Winning The Peace
Wars are won on battlefields. Peace is won through successful occupations. The 2004 contest, sponsored by the NJAVC, was focused on the Japan occupation. It invited MIS veterans to submit essays describing their personal, post-war experiences, in their role as American occupiers of the country from which their parents had emigrated.
The three contest winners were:
- Kan Tagami (Hawaii) had an astonishing solo conversation with the Emperor of Japan. He wrote: "I, an American Nisei, only one generation removed from Japan, was having a conversation with a man who, until recently, was considered a divinity... He expressed appreciation for the work of the Nisei in Japan. ‘You are a bridge between our two nations,' he said." | DOWNLOAD
- Harry Fukuhara (California) grew up in a family separated by tragedy. He reflected on his predicament as his unit, then in the Philippines, faced an imminent invasion of Japan: "I was not one to shirk a fight, but my mother and three brothers had returned to Japan after my father died in l933. Even though they were Nisei, like me, there was a good chance that my brothers had been drafted into the Japanese Army. I dreaded the thought of meeting them on the battlefield." | DOWNLOAD
- Joyce Koshi Feiss (Washington State) submitted an essay posthumously on behalf of her father, George M. Koshi, who died in February 2004. Among the notes that her father left was the following: "My language skill was an invaluable asset. The Japanese were amazed at an American GI speaking their language with native fluency. They appreciated our understanding of their culture." | DOWNLOAD
In addition to the above winning entries, the NJAVC has made the other essay submissions available online:
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