Kaneko, Eishi

Kaneko Eishi served in the Japanese Imperial Army during World War Two.  From a working family near Kyoto, he grew up learning the traditions of interwar Japan, and he was imbued with the Shinto faith and an ardent athlete.  When the war came, he was identified as a strong math student, so the army prepared him for the signals corps, and he was given specialized training where he began to learn encryption and decryption in addition to the standard military regimen.  When his time came, he was sent to Manchuria for a time, where he practiced his signals and communications role.  From there he returned to Japan for a family visit, where the included photograph was taken.  The army next sent him to Bangkok, but American submarines thwarted their arrival and he ended up in the Philippines in 1944.  There, he and his men were constantly on the move, aiding their comrades and evading the Americans.  They finally surrendered in the summer of 1945, and later that summer they were returned to Japan, where Kaneko reunited with his family and began his postwar life.

Mr. Masters met Kaneko Eishi in Osaka, Japan in the summer of 1945, and he would like to thank Naoko Jin, who helped to set up the interview; former student Matthew Shapiro; Matt’s student Shahmir Kyani who aided in translating at the time of the interview; and Mr. Masters’ own student Yoshie Ishikawa, who did the translating and editing back in Toronto.