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 (231)
Military service (3241)
Military Intelligence Service (1146)

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

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1146 items
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 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 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 …
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 …
Nisei translators (ddr-densho-114-176)
img Nisei translators (ddr-densho-114-176)
Allied Translator and Interpreter Section (ATIS), Tokyo.
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 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. …
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.
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 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 …
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
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 …
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