Kansha Award (Gratitude, Appreciation)

Ongaeshi (Recognizing and Returning Thanks for Acts of Kindness)

Honoring Americans Who Befriended, Aided and Supported Japanese Americans During World War II

List of Honorees - Individuals


Following are individuals who aided Japanese Americans during World War II.  The list is comprised of non-Japanese Americans who were active in aiding and supporting the Nikkei community during and after the war.




Mrs. Ruth Abernathy, first Executive Director of the St. Paul Council of Human Relations, assisted minority groups with their problems. (Twin Cities JACL)


Dr. Carl W. Ackerman (1890-1970), New York City, New York, educator, journalist, dean, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, administered Pulitzer Prize, National Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) Sponsor, 1944-1945, civil rights advocate.  (JACL Archives)


Ansel Adams, 1902-1984, San Francisco, California, photographer, author, naturalist.  Opposed forced removal and imprisonment of Japanese Americans.  Took sympathetic photographs of Japanese Americans who were imprisoned at Manzanar WRA camp.  Wrote and published book, Born Free and Equal.  His photos and negatives were donated to the Library of Congress (LC).  (Alinder, 2009, pp. 16, 20, 42-43, 46-49, 51-52, 55-60, 62-63, 66-71, 103, 116, 140, 144; Girdner, 1969, p. 369; Adams, Ansel. Born Free and Equal: The Story of Loyal Japanese-Americans. New York, U.S. Camera, 1944.  Adams, Ansel, An Autobiography, New York, Little Brown and Company, 1996.  American National Biography, 1999, pp. 67-70)


Henry B. Adams, Presbyterian Church, opposed the Watsonville-Pajaro Valley Defense Council resolution of February 23, 1943


J. R. Adams, chairman, Puget Sound Chapter, American Association of Social Workers.  Opposed to forced removal of Japanese Americans.  Called for individual hearings to determine loyalty.  (Tolan Congressional Hearings, Seattle, Washington, PT 30, pp. 11541-11542)


Frederick Aebi, farmer, Richmond, California.  (Kansha archives)


William Macdonough Agar (1884-1972), New York City, New York, geologist, National Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) Sponsor, 1944-1945.  Awarded French Croix de Guerre, World War I.  (JACL Archives)


Martha B. Akard served as director of the Twin Cities Lutheran Relocation Hostel.  This hostel housed Japanese Americans while they looked for employment, waited for college enrollment, or more permanent housing.  The hostel was a project of the Board of American Missions of the United Lutheran Church of America, cooperating with the Lutheran Welfare Society of Minnesota. (Twin Cities JACL)


Clem Albers, photographer, War Relocation Authority.  Took highly sympathetic photographs of the Japanese American forced removal and imprisonment.  His photographs and negatives are in the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.  (NARA, Record group 210; Alinder, 2009, pp. 12, 14, 15, 36-37, 122, 165-166n41)


Dr. Harold Alexander, ophthalmologist from Southern California.  Volunteered his services at Poston, Arizona, WRA camp.  (Girdner, 1969, p. 304)


R. P. Alexander, opposed forced removal and imprisonment of Japanese Americans.  (Grodzins, 1949, p. 270n.)


Mrs. Wallace B. Alexander, Orinda, California, National Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) Sponsor, 1944-1945.  (JACL Archives)


Dr. Will W. Alexander (1884-1956), Chicago, Illinois, special assistant, War Manpower Commission, former director, Interracial Commission, National Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) Sponsor, 1944-1945.  Administrator, Farm Security Administration (FSA).  Vice President, Rosenwald Fund (1940-1948).  (JACL Archives)


Maurice Alexandre, wrote “The Nisei – A Casualty of World War II,” Cornell Law Quarterly, June 1942, pp. 385-413.  Critical of forced removal and imprisonment, and Supreme Court rulings against Japanese Americans.  (Grodzins, 1948, p. 351)


Riley Harris Allen, long-time editor of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, editor during World War II.  Riley Harris Allen was the editor of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin from 1912 to 1960.  The integration of Hawaii's ethnically diverse people into a thoroughly American community was the constant goal of Allen.  After Pearl Harbor, Allen fought racial prejudice against AJA's so strongly that he refused to allow the pejorative term "Jap" to appear in the Star-Bulletin's columns.  He personally gave both guidance and financial help to numerous Japanese Americans.  (Honolulu Star-Bulletin Archives)


Curtis Aller, senior in Economics and Business, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.  Opposed forced removal and imprisonment of Japanese American students at University of Washington in Seattle.  Submitted testimony before Tolan Congressional Committee.  (Tolan Committee, PT 30, pp. 11590-11595)


