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Yankee Samurai: The Secret Role of Nisei in America's Pacific Victory Hardcover – August 1, 1979

ISBN-13: 978-0933680111 ISBN-10: 0933680112

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Hardcover, August 1, 1979
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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Pettigrew Enterprises (August 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0933680112
  • ISBN-13: 978-0933680111
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.7 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,539,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 31, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act and the efforts of the author, Joseph Harrington, the accomplishments of the over 5,000 Nisei to the American victory of Japan are now documented. Virtually unknown before the publication of this book, these loyal Americans volunteered from the concentration camps their families had been condemned to by Executive order 9066 in 1942. By using their knowledge of the Japanese language, U.S. intelligence knew the order of battle of Japanese forces in the Pacific almost down to the level of sergeants and corporals. This book recounts the many personal experiences of the men who so gallantly served the United States in the Pacific war, and who were commended by General MacArthur's staff for shortening the war by two years and saving a million American casualties. They have even been honored by the Japanese government! It has been my honor to know many of these fine men personally through the MIS Service Club of Southern California. All Americans, especially those who still think of Nisei as "Japanese" need to read this book, and find out what the color of honor is all about.
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Format: Hardcover
Joseph Harrington's YANKEE SAMUARI is an important book that has been neglected. Yet, this book is a necessary tribute to Americans of Japanese Ancestry (AJAs)who served in the U.S. military during World War II. These men served in combat in North Africa, Europe, and the South Pacific. Mr. Harrington's book is an antidote to those who refuse to recognize such valor or too cowardly to report it.

Harrington makes clear that when World War II erupted, the American military authorities lacked intelligence officers who could translate Japanese intercepts. Their desparation was so great that U.S. milirary officials had to enter American concentration camps where AJAs were confined due to Pres. Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066 which ordered all U.S. citizens to these camps for no reason whatsoever. Even the FBI Director, J. Edgar Hooever, was clear that AJAs were not a threat to American security. The Munson Report which was issued on November 7, 1941 clearly indicated that AJAs were remarkably loyal to the United States. Yet, these unfortunate men, women, and children were forced into these camps. When U.S. military authroties asked these men to volunteer for very dangerous intelligence duty, they did so in spite of their most unfair circumstances.

Harrington gives anecdotes of the heroism and effectiveness of the men who volunteered for both dangerous combat duty and intelligence work. These men infiltrated Japanese units, gathered intelligence, and helped American POWs escape. These AJAs did so at great personal risk. They knew that if they were detected and captured, they would be tortured to death.

The effectiveness of the AJA intelligence operatives is amazing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By History Buff on January 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Harrington may not be a great writer technically, but his "Yankee Samurai" is a fascinating read. Who else has bothered to interview some Nisei soldiers allowed into the Pacific and written up their contributions? Let's not let arguments over Nimitz and Marines vs. MacArthur sidetrack us, since no leaders were perfect. The Pacific stories of the Nisei soldiers themselves are what count, and Harrington's critics should prove them untrue before dismissing his contribution. Many outstanding researchers aren't great writers. Most of us remain massively ignorant of the several important Japanese cultures around the world during the 1930s and 1940s, and Harrington's work helps to fill our voids of knowledge. The Japanese militarists operated a vast spying and intelligence system around the world before and during WWII, but Harrington notes that most of our American Nisei who enlisted in the U.S. military had to take crash courses in Japanese after they joined the American military, since they couldn't speak, read or write the difficult Japanese; and the militarists in Japan didn't trust their allegiance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dianne on February 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a MUST see REFERENCE book on the WW II Military Intelligence Service (MIS) individuals, comprised mostly of Japanese-American citizens, who played an essential secret military role during WWII in the Pacific. It has been estimated that they shortened WW II by TWO YEARS! Families of the MIS'ers were not informed of their missions, and many MIS individuals continued to remain silent for several decades following the end of WW II, and were not given proper recognition by the United States government for their vital military service.

This book is NOT a novel and should not be judged as such. With the assistance of Shigeya Kihara, an instructor of a MIS language school for the American soldiers in the writing of "Yankee Samurai", this book is based on FACTS. The MIS were present everywhere in the Pacific (as were the numerous Pacific battles), and they accompanied various Allied units independently--thus the book documents the events and missions, and does not read in a "storybook" manner. Reading of the many Pacific missions may make it difficult for the reader, especially if you do not have access to a Pacific WW II battle map.

I suggest that this book be viewed as a *REFERENCE* book--because of the extensive listing of names, places, and missions. This helps to fill the void of documentation about the little known WWII Japanese-Americans serving in the Military Intelligence Service (MIS)-- since the U.S. government no longer has WW II records (the building housing the documents burned). The Japanese-American MIS'ers placed their own life in jeopardy while translating intercepted Japanese radio messages, reading captured Japanese documents.
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