Court decided the landmark cases of Korematsu v. United States and Ex parte Endo, the first of which approved of the forced eviction of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans from their homes, and the second of which forbade the continued incarceration of loyal American citizens. Over the months leading up to December 18, 1944, judges and juries in the lower federal courts across the western United States heard hundreds of draft resistance prosecutions of young Japanese American internees who sought to turn their conscription into a legal test of the lawfulness of their confinement.  

BACKGROUND: In 1942, Korematsu was arrested and convicted for being a Japanese American trying to live in the Bay Area. The day the arrest a newspaper headline declared, "Jap Spy Arrested in San Leandro."

The government never charged me with being a spy. I was a U.S. citizen born and raised in Oakland. He even tried to enlist in the Coast Guard (they didn't take him because of his race). On Feb. 19, 1942, anyone of Japanese heritage was ordered excluded from the West Coast. He was charged and convicted of being a Japanese American living in an area in which all people of my ancestry had been ordered to be interned. He fought his conviction and the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, but in 1944 my efforts to seek protection under the Constitution were rejected.

After his release in 1945, my criminal record continued to affect his life. It was hard for him to find work because he was considered to be a criminal. It took almost 40 years and the efforts of many people to reopen his case. In 1983, a federal court judge found that the government had hidden evidence and lied to the Supreme Court during my appeal. The judge found that Japanese Americans were not the threat that the government publicly claimed. My criminal record was removed.

As his case was being reconsidered by the courts, Congress created a commission to study the exclusion and incarceration of Japanese Americans. The commission found that no Japanese American had been involved in espionage or sabotage and that no military necessity existed to imprison us. Based on the commission's findings and of military historians who reconsidered the original records from the war, Congress passed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, declaring that the internment of Japanese Americans was unjustified. Finally, it seemed that the burden of being accused of being an "enemy race" had been lifted from our shoulders. As the result of his convictions, Fred Korematsu was awarded the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medial of Freedom, in 1998.

President Clinton has stated the following words: "In the long history of our country's constant search for justice, some names of ordinary citizens stand for millions of souls -- Plessy, Brown, Parks . . . To that distinguished list today we add the name of Fred Korematsu . . . helping to widen the circle of democracy by fighting for human rights, by righting social wrongs, and by empowering others to achieve."

PASSING OF FRED KOREMATSU: Civil rights activist Fred Korematsu, who unsuccessfully fought the order to be sent to a Japanese American internment camp during World War II, died Wednesday: March 30, 2005 at the age of 86. Korematsu died of respiratory illness at his daughter's home in Larkspur, said his attorney Dale Minami. Korematsu is survived by his wife, Katherine, his daughter, Karen, and son, Ken. Minami stated the following: "He had a quiet courage, that's the best way to describe him. He did things because he thought the were right. He just thought this was wrong . . . Fred was a giant in our community and a man who fought not only for the civil rights for Japanese-Americans but for all Americans . . . He took an unpopular stand at a time when the country was in crisis. And he withstood criticism and ostracism 40 years later."

In recent years, Korematsu remained active in civil rights issues, speaking out against parts of the Patriot Act that he felt violated the rights of Arab Americans. "He felt like what was happening to Arab Americans was very similar to what happened to Japanese Americans," Minami said. "Part of his legacy is that he challenged the government in a time of war. ... He continued speaking out in support of civil rights and the Constitution for years and years."

Japanese American Soldiers

Trial of the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee for conspiracy to violate selective service law in the largest mass trial in U.S history (Cheyenne, WYO). FPC (Fair Play Committee) refused to be drafted while they and their families were interned in the camps. These 85 interned Japanese Americans were prosecuted and incarcerated because they refused to be drafted into the U.S. military unless their rights as citizens were restored.

Frank Abe's (former KIRO-TV news reporter) film ("Conscience and the Constitution") documented this fact that has sharply divided Japanese America for more than 50 years. The film (Conscience and the Constitution) provided evidence that was contrary to popular opinion that his parents' generation surrendered their constitutional rights without question after the outbreak of World War II.