Major General Edward Mallory Almond (1892-1979), Commander, 92nd “Buffalo” Division.  The 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team were incorporated in the 92nd during the last campaign in Italy in Spring of 1945.  The 92nd was a segregated all-African American unit, mostly commanded by Caucasian officers.  General Almond praised the 100th/442nd in reports and commendations.  (Crost, 1997; Tanaka, 1982; 442nd Archives, NARA; American National Biography, 1999, p. 375)


Helen Amerman (later Helen Manning), teacher, Hunt Junior and Senior High School, Minidoka WRA camp, Idaho.  (Kansha archives)


Clinton Anderson (1895-1975), U. S. Secretary of Agriculture, FDR administration.  In July 1945, Anderson ordered the Northwest Produce Dealers Association to cease a boycott against Japanese American farmers in the Seattle, Washington, area.  (Girdner, 1969, p. 398; American National Biography, 1999, pp. 448-449; Record Group 210, NARA)


Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Anderson, officer, Friends of the American Way.  Opposed forced removal and imprisonment of Japanese Americans.  Helped detainees during and after the war.  Helped Nisei leave camp to go to college.  Worked with William Carr.


Leila Anderson, University YWCA, Berkeley, California.  Member, West Coast Committee, National Japanese American Student Relocation Committee (NJASRC).  (Austin, 2004, p. 182n33; O’Brien, 1949; Okihiro, 1999)


M. Margaret Anderson, editor, Common Ground, The Quarterly Journal for Common Council for American Unity, New York.  This group advocated for the rights of racial and ethnic minority groups.  Wrote many highly favorable articles about Japanese Americans.  Opposed Executive Order 9066 and forced removal and imprisonment of Japanese Americans.  (Robinson, 2012, p. 76; Shaffer, 1998, p. 107)


Pete Anderson, Member, League for Liberty and Justice, Hood River, Oregon (U.S. War Relocation Authority, Final Report of Activities of the Portland, Oregon District Office, Portland, Oreg. WRA District Office, Feb. 19, 1946; Tamura, L. Hood River Issei, 1993, pp. 237-8; Tamura, L. Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence, 2012, pp. 168-70)


Reverend Emery “Andy” Andrews (Andrus) (b. 1894), English-language minister, Japanese Baptist Church (JBC), Seattle, Washington.  Ran church to Twin Falls to be of help to Japanese Americans who were imprisoned in the Minidoka camp.  Worked there with Florence Rummy, May Herd and Ester McCullough.  (Kansha archives)


Mary Andrews, wife of Reverend Emery Andrews.  (Kansha Archives)


J. Garner Anthony, 1899-1982, attorney, Territorial Attorney General.  Opposed imposition of martial law in Hawaii during World War II.  Appointed in 1942 to Territorial Attorney General.  Opposed imprisonment of Americans of Japanese Ancestry.  He stated, “Those suggestions…”  (Garner, Anthony J., Hawaii Under Military Rule, Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 1955.)


Mrs. Arthur Armstrong, St. Paul Council of Human Relations, organized meetings for minority groups so they could express what they wanted others to know about them. (Twin Cities JACL)


Marguerite Askew, teacher, Hunt Junior and Senior High School, Minidoka WRA camp, Idaho.  (Kansha Archives)


Rodger Axford, Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR).  (De Nevers, 2004, p. 22)


Frank Aydelotte (1880-1956), Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, New Jersey.  President of Swarthmore College 1921-1939.  National Japanese American Student Relocation Council (NJASRC).  (Austin, 2004, pp. 27, 51, 184n64; O’Brien, 1949; Okihiro, 1999; Dictionary of National Biography, 1999, pp. 788-789)


Peter Bachino, Arroyo Grande, California.  (Kansha Archives)


Miss Elizabeth Baker, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).  (Tolan Committee, p. 11136)


Bishop James C. Baker, Methodist Church.  Opposed forced removal and imprisonment of Japanese Americans.  Testified to the loyalty and patriotism of Nikkei.  Called for the protection of their Constitutional, civil and economic rights.  Offered to help ameliorate situation be helping government agencies understand the Japanese American community.  Testified at Tolan Congressional Hearings.  (Tolan Committee, PT 30, pp. 11764-11771)


John Baker, Reports Officer, War Relocation Authority (WRA).  Protested anti-Japanese American article in Post.  (Myer, 1971, p. 92)


Mary Baker, dean of women, Fresno State College, member of the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council (NJASRC).  (Austin, 2004; O’Brien, 1949; Okihiro, 1999)


Walter and Mary Dell Balderston, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), student resettlement worker.  Established the Forsythe Hostel for evacuees from Terminal Island in Los Angeles, California.  Volunteered to set up activities for Japanese Americans at the Poston War Relocation Authority (WRA) camp in