Isamu Saito oral history interview, part 5 of 6, June 28, 2005


Dublin Core


After Camp Shelby, Isamu "Sam" Saito went to Fort Snelling. There were approximately 2,000 soldiers at Fort Snelling training to go overseas. The curriculum focused on reading and writing. Sam discusses his daily schedule at the Japanese school.

At Fort Snelling, Sam recalls relying on himself to learn the material taught in training. When Sam's parents left Minidoka, he asked John Aiso for leave. Sam is approved to leave for a few hours for his family. If he missed classes, there was no option to repeat the course. Classes are five days a week, and there was time to attend church Sunday. For social activities, there were dances and movies.

With the training at Fort Snelling, Sam saw a progression in his Japanese language skills. He learns how to interrogate Prisoners of War (POWs). After graduating from training, Sam's graduating class went to the Philippines. However, they stopped in Hawaii because the troopship needed repairs. The ship docks in Hawaii for ten days. Some of the graduating class were Hawaiian soldiers, and their families prepared a luau dinner almost every night.

When Sam got close to the Philippines, the war ended. In the Philippines, Sam's graduating class was interviewed and then classified for their assignments. After a month, Sam went to occupation Japan. Sam was assigned to Allied Translator and Interpreter Section (ATIS), and he works with a railroad Battalion in Yokohama. Sam's job was to interpret.

He was stationed at the railroad for almost a year. During Sam's vacation, he traveled around Japan, visiting relatives and sightseeing.



Oral History Item Type Metadata


Date of Birth

1925 Apr 27

Location of Birth

War or Conflict

Branch of Service

Entrance into Service



Saito, Isamu: narrator, Hawkins, Richard: interviewer, and Go For Broke National Education Center: publisher, “Isamu Saito oral history interview, part 5 of 6, June 28, 2005,” Japanese American Military History Collective, accessed May 29, 2024,