[TIMELINE] Japanese American Communities
- JAPANESE TIMELINE
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
"To my surprise, when I arrived at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, I immediately was taken into what they called protective custody. People, our friends were being discharged. Can you imagine the men being sworn into the army and then they were discharged at the convenience of the government and reclassified as 4-C?"
- Grant Hirabayashi, MIS, 1942-47
"To this day, I have difficulty grasping words in the English language that can adequately and sufficiently describe our feelings that day when we were dismissed from the service of our own country only because our faces and our names resembled that of the enemy .The very bottom had dropped out of our existence!"
-Ted Tsukiyama, Hawaii Territorial, from Honor By Fire
"I cannot overstate the value that Colonel Stilwell and his headquarters place on Nisei language men, As far as everyone who had contact with the Nisei is concerned, they are tops."
- Captain Barton Lloyd, from Honor By Fire
"I knew that they were Japanese, that they were people from the country of my parents, but it never occurred to me that I should feel close to them. They were my enemies."
- Roy Takai, MIS, 1942-66
"A Jap's a Jap. You can't change him by giving him a piece of paper."
- General John L. DeWitt, from Honor By Fire
"When they came around asking for volunteers, that was our only escape to get out of that type of atmosphere where one day is the same as the day before and the day after will be the same as it was today, and God knows how long it's going to last."
- Sho Nomura, MIS, 1942-46
"You're not even considered an American citizen, and suddenly the government says we want you, would you help us, and you're able to do it. And suddenly, you're born again and you're an American now, and you're proud .You can do something about your country."
- Ken Akune, MIS, 1942-45
"As for the Nisei, I couldn't have gotten along without them."
- Major General Frank D. Merrill, Commander of Merrill's Marauders
"For the most part, we came together as strangers. We shared, however, a common commitment to what we perceived to be a right and a duty. Perhaps most important, each of us in our way looked beyond the `barbed wires' to a better America."
- Akiji Yoshimura, Merrill's Marauders, from Honor By Fire
"What is an American? We are no race, no color, no creed. The melting pot of all the world was welded together out of a common faith in the equality of man, as best expressed in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution with its Bill of Rights, the Gettysburg Address .When any man risks his life for this country on an especially hazardous mission, it is only fair and reasonable to assume that as an American he knew what he was fighting, what he was dying for."
- excerpt from an editorial of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, in response to the removal of the Nisei names, from in Honor By Fire
"Some men remained silent, still trying to comprehend what an atomic bomb could do. It was inevitable that some of these Japanese American soldiers had relatives, even family members, in Hiroshima. However, I didn't hear anyone object to using the new weapon. Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor had changed their lives: it had brought death, suffering, and the hatred and suspicion of other Americans. For these soldiers this new weapon meant that they might no longer have to face the possibility of more war, more deaths, more wounds."
- Lyn Crost with the 100th Infantry Battalion, on August 6, 1945, from Honor By Fire
"Being one of the few Japanese Americans on the battleship Missouri seeing the Japanese delegation humbled, in defeat, I came away with very mixed feelings .When the Japanese delegations were piped aboard, the mood changed from festive occasion to one of hostility, and one could hear a pin drop."
- Tom Sakamoto, MIS, 1941-69
"Our job there was to help reconstruct after the war. So, there were no feelings of making them pay for something. That was done to the leaders "
- Gordon Yamada, MIS, 1944-46
"Perhaps the most important contribution of the MISers to both Japan and the United States was the understanding they could impart to a conquered nation. They were able to help two disparate peoples work together toward the common goal of rebuilding a devastated land."
- Lyn Crost, Honor By Fire
`Without the Nisei without that specific understanding, emotion, and compassion, it would have been impossible for MacArthur and the American government to have instituted the kind of democracy that Japan enjoyed and was able to accept at that time. So from that Occupation viewpoint, the role of the nisei in the establishment of Japan as a democracy was absolutely essential."
- Jack Herzig
"You fought not only the enemy but you fought prejudiceand you have won."
- President Truman
"They bought an awful hunk of America with their blood. We cannot allow a single injustice to be done to the Nisei without defeating the purposes for which we fought."