The Japanese American Citizens League, a group devoted to Americanism, believed that loyalty had to be proven by providing the "right" for Japanese Americans to volunteer and/or be drafted for combat duty. As a result, the resistance was opposed by the Japanese American Citizens League who worked with the U.S. government to create the segregated volunteer 442nd Regimental Combat Team of Japanese-Americans who served in Europe. The JACL condemned the resisters in its newspaper, the Pacific Citizen, and many believed it worked to identify leaders of the Fair Play Committee. Even the American Civil Liberties Union refused to help the resisters.

In 1942, Fred Korematsu was ordered to be unjustly incarcerated with 120,000 other Japanese Americans. Mr. Korematsu refused to be interned, and was convicted of failing to report to an internment camp in 1944. He appealed his conviction all the way to the Supreme Court but lost. Forty years later, in 1988, with the representation of Asian Law Caucus of San Francisco, Fred Korematsu re-opened his case and had the conviction overturned. Fred Korematsu has become a hero for the civil rights movement for Asian Americans, and in 1998, President Clinton presented him with the Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award of the United States.

Frank Emi and Kiyoshi Okamoto (the Fair Play Committee of One) started the protest movement at the Heart Mountain camp in Wyoming. At Heart Mountain, 63 young men who refused to board the inductee buses were taken into custody. They were tried, convicted and sent to prison for draft evasion, eventually serving more than two years. Twenty-two more convictions followed. Eventually the leaders of the Fair Play committee were also arrested and imprisoned. These resisters, who fought their battle in the courts, were scorned as draft-dodgers and traitors, while their families were ostracized.

In 1988, the U.S. government finally admitted that the internment camps were wrong. It took another 12 years (2000) before the JACL made a formal apology for turning their backs on the Heart Mountain resisters.


Chi Cheng born. She once held 6 US track and field records.  

The Seattle Star had mobilized public opinion against Japanese Americans since the 1920s and editorialized against resettlement soon after the federal announcement (12-14-44).

Chinese Americans, like all other Americans, bravely served to preserve the American way of life and to advance democratic ideals around the world during WWII. Of the six million Americans who were drafted or enlisted to serve in the Second World War, over 20,000 Chinese Americans served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, the Marines, and the Coast Guard. These brave men and women served with honor in the European, Pacific, and the China-Burma-India Theatres of Operation. While most of these men and women are descendants of earlier Chinese immigrants, some were also first generation immigrants. It has been documented that these servicemen and women brought valuable skills and served the United States in a number of different capacities, as fighter pilots, intelligence operatives (Europe & Asia), infantrymen, nurses, and others throughout WWII. These great Asian Pacific American soldiers were honored by Congress on October 26, 1999.


In late summer of 1945 with reports reaching American headquarters in China that Japan planned to kill its prisoners, General Albert Wedemeyer (American commander) pulled together 7 men rescue teams to locate and evacuate POWs in China, Manchuria and Korea. He pulled together seven-man OSS rescue teams to rescue prisoners and gather intelligence.

OSS organized eight rescue missions, all under code names of birds: Magpie (heading to Peiping), Duck (Weihsien), Flamingo (Harbin), Cardinal (Mukden), Sparrow (Shanghai), Quail (Hanoi), Pigeon (Hainan Island), and Raven (Vientiane, Laos). The teams took off from Si'an (today called xi'an).

The team that parachuted into Bejing liberated 624 Allied prisoners including survivors of the Doolittle raids on Tokyo. One team rescued American General Jonathan Wainwright, hero of Bataan, and 1,600 other Allied POWs in Mukden. The OSS mercy mission that flew to Taiwan parachuted into Hainan Island with the team that evacuated 400 starving prisoners there. On August 17, 1945, Tad Nagaki parachuted from a B-24, named "The Armored Angel," with five other American heroes to rescue me and 1,400 other prisoners from the Weihsien Concentration Camp in China's Shangtung Province.

