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 (66)
Military service (835)
Military Intelligence Service (634)

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

634 items
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., …
Nisei mail clerks (ddr-densho-114-143)
img Nisei mail clerks (ddr-densho-114-143)
Original caption: Nisei mail clerks attached to the Allied Translators and Interpreter Section, General Hq, Army Forces in the Pacific, Tokyo, Japan, sort mail in the Nippon Yusen Kaisha Bldg., Tokyo, Japan. They are, l. to r., Tec 5 Sam Morimoto, 2nd Det., ATIS, of Kansas City, Mo., and Pfc. Tadao Satow, 3rd Det., ATIS, of …
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.
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 …
Radio repairman (ddr-densho-114-141)
img Radio repairman (ddr-densho-114-141)
Original caption: Tec 4 M. Mori of Chicago, Ill., radio repairman with the Allied translator and interpreter section, General Headquarters, Allied Powers in the Pacific, Tokyo, Japan, works at repairing a radio in the repair shop. 9-3-46.
Nisei translators (ddr-densho-114-176)
img Nisei translators (ddr-densho-114-176)
Allied Translator and Interpreter Section (ATIS), Tokyo.
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 …
Military housing (ddr-densho-114-151)
img Military housing (ddr-densho-114-151)
Original caption: An effort is made to find housing for military personnel by a house-to-house canvass of homes in the Tokyo, Japan, area. Nisei Tec 5 Tom T. Aoyagi, Hq. Co., dependents' housing section, GHQ, Army Forces in the Pacific, of Milo, Hawaii, assists Major Clarence L. Dufgeans, Pacusa Chofu Flight section, of Montgomery, Ala., right. …
Supply clerks (ddr-densho-114-156)
img Supply clerks (ddr-densho-114-156)
Original caption: Nisei Japanese supply clerks, work in the supply room from which supplies are issued to the Allied translator and interpreter section, General Headquarters, Allied Powers in the Pacific, Tokyo, Japan. L-R: Pfc. Hideo Ikeuchi, Tec 5 Tom Maruyama, and Pfc. Francis Nakagawa. 9-3-46.
Nisei interpreter reuniting with family (ddr-densho-114-150)
img Nisei interpreter reuniting with family (ddr-densho-114-150)
Original caption: S/Sgt. Kenyo Miyashiro, U.S. Army interpreter, and his family have a reunion at Stoman. 1945.
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 the …
Nisei translators (ddr-densho-114-164)
img Nisei translators (ddr-densho-114-164)
Original caption: Nisei Japanese civilians and soldiers of the U.S. Army, work in the translation and scanning sections, and the Allied translator and interpreter sections, General Headquarters, Allied Forces in the Pacific, located in the NYK Building, Tokyo, Japan. The majority of the personnel working in these sections are Nisei civilians and soldiers, who are responsible …
Switchboard operators (ddr-densho-114-161)
img Switchboard operators (ddr-densho-114-161)
Original caption: Two Nisei Japanese operate telephone switchboard for the Allied translator and interpreter section, General Headquarters, Tokyo, Japan. 9-3-46
Proofreading military documents (ddr-densho-114-140)
img Proofreading military documents (ddr-densho-114-140)
Original caption: Tec 4 [illegible] from Hilo, Hawaii, checks a document to determine its accuracy before it is delivered to the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, and other Allied military authorities. Proof-reading of all manuscripts and documents for typegraphical errors, is one of the important positions held by both civilian and military Nisei personnel in …
Mimeograph operator (ddr-densho-114-160)
img Mimeograph operator (ddr-densho-114-160)
Original caption: Pfc. Kaichi Fukushima, Nisei Japanese mimeograph operator in the production section, General Headquarters, Allied Forces in the Pacific, Tokyo, Japan, stencils both Japanese characters and English translations out by the typing sub-section. 9-3-46.
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.
Nisei soldiers at a dance (ddr-densho-114-469)
img Nisei soldiers at a dance (ddr-densho-114-469)
Original caption: Civilians and soldiers, attached to the Allied Translator and Interpreter section, General Hq, Army Forces in the Pacific, and quartered in the Nippon Yusen Kaisha Bldg., Tokyo, Japan, attend weekly dance for members of their unit. It is a popular activity in Tokyo planned for the Nisei. 9/3/46.
Nisei soldier painting a sign (ddr-densho-114-154)
img Nisei soldier painting a sign (ddr-densho-114-154)
Original caption: Pfc. Taka Oka, Nisei Japanese sign-painter for the Allied translator and interpreter section, General Headquarters, Allied Powers in the Pacific, Tokyo, Japan, prepares a sign announcing the weekly dance. He is from Seattle, Wash., and a member of the Allied occupation forces in Japan. 9-3-46.
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 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 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 draftsman preparing maps (ddr-densho-114-157)
img Nisei draftsman preparing maps (ddr-densho-114-157)
Original caption: Tec 5 George Fuyasho of Portland, Oregon, a Nisei Japanese draftsman for the Allied translator and interpreter section, General Headquarters, Allied Forces in the Pacific, prepares sketches and maps necessary for the production of documents, Floor plans and blueprints. Tokyo, Japan. 9-3-46.
Nisei typists (ddr-densho-114-146)
img Nisei typists (ddr-densho-114-146)
Original caption: Miss Doris Y. Shibamo, Nisei Japanese civil service employee who was born in Wahiawa, Oahu, T.H., and Pfc. Jim Morikawa of Baker's Field, Calif. (right), prepare letters for proof-readers and subsequent delivery to the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers. They are typists in the typing subsection, NYK Building, Tokyo, Japan. 9-3-46.
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.
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 …
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