Military Intelligence Service

The first Japanese Americans to serve in the military during World War II were linguists involved in the Military Intelligence Service Language School (MISLS). The MISLS was charged with training soldiers in the Japanese language for intelligence purposes. Japanese Americans served as both instructors and students at the school, which opened on November 1, 1941. The Language School began recruiting instructors and later students directly from concentration camps as early as July 1942. MISLS graduates were assigned in small teams to units fighting in the Pacific and to intelligence centers throughout the Allied command. They translated captured documents, interrogated prisoners of war, wrote propaganda, encouraged Japanese soldiers and civilians to surrender, and monitored radio broadcasts. After the war, they acted as interpreters at the war crime trials and for the occupation government in Japan.

World War II (20)
Military service (202)
Military Intelligence Service (379)

Related articles from the Densho Encyclopedia :
John Aiso, Fort Snelling, Masaji Marumoto, Jack Matsuoka, Military Intelligence Service, Military Intelligence Service Language School, Walter Tsukamoto, Karl Yoneda

379 items
Grant Hirabayashi Interview Segment 7 (ddr-densho-1004-11-7)
vh Grant Hirabayashi Interview Segment 7 (ddr-densho-1004-11-7)
Description of interrogation tactics

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.

Gordon Yamada Interview Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1004-2-1)
vh Gordon Yamada Interview Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1004-2-1)
Drafted into the Military Intelligence Service

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.

Kazuo Yamane Interview Segment 5 (ddr-densho-1004-20-5)
vh Kazuo Yamane Interview Segment 5 (ddr-densho-1004-20-5)
Translating a critical captured Japanese military register

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.

Shigeya Kihara Interview Segment 3 (ddr-densho-1004-23-3)
vh Shigeya Kihara Interview Segment 3 (ddr-densho-1004-23-3)
Being recruited to teach Japanese despite having no prior teaching experience

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the ...

Mitsue Matsui Segment 16 (ddr-densho-1008-3-16)
vh Mitsue Matsui Segment 16 (ddr-densho-1008-3-16)
A growing respect and demand for Military Intelligence Service Language School graduates

Members of the National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS) arranged for and conducted this interview in conjunction with Densho.

Harvey Watanabe Interview Segment 29 (ddr-densho-1008-5-29)
vh Harvey Watanabe Interview Segment 29 (ddr-densho-1008-5-29)
Problems with the hotel heating system: preempting "hara kiri"

Members of the National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS) arranged for and conducted this interview in conjunction with Densho.

Harvey Watanabe Interview Segment 12 (ddr-densho-1008-5-12)
vh Harvey Watanabe Interview Segment 12 (ddr-densho-1008-5-12)
Being recruited for the Military Intelligence Service (MIS)

Members of the National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS) arranged for and conducted this interview in conjunction with Densho.

George S. Matsui Segment 14 (ddr-densho-1008-2-14)
vh George S. Matsui Segment 14 (ddr-densho-1008-2-14)
Receiving Bronze Star

Members of the National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS) arranged for and conducted this interview in conjunction with Densho.

Harvey Watanabe Interview Segment 20 (ddr-densho-1008-5-20)
vh Harvey Watanabe Interview Segment 20 (ddr-densho-1008-5-20)
Being tailed by a Counterintelligence Corps (CIC) agent

Members of the National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS) arranged for and conducted this interview in conjunction with Densho.

Harvey Watanabe Interview Segment 25 (ddr-densho-1008-5-25)
vh Harvey Watanabe Interview Segment 25 (ddr-densho-1008-5-25)
Refusing bodyguards: "People in Japan are people like you and me"

Members of the National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS) arranged for and conducted this interview in conjunction with Densho.

George Koshi Segment 16 (ddr-densho-1008-1-16)
vh George Koshi Segment 16 (ddr-densho-1008-1-16)
Reflecting on the atomic bombings

Members of the National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS) arranged for and conducted this interview in conjunction with Densho.

George Koshi Segment 13 (ddr-densho-1008-1-13)
vh George Koshi Segment 13 (ddr-densho-1008-1-13)
Service in the Pacific Military Intelligence Research Section (PACMIRS)

Members of the National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS) arranged for and conducted this interview in conjunction with Densho.

