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 (13)
Military service (197)
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
Barry Saiki Interview Segment 5 (ddr-densho-1004-4-5)
vh Barry Saiki Interview Segment 5 (ddr-densho-1004-4-5)
The important role of the Nisei in 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 ...

Sunao
vh Sunao "Phil" Ishio Interview Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1004-8-9)
Translating personal documents of Japanese soldiers

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.

Harvey Watanabe Interview Segment 17 (ddr-densho-1008-5-17)
vh Harvey Watanabe Interview Segment 17 (ddr-densho-1008-5-17)
Translation services: difficulties of performing technical translations

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

Harvey Watanabe Interview Segment 24 (ddr-densho-1008-5-24)
vh Harvey Watanabe Interview Segment 24 (ddr-densho-1008-5-24)
Persuading Japanese officers to remove their sidearms and sabers

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

George Koshi Segment 19 (ddr-densho-1008-1-19)
vh George Koshi Segment 19 (ddr-densho-1008-1-19)
Working as a civilian attorney for the U.S. government

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

George S. Matsui Segment 17 (ddr-densho-1008-2-17)
vh George S. Matsui Segment 17 (ddr-densho-1008-2-17)
Traveling to Japan after the war

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

George Koshi Segment 11 (ddr-densho-1008-1-11)
vh George Koshi Segment 11 (ddr-densho-1008-1-11)
Transferred to the Pentagon but barred from promotion

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

George Koshi Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1008-1-9)
vh George Koshi Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1008-1-9)
Being recruited to join the Military Intelligence Service

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

George Koshi Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1008-1-8)
vh George Koshi Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1008-1-8)
Turmoil of Japanese American servicemen: fighting while their families are behind barbed wire

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

Takashi Matsui Interview Segment 26 (ddr-densho-1008-4-26)
vh Takashi Matsui Interview Segment 26 (ddr-densho-1008-4-26)
Importance of witnesses in the war crimes trials

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

Takashi Matsui Interview Segment 27 (ddr-densho-1008-4-27)
vh Takashi Matsui Interview Segment 27 (ddr-densho-1008-4-27)
Description of a particularly memorable war crimes case

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

Takashi Matsui Interview Segment 18 (ddr-densho-1008-4-18)
vh Takashi Matsui Interview Segment 18 (ddr-densho-1008-4-18)
Teaching at Military Intelligence Service Language School, Camp Savage, Minnesota: Emphasizing strict discipline, relationship with students

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

Mitsue Matsui Segment 21 (ddr-densho-1008-3-21)
vh Mitsue Matsui Segment 21 (ddr-densho-1008-3-21)
Thoughts on the atomic bombings

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

Nisei soldier being interviewed (ddr-densho-107-33)
img Nisei soldier being interviewed (ddr-densho-107-33)
S/Sgt. Roy Matsumoto interviewed by British playwright and author Noel Coward. Roy was recovering from an infection from a shrapnel wound on his left wrist, and was questioned about his exploits at Walawbum and Nhpum Ga in the jungles of Burma.
Nisei interpreter questioning a witness (ddr-densho-114-137)
img Nisei interpreter questioning a witness (ddr-densho-114-137)
Original caption: 2nd Lieutenant Fred A. Suzawana of El Monte, Calif., Nisei Japanese interpreter for the international prosecution section, of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, Tokyo, Japan, questions Mr. Isao Fujita (left), a witness for the prosecution, in the War Ministry Building, Tokyo, Japan. 9-3-46.
Nisei soldier in foxhole (ddr-densho-114-149)
img Nisei soldier in foxhole (ddr-densho-114-149)
Original caption: One of the most miraculous escapes from a bomb explosion is pictured here. In this foxhole in the side of the shell crater is S. Sgt. Oye Ogata of Helena, Mont. This is the position he occupied when the bomb landed next to him. He was buried alive by the sand thrown up by ...
Nisei linguists attending Japanese language class (ddr-densho-114-183)
img Nisei linguists attending Japanese language class (ddr-densho-114-183)
Original caption: Nisei interpreters of Gen. HQ. Allied Powers in the Pacific, Tokyo Japan, attend classes on "Kan-Ji" characters. 3 Sep 1946.
Nisei technicians repairing a truck (ddr-densho-114-68)
img Nisei technicians repairing a truck (ddr-densho-114-68)
Two Nisei [illegible] overhaul a motor of a United States Army 21-ton 6X6 truck in the motor pool garage of the Allied Translator and Interpreter section, General Hq, Army Forces in the Pacific, Tokyo, Japan. They are Tec 5 Fred Hayashi of Los Angeles, Calif., and Tec 5 Shigoro Yammoto of Walnut Grove, Calif., both of ...
Nisei soldiers (ddr-densho-114-158)
img Nisei soldiers (ddr-densho-114-158)
Original caption: Tec 5 Tom Tashiro (left) of Illinois, Nisei Japanese education counselor and Information and Education non-commissioned officer, advises Pfc. Norman Shimakawa of the 3d Detachment, a typist in the production section, General Headquarters, Allied Powers in the Pacific, on the selection of a course to better his education and to prepare for future schooling ...
Nisei linguists attending Japanese language class (ddr-densho-114-166)
img Nisei linguists attending Japanese language class (ddr-densho-114-166)
Original caption: Nisei Japanese soldiers, interpreters of the linguist section, Allied translator and interpreter section, General Headquarters, Allied Powers in the Pacific, Tokyo, Japan, attend class in legal terminology as part of training program to better their knowledge of the Japanese language. 9-3-46.
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 89, No. 2052 (July 20, 1979) (ddr-pc-51-28)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 89, No. 2052 (July 20, 1979) (ddr-pc-51-28)
Selected article titles: "Mineta Lauds Nisei MIS Role During WW2 in Pacific Theater" (pp. 1, 7), "Major Cutback in Whaling Approved" (p. 1), "J. William Fulbright Says: Japan Acquires Secret for Humanity: Make Cultural Development, Not War" (p. 2), and "Ex-Kamikaze Pilot Teaches English to Foreign Students at Michigan State" (p. 8).
William Marutani Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-44-2)
vh William Marutani Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1000-44-2)
Serving in the U.S. occupation forces in Japan, confronting racism while in uniform

This interview was conducted at the Voices of Japanese American Redress Conference, held on the UCLA campus and sponsored by the UCLA Asian American Studies Center and the UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research. Because of the full conference schedule ...

API