- General Joseph Stilwell, from Honor By Fire
"There is one supreme, final test of loyalty for one's native landreadiness and willingness to fight for, and if need be, to die for one's country. These Americans pass that test with colors flying. They proved their loyalty and devotion beyond all question .These men more than earned the right to be called just Americans, not Japanese Americans. Their Americanism may be described only by degree, and that the highest."
- Major General Jacob L. Devers, chief of Army Field Forces, from Honor By Fire
"And I stand on the shoulders of those great veterans, Japanese American veterans of all those units from years past."
- General Eric K. Shinseki, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army
"In my mind, I just feel that I was in the business of saving lives."
- Harry Akune, MIS, 1942-46
"It proved to the people, American people at large as well as the military, that the Niseis could be trusted."
- Steve Yamamoto, MIS, 1941-61
End of the Tokugawa feudal lord system of government in Japan. Beginning of the Meiji Era, the present parlimentary form of gobernemtn.
The earliest Japanese arrivals to America are shipwrecked fishermen. Most go to the Kingdom of Hawaii.
Japan opens to the West. Commodore Matthew Perry sails to Tokyo, carrying a letter from U.S. President Millard Fillmore that demands the opening of Japan to Western trade.
First emigrants to the continental United States arrive in San Francisco. They eventually establish the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony.
Early immigrants bring with them the traditions and heritage of bushido or ways of the warrior (samurai, loyalty, pride, and honor) and oya koko or filial piety (respect for elders, family values, tolerance, and obligation) still deeply engrained in second and third generation Japanese Americans.
The Asiatic Exclusion League is formed in San Francisco, marking the official beginning of the anti-Japanese movement. The use of the term "Yellow Peril" becomes common.
Japan and the United States reach an agreement, known as the Gentlemen's Agreement, whereby Japan discontinues issuing passports to laborers wanting to work in the United States.
Picture brideswomen who marry men in the U.S. based solely on their photosbegin to arrive on the West Coast.
1913 California passes the Alien Land Law, which prohibits non-U.S. citizens from owning land and limits leasing of land to three years. Similar laws are adopted later in other states including Washington, Oregon, Arizona, and Texas.
1922 In Ozawa vs. U.S., the U.S. Supreme Court extends the denial of naturalization rights to Japanese immigrants. This prohibition is in effect until 1952.
U.S. Congress passes the Immigration Act of 1924 (Asian Exclusion Act), which prohibits further immigration from Japan.
1931 Gero Iwai, known as the "father" of the Military Intelligence Service (MIS), becomes the first member of MIS when he is recruited as an undercover agent in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The 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.
U.S. Navy organizes Japanese language schools at the University of California, Berkeley, and Harvard University. Most of the instructors are Issei and Kibei.
Arthur Komori and Richard Sakakida, both Hawaiian Nisei, are recruited by the U.S. Corps of Intelligence Police (CIP) and sent to do undercover work in the Philippines.
First MIS class attends the Fourth Army Intelligence School. Later called the Military Intelligence Service Language School (MISLS), the school opens its doors at the Presidio of San Francisco with 60 students (58 Nisei and 2 Caucasian), and with the purpose of training combat intelligence personnel to work as translators and interpreters of the Japanese language.
December 7, 1941
Japan attacks Pearl Harbor. Following the attack, FBI and local authorities begin to round up Japanese-American community leaders in Hawaii and on the mainland.
The following listing of events of importance to MISers is based on secondary and best estimates. A few names of individuals are listed at random for human interest purposes. Apologies to the rest of the 6,000 graduates who served so well.
U.S. reclassifies Japanese Americans as 4-C. The War Department declares all Japanese-American men of draft age as 4-C, "Enemy Alien." Soon after, almost all of the 5,000 Nisei in the military, wherever they were stationed, were corralled and treated like prisoners. Nearly half of them were summarily discharged. The other half were put on trains and shipped to inland military installations. There they were assigned menial tasks as labor units and kept under constant surveillance.
U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, setting into motion the mass detention of Japanese Americans living on the West Coast. The War Relocation Authority (WRA) opens the first detention camp at Manzanar.
