USC Seeks the Families of Nisei Students

An honorary degree, group photo, and yearbook page

In the months after Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941, all of USC’s Japanese-American students—known as Nisei—were forced to leave the university and enter internment camps. Now, in the spirit of reconciliation, USC is attempting to identify all of its WWII-era Nisei students, so the university may confer posthumous honorary degrees upon them—and present these degrees to their families.

University leaders are currently reviewing digitized images of handwritten records, photos and correspondence to identify an estimated 121 students. It is a painstaking process, one that is greatly aided by the USC Asian Pacific Alumni Association, which is reaching out to the families of USC’s Nisei students. We are making headway, but we also need your help.

What happened to our Nisei students was a grave injustice. With your assistance, we can accord them the respect and dignity they deserve.

A list of Nisei students we believe attended USC in 1942. Please email us if you have any information about their family members. Check back regularly for updates.

As of December 15, 2021

Hayao Abe
Steven Abe
Gladys Aoki
George Fujii
Joe Fujikawa
Nobuko Fujiki
Yasushi Hara
Kaneko Hatanaka
Harry Higa
Kei Hori
Yutaka Inadomi
Tomoo Inouye
Victor Nobuyuki Ito
Yorisada Kagawa
George Kanemoto
Herb Kawahara
Henry Kondo
Edward Koyama
William Kuratani
Yeiki Matsui
Daisuke Dike Nagano

Kazuo Nomura
George Nonoshita
Cherry Obayashi
Robert Obi
Jim Okura
Jiro Sagata
James Sakamoto
John Sakamoto
Kunihiro Seki
Tomio Sugano
Fred Suto
Naoshi Suzuki
Lucy Taguchi
George Tanbara
Ken Uyesugi
Chiyoko Yamaguchi
Eiji Yamamoto
Roy Yamamoto
Roy Hideo Yamamoto
Yoneo Yamamoto
George Yokoyama

A list of Nisei students confirmed to have attended USC in 1942 will be posted here soon. Check back regularly for updates.