Korean War Legacy Project

Nick Nishimoto


Nick Nishimoto was born in Hilo, Hawaii, and was working at the Hawaiian Pineapple Cannery prior to entering the Army. He was sent to Korea and participated in defending the Pusan Perimeter as well as the defense against the Chinese at Unsan, North Korea. He recounts his imprisonment in a Chinese prisoner of war (POW) camp for two and a half years, recalling the living conditions and the burial of his friend. He comments on the indoctrination attempts made by the Chinese and describes American soldiers adopting Communist ideology. He is proud of his service, and he shares that what Korea has become today was worth fighting for years ago.

Video Clips

Communist Indoctrination

Nick Nishimoto describes how the Chinese attempted to indoctrinate the Americans in the prison camp where he was stationed. He recalls twenty-one Americans adopting Communist ideology. He shares that they were called "turncoats" and that they chose to stay in North Korea with additional travel to China.

Tags: Chinese,Communists,POW

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North Korean Guard Allows Burial

Nick Nishimoto details a relationship he had with a North Korean guard while in a prisoner of war camp. He recalls speaking with him in Japanese and the guard allowing him to properly bury his dear friend. He details this moment, his tears, the cold, and taking his friend's possessions for survival.

Tags: Chinese,Depression,Living conditions,North Koreans,POW

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Chinese-American in a Chinese POW Camp

Nick Nishimoto discusses how in his prisoner of war camp Chinese-Americans were imprisoned as well. He remembers when his dear Chinese-American friend suffered from a cyst that became infected. He recalls there being American doctors in the prisoner of war camp who tried to provide treatment, but equipment was lacking to do so.

Tags: Chinese,Living conditions,POW

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First Captured Night

Nick Nishimoto describes the living conditions of the school room where he was captive when he first became a prisoner of war. He recalls the room being so crowded that he had to sit crunched down for hours. He remembers how hard it was to keep balance when he got up later to stand and relieve himself. He describes how another American prisoner had to help him as the Chinese soldiers laughed.

Tags: Chinese,Living conditions,POW

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