Tad Nagaki and members of these rescue teams were honored with the Soldier's Medal for heroism.
MIS Timeline
September 1944
U.S. forces take Palau Islands.

October 1944
U.S. forces land on Leyte for the Battle of Leyte Gulf. In the largest naval
battle of the Pacific War under the command of Admiral Raymond Spruance, U.S. forces destroy most of the remaining Japanese naval forces. Due to MIS translation of the Z-Plan, the Japanese Navy's defensive plan for the Philippines was already well known to the Allied Forces. Hundreds of MIS linguists, including Hakumasa Hamamoto, Walter Tanaka, Fred Nishitsuji, serve in the Leyte campaign. Warren Higa and Ralph Saito serve in Dulag.

Under General Ike Eisenhower, Major John White, Kazuo Yamane, George Urabe and Pat Nagano serve at Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces in Paris, France, to intercept communication between Japan and the Japanese Embassy in Berlin.

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team (including the 100th Infantry Battalion) rescues the 36th Infantry Division ("Lost Battalion") after five days of continuous battle. The 442nd/100th unit suffers more than 800 casualties to rescue the 211 Texans

.November 1944
Forty-seven Nisei, three Caucasians, and one Chinese American of the Women's Army Corps (WACs) report to Fort Snelling for Japanese language training. They are trained in written Japanese to qualify as translators.

December 1944
Victor Abe serves in Mindaneo and William Dozier and Stanley Shimabukuro serve in Leyte. U.S. forces retake Leyte. MIS linguist Frank Tadakazu Hachiya is killed in action; he is awarded the Silver Star posthumously.

January 1945
U.S. forces invade Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, in the Philippines with Susumu Toyoda and Yukio Kawamoto participating. Working together with Filipino guerilla soldiers, several MIS teams participate in the battle of northern Luzon to provide key strategic intelligence.

At S-2, Japanese Military Intelligence Division, Canadian Army, Vancouver, Canada requests services of MISers Dye Ogata and Ted Kihara as instructors in Japanese. In Hood River, Oregon, the American Legion removes the names of 17 Nisei soldiers from the community honor roll.

Exclusion orders on Japanese and Japanese Americans from the West Coast are revoked.

February 1945
U.S. forces retake Bataan, Philippines. The MIS team attached to the XIV Corps enters Manila.

March 1945
U.S. forces retake Manila and Corregidor in the Philippines where MIS linguist Harry Akune parachutes into battle. Other MISers were Norman Kikuta, Milton Tanizawa and Tom Kadomoto. Shizuo Tanakatsubo participates in Mindoro and Moffet Ishikawa serves in Panay, Philippines.

American planes firebomb Tokyo.

U.S. Marines take the island during the Battle of Iwo Jima. More than 50 MIS men serve with the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Marine Divisions. They convince many Japanese soldiers to surrender. The MIS men include Manny Goldberg, Terry Doi, and Tadashi Ogawa who convince many Japanese to surrender.

April 1945
In the final amphibious landing, U.S. forces attack more than 130,000 Japanese soldiers in the Battle of Okinawa. MIS translations contribute to the shortening of the Okinawan campaign. In one instance, translation of the Japanese defense plan for Okinawa, including a signal codebook, gives U.S. forces information about defense strategies and troop positions. MIS linguists also translate a chart showing the artillery locations and heavy mortar positions of the Japanese defense line that had withstood repeated American assaults. Many MIS soldiers had relatives in Okinawa.

Vic Nishijima, James Shigeta, Hiroshi Mukae, Tom Matsui, Ben Hazard, Wally Amioka, Warren and Takehiro Higa, Warren Sukuma, Leg Nishiyama, Ralph Saito, and Dan Nakatsu participate. Mitsuo Shibata, Eddie Fukui, and Ben Kurokawa are killed in action.

