Elbert Arakawa
1399th Engineer Construction Battalion

Reflections & Observations

Married for over sixty-three years, Elbert and Grace Arakawa have two sons and two daughters.

Elbert says he did nothing special but appreciates the benefits being in the army has brought him and his family.

Looking back from the vantage point of his ninety-two years, he observes, “Life is short.”



Elbert and Grace Arakawa

Just before the war ended, one of my friends introduced me to Grace. She knew both our parents. It was whirlwind courtship. Two months later, we were married. Our marriage has lasted 63 years so far.

[I have two sons and two daughters.] Two granddaughters and a great-grandson. That’s all. Yeah, life is short, no?

Arakawa Family, 1972.



What I told you is going to be the legacy I’m going to pass on to [my grandchildren and great-grandchildren], what I did, yeah. It’s just nothing special about it, you know. But I have a great benefit from being in the army for so many years because when I retired from post office, all the years that I put into the army counts. So that’s a benefit. Life is short, looking back, yeah. I forgot already a lot of things.

Arakawa Family, 1996.

Elbert Arakawa's interview reprinted courtesy of the Center for Oral History.

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