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Personal Narratives of the Forced Removal and Incarceration of Japanese Americans During World War II: Veterans History Project (U.S.)

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Series I: Formerly Incarcerated People (continued)
Asa Hanamoto Collection
Collection ID: 85552
Hanamoto was incarcerated at Tule Lake Relocation Center, California. In 1944, he was drafted into the United States Army and completed training at the Military Intelligence Service Language School (MISLS) at Fort Snelling, Minnesota. He later served as a linguist with the 187th Infantry Regiment at Fort Blanding, Florida, and in Manila, Philippines, Tokyo, Japan, and Ota, Japan. He was discharged in 1946 with the rank of Technician Three and went on to a civilian career as a landscape architect.
BOX miniDV Video Interview with Asa Hanamoto, July 12, 2012
126 minutes
MV01-MV02: Topics covered include: Family members in the military; activities leading up to World War II; forced removal to Tule Lake Relocation Center, California, 5/1942; knowledge of family's forced removal to detention center; Japanese immigrant parents and their naturalization; feelings about detention center; living conditions at Tule Lake; how he coped with time in detention center; work opportunities outside of Tule Lake; education and other work at Tule Lake; release from camp; drafted into Army; parents' release from detention centers; return to family ranch; education prior to service; reason for joining military; family's reaction to being drafted; coping during basic training; better treatment in basic training than in detention center; Fort Blanding, Florida; treatment as a Japanese American during basic training; Military Intelligence Service Language School, Fort Snelling, Minnesota; living conditions and food at basic training; morale and thoughts about World War II; feelings about end of war in Europe and Japan; part of holding unit in Manila, Philippines; duties in Manila; specialization as a linguist; rank of technical sergeant; treatment by locals in Manila; no apprehension as a Japanese American serving in the Pacific; brief assignment in Tokyo, Japan; treatment in Tokyo by locals; assignment in Ota, Japan; attachment to 187th Regiment as interpreter; mission of military intelligence in Ota; duties as interpreter; no segregation in unit as Japanese American; challenges of service in Ota; discharge, 1946; awards; final rank of Technician Third Grade; Congressional Gold Medal, 11/2011; biggest challenge of being a Japanese American soldier during World War II; education after active duty; career as landscape architect; retirement in 1974; career awards; Military Intelligence Service reunions; most difficult part of service; scariest moment in service; justifications of sacrifice during World War II; impact of service on outlook; need to remember World War II; advice for those entering military today; advice for future generations.
Carl Hayano Collection
Collection ID: 92795
Hayano was incarcerated at Poston Relocation Center, Arizona, from 1942 to 1944.
BOX VHS-578 Video Interview with Carl Hayano, July 18, 1986
11 minutes
MV01: Topics covered include: feelings about being incarcerated as a child; memory of the attack on Pearl Harbor; changes in attitudes of his friends immediately after the outbreak of war; social and political motivations for incarceration; spared immediate forced removal from Los Angeles and allowed to move to Fresno because his father was an important citizen; furniture and other possessions sold off quickly. Note: recording is incomplete, ends abruptly after 11 minutes.
Alan Yoshiaki Hayashi Collection
Collection ID: 49510
Digital content available
Hayashi was born in Poston Relocation Center, Arizona, in 1945. Following their release in September 1945, his family settled in San Diego, California. Hayashi attended San Diego State University before being drafted into the United States Army during the Vietnam War.
BOX miniDV Video Interview with Alan Yoshiaki Hayashi, March 27, 2007
1 miniDV
MV01: Topics covered include: introduction; born April 1945 in Poston Relocation Center, Arizona; family released in September 1945; moved to San Diego, California, very hostile area for Japanese Americans, because WWII soldiers were returning to port; ten years later sister and brother born; graduated from San Diego State; married; drafted in 1969; boot camp at Fort Ord, California; assigned to 101st Airborne Division in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) of Vietnam; monsoon; fire base, artillery support; Hawaii for leave; home flight; discharged in 1971; 1989 got married again.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-1393/1 Biographical information, March 27, 2007
1 folder
MS01: Topics covered include: Brief overview of early life; college; draft; boot camp and training at Fort Ord, California; Vietnam protests; plane to Fort Lewis, Washington, then on to Anchorage, Alaska; from there to Vietnam with 101st Airborne Division, Light Weapons Infantry; Assistant Gunner for an M60 machine gun and light weapon was an M-16; discharged in March 1971.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-1393/2 Military papers, 1971
1 folder
MS02: Report of discharge.
