Japanese American National Museum, Gift of Yuri Kochiyama (94.144.1)
Feb. 19, ’44
To whom it may concern:
I Makoto (Mike) Miyamoto was sure surprised to get a Valentine from a group of girls I never met before, and I, asure [sic] you all that I’ll never forget it. This may sound silly to you all, and in fact you may laugh at me. But I was brought to tell the truth, if it is silly or sensible so you see I’m not ashamed of myself. Yes I had a girlfriend far away. But I left home on March, and within three months she told me it’s no go so she stopped writing to me. From then on, just my folks was in my mind, always. I came from a family of four. My father, mother, sister, and myself. I lost my father when I was a child. Yes I have a father (step), he’s been nice to me ever since I can remember. I was born in Hawaii (largest island) on Aug. 30, 1933. God gave me dark black hair, brown eyes, two cute dimples, and a fair complexion. I’m 5’5 ½” tall and 147 lb, which I gained since I came in Army. I didn’t go to college, also didn’t finish High School. I was too lazy and started to work after my Junior in Hi School. I was a Cheer Leader for six years of my schooling. I loved to see all kind of sports and like to take part in them. But I guess swimming is my “line.” Before the war I worked in a service station and was managing the whole works. Then came Pearl Harbor. I closed the station on July the 19th and started to work for U.T.E.D. as a truck driver. On March the 23rd I joined the army to revenge Pearl Harbor. Here I am now, in the heart of Mississippi.
Before I close, I want to thank you all again. But, how in the world did you get my address?
Aloha Nui Loa,
This object is part of the story Carry On, Crusaders, which is about Community & Culture.
Carry On, Crusaders, Community & Culture
By writing these letters, young children and teenagers expressed support for those serving their country. Since so many had brothers, fathers, uncles, and other relatives serving in the military, others in the community got involved as well.
Mrs. Kochiyama recalls that her mother became very involved in letter writing just after her father passed away, when her mother was very lonely. Writing letters and notes to the soldiers created a sense of community among those in the camps.
As we read the correspondence, it is evident that these letters meant a great deal to the soldiers. They became a link to the community when the soldiers were far from home.