I am looking forward to the first executive council meeting on 14 December. As advised, I am starting off with a smaller council. The members are John Kiyonaga, David Buto, Jack Tashiro, Phil Ishio, Cal Ninomiya, Gerald Yamada and myself as chair. There will be others as we progress.

The agenda will include discussing proposed changes to the JAVA charter and bylaws, special initiatives and firming up the calendar for 2003. Any proposals agreed to by the executive council will be presented to the general membership meeting scheduled for late January – early February for consideration.

The principal proposed changes have to do with the purpose and scope of JAVA’s activities, and how we will operate with sister organizations to further our objectives.

To this end I have been meeting with Fred Murakami to keep the National Japanese American Veterans Council, which I see as a coordinating body of all Japanese American veterans organizations, apprised of potential changes.

Fred has had the opportunity to discuss some of the ideas his NJAVC meeting in Los Angeles this November and reports that they were favorably received.

We have made some progress in other areas as well, and I will represent JAVA at a reception hosted by the Secretary of Veteran Affairs on 11 December.

I wish each and every one of you happy holidays and look forward to a productive new year.



The WWII Nisei soldiers collectively joined the ranks of the nation’s most honored during special ceremonies on Veterans Day aboard the decommissioned battleship USS New Jersey anchored in the historic Delaware River in Camden, NJ.

The Congressionally created National Constitution Center presented the "2002 We the People" Award to all veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service amid resounding tributes in soaking rain.

Previous recipients of the award include Senators Robert C. Byrd and Mark Hatfield, publisher Benjamin Bradlee, Ambassador Walter Annenberg, and Congressman John R. Lewis.

Roughly 250 people, including dignitaries such as NCC president and CEO Joseph Toresella, NCC chairman John Bogle, and General George A Joulan, attended while the presentation of colors and a heraldic fanfare of trumpets was conducted by the Valley Forge Military Academy and College.

Toresella gave an overview of the hardships and discrimination endured by the Nisei during WWII plus their battlefield achievements and then said the Nisei veterans were an "extraordinary group of men" who deserved to be honored.

"The highest office of our republic is not president, senator, or mayor, but citizen,"
Torsella said, "’Go for Broke’ is the very definition of what our founders envisioned as good citizens."

The award was accepted by Christine Sato-Yamazaki, executive director of the Go for Broke Educational Foundation; Don Seki of Co. L, 442nd, and Col. Harry K. Fukuhara, MIS on behalf of the veterans. Stanley Akita, who was to represent the 100th Inf., was unable to attend.

Among the 40 Nisei veterans and family members from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California and Washington, DC, were Catherine Tanaka of the Go for broke Foundation, Sam Yoshinari from Chicago of Cannon Co., 442nd; Harry and Mrs. Abe from New York City representing the 522nd Field Artillery Bn., Ted Oye from Vineland of the 442nd,

The JAVA group included 442nd veterans Joe Ichiuji, Norman Ikari and Kelly Kuwayama; MIS veterans Phil Ishio, Grant Hirabayashi, Grant Ichikawa, Yukio Miyamoto, and Hank and Seiko Wakabayshi.

The commanding officer of the ship, Admiral Siegenthaler, briefly described the impressive history of the battle wagon itself. Musical tributes included the 442nd fight song by the Heraldic Trumpeters. A luncheon aboard the ship for some 150 invited guests and the Nisei veterans concluded the program.

TV and press coverage of the event was widespread including ceature pieces in the Philadelphia Inquirer and its web-site, and the Camden Courier-Post. online http://www.southjersey, among others.



U.S. Army Colonel J. Edgar Wakayama, born in the WWII War Relocation Center in Manzanar, was awarded the Soldier’s Medal, the Army’s highest decoration for non-combatants, for valor during the September 11 attack on the Pentagon.

An Army Medical Service Corps Reservist, he is on the second one-year tour of duty with the Defense Department’s director for operational test and evaluation.

The citation reads, in part: "He entered the Pentagon three times to search for injured people, leading three to safety on the first trip and several more on the second attempt, before being repulsed by smoke and heat on the third entry.