June 1945
U.S. forces retake Okinawa.

August 1945
U.S. B-29s drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki (August 9). The Soviet Union enters the war against Japan and invades Manchuria (China). Paul Otaki, Ardaven Kozono, and Yoshito Iwamoto serve in the Philippines. Shoichi Nakamura is KIA. General Tomoyuki Yamashita surrenders in North Luzon where MIS soldier Koyoshi Fujimori served.

August–September 1945
Japan formally surrenders (September 2). Representatives of the Japanese government sign the formal instrument of surrender aboard the USS Missouri. Three MIS officers, Tom Sakamoto, Noby Yoshimura, and Kiyoshi Hirano are on board to observe.

Singapore surrenders to Lord Louis Mountbatten with MISer Tim Hirata present.

August 1945
More than 5,000 MIS Nisei participate in major assignments covering military government, disarmament, intelligence, civil affairs, land reform, education, and finance during the Allied Occupation of Japan (1945–1952). They also help develop the Japanese Constitution.

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MIS Timeline - January to December 1942
MIS Timeline - January -1943 to August 1944
MIS Timeline - September 1944 to August 1945
MIS Timeline - September 1945 to December 1947
MIS Timeline - June 1950 to September 1953
MIS Timeline - 1962 to Decembere 1969
MIS Timeline - March 1972 to 1978
MIS Timeline - May 1980 to April 2000

In July 1943, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) asked for Nisei volunteers for "highly secret" intelligence work. "More hazardous than combat," some of them were told, "a one-way ticket." 13 Nisei qualified to be part of an elite team of Nisei in 0SS Detachment 101. Every one of them knew when he volunteered that it was much more dangerous for him as a Japanese-American than for others.

The OSS trained the Nisei team first in radio school in Naperville, Illinois, then the Military Intelligence Service Language School in Fort Savage, Minnesota, then six weeks of survival and demolition at Toyon Bay on Catalina Island.

Dropping into Northern Burma in January 1943, OSS Detachment 101 was the first espionage unit the United States used behind Japanese lines. Deployed in China, Burma and India, it had 250 officers and 750 enlisted men trained in parachuting, radio operations, infiltration, survival training, hand-to-hand combat, cryptography and guerrilla tactics. An American-led intelligence outfit with unconventional methods, it was led by Carl Elfier and William "Ray" Peers.

In 1943, when the Japanese announced that captured flyers would be given "one way tickets to hell," Detachment 101 and their Kachin Raiders began rescuing downed crews. Morale of Allied airmen in the Tenth Air Force - many of them flying over "The Hump" - improved. Detachment 101 rescued some 400 Allied flyers.

AWARDS: Soldier's Medal: Sgt Tadash Nagaki, intepreter, and T/4 Raymod N. Hanchulak, medic, are awarded the Soldier's Medal for heroism in 'Shanghia, 1945, for their part in liberating 1,400 Allied prisoners from the Weihsien Civilian Assembly Center in China's Shantung province, August 1945.

The Nisei plunged into the work of sabotage, guerrilla warfare, hit-and-run harassment operations, translating Japanese documents, preparing propaganda leaflets, interrogating prisoners and building airfields. Calvin Tottori, a member of the Nisei team, documents their exploits in a fascinating collection of unpublished memories, The O.S.S. Niseis in the China-Burma-India Theater.

RISKS: Being mistaken for the enemy was always a possibility. Nisei Lt. Ralph Yempuku was assigned to the 1st Battalion Kachin Rangers under Captain Joe Lazarsky. The Kachins hated the Japanese. Japanese had tied villagers to trees and bayoneted them to death. "The Kachins were initially very wary about me because I was a Japanese-American," Yempuku recalls. "On the first day, Captain Lazarsky paraded me in front of the whole battalion introducing me as an 'American' and ordering them to study my face so that I would not be mistaken for and shot as an enemy Japanese."

