Organized Panel Session
In May 1943, Nobuo Tatsuguchi died serving with Imperial Japan’s Army in the Aleutian Islands. His diary, which may have admitted to killing his badly wounded patients, included the address of B.P. Hoffman, Tatsuguchi’s professor and a Seventh-day Adventist missionary to Japan. In September 1943, FBI agents visited Hoffman in Washington, DC to discuss Tatsuguchi. This paper examines the ways in which the lives of Tatsuguchi and Hoffman reveal themes of identity, war, and transnationalism. Born in Japan and educated in the US, Tatsuguchi was a Seventh-day Adventist Christian who died serving the Emperor, yet Americans condemned his failure to remain loyal to the US and to his patients. Hoffman was a Seventh-day Adventist missionary to Japan whose return to the US in the 1920s uniquely positioned him as an advocate for Japanese and Japanese-Americans in the US, as his work with the Assistant Secretary of War and the FBI, his tours of Japanese American internment camps for the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and his friendship with Tatsuguchi indicate. Just as Tatsuguchi’s life illuminates a transnational Pacific, analysis of Hoffman’s various migrations between the US and Japan provides a counterpoint to the anti-Japanese anxieties that characterized the U.S. in the 1930s-1940s.