Yukio A. Hibino Collection
Collection ID: 44211
Digital content available
Hibino was incarcerated at Central Utah Relocation Center (a.k.a. “Topaz”). In August 1943, he enlisted in the United States Army and served with the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion in the European Theater.
Video Interview with Interview with Yakio A. Hibino, June 8, 2006
37 minutes
Topics covered include: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; World War II, Italy; segregation; mission of his unit; after the war; money; Texas regiment; reason for joining the Army.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-1260 Digital Print, June 8, 2006
1 folder
PH01: Contemporary photo of Hibino.
BOX CDDVD-51 Computer Files, June 8, 2006
1 optical disc
CF01: Interview in AVI format and Photograph (PH01) in JPEG format.
Masana Jack Hirose Collection
Collection ID: 27146
Digital content available
Hirose was incarcerated at Manzanar Relocation Center, California, until he was drafted into the United States Army in September 1945. He was discharged in 1946, and went on to a civilian career in advertising.
BOX miniDV Video Interview with Masana Jack Hirose, February 7, 2004
60 minutes
MV01: Topics covered include: Mason and Shriner; parents from Yamanashi Prefecture; settled in Sacramento; father opened restaurant; stock market crash 1929, closed restaurant; moved to Santa Monica; opened another restaurant; life in Santa Monica in the 1960s; Masaoka family; organized the Washington, DC chapter of Japanese American Citizens League (JACL); life at Manzanar Relocation Center; opened a sign shop; entertainment at Manzanar; Army asked him to volunteer, he refused to fight Japan; job with the Washington Post advertising department; drafted in 9/1945; served for five months; discharged in early 1946; formed his own advertising firm in 1951; consulted for the Pentagon at the Industrial College and Fort McNair; real estate on Chincoteague.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-888/1 Memoirs, 1995-2003
1 folder
MS01: Hirose's typewritten autobiography with handwritten notes (1/1995); Handwritten notes about incarceration experiences and military career (4/2003).
BOX-FOLDER MSS-888/2 Military papers, October 4, 1945
1 folder
MS02: DD-214; Discharge Certificate.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-888/3 Photographs, 1935-1945
1 folder
PH01: Digital print of Army portrait of Private First Class Hirose on his 27th birthday, Washington, DC (6/6/1945).
PH02: Digital print of Hirose and his brother, Toro, in uniform, Riverdale, Maryland (1945).
PH03: Digital print of Toro Hirose, Mrs. Hirose (mother), Kinu Hirose (wife) holding baby and Jack, Riverdale, Maryland (1945).
PH04: Digital print of Hirose planting wild seeds with Mickey Rooney, California (1935).
Michael Honda Collection
Collection ID: 30550
Digital content available
Honda was incarcerated at the Granada Relocation Center, Colorado (a.k.a. "Amache"), as a child. He went on to serve in the Peace Corps in El Salvador, followed by a career in education and politics, including serving in Congress from 2001 to 2017.
BOX miniDV Video Interview with Michael Honda, July 26, 2005
63 minutes
MV01: Topics covered include: introduction; grandparents from Japan, father served in Military Intelligence Service, birth, incarceration at Amache, Colorado, camp life, family resettled in Chicago; returned to California 1953, strawberry sharecroppers in Blossom Valley, San Jose, California; 1965, volunteered for the Peace Corps, wanted to do something, served two years in El Salvador, privileges of living in America, education, social changes; development of Silicon Valley; Peace Corps influence, helping young people to accomplish objectives; tribute to Norman Mineta, Secretary of Transportation, San Jose Planning Commission and Unified School Board; election to Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, election to California State Assembly; American government distrust of Japanese Americans, heroism and loyalty of Japanese American soldiers helped change attitudes; election to House of Representatives in 2000, role in the House; changes in outlook on ethnic differences; new generation of Japanese Americans maintain heritage.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-981/1 Biography, August 8, 2005
1 folder
MS01: A biography of Michael Honda.
