Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Guide to the Bishop Mitsumyo Tottori Memorial Notebooks

Collection ID:
Tottori, Mitsumyo, 1898-
Kawanishi, Jitsunin
Physical Description:
0.5 Cubic feet
3 boxes
Copies of photographs and narrative text relating to Japanese American soldiers killed in World War II and the Korean War. The memorial notebooks were created and maintained by Bishop Mitsumyo Tottori and include detailed biographical information on Totorri and copies of the original memorial notebooks and English translations.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The collection is comprised of three volumes memorializing Japanese-American soldiers from Hawaii who died and/or participated in World War II and the Korean War. The volumes were translated into English by the Reverend Jitsunin Kawanishi (1929-) and Aiko Tottori, Bishop Tottori's wife.
The first volume consists primarily of copies of information on the life of Bishop Tottori, information on the translator of the volume, Reverend Jitsunin Kawanishi, as well as copies of photographs of Bishop Tottori's original memorial notebooks. The first volume is divided into thirteen sections: foreword, preface, biography of Bishop Mitsumyo Tottori, acknowledgement, introduction, Platform for the Hungry Ghost and Bishop Mitsumyo Tottori, World War II Casualties, Korean Conflict, Aja Military Men Stationed Around the World, Tōba memorial Tablets, Kinen Mei Bo (Prayer book of Names), Buddhist Sutras and O-Ihai Memorial Tablets.
The second volume contains photocopies of English translations of Hawaiian Nisei soldiers killed in combat during World War II. The notebook is divided into six sections: Introduction, Notebook 1, Notebook 2, Notebook 3, index by last name and index by hometown. Notebook 1 (September 1943 to June 1944), Notebook 2 (July 1944 to November 1944, and Notebook 3 (November 944 to November 1949) contain rosters of deceased soldiers that are arranged chronologically. Each solider entry in the roster consists of a Buddhist name or 'kaimyo" given by Bishop Tottori, a religious affiliation if known, name, rank and date of death, address or hometown, relationship to the deceased, petition for prayer and address or hometown of the petitioner.
The third volume is made up of photocopies of the original memorial notebooks of Tottori for all Japanese Americans who served during the Korean Conflict, including one notebook of those who died. Each page is followed by an English translation. The volume is divided into these sections: Korean Conflict Casualties, Index, Notebook I, Notebook II, Notebook III Notebook IV, Notebook V, Notebook VI, Notebook VII, and Index. The Korean Conflict Casualties are Notebook IV of the prayer files from the previous volume. Included, if available, are the soldier's name, date of death, age, address or hometown, and the person requesting the prayers. Notebooks I (1950 July), II (1950), III (1951), IV (October 24, 1951), VI, and VII (July 21, 1953) are prayer books for draftees and volunteers. If provided, the soldier's name, age or date of birth, date of enlistment, hometown or home address, and name of person requesting the prayers was included. The last notebook is unnumbered and was part of a combined prayer ceremony to dedicate the prayer book of names from August 2, 1958 to the Japanese American soldiers stationed around the world; many of them in Vietnam and Japan. There are two indexes in this volume and they list the soldiers alphabetically by last name and their location by notebook and page number.

Notebooks arranged into one series.
Series 1, Notebooks, 1943-1958, 2003

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Bishop Mitsumyo Tottori (1898-1976) was a Buddhist clergyman and missionary who attained the ranks of Archbishop and Abbott. A native of Japan, Tottori left his home country at the age of 27 to become a missionary to the people of Hawaii. Although he returned to Japan for four years, he spent the rest of his life serving the people of Lahana, Maui and Haleiwa, Oahu in Hawaii.
During World War II, Tottori was the Japanese Buddhist minister in Hawaii who was not interned. He prayed assiduously for the souls of deceased Japanese-American soldiers. And made a total of 420 tōba (religious memorial tablets) to honor the fallen men. Later, during the Korean War, he continued his practice of prayer and commitment to fallen Japanese-American soldiers by keeping a notebook entitled "Prayer Book of Names". He continued his prayers for and devotion to soldiers from both wars until his death in 1976.

Adrienne Cain and Jennifer Daugherty
Immediate Source of Acquisiton
Donated to the Archives Center by Bishop Tottori's daughter in 2006. Additional volume donated by Bishop Tottori's daughter in 2007.
Processing Information
Collection processed by Adrienne Cain (intern) and Jennifer Daugherty (intern); supervised by Alison Oswald, archivist, 2007.

Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
Collection is open for research and access on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Preferred Citation
Bishop Mitsumyo Tottori Memorial Notebooks, 1943-1958, 2005, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Korean War, 1950-1953 Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
World War, 1939-1945 Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- Color photoprints -- 1950-2000 Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Prayers Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Buddhist missionaries. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kaneko, Sadako Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Funeral rites and ceremonies, Buddhist. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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