"Unable to get inside the Pentagon again, Wakayama started to treat wounded on-site…He helped perform triage and administer intravenous solutions. He helped the Red Cross set up a blood draw collection point. For the rest of Sept. 11 and for the next nine days, he worked 12-hour shifts at the recovery site."

Wakayama, 59, said he received the medal on behalf of the fire fighters, rescue workers and soldiers at the 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard).

Though his father and mother went to Japan following their internment, his father, Kinzo, told his sons to return to the country of their birth and serve in the armed forces when they became age 18, "even die for its causes."

Edgar and his two brothers, George and Carl, all served with the U.S. Army in Vietnam.

(Editor’s Note: for a full report on Wakayama see JAVA website.)



The chairman of the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation reports that general public interest in the Memorial "seems to be growing" and that currently there are more than 200,000 visitors to the site annually.

Chairman Warren Minami, speaking at a wreath laying ceremony at the Memorial on Veterans Day, November 11, also said, however, that "Although the Memorial has received several national and international awards for sculpture, construction and stone masonry, the general public audience is still largely unaware of it." Minami is an Air Force veteran who served during the height of the Cold War.

He was introduced by JAVA president Bert Mizusawa.

John Kiyonaga, JAVA’s vice-president and master of ceremonies for the event, paid special tribute to those who died during World War II, ensuring that they and all other veterans would be honorably recognized.

Just prior to the ceremony, two bus loads of children visited the site and learned first hand from several of the WWII Nisei veterans attending of their contributions during the war. This, Minami said, was indeed an indication of the growing interest.

The names of more than 800 Japanese Americans who gave their lives while serving with the 100th/442nd RCT, the MIS and other U.S. military units are carved into the granite walls of the Memorial, just a short walk from the Nation’s capitol.

"We believe the site is a fitting backdrop for the Wreath Laying Ceremony sentimental to every veteran’s heart," Minami said, "and we look forward to this even continuing as an annual occasion." The ceremony this year was the second such event held at the Memorial on Veterans Day.

"Publicity stemming from events held at the Memorial, such as the Veterans’ Day ceremonies and the annual Cherry Blossom Freedom Walk, help to increase community involvement and provide opportunities for younger Sanseis and Yonseis to participate in continuing the legacy created by the Issei and Nisei sacrifices during World War II."



The 442nd Veterans Club reports that about 2,000 participants are expected at its 60th anniversary reunion in Honolulu next April 3-6 highlighted by the appearance of both of Hawaii’s U.S. Senators, academicians, military leaders and other dignitaries.

U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye will be the keynote speaker at the 60th Anniversary luncheon at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel April 6 while a "Kansha" award will be presented to Senator Daniel Akaka during the same program. The guest speaker at the luncheon will be Gordon Hirabayashi, one of three who challenged the President Roosevelt’s executive order banning Nikkei from the West Coast.

The guest speaker at a memorial service at the National Cemetery of the Pacific at the Punchbowl April 5 will be Evan Dobelle, president of the University of Hawaii while the keynote speaker then will be retired General David Bramlett.

The theme for the reunion is "Patriotism, Valor and Honor."

Those being urged to attend, in the club’s words, include "Veterans who have lost touch with your Chapter," "widows and families…," and "sons and daughters who wish to sit with their father’s Chapter…"

Other events include at tour of the USS Missouri, various seminars and workshops, a "welcomre reception" for visiting friends and a "Home Grown Talent" show in the evening of April 4 and various individual chapter gatherings.

Registration forms for the reunion are available from the 442nd Club, 933 Wiliwili St., Honolulu, HI 96826. Pleasant Holidays is the tour agency handling reunion travel and hotel accommodations and can be contacted by mainland residents by phone at: 1-800-818-9080.

Those with questions can call the 442nd Veterans Club at: (808) 949-7997 or by E-mail at: goforbroke.aja@verizon.net.



The names of the Medal of Honor awardees will be forever enshrined in the Hall of Honor and in the deeds of Asian Americans. But three names that will go unnoticed are Richard "Sus" Yamamoto, Fumie Yamamoto, and Maggie Ikeda, who in their own way, made tremendous sacrifices without which the awards may have taken much longer.