Noboru Richard Horikawa Collection
Collection ID: 69966
Digital content available
Horikawa was incarcerated at Salinas Assembly Center, California, and Poston Relocation Center, Arizona, until December 1943, when he was released to attend Westtown Friends School in Pennsylvania. After graduating, he was drafted into the United States Army and served with Allied Translator and Interpreter Service, General Headquarters, Army Forces Pacific.
BOX CD/DVD-174 Video Interview with Noboru Richard Horikawa, March 9, 2010
102 minutes
MV01: Topics covered include: Early life and family; father immigrated to Canada in 1924; father attended San Francisco college; mother immigrated to the United States; father was a solicitor for farmers, printer; mother did embroidery; parents married 1924; one brother, psychologist; memories of San Francisco, friends of mixed race; YMCA, camping; high school, grammar school, Presbyterian church; parental guidance, Japanese language and reading schools; sports; discrimination; city attractions; attack on Pearl Harbor, reactions of family and community; detention of Japanese people, opening of camps; concerns for family's future; plans to protect family and assets; friends arrested; days after attack on Pearl Harbor; 1942 President Franklin D. Roosevelt law on incarceration; preparations to leave; father not allowed to become citizen; citizen's children bought assets; difference in treatment of Japanese immigrants and German, Italian immigrants; movement to temporary incarceration camp camps; permanent detention center in Arizona, July 1942; family held for three years; assembly camp in Salinas (Salinas Assembly Center); accommodations in Arizona camp (Poston Relocation Center); living conditions and family space; difference in climates, California to Arizona; building construction; family adjustment to conditions; daily family life; schools, residents constructed adobe building; resident interns served as teachers; camp morale, interest in sports; social activities; access to national news; different national areas of incarceration; lenience of laws; Quakers offered schooling; left camp in December 1943 to attend Westtown Friends school; family separation; absence of discrimination; studies at Westtown and social life; draft status; Japanese American combat team; 1945 inducted in Army in Philadelphia; loyalty questionnaire; Tule Lake, separation; accelerated education; graduated Westtown Friends, May 1945; Army assignment based on language skills; west to Fort Snelling, basic training, intelligence training; pup tent friend; drill instructors, no discrimination; Army plans without war; shipped to Japan, December 1945; father wrote letter to relative explaining him being in the Army; continued studies on ship in reading and writing Japanese; poorest students sent to Korea; emotion on being in Japan; visiting relatives in Shirakawa; assignment to Allied service Translation, British area; translated documents concerning Japanese attack plans were sent to Washington; enlisted quarters; historic documents; memories of Japan, Buddhist memorial service; social times in USO (United Services Organization); deported Niseis asked for help in returning to United States; Tokyo bombed; questions by Japanese soldier; 1946 return to United States scheduled; AWOL (absent without leave) visit to relatives in Nara; leave in special hotel north of Tokyo; promoted to Technician Five, asked to stay as civilian; discharge in San Francisco; meeting wife at Japanese Social Club, she worked at Smith, Kline and French, worked at Philadelphia Quartz; studied at Mary Lyons School, Swarthmore College; two children, five grandchildren; parents not bitter about incarceration; mother naturalized under new law; disturbed at denial of constitutional rights; children did not understand war; apology and payment did not cover losses; 1942 public attitude fostered by Governor Earl Warren; Letters from Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton; photographs of family.
Noboru Richard Horikawa Collection
Collection ID: 71781
Digital content available
Horikawa was incarcerated at Poston Relocation Center, Arizona, until December 1943, when he was released to attend Westtown Friends School in Pennsylvania. After graduating, he was drafted into the Army and served with Allied Translator and Interpreter Service, General Headquarters, Army Forces Pacific.
