Oral History Interview with Minoru Namba
Kibei male, born in Manlove, California on November 15, 1916. His father retired from the Japanese army and emigrated to America but was not a succcessful wage earner. In 1924, at age eight, Minoru was taken to Japan by his mother with two other siblings to be raised by his maternal grandparents. Minoru returned to the United States in 1934, at age eighteen, to renew his status as an American. He enrolled in school to learn English. In March 1941 he was drafted into the U.S. Army, but after December 7, 1941 he was treated as a Prisoner of War. In March 1942, at age twenty-six, Minoru was sent to Fort Bliss, Texas for loyalty and personal screening, then was accepted into the first class of the newly established Military Intelligence Language School at Camp Savage, Minnesota. He excelled in Japanese but was weak in English. Upon graduation he was sent to the Pacific Theatre of Operations. His parents and younger siblings were evacuated to Pinedale Assembly Center, then to Poston, Arizona. Minoru describes translating documents and interrogating Japanese Prisoners of War captured in New Guinea, the Philippines, and Admiralty Islands. He also was a censor of Japanese press items while stationed in Japan. Upon discharge in December 1945 he returned to Sacramento where he worked at the Army Depot. He describes identity and loyalty issues of kibei, such as those who were strong pro-Americans although raised and educated in Japan. The existence of the MIS and its role was classified information until 1973. In April 2000 the President of the United States awarded Minoruï¿½s unit the prestigious MIS Presidential Unit Citation.
Transcript available at Sacramento State University, Sacramento University Library
5 Tapes of 5
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