As the war wound down in Burma in the summer of 1945, Detachment 101 Niseis, battle-hardened in India and Burma, were deployed to China, to report to OSS Detachment 202 headquarters in Kunming to accomplish their rescues.


Guerrero and Finch were awarded the U.S. Medal of Freedom after the war for their exploits with the Philippine underground resistance movement that are listed below.

Josefina V. Guerrero supplied American POWs with food, clothing and medicine and passed them contraband messages, Judy Bellafaire (curator of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial) said. "In the early days of the Japanese occupation, she was asked to map Japanese fortifications at the Manila waterfront. Her map included information on secret tunnels, air raid shelters and a number of new installations in which the allies were interested."

Shortly before the American invasion of Manila in 1945, Guerrero carried a map through Japanese-held territory that showed the location of land mines along the planned invasion route, Bellafaire said.

"She walked most of the way with the map taped between her shoulder blades," Bellafaire said. "She strapped a pack on her back, distracting the enemy, who concentrated their searches on the pack rather than on her. She reached the 37th Infantry Division with the map, enabling the Americans to avoid the land mines that had been laid for them."

Florence Ebesole Smith Finch, the daughter of an American soldier and a Filipino mother, claimed Philippine citizenship to avoid being imprisoned by the Japanese, Bellafaire said. "She joined the underground resistance movement and smuggled food, medicine and other supplies to American captives."

Finch was eventually arrested by the Japanese, tortured and sentenced to three years' imprisonment, Bellafaire said. American forces liberated her after she'd served five months of her sentence. She went to Buffalo, N.Y., her father's hometown, and enlisted in the Coast Guard, the curator said, to "avenge the death of her late husband," a Navy PT boat crewman killed at Corregidor, the Philippines.

This in addition to all the Filipino Americans that had served in the Army and Navy.

Remembering that Roosevelt never told MacArthur to concede defeat in the Philippines, MacArthur was hopeful that upon his arrival in Australia would allow him to take over a U.S. invasion force. But to his dismay, the “5 mile convoy” promised was not there and he had to wait before he could finally make good on his “I shall return” pledge. Filipinos gained the respect of America, Europe and the world after they had witnessed the courage and tenacity of Filipino soldiers against overwhelming foes.

Winston Churchill, disappointed at the very early capitulation of British forces in Malaya and Singapore, praised the Philippine Scouts as “soldiers with no equals in the world.” U.S. Army annals singled out the Philippine Scouts, particularly the 26th Cavalry, the last U.S. army unit to actually fight on horse back as the best fighting unit in Bataan, even better than their counterparts in the regular U.S. Army who fought with them there. The Philippine Commonwealth Army which included the PC and hastily recruited ROTC cadets untested as combat soldiers proved their worth and gained the respect of the world. Many of them later fought on as guerrillas, until the Philippine Islands was liberated in 1945. (Col Romy Monteyro, PA, AFP -Ret. - Columnist, Philippine Mabuhay News)

In 1947 the United States concluded an agreement with the Republic of the Philippines concerning military bases which specified that the United States would be permitted to recruit citizens of the Philippines for voluntary enlistment into the U S Armed Forces. However, there was no requirement for such recruitment prior to the Korean Conflict. Expanded personnel requirement at this time resulted in an urgent need for additional stewards in the U. S. Navy. Consequently an agreement was negotiated in 1952 based upon the 1947 treaty whereby up to 1,000 Filipino citizen could be enlisted in the US Navy each year. This agreement was amended upon the request of the United States in 1954 to raise this number to 2,000 a year. The agreement between the two Governments maybe terminated by either party on 1-year notice.


On January 8, 1945 - Filipino guerrillas led by Captain Juan Pajota backed the US troops that slipped behind Japanese lines to rescue 500+ American POWs located at the concentation camp in Cabanatuan - a northern province in the Philippines. This camp was the largest maintained by Japanese forces during the war and American prisoners kept in squalid conditions thought they had been forgotten. This rescue was a massive operation that had very little chance of making it and a lot of chances for failing, but it was the most successful rescue mission in American history.


