With Lt Gen Hodge, Seoul, Korea, October 1945
Tsuneishi was born on July 4, 1921, in Duarte, California, the third of six sons and three daughters of Satoru and Sho Murakami Tsuneishi, immigrants from Kochi Prefecture. He attended with his brothers and sisters a Saturday language school organized by Japanese families, mostly farmers, in the Monrovia-Arcadia-Duarte area east of Los Angeles. He was not a very diligent student in the ethnic school, and resisted the pro-Japan messages in the curriculum. He was in his third year at the University of California, Berkeley, when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.
Except for the eldest son, Hughes, already in the Army, the family was evacuated to the Heart Mountain Relocation Center, Wyoming. Tsuneishi was able to leave the center to complete his education at Syracuse University because the chancellor; William P. Tolley, opened his university to evacuee students as did some other colleges. At the suggestion of brother Hughes, who was then (1943) a student at Camp Savage and who was later to serve with the Allied Translator and Interpreter Section (ATIS), Tsuneishi volunteered for the MISLS upon graduation from Syracuse in August 1943. He saw action with the 306th Headquarters Intelligence Detachment, XXIV Corps, when General MacArthur "returned" to the Philippines, beginning with the landings on Leyte on October 20,1944, and the liberation of the Camotes Islands. He continued to serve with the 306th, then under command of Lt. Benjamin H. Hazard, in the Battle of Okinawa and in the occupation of Korea. He was awarded the Bronze Star by Lt. General John Hodge, CG, XXW Corp, in a ceremony at the Chosun Hotel, Seoul. He was discharged in January 1946 with the rank of technical sergeant responsible to Lt. Hazard as the NCO in charge of the 306th. Two other brothers were to serve in the Pacific as graduates of MISLS-Noel in the Philippines and Paul in the Occupation-while sisters Florence and Frances served as civilian employees of ATIS in Tokyo.
Tsuneishi received his MA (1948) from the Department of Chinese and Japanese, and his MSLS (1950) from the Graduate Library School, both of Columbia University, and his PhD (1960) in political science from Yale University. He served as curator of the East Asian Collection, Yale University Library, and then as chief of the Asian Division of the Library of Congress, until his retirement in 1993. He was professionally active in the Association for Asian Studies; the Association of Research Libraries; the American Library Association, where he joined with colleagues in organizing a series of five Japan-U.S. Conferences on Libraries, 1969-1992; and in the International Association of Orientalist Librarians, which he served as president,1983-1992. In addition to numerous articles in professional journals, his writings include Japanese Political Style (Harper & Row: 1966); and joint editorship of the Proceedings of the lst (1972), 2nd (1974), 4th (1990), and 5th (1992) Conference(s) on Libraries and Information Science in Higher Education. A member of the Japanese American Citizens League and the Japanese American Veterans Association, he has served the latter as vice president since 1993. Married to the former Betty Takeuchi of Honolulu, the couple now live in Bethesda, Maryland. Mrs. Tsuneishi is a potter specializing in stoneware, both practical and abstract. The couple have three adult children and four grandchildren, all living within driving range. The two share an interest in gardening and birding.
[Courtesy of the Japanese American Veterans' Association, MIS in the War Against Japan, Personal Experiences Related at the 1993 MIS Capital Reunion, "The Nisei Veteran: An American Patriot", Edited by Stanley L. Falk and Warren Tsuneishi, 1995.]