U.S. Congress passes Public Law 77-503 in March, making any violation of the military orders under Executive Order 9066 a crime. Minoru Yasui presents himself for arrest in Oregon for violating the curfew regulations.
Masanori Minamoto is the first MIS linguist to be sent overseas.
First class of 45 MISLS students graduate from the Fourth Army Intelligence School (MISLS). One team of five men, among them Yosh Hotta, were sent to Dutch Harbor Defense Command. From May 1942 to August 1945, MIS linguists serve in various commands and battles, including the Alaskan Defense Command, South Pacific Command, Southwest Pacific Command, Central Pacific Command, Southeast Asia Command, European Command, Continental U.S. Command, and Canadian Command. According to a 1945 report by General Charles A. Willoughby, Nisei linguists had translated 20.5 million pages by the end of the war.
In the Battle of the Coral Sea, U.S. forces sink a Japanese carrier and cause heavy damage to two other carriers headed for New Guinea. This is the first defeat for Japan.
U.S. Army organizes the all-Nisei Hawaii Provisional Infantry Battalion. Later, it becomes known as the 100th Infantry Battalion.
Five men from the first MISLS class are sent to Dutch Harbor, Alaska, for intelligence duty.
Gordon Hirabayashi approaches the FBI in Washington to challenge the constitutionality of the exclusion and curfew regulations. Fred Korematsu is arrested in California for violating orders to report for detention.
U.S. carrier aircraft sink all four of the Japanese Navy's aircraft carriers during the Battle of Midway. Known as the "turning point" of the Pacific War, the battle ends with U.S. victory. MIS soldiers participate in every major battle of the Pacific War after the Battle of Midway.
With the forced evacuation of Japanese Americans from the West Coast, MISLS relocates to Camp Savage, Minnesota. Now under direct jurisdiction of the War Department, the first class opens with 200 students and 18 instructors.
The curriculum emphasizes military aspects rather than general knowledge of the Japanese language. The MISLS was commanded by Commandant Colonel Kai Rasmussen, Assistant Commandant Colonel Joe Dickey, and Director of Training John Aiso.
One hundred and ninety-eight members of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team volunteer for language training at MISLS.
U.S. Marines make the first amphibious landing in the Battle for Guadalcanal and Solomon Islands, marking the beginning of bitter combat that continues through February 1943. Captain John Burden, a graduate of the first MIS class, leads MIS soldiers in battle at Guadalcanal.
Having arrived in May and June, MIS soldiers become involved in war-front operations that begin in New Caledonia, Australia. During the Battle for Guadalcanal, MIS linguists interrogate the first captured Japanese pilot.
Under General Willoughby, G-2. GHQ Allied Translator and Interpreter Section was organized at Indooroopily, Australia to evaluate and disseminate intelligence. Col. Sydney Mashbir commanded with staff of Maj. David Smith, Gary Kodani, and Arthur Komori.
September to December 1942
Due to proven values of the Nisei, it became necessary that Col. Rasmussen, with Joe Matsuda, start recruiting several hundred eligible Japanese Americans from all detention camps and Hawaii. Col. Joe Dickey with Aki Oshida visit to recruit volunteers from the 100th Infantry Battalion at Camp McCoy, Wisconsin.
Forces invade Guadacanal, under the direction of Admiral Halsey in Noumea, New Caladonia, with Major John Burdon taking the MISer Takashi Miyasaki into action followed by Captain Eugene Wright and Slim Tanaka.
Allied Translator and Interpreter Section (ATIS), a special intelligence section, is created and headquartered in Australia to evaluate and disseminate information gathered and extracted from captured documents and POWs. After the war, ATIS moves to Tokyo and becomes the center of language activities, with MIS linguists involved in large-scale operations all over Japan.
December 1942 U.S. Army recruits several hundred volunteers from detention camps on the mainland and in Hawaii for the Military Intelligence Service. Two hundred members of the 100th Infantry Battalion are transferred to the MIS Language School.
January 1943 Allied Forces take Buna in New Guinea after brutal island combat. Phil Ishio saw action.
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.
U.S. forces sink eight Japanese transports and four destroyers headed for New Guinea during the Battle of the Bismarck Sea.
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.
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.
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.
Allied Forces take New Georgia and Vella Lavella islands.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 29March 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.