BOX CD/DVD-182 Audio Interview with Noboru Richard Horikawa, March 2010
145 minutes
SR01: Topics covered include: family background; life in San Francisco, California, school, church, sports; attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; preparing for incarceration; Executive Order 9066; incarceration at Salinas Assembly Center and Poston Relocation Center; Santa Cruz, California; left Poston camp to attend Westtown Friend School, Pennsylvania; veteran drafted into the Army; loyalty questionnaire; graduation from high school; boot camp; Military Intelligence Service Language School; orders to Japan, duties; attended Buddhist memorial service for his Uncle who was killed fighting for Japan at the Battle of Saipan; left Japan and the Army; meeting his wife; college at Penn State University, Pennsylvania; children; parents became United States citizens; reflections on incarceration life; National Japanese American Memorial in Washington, DC; Civil Liberties Act of 1988; growing up during the Great Depression; religious life, relationship to parents; Japanese school; Japanese customs upheld in San Francisco; life at Salinas and Poston; incarceration; ordering clothes for camp through the mail; news from the outside, camp newspaper; thoughts about the war during incarceration; friend from California in Japan; 442nd Regimental Combat Team; racial slurs; brother; death of parents; thoughts about constitutional rights, pledge of allegiance, incarceration of people based upon race.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-2182/1 Biographical information, April 17, 2010
1 folder
MS01: Interviewer's student paper including information about the veteran's military experiences (4/17/2010).
BOX-FOLDER MSS-2182/2 Transcript, March 2010
1 folder
MS02: Transcript of SR01.
Grant Hayao Ichikawa Collection
Collection ID: 10685
Digital content available
Ichikawa was incarcerated at Turlock Assembly Center (Stanislaus County Fairgrounds), California, and Gila River Relocation Center, Arizona. In November 1942, he enlisted in the United States Army and served as a linguist with the Military Intelligence Service (MIS). He served at Camp Savage, Minnesota; Camp Shelby, Mississippi; Brisbane, Australia; Manila, Philippines; Tokyo, Japan; and Hokkaido, Japan. He was discharged in 1947, but was recalled to active duty during the Korean War and served with the Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) in Japan for two years. Following his discharge, he began a career with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
BOX miniDV Video Interview with Grant Hayao Ichikawa, August 29, 2003
111 minutes
MV01-MV02: Topics covered include: family background; early education; attending University of California, Berkeley; job discrimination against Japanese Americans; curfew, forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans; family housed in horse stalls at a racetrack; volunteering for the Military Intelligence Service as a linguist; segregation in the Army, Japanese not considered white or black; working for the Allied Translator and Interpreter Services in Australia; assigned to interrogation section; transferred to the Philippines; rounding up Japanese prisoners; surveying the damage in Hiroshima after the war; courtship and marriage to Millie Yamamoto; head of the linguist section in ATIS; discharged Inactive Reserve; resumed farming career; recalled for second tour of military service during the Korean War; sent to Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC); civilian employee of the Agency; 1955 Acting Base Chief in Tokyo; the 20 safes; a year in the States for training, then sent to Tokyo as a GS-11; 1961 assignment at Japan desk in Washington, DC; 1962 assigned to Indonesia; facing a demonstration, Communists; saved by the Blue Helmets; 1966 Jakarta; life with a Vespa; next assignment, head of the Korean desk; the most significant tour Vietnam; April 29, 1975 the day of forced removal; burned out and retiring; sponsored a Vietnamese family for resettlement; teaching how to become a "do-it-yourselfer", the MISLS Registry and Supplementary Registry.
BOX AC-224 Audio Interview with Grant Hayao Ichikawa, April 12, 2008
60 minutes
SR01: Topics covered include: family and background; working his way through college; studied to be an accountant at University of California, Berkeley, graduated in 1941; couldn't find a job as an accountant so went into farming; memories of learning about attack on Pearl Harbor; experiencing prejudice and discrimination; no desire to join Army; curfew imposed; forced to turn in radios and firearms; forced reomoval orders; friend took over the lease on his farm; relocated to Turlock Assembly Center (Stanislaus County Fairgrounds), California, shared horse stall with another family; feelings upon being incarcerated; after three months, moved to Gila River; got job as chief accountant for a farm project; volunteered for Army three months later; trained in military intelligence at Camp Savage; locals treated them well; basic training in Mississippi, trained with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team; experiencing the segregated south; Allied Translator Interpreter Service in Brisbane, Australia; interrogating prisoners; Philippines; stocking the non-commissioned officers' club with liquor; receiving a field commission; negotiating a surrender with Japanese troops; serving in Occupation Force, atomic bombing survey unit, assignment officer; met wife in Japan; left Army in 1947, went back to farming; recalled to service during Korean War; given a choice between Korea and an intelligence position in Hokkaido, Japan, choose Hokkaido; interrogated suspected spies; offered civilian job in intelligence, worked in Indonesia, Vietnam; reflecting on life and service; family's feelings post-war.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-483/1 Printed Matter, 2000
1 folder
MS01: Publication of the Military Intelligence Corps Association in which Japanese American intelligence veterans discuss their motivations for fighting for a country which imprisoned their family in detention centers and refused to treat them like American citizens (2000).
