Authors Yoshinobu Oshiro (Military Intelligence Service veteran and retired principal, Hawai‘i Department of Education) and Lori Ward (Managing Editor at the Curriculum Research & Development Group, College of Education, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa) will speak about the biography of Arthur Komori, the Nisei spy from Kauai.
Arthur Komori, a Nisei from Hawai‘i, was one of two Japanese Americans recruited to the US Army Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) to pose as Japanese sympathizers and spy on Japan’s activities in Manila in the months leading up to World War II. When the war started, this Nisei served his country as a translator and undercover agent both on the front lines and behind the scenes in General MacArthur’s headquarters, even while at home over 120,000 Japanese Americans were interned in relocation camps. More than just a spy, Komori’s varied responsibilities also included interrogating prisoners of war and helping to train new linguist recruits and prepare them for work in the Pacific. Komori was also with MacArthur when he retook the Philippines and was in Tokyo Bay to witness the surrender of the Japanese to the Allied Powers. Fortunately, Komori recorded his story in journals, reports, and even poetry. This long overdue account of a decorated Military Intelligence Hall of Fame inductee reveals an important chapter in the history of Japanese Americans during World War II.