The 442nd Infantry Regiment

This is a repost from my old blog. I was reminded of it when I went to see the remake of the Karate Kid the other day, and I wanted to share it again.

I have an annoying (to some) habit of going onto Wikipedia and reading about anything I have just come into contact with. I often bother my girlfriend after we have seen a film “based on a true story”, by trying to determine the accuracy of what had just seen and informing her of the deviations from reality. But this activity pretty much extends to any film or television show I have watched.

So the other day, after I enjoyed a festive showing of the classic 1984 film “The Karate Kid”, I duly fired up Wikipedia, and began reading about the film I had just viewed (and have done about one hundred times).

There’s a scene in the film when Daniel goes through some belongings of Mr. Miyagi. One of the artefacts is a letter informing Mr. Miyagi that his wife has died during child-birth whilst she was in an internment camp. Then Daniel finds Miyagi’s war medals. I had always found this odd, as the idea of a US Officer having his own wife imprisoned in an internment camp whilst at the same time serving in the Army of that country just impossible.

Wikipedia confirmed however, that he was indeed a member of the US Armed Forces, and the article speculates as to whether Miyagi had been a member of the (real) 442nd Infantry Regiment. And as is also my want when on Wikipedia I duly clicked on the hyperlink to a page dedicated to the 442nd.

I was amazed with what I read.

The 442nd Infantry, formerly the 442nd Regimental Combat Team of the United States Army, was an Asian American unit composed of mostly Japanese Americans who fought in Europe during the Second World War.[2] The families of many of its soldiers were subject to internment. The 442nd was a self-sufficient fighting force, and fought with uncommon distinction in Italy, southern France, and Germany. The unit became the most highly decorated regiment in the history of the United States Armed Forces, including 21 Medal of Honor recipients.

Not only did Japanese-Americans fight for a country who at the same time had imprisoned their families, but they did so with unrivaled bravery and honour. Mind-boggling. I guess it speaks volumes about the utter madness that is war.

Check it out for yourself, the 442nd Infantry Regiment on Wikipedia.