Luce - Celler bill grants right of naturalization and small immigration quotas to Asian Indians and Filipinos. This bill amended the Immigration Act of 1917 ("Barred Zone"), allows 100 immigrants from India and the Philippines to enter the country and makes persons of Indian and Filipino descent living the United States eligible for citizenship.
Governor Mon Wallgren, Mayor William Devin, and Congressmen Henry "Scoop" Jackson and Warren Magnusen were among the public officials who initially spoke out against allowing Seattle's Japanese American residents to return to the area. (Seattle PI 1-23-45; Times 12-18-44


All the concentration/internment camps are closed. The Philippines have become independent from the United States. United States citizenship are offered to all Filipinos, not to just servicemen.


Filipino Naturalization Act extends US citizenship to residents arrived before March 24, 1943. Luce-Cellar Bill signed, allows Asian Indians to become US citizens and sets a yearly quota of 100 immigrants.  


Broadcast journalist, who is married to Maury Povich, was born on August 20, 1946.  


Amendment to 1945 War Brides Act allows Chinese American veterans to bring brides into the U.S.  


Wataru Misaka (who grew up in Ogden, Utah) was the first Japanese-American to play professional basketball at the highest level in the United States. Misaka's brief career in New York was short since the Knicks cut Misaka, a 5-foot-7 point guard, after three regular-season games in 1947. He was a pioneer in the Basketball Association of America, which became the National Basketball Association in 1949 (a year before the league admitted its first black player). He turned down an informal invitation to play for the Harlem Globetrotters.

The Knicks drafted Misaka shortly after a memorable defensive performance in the championship game of the 1947 National Invitation Tournament. He held Ralph Beard of Kentucky to 1 point, and his six-man Utah team upset Kentucky, coached by Adolph Rupp, 49-45, in Madison Square Garden. An article in The New York Times on March 25, 1947, described his impact: "Little Wat Misaka, American born of Japanese descent, was a 'cute' fellow intercepting passes and making the night miserable for Kentucky."

In college, Misaka helped Utah win two championships with his defensive skills. The first came in 1944. Although the Utes lost to Kentucky in the first round of the more prestigious N.I.T., they were invited at the last minute to the eight-team N.C.A.A. championship. Utah won the N.C.A.A. crown, and shortly afterward, Misaka enlisted in the Army. He spent nine months in Japan during the American occupation.

Misaka's father had immigrated to California in 1902 and then moved to Utah, where his mother's uncle was farming in Ogden. Misaka was featured in 2000 in an exhibit of sports pioneers in the Japanese-American National Museum in Los Angeles.


Truman grants full pardon to the
Japanese Americans who had been convicted for resisting the draft while they and their families were held in concentration camps.


September 1945
Western Defense Command issues Public Proclamation No. 24 revoking exclusion orders and military restrictions against Japanese Americans.

October–November 1945
Detention camps at eight cities close.

MISLS enrollment hits its peak, with 160 instructors and 3,000 students. With the surrender of Japan, the school shifts focus from military to civil affairs
courses to provide linguists for the Occupation.

January 1946
The Congressional Medal of Honor is awarded to a Japanese American for the first time. Sadao Munemori, killed in action, receives the medal for his heroic actions during a battle in the Apennines, Italy.

March 1946
Tule Lake, the last of 10 U.S. detention camps, closes.

May 1946
"For weeks I could not eat or sleep." - American attorney The International Military Tribunal begins the war crimes trials in Tokyo. Other trials take place in China, the Philippines, French Indochina, and the East Indies. More than 70 linguists, mostly from MIS, provide translation services for the war crimes tribunals and act as interpreters for the trials. Nisei are also assigned as defense attorneys and defense monitors.

June 1946
Renamed the U.S. Army Language School, MISLS moves from Fort Snelling to the Presidio of Monterey, California.