Takashi Matsui Interview Segment 24 (ddr-densho-1008-4-24)
vh Takashi Matsui Interview Segment 24 (ddr-densho-1008-4-24)
Description of duties during the war crimes trials

Members of the National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS) arranged for and conducted this interview in conjunction with Densho.

George S. Matsui Segment 10 (ddr-densho-1008-2-10)
vh George S. Matsui Segment 10 (ddr-densho-1008-2-10)
Memories of John Aiso, Director of the Military Intelligence Service Language School

Members of the National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS) arranged for and conducted this interview in conjunction with Densho.

George S. Matsui Segment 18 (ddr-densho-1008-2-18)
vh George S. Matsui Segment 18 (ddr-densho-1008-2-18)
Family's wartime experiences

Members of the National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS) arranged for and conducted this interview in conjunction with Densho.

Bronze Star presentation ceremony (ddr-densho-107-24)
img Bronze Star presentation ceremony (ddr-densho-107-24)
Front row (L to R): Lt. Roy Nakada, unknown, T/Sgt Roy Matsumoto, unknown, unknown, Lt. George Nakamura, S/Sgt. John Morozumi. Back row: All are unknown.
Nisei librarian (ddr-densho-114-159)
img Nisei librarian (ddr-densho-114-159)
Original caption: Pfc. Al Y. Kimoto (left) Nisei Japanese librarian of the Allied translator and interpreter section, General Headquarters, Allied Powers in the Pacific, Tokyo, Japan, assists Pfc. Paul S. Hasegawa of the 3d Detachment, with his choice of reading material in the library which is under the jurisdiction of the Information and Education Section. 9-3-46.
MIS Language School class portrait (ddr-densho-114-560)
img MIS Language School class portrait (ddr-densho-114-560)
Military Intelligence Service Language School classroom portrait.
Nisei interpreters with
img Nisei interpreters with "Merrill's Marauders" (ddr-densho-114-5)
Original caption: Burma. Left, Tec Sgt. Herbert Miyasaki, Paauild, Hawaii, right, Tec Sgt. Akiji Yoshimira, Colusa, Cal., American-Japanese interpreter with Brig. Gen. Frank Merrill's Infantry troops in Northern Burma. 1 May 1944.
Nisei linguists (ddr-densho-114-559)
img Nisei linguists (ddr-densho-114-559)
Nisei linguists marching to Japanese class at the Military Intelligence Service Language School.
Nisei interpreter questioning a witness for the war crimes trials (ddr-densho-114-167)
img Nisei interpreter questioning a witness for the war crimes trials (ddr-densho-114-167)
Original caption: Tec 3 Ben Oshita (left) of Salt Lake City, Utah, interpreting the questions of Capt. Arthur A. Sandusky, staff attorney, asked of a possible prosecution witness for the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, in the Ministry of War Building, Tokyo, Japan. Miss Lenore Scott is the stenographer for the inquisition. This is ...
Nisei clerk (ddr-densho-114-148)
img Nisei clerk (ddr-densho-114-148)
Original caption: Miss Yukie Konai, Nisei clerk-typist, Special Service, GHQ, Army Forces in the Pacific, Tokyo, Japan, locates a rest area for a GI. She came to Tokyo from New York City in 1940 and was forced to remain until the conclusion of the war. When her citizenship was reinstated, she secured a position in the ...
Nisei linguists (ddr-densho-114-144)
img Nisei linguists (ddr-densho-114-144)
Original caption: Capt. R. W. Pedlow of Chester, Pa., right, and Tec 3 James Iso of San Jose, Calif., Nisei, left, are attached to the G2 Liaison section, Allied Translation and Interpreter section, GHQ, Army Forces in the Pacific, Nippon Yusen Kaisha Bldg., Tokyo, Japan. They are responsible for furnishing qualified Nisei interpreters and translators needed ...
Japanese American artist (ddr-densho-114-165)
img Japanese American artist (ddr-densho-114-165)
Original caption: Tec 3 Robert Tamura, Nisei Japanese of Los Angeles, Calif., artist and art editor of the "A Tiscope" unit newspaper of the Allied translator and interpreter section, General Headquarters, Allied Powers in the Pacific, Toyko, Japan, draws cover for weekly newspaper. This newspaper provides the section with information of local entertainment, announcements in and ...
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