Lily Anne Y. Welty Tamai

Lily Anne Yumi Welty Tamai grew up in the agricultural community of Oxnard, California, speaking Japanese and English in a mixed-race household. Dr. Tamai received her Ph.D. in History from UC Santa Barbara. She conducted doctoral research in Japan and in Okinawa as a Fulbright Graduate Research Fellow and was also a Ford Foundation Fellow. She is the curator of history at the Japanese American National Museum. 

Updated June 2015

war en

Lessons from the Lost Battalion Mission

“We were in a number of dangerous situations. But the five days that I spent with ‘I’ Company and this mission, were really the most memorable. It was five days where I didn’t remember days from nights.”1 —Susumu “Sus” Ito

The Rescue of the Lost Battalion during World War II is one of the most significant missions carried out by the segregated all-Japanese American 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The haunting details of this suicide mission are widely covered in scores of books and articles.2 However, due to the intensity of the fighting, few images of the actual ...

Read more

culture en

One of Thousands

Abunai tokoro niwa ikanaide ne.” (Don’t go any where dangerous.)
                                                       —Hisayo Ito, mother of Sus Ito

In 1994, Susumu “Sus” Ito, a World War II veteran who served as a former lieutenant in the segregated all-Japanese American army, bequeathed a collection to the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) archive in Los Angeles.1 He donated over a dozen personal artifacts from the war, hundreds of photographs he took during wartime, as well as some sixty rolls of 35mm negatives which were still sealed in the film canisters and unseen since the end of the war.

Cameras were not allowed ...

Read more