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Quiet Warriors


Jan. 26, 2021 - Dec. 20, 2021

On February 19, 1942, two months after the Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066. Almost 12,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans were sent to concentration camps. Among them, two thirds were American-born Nisei. Many of the young men were in two groups: “No-No Boys” and volunteers (or drafted) for the U.S. Army. Now that they are aging, the quiet Nisei veterans are willing to tell their unspoken stories. Having lived through the war themselves, their wishes for peace are immense.

*The 13 articles in this series were originally published in The North American Post-Northwest Nikkei during 2003-2004. The North American Post recently edited and republished them on their website.


Stories from this series

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Bob Sato

Feb. 10, 2021 • Mikiko Amagai

“When my kids ask me what I was doing during the war, I can only say that I was a soldier,” said Robert (Bob) Sato. He was a sergeant in the famed 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team, a segregated Japanese-American army unit that served with pride and distinction during the Second World War. Like many other Nisei, he has a lot to say about what happened, but is more reticent when it comes to talking about his own feelings during those …

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Richard Naito

Jan. 26, 2021 • Mikiko Amagai

On February 19, 1942, two months after the Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066. Almost 8,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans in the Seattle area were sent to internment camps. Among them, two thirds were American-born Nisei. Many of the young men were in two groups: “No-No Boys” and volunteers for the U.S. Army. Now that they are aging, the quiet Nisei ex-soldiers are willing to tell their unspoken stories. Having lived through the war themselves, …

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Author in This Series

Mikiko Amagai was Managing Editor of The North American Post, the Seattle Japanese-community newspaper, from 2001 to 2005. Of her tenure, Mikiko feels that the most memorable articles she wrote were her interviews of the Seattle Nisei veterans—all but one now deceased. She obtained their stories by “just letting them talk.” She published the accounts in both English and Japanese. On November 1, 2020, Mikiko returned to Tokyo after 44 years in Seattle.

Updated January 2021

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