FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $25!

Tag Archives: Rev. Paul Osumi

  • Personal Experiences on Pearl Harbor Day

    Several titles from Watermark Publishing and Legacy Isle Publishing chronicle the personal experiences of those who lived through the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Four selections have been excerpted below from a range of individuals: a young haole-Hawaiian lawyer who would become a U.S. District Court Chief Judge; a Christian minister of Japanese descent arrested after the bombing; a young girl living in a tiny Big Island village; and a Japanese-American ROTC college student who volunteered for service with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

    Samuel P. King, Judge Sam King: A Memoir

    Born in China and raised in the Territory of Hawai‘i, Samuel Pailthorpe King was the part-Hawaiian son of the territorial Governor Samuel Wilder King, a grandson of the minister of the interior of the former Republic of Hawai‘i and a great-grandson of a Supreme Court justice of the former kingdom of Hawai‘i. King passed away on December 7, 2010.

    From Chapter Five, “The War Years”:

    When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941, I was asleep in Honolulu. I was a relatively new lawyer and was living at the Mānoa home of my Uncle Bill, Dad’s younger brother. My cousin Billy came in my room and said, “Sunny, Sunny. They’re doing maneuvers. Let’s go take a look.” My childhood nickname was “Sunny Bunny,” because of my optimistic nature, I suppose.

    I jumped out of bed and got dressed. That’s when a neighbor yelled, “Turn on your radio! Turn on your radio! The Japanese are attacking!”

    On the radio we heard Webley Edwards say the famous line, “The Rising Sun has been sighted on the wingtips.” The authorities came on and said, “Stay home. Don’t go parading around, making things worse.”

    We could see airplanes from our house, but the attack didn’t last all that long—maybe an hour and a half.

    Norman H. Osumi, Today’s Thought —Rev. Paul S. Osumi: The Man and His Message

    A Christian minister, Rev. Paul Osumi was interned for the remainder of World War II at three different detention and internment camps following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. After his release and return to Hawai‘i, he ministered at several churches throughout the state. For more than 35 years, he inspired generations of readers with his daily newspaper column, “Today’s Thought.” His son, Norman H. Osumi, is a retired banker who has spent the past decade researching his father's life and ministry to complete this book.

    From Chapter Three, “Arrest After Pearl Harbor”:

    It changed my father’s and our family’s lives forever when the United States declared war on Japan following the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Father talked very little about what happened to him after the war started. I can only imagine what he went through as a 36-year-old Christian minister with a young family.

    The Secretary of War issued a warrant of arrest for Father on the same day Pearl Harbor was attacked. It read:

    YOU ARE HEREBY COMMANDED to take the body of PAUL SUTEKICHI OSUMI alias SUTEKICHI OKADA on suspicion of being an alien enemy of the United States, and to detain said person pending final action by the Commanding General, Hawaiian Department, United States Army. This Warrant of Arrest is issued under the authority of the Secretary of War of the United States by his delegated agent this 7 day of December, 1941.

    Many thoughts go through my mind when I read this. First, Father was never known by the alias “Sutekichi Okada” in any of the documents I have in my possession. Sometimes I wonder if the government arrested the wrong person.

    Frances H. Kakuagwa, Kapoho: Memoir of a Modern Pompeii

    Born and raised in the village of Kapoho on the Big Island of Hawai‘i, Frances H. Kakugawa is an author of ten books who has received numerous awards from literary and family caregiving organizations. A retired educator, she currently gives lectures, workshops and readings to schools and community groups nationwide on the subjects of caregiving, teaching, writing and poetry.

    From Chapter One, “The Enemy Wore My Face”:

    Under the rising sun, / The enemy came / Wearing my face.

    My face changed forever that Sunday afternoon. It seemed a same-same Sunday. My parents were at a neighbor’s birthday party, and I was home with my brothers and sister. There were comics on the floor, dishes in the sink and the sense of nothing to do that usually came on the weekends.

    That particular Sunday, however, changed everything. Mr. Ito was listening to his radio.

    “Japan bombed Pearl Harbor!” he shouted at anyone he saw along the road. “Japan bombed Pearl Harbor!” he shouted at the birthday guests as he rushed on to spread the news. The party immediately broke up, and everyone hurried home.

    My father rushed into the house, followed by his neighbors.

    “Turn the radio on. Turn the radio on!” Everyone stood in front of the radio, shouting above the crackling voice of the announcer.

    “Are you sure he said Japan?”

    “Where’s Pearl Harbor?”

    “This means trouble. This means trouble.”

    “This means war.”

    “Are you sure he said Japan?”

    I knew something was wrong when no one went into the kitchen to prepare lunch. I was hungry, but no one paid any attention to me. All I heard were arguments and loud voices. That was the day I learned to be afraid. That was the day I learned that there was an enemy, an enemy who would wear my face, an enemy who would not be forgotten or forgiven in the years to come. Shame, humiliation and a host of confused thoughts would now become my shadow. I would hear “Jap” for the first time. We were Americans, I knew that. We were fighting the same enemy, I knew that, too. The face I saw in the mirror looked American to me, and I’d had no reason to believe, up to then, that anyone else saw anything different. The day Mr. Ito went running around the village with the news was the day my face no longer belonged to me.

    Ted T. Tsukiyama, contributor, Japanese Eyes, American Heart: Personal Reflections of Hawaii’s World War II Nisei Soldiers

    Born in 1920, Ted Tsukiyama volunteered for the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and became a language specialist with the Military Intelligence Service serving in India and Burma in the Pacific war. A scholar of the Japanese-American experience and the nisei soldiers of World War II, he is the historian for the VVV, the 442nd and MIS in Hawai‘i.

    From Chapter Six, “CHUGI (Loyalty): The Right Person, The Right Time,” “VVV”:

    Sunday, December 7, 1941, 7:55 a.m. will remain etched in my memory forever. I couldn’t sleep because of the constant rumbling of what I thought was thunder. Going outside, I saw the sky black with smoke, punctuated by puffs of white aerial bursts. “They’re sure making this maneuver look real!” I thought. Turning on the radio, I heard the KGU announcer screaming, “Take cover! Get off the streets! We are being attacked by Japanese planes! This is the real McCoy! Take cover!”

    I was stunned with surprise and shock, then with disbelief and denial: This just can’t be happening! When the realization sunk in, I first felt guilt and shame for being Japanese, followed by a dark foreboding of the suffering in store for anyone who was Japanese. I condemned the Japanese attackers: “You stupid, damned fools! Who do you think you are, attacking our great country?” I harbored these feelings of anger, outrage and hatred for our attackers for the rest of the war.

    The night of December 7 was the longest, darkest and wildest night that I can recall. When we finally lay down on the Armory floor, however, physically and emotionally exhausted, sleep would not come. We feared the enemy would attack us again at any time. One of our airplanes flew low over the city, prompting a nearby machine gun to clatter into action. Sudden bursts of occasional gunfire outside were nerve-wracking, where anything that moved was shot at. No enemy appeared, but the next morning dead cattle, dogs and other pets were found around the city.

1 Item(s)