At the Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera’s reception for the Medal on Honor recipients on June 21, one of the speakers (Ed Ichiyama) recognized their decade-long research of the100th Battalion/442nd RCT at the National Archives.

The research began innocently enough around 1990 as a result of a visit from Ted Tsukiyama, the 442nd Club historian. Ted was working on establishing a library and museum in Hawaii. He needed help in Washington, D.C. to conduct extensive research at the National Archives. He conferred first with Aiko and Jack Herzig in Virginia to tap their expertise in research in the Archives and elsewhere. They, in turn, helped gather a group to hear Ted’s plea for volunteers. Sus Yamamoto, along with his wife Fumie and a close friend, Maggie Ikeda, answered his plea.

Over the years, others joined in now and then to assist. Martha Giovanni (Ted’s sister) was a regular for many months. But the three were the ones who stuck it out for the long haul.

Given some pointers by the Herzigs, the three knew where to start looking and a general idea of what to do. But the going was tough. About once a week for nearly ten years, they made 45-minute trips from the Maryland suburbs to the heart of Washington, D.C. and vicinity to spend 4-8 hours of painstaking research.

Their process went like this: On occasion, the day before the research, they would drive to the National Archives and fill out a request form. The boxes then would be ready for them almost immediately when they arrived the next morning – otherwise they would have had to wait ½ to a whole day for the approval and retrieval to take place. Each box had a unique reference number assigned and contained labeled folders. Each folder contained papers. Every page of each folder had to be read.

The documents were mostly fragile and yellowing on thin, sometimes transparent paper. In some cases, the paper was brittle and nearly deteriorated in their hands. And the dust was so bad sometimes that it irritated Maggie’s allergies. When handling photographs, they had to wear special gloves that made handling especially difficult.

They first chased down anything that mentioned the 100th Battalion and the 442nd, but then realized lots of information was missing. To get the full story they had to read papers of General Marshal, Earl Warren, the Secretary of the Navy, the Surgeon General, etc. To ensure that nothing was overlooked, they even researched every military unit to which the 100th and 442nd were assigned.

Because they were paying all their expenses from their own pockets, they spent months making handwritten summaries of the documents to send to Hawaii. Eventually they devised a systematic process for documenting box numbers and folders where every scrap of information was found. Everything was sent to Tsukiyama in Hawaii, who was so pleased, he convinced the 442nd veterans to defray the group’s cost, which allowed them to use a photocopying machine.

Over the course of ten years, the researchers were exposed to every aspect of the Nisei’s experience. According to Fumie, she was struck by how telling the archives’ information was. She recalls reading how the "Lost Battalion," short of food, ammunition, batteries, etc., radioed back to units trying to airdrop supplies, "…the airplanes are giving away our position! Don’t send us anything…"

At some point, the purpose of the threesome’s research changed from strictly providing information for the 442nd library to provide information for the medal" review led by Ed Ichiyama and sponsored by Senator Akaka’s office. The rest is history.

In the end, the trio made hundreds of trips to the National Archives, spent thousands of hours of their own time, read countless thousands of pages, and sent more than 10 boxes of material back to Hawaii. For their efforts, the 442nd Club presented Richard "Sus" Yamamoto with a Letter of Appreciation and a medal. The President and Secretary of the Army invited them to ceremonies in the nation’s capital honoring the Medal of Honor recipients.

Sadly, though the Medal of Honor phase of their research has been completed, the original research remains unfinished. For health reasons, the trio ended their visits to the National Archives in January, 1999. Much information still sits in boxes there and elsewhere, waiting to be copied and sent to the 442nd Club’s library.

Moreover, the threesome has learned that some papers are not filed in the archives, that some veterans did not turn in their unit documents at the end of the war. The Yamamotos hope that those with such records will turn them into the archives to that posterity can better understand and appreciate what took place.