July 1946
U.S. President Harry Truman honors the 442nd Regimental Combat Team at the White House.

December 1946
With the opening of Japanese repatriation ports, MIS Nisei assist in the
processing of six million Japanese returning to Japan from Siberia and other regions.

December 1947
All 315 Japanese-American draft resistors receive a presidential
pardon from President Harry Truman.

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MIS Timeline - January to December 1942
MIS Timeline - January -1943 to August 1944
MIS Timeline - September 1944 to August 1945
MIS Timeline - September 1945 to December 1947
MIS Timeline - June 1950 to September 1953
MIS Timeline - 1962 to Decembere 1969
MIS Timeline - March 1972 to 1978
MIS Timeline - May 1980 to April 2000

Act gave permanent resident status to 3,465 Chinese students, visitors and seaman who didn't want to go back to China.


A former doctor in the U.S. Army, Sammy Lee was the first Korean-American to win a gold medal at the London Games and the first Olympic diver to win back-to-back gold medals. He went on to coach several Olympic diving greats, such as Bob Webster and Greg Louganis. Currently, Dr. Lee is a retired ear specialist living in California.

Sammy Lee, the son of Korean immigrants who overcame formidable odds to become an Olympic diving champion as well as a doctor. In 1932, at the age of 12, Sammy fell in love with diving, but his local pool was open only once a week to nonwhites. He faced opposition at home, too; his father wanted him to focus on a "respectful" profession--medicine. Sammy found a coach, maintained a grueling balance between academics and training, and finally earned both a medical degree and an Olympic gold medal. In 2oo5, a book entitled "Sixteen Years In Sixteen Seconds: The Sammy Lee Story" was written on his life.


At the
1948 Olympic Games, Harold Sakata became the first Japanese American to win an Olympic medal by capturing a silver medal in weightlifting.


California repeals ths law banning interracial marriages.


James Wong Howe met
Sanora Babb just prior to the war years when racial bigotry was intensified. She is a white woman, and at that time the miscegenation laws forbidding interracial marriage were in effect. As a result, they did not marry until September of 1949. Situation such as the following often occurred - " Whey were going out to dine at a Chinese restaurant, a woman had taken the time to follow them to the entrance of the establishment. As she harassed the two of them for being together, Sanora took the woman's hat and tossed it in the gutter. Sanora remembers this woman chasing the hat down the sewer drain exclaiming, 'My $100 hat!' When the miscegenation laws were repealed, it took them three days to find a judge who would marry them. When they finally did, the judge remarked, "She looks old enough. If she wants to marry a chink, that's her business."


Japanese American Claims Act passed, allowing limited redress for those dispossessed of their property during


5000 highly educated Chinese in the U.S. granted refugee status after China institutes a Communist government.


As late as 1949,
600 workers from the independent Republic of the Philippines were imported by the sugar planters to break up strikes led by the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union.


FBI arrests the Hawaii Seven for communist activity. Their fines and jail terms are overturned in January 1958.


In Rogers and Hammerstein's South Pacific, the main theme is racial prejudices. The two main characters, Emile de Becque and Nellie
Forbush are faced with these problems as they attempt a relationship.

Two other minor characters, Lt. Joe Cable and Liat, are faced with the same dilemma. Both Nellie and Joe Cable have a hard time copping with their own racial prejudices; Joe loves Liat, yet cannot marry her because she is Tonkinese; Nellie loves Emile, but cannot marry him because of his former Polynesian wife. It is these prejudices that set the state for what might be the most significant scene in the production.

In act 2, scene 3, Nellie reveals her prejudices to Emile. I can't help it. It isn't as if I could give you a good reason. There is no reason. This is emotional. It's something that is born in me.

She looks to Cable for help in describing what she feels, but he offers no help.

You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people who's eyes are oddly made,
And people who's skin is a different shade –
You've got to be carefully taught!
…To HATE all the people your relatives hate –
You've got to be carefully taught!

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