Sherman Kishi is the fourth of five children. His father failed to get into Officer Candidate School in Japan, and so decided to come to the United States, bringing his wife with him from an arranged marriage. He talks about church and watching movies during the Great Depression, of playing sports, and community rivalries. While in high school he dated a Caucasian girl, and notes that he did not encounter racial bias in doing so. When the war began, he was sent to the Merced Assembly Center, and then to the Granada War Relocation Center. Toward the end of the war he joined the 442nd Regiment and became a translator, first in the Philippines and later in Tokyo, under Douglas MacArthur. Following the war he went to the University of California at Berkeley, and eventually married and raised two sons.