(Editor’s Note: Sadly, Sus Yamamoto died December 7 after a long illness. His obituary


RICHARD SUSUMU YAMAMOTO by Yeiichi (Kelly) Kuwayama

Richard Susumu Yamamoto, 82, born in Hawaii May 15, 1920, died of pneumonia December 7 at the Suburban Hospital in Bethesda. Yamamoto, a JAVA member, spent most of his working life at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in cancer research but was with the 2nd Battalion of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in Europe during WWII and received a Bronze Star with three clusters.

At NIH he was in the Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases and tested many theories using chemical carcinogens with laboratory animals. He wrote numerous articles for scientific journals, noted among them was one on "The Role of Hormones in Digestive and Urinary Tract Carcinogenesis," which was co-authored by Elizabeth K. Weissberger.

Dr. Yamamoto was a member of the National Toxicology Association, the Nutrition Society and the American Cancer Society as well as the Japanese American Citizens League, the Hawaii State Society, and the John Hopkins Alumni Association. Prior to receiving his Doctor of Science Degree in biochemistry from John Hopkins, he attended McKinley High School in Honolulu, the University of Hawaii and George Washington University in the nation’s capital.

He was with the ROTC at the University of Hawaii and part of the Hawaii Territorial Guard until classified 4C, then was among those who petitioned to form the Varsity Victory Volunteers and worked in labor intensive jobs. Later, when the 442nd Regimental Combat Team was being formed, he was one of the thousands who volunteered for the all-Nikkei unit.

After his retirement from NIH in 1984, he worked (as noted above) with his wife Fumi and Maggie Ikeda to retrieve information on the 442nd/100th Battalion from the National Archives.

Dr. Yamamoto is survived by his wife Fujie; daughter Joyce, married to Paul Casso; and three grandchildren – Marie, Matthew and Brett.

Funeral services were scheduled for Friday, December 13 at the Cedar Lane Unitarian Church in Bethesda. Donations, in lieu of flowers, can be sent to the University of Hawaii Foundation (Varsity Victory Volunteer Endowment Scholarships) P.O. Box 11270, Honolulu, HI 96828.



Heartwarming responses were received for JAVA’s call for corrections and additions to the Military Intelligence Service Language School Register, but further entries still are being sought for the register being compiled by Seiki Oshiro (MN), Paul Tani (VA) and Grant Ichikawa (VA).

The following two letters came in response to appeals on JAVA’s website www.javadc.org and news releases sent to a number of Japanese American newspapers and are being reprinted here to encourage input from others.

"Thank you for helping to set up the MISLS Registry on the internet, where family members can easily find names of brothers, fathers, etc. I am fortunate enough to subscribe to the ‘Hawaii Herald’ which printed a column about the Registry in the October 4, 2002 issue so knew exactly how to log onto the website," Nobuko (Tabata) Abe of Maui wrote.

"My brother, Katsutoshi Tabata, is listed on the Registry. However, since his present whereabouts and his campaign are not listed, I am providing that information to you in hopes that it will be added to the registry. Katsutoshi now lives at Rosemead, CA. He was assigned to the British Army when he was sent to the China-Burma-India Theater and served in that campaign until World War II ended, at which time he returned to the U.S. and then back to Hawaii.

"The MIS soldier was never recognized in the past. We are greatly indebted to you for your faithfulness and dedication to this project.

"Thank you for the time and effort you and the others have exerted to make this a reality. Mahalo nui loa."Sincerely yours….."

A few days later, Nobuko wrote: "It is me again to fill in the blanks on an ‘M Tabata.’ I apprised my sister of the MISLS website. When she finally accessed it, she questioned whether ‘M. Tabata’ could be our second brother as he was at Ft. Snelling during the indicated period. I called my brother, Masakatsu, in Lahaina, who laughed and said that would be him. He didn’t feel that he should be included in the Registry as he served his assignment after the War had ended. After explaining the purpose of the Registry, he consented to having the blanks filled in.

"Masakatsu now lives ins Lahaina, Maui HI. His serial number is 30115650. He was a T/5 and was attached to the 285th MP Co. at San Fernando La Union, Philippines until he was discharged.

