Kiyoji Morimoto oral history interview, part 2 of 7, February 28, 2002


Dublin Core


Kiyoji "Jonah" Morimoto discusses his home life and childhood in Hawaii. His family is Buddhist and goes to church on the weekends. Coming from a fisherman family, his meals at home consist of fish. At an early age, he learns not to eat fishes with bones. Morimoto mainly eats filet even to this day.

Growing up, Morimoto has household chores. He would walk every morning to go buy wood to heat up the water for bathing and cooking. In the kitchen there is only a stove. There is no refrigerator or electric water heater. Morimoto recalls having a wooden box and a block of ice that would act like a fridge. His family does not have a fridge until after the war.

Morimoto as a child enjoys outdoor activities. He plays sport with his friends and using everyday items to use as sport equipment. For football, the league is sponsor by the County Recreation. Morimoto would play barefoot and use the skin of big grapefruits as shoulder pads. For baseball, he uses an old kendo mask for the catchers' position and tennis balls because they are lighter in weight. The sport Morimoto enjoys the most is watching sumo matches. In high school, Morimoto hobby is photography but does not pursue his interest. One regret he has is not taking photos of his childhood neighborhood because it is destroyed by a tidal wave.

Morimoto recalls given the nickname Jonah by his brother and people refer him as Jonah rather than calling him by his Japanese name. When asked what culture Morimoto identities with more, American or Japanese, Morimoto says Japanese.






Spatial Coverage



Oral History Item Type Metadata


Date of Birth

1919 Aug 09

Location of Birth

War or Conflict

Branch of Service

Entrance into Service


Location of Basic Training




Morimoto, Kiyoji: narrator, Miyamoto, Phil: interviewer, and Go For Broke National Education Center: publisher, “Kiyoji Morimoto oral history interview, part 2 of 7, February 28, 2002,” Japanese American Military History Collective, accessed May 18, 2024,