Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs:
Records of the Military Intelligence School:
Heigo Textbook (Record Group 165)

Dates: 1943

This collection is made up of four volumes of the Heigo Textbook from the Heigo course at the Military Intelligence Service Language School. It was meant to teach students Japanese and also provide extensive information on the Japanese military.

[Administrative Information | Organizational Note | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List]


ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: Less than one half of one linear foot (approximately 500 pages).
Access: Open.
Copyright: Records created by U.S. Government officials in the course of their duties are in the public domain.
Processed by: Brian Smith (2010) as part of the Truman Library Internship Program.
Supervising Archivists: Randy Sowell and David Clark.


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ORGANIZATIONAL NOTE

The Military Intelligence Service (MIS) was part of the War Department’s General and Special Staffs during World War II. The MIS Language School offered a course on Japanese military vocabulary known as the “Heigo course.”

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COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

This collection is from Record Group 165: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs. It is made up of four volumes of the Heigo Textbook from the Heigo course at the Military Intelligence Service Language School. The textbook is dated February 1943 and was prepared under the direction of the school’s Commandant at Camp Savage, Savage, Minnesota.

The main purpose of the Heigo course, as stated in the preface to the textbook, was to give students “a large military vocabulary in both Japanese and English in order that they may read, write, speak, and translate military Japanese.” Another objective was to provide detailed information about the Japanese military, enabling students to deal with Japanese prisoners of war, interpret Japanese documents, and advise commanders in the field.

Included in these four volumes is extensive information on the Japanese military. The first volume covers basic information on the conscription, mobilization, organization, and education of the Japanese military.

The second volume covers more specific organizations of the military including the infantry, the artillery, and the air corps. Under each branch of the military there are lists of weapons used and the organization of staffs.

The third volume covers the other elements of the Japanese military, including the use of cavalry, tanks, and other motor vehicles. Also covered are methods of communication, transport and medical services, and use of chemical warfare. The final chapters cover ranks and honors given to the soldiers.

The fourth volume covers the tactics of the military. This includes mostly lists of Japanese vocabulary used to describe their offensive and defensive combat. Also covered extensively are the symbols and maps used by the Japanese in planning and carrying out their battle plans.

Also included in these volumes are documents to teach students how to translate military Japanese. There are vocabulary lists in each volume that show both English and Japanese words and characters.

This item was originally opened for research as part of the General Historical Documents Collection (GHDC 143).

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SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos. Series
1 HEIGO TEXTBOOK FILE, 1943
Four volumes including Japanese military information, maps, symbols, and vocabulary lists. Arranged numerically.

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FOLDER TITLE LIST

Box 1
  • Volume One
  • Volume Two
  • Volume Three
  • Volume Four

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Organizational Note | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]