Even though he was a civilian, James Mitsuo Furukawa had an eyewitness view of the war’s mayhem from the beginning. The Hawaiian-born son of Japanese parents, he was 16 years old and working in construction at the time of the attack. Seeing planes flying overhead on December 7th, he assumed, like many, that the military was conducting routine drills or maneuvers. After the smoke had cleared, he worked with construction crews to restore damaged buildings. Drafted into the Army in 1944, he served mainly as an interpreter, but was no stranger to bloodshed. During the invasion of Okinawa, he helped to set up a MASH hospital; he received a Bronze Star for his heroic efforts in rescuing patients after the hospital was bombed.
We honor you, James Furukawa.