TALK STORY FROM CAMP 4 KAUAI
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When I was growing up, we ran around barefoot, playing, walking to the store, and to the elementary school. After awhile, being barefoot all the time made the bottoms of your feet so hard that when we went down to the beach we could walk over the rough stones, and coral without discomfort. My only problem going barefoot were the numerous times my right big toe would have an unfortunate encounter with a rock sticking out of the ground. After such an encounter, I would walk uncomfortably with a bandaged toe for days.
DECEMBER 7, 1941
I was down at the neighborhood store the morning of December 7 "talking stories" with my friends. After awhile, we were told to go home because the island of Oahu was being attacked. I was eight years old, and did not really understand what was going on.We listened to the radio at home, and found out that Pearl Harbor was being attacked by Japanese planes. During the war, except for the blackouts, and some rationing, I did not feel that my life was being changed too much.
One of my brothers read my version about the attack on Pearl Harbor, and he recalled his version as follows. That morning, he, my father, another brother, and I had an early breakfast. We then went on a long hike to a guava grove that my father encountered when working in the canefields with his mule pack delivering bags of fertilizer to different areas of the sugar cane fields. All of us carried cloth bags, and these were filled with the fruit from the guava trees. When we got home, we learned about the attack on Pearl Harbor, and listened to the radio for the news. Throughout that morning, my father cooked all the guava, and, with other ingrdients, made a very tasty guava jam.
Our version of the movie "Roshomon",...my recollection, and my brother's recollection, tempered by our ages, 76 as I write this, and I'm the youngest of five boys, but I will leave both versions in to show the disparate views!!
During the war, my father and other plantation workers dug and built machine gun emplacements, strung barbed wire along the shoreline, and performed other works for the military. I don't remember if the work was done on the sugar plantation time or if they worked afterwards or on the weekends. This, and other works for the military were occasionally done throughout the war years.
BATTLE OF MIDWAY
I remember there was one big battle in the Pacific that might have affected the Hawaiian Islands. This was the battle of the Midway Islands. With it's strategic location it could be the stepping stone to Hawaii, and on to the U.S. mainland. From radio reports, and the newspapers following the battle, the Japanese forces were not successful at Midway. At that time, and at my age, all I was aware of was that there was a big battle and that we won so the Hawaiian Islands were safe.
JAPANESE LANGUAGE SCHOOL
We went to the Japanese Language School after our regular grade school lessons, and learned to speak, read, and write the language. I remember being quite proficient such that I was going through the Sunday Japanese comics reading the captions, not just looking at the pictures. I even went on a Japanese program, and read a poem over the radio!! When the war started, all Japanese Schools were suspended. After many years of disuse, my proficiency with the language diminished.