Hichiro Matsumoto
232nd Combat Engineer Company

End of War

Following V-E Day, it is rumored that the 442nd RCT will be deployed to Japan. Hichiro is relieved when the rumor proves to be untrue.

He is discharged in December 1945.

Hichiro observes: "[Homecoming] is not like what you see in the movies."

Video Icon
[W]e were happy [when the war finally ended in Europe]. Really, really happy. Because there was a rumor going around that the 442nd was going to be sent to Japan.

Hichiro Matsumoto dives into pool, Florence, Italy

And we dreaded that. We don’t want to go over there. And those guys, they say, kamikaze guys, eh. So when the rumor died and when they announced that we’re going home, that was really something.

[I was discharged in 1945].

[Homecoming is] not like what you see in the movies.

What I remember what my mom told me was, “Oh,” — you know, she said, “[___] itte modotta.” And one thing she told me was, “Go around the neighborhood and tell the lady — mother, especially — that you came home.” That I came home. I came back in one piece, yeah.

Their reaction is not anything like the movies you see. (Chuckles) Oh, they were polite. So that was in [1945], I came back.

Hichiro Matsumoto pounds mochi, Honolulu

I never felt any different [as a veteran coming home from war], though. So not that I cried or anything. Nothing special.

Future: Job and Family

When I finished high school, I took tests for go UH but I failed. So that’s what really discouraged me. So I least I said, not sho ga nai [cannot be helped], but not everybody is fit to go college. I think the next best thing was to look for a job and try to raise a family, no?

Hichiro Matsumoto's interview reprinted courtesy of the Center for Oral History. Photographs courtesy of Hichiro Matsumoto.

All rights to the reproduction or use of content in the Hawaii Nisei web site are retained by the individual holding institutions or individuals.

Please view the Hawaii Nisei Rights Management page for more information.