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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 (54)
Military service (567)
Military Intelligence Service (544)

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

544 items
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.
Legion of Merit presentation (ddr-densho-107-32)
img Legion of Merit presentation (ddr-densho-107-32)
General Frank D. Merrill, Commanding General of the Merrill's Marauders, congratulating S/Sgt Roy Matsumoto upon the presentation of the Legion of Merit for his exploits at Walawbum, Burma on 5 March, 1944.
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 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.
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 typists (ddr-densho-114-153)
img Nisei typists (ddr-densho-114-153)
Original caption: The typing sub-section of the production section, Allied translator and interpreter sectioin, General Headquarters, Allied Forces in the Pacific, NYK Building, Tokyo, Japan. All documents which have first been translated and written in long hand by both civilian and military Nisei personnel, are typed by the sub-section and sent to proof-readers for final check ...
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 ...
Surrender of Japanese forces (ddr-densho-114-175)
img Surrender of Japanese forces (ddr-densho-114-175)
Surrender of Japanese forces on one of the Pacific Islands.
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 linguists (ddr-densho-114-138)
img Nisei linguists (ddr-densho-114-138)
Original caption: 1st Lt. Fred Uyehara of Chicago, Ill., assignment officer at the linguist training and control section, G-2, GHQ-FEC, left, interviews Lt. Yoshio Hotta of Oakland, Calif., concerning reassignment as a linguist officer in the Far East Command. Lt. Uyehara and Lt. Hotta are typical of the Niseis serving with the occupation forces in Japan. ...
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 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.
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.
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