Okinawan Genealogical Society of Hawaii publishes a book of stories of Okinawan Americans who remember the attack on Pearl Harbor

Okinawan Genealogical Society of Hawaii publishes a book of stories of Okinawan Americans who remember the attack on Pearl Harbor

Okinawan Genealogical Society of Hawaii, which published the "Talk Stories 5th Edition 2011," at the Hawaii Okinawa Center in Oahu on December 4 (photograph provided by Chikako Nago, correspondent of the Ryukyu Shimpo).


December 8, 2011 Kazuki Furugen of Ryukyu Shimpo

The Okinawan Genealogical Society of Hawaii (President Rodney Kohagura), which is made up mainly of Okinawan immigrants, has published a book entitled “Talk Stories 5th Edition 2011.” The book features stories of Okinawan Americans who lived in Hawaii at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, and found themselves in the complex situation of being pulled in separate directions by feelings for Okinawa, Japan and the United States. Now that 70 years have passed since the outbreak of war between Japan and the United States, this is very valuable historical material because the number of people still alive who remember the attack is steadily decreasing.

"Talk Stories 5th Edition 2011," a book featuring the experiences of Okinawan immigrants who witnessed the attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.


The Society was established in 1993, and now has more than 100 members. In addition to Okinawan Americans, members include other Japanese Americans who are interested in Okinawan affairs. Affiliated to the Hawaii United Okinawa Association, the society mainly delivers lectures and conducts research about Okinawan genealogy, history and culture, regularly publishing books under the title of “Talk Stories.”

“Talk Stories 5th Edition 2011” consists of two chapters, the first of which features recollections of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The society conducted interviews with 17 first and second generation Okinawan Americans among its members and recorded their experiences.

The first chapter includes a story in which on the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor, U.S. military forces fired up at incoming Japanese warplanes and some of their own shells fell back to the ground causing a house to burn down. The chapter also introduces the childhood experiences of Okinawan Americans at that time.

Editor-in-chief Les Nakama wrote in the preface that editorial staff were very fortunate to have access to people among the members of the society who had witnessed and survived the attack. He went on to say that they would like to collect more such stories and write them down in documents.
According to Nakama, the book is full of interesting stories about the lives in the Great Depression of those who witnessed and survived the attack. The editorial staff of the book thanked the members of the society who opened up and talked about Okinawa and Hawaii during the war and therefore helped to bring this book to fruition. They said that those experiences would have been lost forever without the help of the society.

(English Translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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