"Thank you for giving us the opportunity to fill in the blanks. It feels so fulfilling to have done this for my brothers who do not own computers and therefore have no way of accessing this information. I will send a copy of this page from the Registry, showing their names with blanks filled in. My warmest. Aloha and Mahalo…"

Please send all corrections and additions to the names on the MISLS Registry to: Grant Ichikawa, 114 James Dr. SW, Vienna, VA 22180; Fax: 703-938-5857; E-mail: ichikawa@erols.com.


Editor’s note -- The following text of a Letter to the Editor of the Salt Lake City Tribune from JAVA’s Jack Herzig speaks for itself:

Dear Sir:

Your Sunday, August 23, 2002, article is hardly news that the Magic cable are touted as the basis on which to question the loyalty of Japanese Americans prior to their being imprisoned by the government whose officials violated their oath to defend and uphold the Constitution.

In the 1980s, that allegation was made by a former National Security Agency (NSA) bureaucrat, David Lowman, and then rejected by the distinguished members of a Congressionally appointed commission, including a former Supreme Court justice and several former senators who had reviewed those messages.

\\similarly, in the 1980s, the validity of that same allegation by David Lowman was soundly defeated by both House and Senate as they passed legislation calling upon the United States to acknowledge that it had committed a wrong against Japanese Americans in WWII.

In the 1980s, three separate federal courts vacated the wartime Supreme Court cases that had ruled on the arrest and detention of Japanese Americans and found that the government had deliberately withheld information favorable to the Japanese Americans from that Court.

In the 1980s, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals also dismissed the significance of the Magic cables and Lowman’s testimony in the evidentiary hearing in the Hirabayashi coram nobis case.

Also in the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Civil Liberties Act acknowledging that a wrong had been done to the Japanese Americans and offered them an apology on the part of the Nation. President George Bush and President Bill Clinton signed thousands of letters of apology to the 82,000 survivors of the government action in what lawyers describe as the worst blot on the Constitution of our country.

Readers should not allow themselves to be confused about the above specific actions taken by our own government through an insignificant, bureaucratic, statistical argument in your paper of records made in the confusion of battle over fifty years ago about exactly how many Japanese Americans were killed or wounded in saving the Lost Battalion of the 36th Infantry Division or in some battle or another. Ask those who were saved what it meant that their saviors were Japanese Americans.

And, please excuse this personal note, but as a combat paratrooper who served in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945, I’m happy and deeply appreciate being among the mere "thousands" whose lives were saved by the Japanese Americans who had the ability, the courage and the desire to serve in hazardous assignments as Japanese language interpreters and interrogators while their families were confined in American style "concentration camps."

Signed: Jack Herzig, Fall Church, VA Lt. Col. (USA) (Ret.)

(In another letter to the editor of the Twin Falls Idaho Times News, Jack took issue with the newspaper’s assertion that internees at the Mindoka Relocation Center "had it better" than American GI’s.)

"The original writer of the Nov. 14 article seems to have missed another point – that many of the children and their parents and grandparents who were imprisoned in those desolate ‘relocation camps’ only because of their Japanese ancestry were not soldiers or seamen 18 to 35 years of age in the prime of their lives. They should have ‘had it better than the soldiers fighting the war.’

"I spent 34 months in the jungles of New Guinea and the Philippines in a parachute regiment fighting so that all Americans would have a better life than what we had. Unfortunately, Japanese-Americans were not considered human enough to be so treated.

"Let’s hope that we have learned from that terrible mistake and ensure that Arab Americans don’t suffer the same fate."


PUBLISHER ANNOUNCES PUBLICATION OF LIFE STORY "HERSHEY" MIYAMURA The Sunwood Entertainment Corp. of Orlando, FL has announced publication of the life story of Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Hiroshi "Hershey" Miyamura "as told in his, and his family’s own words."

"This heroic story tells the tale of how a humble young man from a small town upbringing, despite the discrimination against Japanese Americans after 1941, earned the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Korean War through his courage and spirit."

The book, entitled "Hershey," is being offered to select organizations before offering it to the general public, Sunwood said. It said in previous documentaries, the firm worked with the Japanese American Korean War Veterans, the 100th/442nd Association, and Merrill’s Marauders, among others.

