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.

Military Intelligence Service (539)

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

539 items
Calligraphy done by a Japanese prisoner of war (ddr-densho-179-200)
doc Calligraphy done by a Japanese prisoner of war (ddr-densho-179-200)
Given to a Nisei soldier with the U.S. Military Intelligence Service who was interrogating Japanese prisoners in Okinawa.
Painting and calligraphy done by a Japanese prisoner of war (ddr-densho-179-180)
doc Painting and calligraphy done by a Japanese prisoner of war (ddr-densho-179-180)
Given to a Nisei soldier with the U.S. Military Intelligence Service who was interrogating Japanese prisoners in Okinawa.
Cave housing a gun position (ddr-densho-179-8)
img Cave housing a gun position (ddr-densho-179-8)
This cave, with its opening covered with camouflage netting, was discovered by advancing U.S. Army forces on Okinawa. It was still under construction, and apparently was built to house a gun position.
Drawing done by a Japanese prisoner of war (ddr-densho-179-182)
doc Drawing done by a Japanese prisoner of war (ddr-densho-179-182)
Given to a Nisei soldier with the U.S. Military Intelligence Service who was interrogating Japanese prisoners in Okinawa.
Nisei soldiers (ddr-densho-179-123)
img Nisei soldiers (ddr-densho-179-123)
T/3 Akira Nakamura, 1st Lt. John Flagler, T/3 Shigeru Sato, T/3 Frank Mizuno, T/3 Harry Okano, T/3 Robert Oda.
Calligraphy done by a Japanese prisoner of war (ddr-densho-179-178)
doc Calligraphy done by a Japanese prisoner of war (ddr-densho-179-178)
Given to a Nisei soldier with the U.S. Military Intelligence Service who was interrogating Japanese prisoners in Okinawa.
Leaflet (ddr-densho-179-230)
doc Leaflet (ddr-densho-179-230)
Leaflet dropped on Okinawa by the U.S. military.
Leaflet X-8 (ddr-densho-179-226)
doc Leaflet X-8 (ddr-densho-179-226)
Leaflet dropped on Okinawa by the U.S. military.
Calligraphy done by a Japanese prisoner of war (ddr-densho-179-191)
doc Calligraphy done by a Japanese prisoner of war (ddr-densho-179-191)
Given to a Nisei soldier with the U.S. Military Intelligence Service who was interrogating Japanese prisoners in Okinawa.
The Northwest Times Vol. 1 No. 22 (March 25, 1947) (ddr-densho-229-9)
doc The Northwest Times Vol. 1 No. 22 (March 25, 1947) (ddr-densho-229-9)
"Text of Masaoka's Speech : Clarifies Japanese-American Situation" (p. 1), "Seeks Linguists" (p. 1)
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 95, No. 6 (August 6, 1982) (ddr-pc-54-31)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 95, No. 6 (August 6, 1982) (ddr-pc-54-31)
Selected article titles: "Japan Revision of WW2 History Angers Neighbor Asian Nations" (pp. 1, 6), "Congressional Subcommittee Approves $300,000 for CWRIC" (pp. 1-2), "Justice Dept. Says Japan Firms 'Conspired' to Raise Prices" (p. 1), and "From the Frying Pan: Time to Bury the 'Secrecy Myth' of MIS" (p. 5).
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 123, No. 10 (November 15-December 19, 1996) (ddr-pc-68-22)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 123, No. 10 (November 15-December 19, 1996) (ddr-pc-68-22)
Selected article titles: "National Day of Remembrance Planned in D.C. Feb. 19, 1997" (pp. 1, 12), "Study: Most Asians Americans in Bay Area Voted for Clinton, Against Proposition 209" (pp. 1, 12), "New Board Steadies Eye on JACL's Fiscal Integrity" (p. 1), and "East Wind: 'Other MISers'" (pp. 8, 12).
Nisei soldier escorting a Japanese officer to a war crimes trial tribunal (ddr-densho-107-37)
img Nisei soldier escorting a Japanese officer to a war crimes trial tribunal (ddr-densho-107-37)
Left to right: Lt. Col Matsuura, Liaison Officer of the Imperial Japanese Army, and Msgt Roy Matsumoto of 701st Military Police of China Command. Msgt Matsumoto is escorting Col Matsuura to the War Crimes Tribunal from Ward Road Jail.
Military Intelligence Service soldier (ddr-densho-107-23)
img Military Intelligence Service soldier (ddr-densho-107-23)
This photo was taken right after graduation from Military Intelligence Service Language School at Camp Savage, Minnesota.
Checking documents used in war crimes trials (ddr-densho-114-142)
img Checking documents used in war crimes trials (ddr-densho-114-142)
Original caption: Nisei Capt. Steve S. Yammoto of Chicago, Ill., International Prosecution section, International Military Tribunal in the Far East, center, checks Japanese documents used in the war crimes trials, held in the War Ministry Bldg., Tokyo, Japan. He is assisted by two members of the Allied Translator and Interpreter section. They are, l. to r ...
Translating Japanese documents (ddr-densho-114-152)
img Translating Japanese documents (ddr-densho-114-152)
Original caption: Team G, Nisei Japanese, of the translation and scanning sub-section, General Headquarters, Allied Forces in the Pacific, NYK Building, Tokyo, Japan, work at translating Japanese documents requested by other organizations. This team is responsible for the full translation of letters for Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Allied Commander for the Allied Powers. L-R: Tec 4 ...
Nisei translators (ddr-densho-114-139)
img Nisei translators (ddr-densho-114-139)
Original caption: These Nisei character writers, Takashi Kikuta of Maui, T.H., left, and Hiroshi Yoshida of Los Angeles, Calif., right, insert Japanese characters following the romanization of Japanese proper names and special phrases in documents which have been translated. Characters must be written neatly in a size comparable to typewriter type. They are employed by ...
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