BOX-FOLDER MSS-483/2 Transcript, undated
1 folder
MS02: Transcript of MV01 and MV02.
BOX-FOLDER MSS-483/3 Photograph, 1943
1 folder
PH01: Copy of photograph of the veteran posing with his brother upon completion of linguist training at Camp Savage, Minnesota (1943).
PH02: Copy of photograph of the veteran with his wife.
Joseph Ichiuji Collection
Collection ID: 13535
Digital content available
Ichiuji was incarcerated at Poston Relocation Center, Arizona. In September 1941, he was drafted into the United States Army, and completed Field Artillery Basic Training at Camp Roberts, California. However, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, he was discharged due to his Japanese ancestry. While incarcerated, he volunteered to reenlist, and served with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in Italy, France, and Germany.
BOX MoM Audio Interview with Joseph Ichiuji, May 27, 2004
13 minutes
This interview was conducted by Veterans History Project volunteers on the National Mall in Washington, DC during the National World War II Reunion: Tribute to a Generation, May 27-30, 2004. Topics covered include: Japanese American; served with the army in Battery A, 442nd Regimental Combat Team; served in Europe; Italy and Germany; drafted in 1941 after Pearl Harbor; discharged because of Japanese ancestry and reclassified as 4-C, enemy ineligible for service; family evacuated to Poston, Arizona; volunteered for combat while in camp; wanted to prove he was an American citizen; 10/1944 rescued the Lost Battalion, a group of Allied troops surrounded by the Germans; rescued 211 men and suffered 800 casualties; sent to invade Germany in 3/1945; Germans surrendered; present during the release of concentration camp prisoners; condition of concentration camp prisoners.
BOX MoM Photograph, 1943
1 folder
PH01: Ichiuji before going to France for the invasion of Germany (1943).
John Atsumi Ikeda Collection
Collection ID: 83268
Digital content available
Ikeda was incarcerated at Santa Anita Assembly Center (Santa Anita Race Track), California, and Granada Relocation Center, Colorado (a.k.a. "Amache"), before relocating to Chicago, Illinois, in 1944. In 1945 he was drafted into the United States Army and served with the Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC), 6th Army, at Fort McClellan, Alabama; Fort Holabird, Maryland; Presidio, San Francisco, California; and Fort Snelling, Minnesota.
BOX CDDVD-265 Video Interview with John Atsumi Ikeda, February 28, 2012
75 minutes
MV01: Topics covered include: Childhood in Los Angeles; youngest of four siblings; parents' work in barbershop; family's bathhouse used by Swedish lumberjacks; father's move to San Francisco to work on railroad; move to Juneau, Alaska and Yukon Territory to work as a cook; gold prospecting using dog sleds; rejection from Canadian Army; parents only spoke Japanese; Japanese school; attack on Pearl Harbor; brother devastated by beginning of war; incarceration; father's work as cook; orders to Santa Anita Assembly Center 9Santa Anita Race Track), California; Granada Relocation Center, Colorado (a.k.a. "Amache"); brother's ulcer operation extreme anger over incarceration; move to Chicago after high school; draft reserve status; sister a nurse cadet; parents in detention center for four years; boot camp at Fort McClellan; court martial for not cleaning up someone else's mess KP duty; captain who defended him; not good with guns; Minneapolis in winter; Fort Snelling for counter intelligence training; transfer to 6th Army; early release at end of war; work at defense factory; difficulty of post-war adjustment; Washington University; math degree; living with brother in Cleveland; work as quality control manager for General Electric 33 year career; meeting wife at school; marriage; four children; effect of military experience on life; desire to find captain who saved him from court martial; life lessons; forgiveness; hatred at President Franklin Roosevelt and then forgiveness; a good life.
Minoru Imamura Collection
Collection ID: 46548
Digital content available
Imamura was incarcerated at Granada Relocation Center, Colorado (a.k.a. "Amache"), before being drafted into the United States Army in 1944. He trained as an infantryman and served in the European Theater.
BOX Hi8 Video Interview with Minoru Imamura, January 6, 2006
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