Non-profit organizations are being offered a 33 percent savings if they order 100 books or more.

Sunwood’s address is: P.O. Box 568795, Orlando, FL 32856-8795; it’s E-mail: chuck@sunwoodentertainment.com



JAVA’s ranks were increased by six since last September, bringing total membership to 120. The new members include:




A HAPPY & CONGRATULATORY NOTE: Congratulations to Java President Bert Mizusawa and wife Yvonne, who are proud parents of a new son, Eric Andrew, who weighed in at 8 and ½ pounds. He was born November 19 and is their third son.

FOR ALL WHO NOW SOW JAPANESE VEGETABLE SEEDS RATHER THAN WILD OATS: Grant Ichikawa wishes to share his "discovery" with other JAVA members. In his quest to find uri (a variety of Japanese pickling melon) Grant was introduced (via E-mail) to Maya Shiroyama, a sansei, who with her husband Jim Ryugo, are new owners of the Kitazawa Seed Company, which has been in existence since 1917 and is well-known among West Coast Japanese Americans. Now located in Oakland, CA, the company was started by Gijiu Kitazawa in 1917. The address is: The Kitazawa Seed Co., P.O. Box 13220, Oakland, CA 94661-3220; FAX: (510) 595-1860; phone: (510) 595-1188, or E-mail: kitaseed@pacbell.net.

(Editor’s note: Not much of a "discovery" for those of us who grew up in Santa Clara Valley, now known as "Silicon Valley" but which used to claim it was the "Prune Capital of the World." The Kitazawa Seed Company was originally located in San Jose and sold seeds to most of the Japanese American truck garden farmers in the region.. Another source for seeds: Evergreen Y.H. Enterprises, P.O. Box 17538, Anaheim, CA 92817; FAX /phone: (714) 637-5769; E-mail eeseeds@aol.com; Website: www.evergreenseeds.com.)

LIFE INTERRUPTED: The Internment of Japanese Americans in World War II Arkansas is what has been billed "a multifaceted project to educate the people of Arkansas and the nation about the War Relocation Centers at Jerome and Rohwer, Arkansas." It is a joint project between the Public History Program of the University of Arkansas in Little Rock and the Japanese American Museum with major funding provided by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. Project officials are interested in speaking with any former inmates of these camps and/or their families as well as any members of the 100th/422nd/MIS with connection to Jerome and/or Rohwer. For further information, contact Jessica Fulbright of the Heather Register phone (501) 569-8391; jafulbright@uair.edu or hmregister@uair.edu.

CALL FOR CBI THEATER MIS’R: Tom Haga, (temporary address: 8641 W. Salter Dr. Peoria, AZ 85382; phone: 623) 825-9746; E-mail: thaga@cox.net }, reports that he is tracking down all MIS’rs who served in the CBI Theater. He said he now has more names than reported in "Aiso and the MIS." He feels that there are at least 18 other Japanese Americans and is not sure if OSS Nikkei officers were included in the Aiso count. He needs names, places, dates and, if possible, serial numbers. He is also trying to track down information on a Captain Won Loy Chan of the Camp Savage class O-5, June ’42, who was with Grant Hirabayashi and Merrill’s Marauders and Bob Honda at Miyitkina.

The AMERICAN PATRIOTS: MIS IN THE WAR AGAINST JAPAN: The first-hand accounts of 25 Japanese Americans who served in the U.S. Military Intelligence Service in the Pacific during WWII, now in its second printing is again available. The book was authored by JAVA’s Warren Tsuneishi and Stanley L. Falk and spells out the key role played by these language specialists in all major campaigns of the war in the Pacific. It is available for $10 plus $2 handling costs from: JAVA Book, P.O. Box 59, Dunn Loring, VA 22027.

JAVA DUES: Annual dues for JAVA membership are now payable. The dues for full membership -- $25; for associate membership -- $15, and for active duty members -- $10. The checks should be made out to JAVA and sent to: Jack Tashiro, 9907 Inglemere Dr., Bethesda, MD 20817.