The Center for Japanese Studies is proud to display a collection of personal photographs donated by Mrs. Diana Samiano on behalf of her father, James E. Haynes, on September 11, 2011.
James Edward Haynes (July 12, 1929-October 16, 2012) was born in Chicago, Illinois and joined the U.S. Army at the age of 17. He was sent to Tokyo, Japan as part of the U.S. Occupation Force in October 1946. While in Japan, Haynes worked as a hotel steward and a cook. He met his future wife, Nakae Matsuo, in Tokyo at the Palace Heights Hotel where they both worked. They were married in 1949 and left Japan for Camp Crowder, Missouri in 1951. They had a daughter before being transferred to Hanau, Germany in January 1953. In August 1955, Master Sergeant Haynes was discharged from the Army and moved his family to Los Angeles, California to begin civilian life. James and Nakae had two more daughters and went on living happily together until Nakae’s death in December 2010.
The photos in this collection date from the period between October 1946 and August 1951. Sgt. Haynes took photographs of his friends, as well as the people, events, and places around him. His collection documents the life of a young soldier in Japan. It offers an honest and oftentimes endearing perspective of (military) life in postwar Japan. Below is a transcription of a letter from Sgt. Haynes that serves as a fine introduction to his work.
September 11, 2011
I served in the Army from August 16, 1946 until August 21, 1955 and was discharged a Master Sergeant. After basic training and cook and baker school at Camp Lee, Virginia, I was sent overseas to Japan in October 1946. I was assigned to General MacArthur’s “General Headquarters Group” as a hotel steward at the Hilltop (yama no ue) Hotel. This hotel was housing for G5 civil service women who although were civilians were equivalent in rating to field grade officers with managerial positions, including General MacArthur’s secretary. In addition to sight-seeing at several Japanese shrines and temples in the Tokyo and Kyoto areas I saw movies at the famous Ernie Pyle Theater in downtown Tokyo. The most exciting stage show that I saw was Bob Hope and Terry Moore, who by the way was dressed in her white fur bathing suit. Before the show started Mr. Hope came on stage and informed the audience that this was a G.I. show and the ladies had ten minutes to leave. Mrs. MacArthur was seated in the very front row and stood up to face the audience, not one lady exited. Although we were later informed that Bob Hope was on the stage with Terry Moore no one seemed to notice. I took my camera with me but forgot to use it. During the Occupation cigarettes were rationed at one carton per week and on several occasions I saw Mrs. Jean MacArthur at the Post Exchange waiting in line with the G.I.s to purchase her cigarettes. She was such a fine lady and respected by all.
I took some pictures of the Armed Forces Day Parade on May 20, 1947 and the location was the parade field in front of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. The service men and women were stationed at various locations throughout the Far East Command and passed-in-review for Major General Starr. During my entire nine years in the military I always wanted to be in a parade but was always told “No, just stay in the kitchen.”
I met my wife Jean, a Japanese national, in February 1947 at Palace Heights where she worked as the head waitress. This facility provided temporary housing for men and their families until permanent housing was assigned. We were married July 19, 1950 and she remained my happy bride until December 11, 2010, 60 years later with our three daughters.
James E. Haynes
[*Original letter was handwritten.]
**A small number of photographs carried (mostly handwritten) captions of names and nicknames. These captions appear enclosed in parenthesis below.