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.
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.
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.
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, Chinathe 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.
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.
U.S. forces take Palau Islands.
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.
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.
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.
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.
U.S. forces retake Bataan, Philippines. The MIS team attached to the XIV Corps enters Manila.
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.
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.
U.S. forces retake Okinawa.
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.
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.
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 (19451952). They also help develop the Japanese Constitution.
Western Defense Command issues Public Proclamation No. 24 revoking exclusion orders and military restrictions against Japanese Americans.
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.
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.
Tule Lake, the last of 10 U.S. detention camps, closes.
"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.
Renamed the U.S. Army Language School, MISLS moves from Fort Snelling to the Presidio of Monterey, California.
U.S. President Harry Truman honors the 442nd Regimental Combat Team at the White House.
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.
During the Korean War (19501953), Japanese Americans, including many Nisei veterans of World War II, report for active duty. Among those are several hundred MIS members, who are dispatched to the frontline units to perform intelligence work.
Post-Korean War After the Korean War, MIS members serve in various capacities all over the world. Some stay in Japan for years, working in the U.S. military, American government service, or in private industry. Others return to the United States having been discharged from the army to restart their lives.
Japan signs the peace treaty with the United States and 47 other nations.
U.S. Congress passes the McCarran-Walter Immigration Act, granting Japan a token immigration quota and allowing Issei to become naturalized citizens.
MISLS instructor John Aiso becomes the first Japanese-American judge on the mainland.
Daniel K. Inouye, who fought with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, becomes the first Japanese-American senator. Spark Matsunaga becomes the first Japanese-American congressman from Hawaii.
The U.S. Army Language School reorganizes and becomes the Defense Language Institute (DLI). Twenty-five languages are taught with graduates serving all over the world as foreign language specialists.
U.S. passes the Immigration Act of 1965. For the first time, legislation considers Asians equal to Europeans in immigration matters.
In honor of all Nisei soldiers who died in World War II, the U.S. Army dedicates Nisei Hall at the Defense Language Institute.
The first annual Manzanar Pilgrimage takes place, inspiring pilgrimages to other camps in later years.
President Richard Nixon signs Executive Order 11652, which begins the process of declassifying all military intelligence documents gathered during World War II.
Ryukyu Islands including Okinawa are restored to Japan, ending America's 27-year occupation.
Norman Y. Mineta, who served in U.S. military intelligence during the war, is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and becomes the first mainland Japanese American in Congress.
Years of Infamy, one of the most widely read and influential books on the Japanese-American internment experience, is published.
A national movement for redress and reparations begins with the Japanese American Citizens League's adoption of a resolution that called for redress and reparations for the internment of Japanese Americans.
Defense Language Institute dedicates buildings to three MIS Nisei: Yukitaka "Terry" Mizutari, Frank Tadakazu Hachiya, and George Ichiro Nakamura. They are each awarded the Silver Star posthumously.
Public hearings involving more than 750 witnesses take place in Washington, D.C. as part of an investigation of Japanese-American internment during World War II. Some consider this event as a turning point in the redress movement.
Fred Korematsu, Minoru Yasui, and Gordon Hirabayashi file petitions to overturn their World War II convictions for violating curfew and evacuation orders.
Smithsonian Institution opens "A More Perfect Union: Japanese Americans and the U.S. Constitution." The special exhibit examines the constitutional process through the Japanese-American internment experience.
U.S. President Ronald Reagan signs the Civil Liberties Act. The act recognizes that the internment of Japanese Americans was "motivated largely by prejudice, wartime hysteria, and a failure of political leadership." It provides for individual payments of $20,000 to each surviving internee and a $1.25 billion education fund.
U.S. President George Bush signs into law an entitlement program so that redress payments can be automatically funded and all payments made by the end of 1993. Prior to this law, no money had been appropriated to make the payments.
First redress money and a government apology are presented to the oldest recipient at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.
U.S. President Bill Clinton signs the 5 million dollar Civil Liberties Public Education Fund. The program provides initial monies for the development of public education activities about the Japanese-American internment experience.
U.S. military awards the Presidential Unit Citation to MIS members who served during World War IImore than 50 years after the war.