100th Infantry Battalion
Moriso Teraoka is born in 1924 in the plantation town of Wainaku on the island of Hawaii.
He is the fifth of nine children born to Shikazo and Miyo Teraoka, immigrants from Yamaguchi-ken, Japan.
His parents instill traditional Japanese values such as honor, integrity, honesty and respect in their children.
[The following text is excerpted from "My Legacy: The Inheritance of a Will" by Moriso Teraoka and Go For Broke National Education Center's oral history interview of Moriso Teraoka (Go For Broke)]
I was born on June 18, 1924, to my Issei parents in Hilo, Hawaii.
My father Shikazo Teraoka migrated from Yamaguchi-ken, Japan, in the early 1900s. My father was born on February 2, 1881. Like all the first generation immigrants from Japan, he had contracted to work in the sugar cane fields and mill. He later called for my mother Miyo, also from Yamaguchi-ken.
My mother Miyo Yamachika Teraoka was born on December 24, 1893.
I had a total of eight brothers and sisters. A big big family.
My sister Fusayo is the oldest [Born in 1915]. My older brother is Sakae [Born in 1917]. Then my older sister after Sakae is Matsuyo [Born in 1919]. Then I followed Matsuyo in 1924.
But to go back, between Matsuyo and me we had another brother Yutaka [Born in 1921]. He passed away when he was a child. He came down with diphtheria, prevalent during those times, back in the late twenties.
After me came Isamu [Born in 1926]. And then came Tetsuo [Born in 1928]. After Tetsuo came Yaeko [Born in 1930]. Then after Yaeko came Fumiko [Born in 1933]. [Go For Broke]
Wainaku Mill Camp
Our family was a typical, large Japanese family living in the plantation cottages belonging to Hilo Sugar Company, the first sugar mill north of Hilo town after crossing Wailuku River. Segregated by ethnicity, our group of cottages was called Wainaku Mill Camp because all the workers residing in the camp worked in the sugar mill in some capacity.
Plantation children dressed as the 47 ronin (Chushingura) marching in the New Years Day parade to the Wainaku Jodo Mission Japanese Language School. Hilo, Hawaii. 1930.
"My Legacy: The Inheritance of a Will" was reprinted with the permission of Moriso Teraoka. Excerpts of Moriso Teraoka's oral history transcript are courtesy of the Go For Broke National Education Center. Photographs courtesy of Moriso Teraoka.