Maya Miyamoto oral history interview, part 1 of 3, April 27, 2011


Dublin Core


Maya Miyamoto was born on January 28, 1922, in Carmel Valley, CA. His father and mother were from Kumamoto, Japan. Maya's father taught him respect, how to get along with others, honesty, and do not shame the family. Maya said his parents wished him to be successful and continue farming.

As a child, he worked on the farm, and gradually he did more farm labor. The homelife of the Miyamoto family was more westernized and the primary language was English. Maya gave examples of not using chopsticks or taking off their shoes in the house.

On December 7, 1941, Maya heard the news of Pearl Harbor on the radio at home. Two of his brothers were already in the Army service. As a child, Maya did not think much about the effects of war and carried on like usual. The aftermath of Pearl Harbor became more significant when the FBI came to their home and evacuation to Poston, Arizona.

In 1944 Maya went to Phoenix, AZ, for his induction. After completing basic training, Maya was sent to Mobile Intelligence at Camp Ritchie, Maryland, to teach all kinds of weapons from Germany and Japan. Later, Maya was assigned to the Counter Intelligence Group and went to CIC Headquarters at Camp Holabird, Maryland, for training.

In November or December of 1945, Maya landed in Atsugi Field. This was his first time traveling to Japan and leaving California. Maya recalls that the culture and customs were different from the United States. After Atsugi, Maya went to Tokyo. He describes the devastation he saw in the towns and cities. Maya visited the CIC detachment in Chiba where he saw his friend. His friend who worked in Graves Registration was looking for bodies of fliers in Chiba, wondering if they were killed or beheaded.



Oral History Item Type Metadata

Date of Birth

1922 Jan 28

Location of Birth

War or Conflict

Branch of Service

Entrance into Service

Location of Basic Training


Miyamoto, Maya: narrator et al., “Maya Miyamoto oral history interview, part 1 of 3, April 27, 2011,” Japanese American Military History Collective, accessed July 24, 2024,