The historical study of Japan and Hawai
Reiji Nakano (B3)
I ’m Reiji Nakano, a student of Fujii’s seminar at Utsunomiya University. I traveled in Hawaii during this summer vacation. My main purpose was to go to Pearl Harbor and watch the battle ships, Missouri and Arizona. I also visited Pacific Aviation Museum and Army Museum. There were many air planes, tanks and weapons which made me so excited, because I have been interested in military affairs since I was an elementary student. I would like to share my experience in this article regarding the historical study of Japan and Hawai.
Our tour guide was Mittchy, he was a Japanese-American. He is very fluent in Japanese, so we were able to communicate with each other during this trip and I had great opportunities to learn about the history from him.
First, he told us the history of Japanese-American population. They came to Hawaii in the end of the 19th century, and worked very hard to survive. They aquired social position by fighting against prejudice and discrimination. When the Pacific War began, Japanese-Americans were forced to move to concentration camps, because they were considered as enemies. Then, many young Japanese-Americans decided to be American soldiers to protect their family. The United States Army organized 442nd Regimental Combat Team which was mainly constituted by Japanese-Americans. They mainly fought in Europe battlefront. They also worked in pacific battlefront for information gathering. While they received the number of medals, the death ratio of this team was the highest record in US forces. Mittchy said “We owe our present lives to our ancestors”.
Monument of 442nd team
Second, he explained battle ships, Arizona and Missouri. Although Arizona was sunk by Japanese air raid on December 7th 1941(US time), the Japanese diplomatic missionary signed the instrument of surrender on deck of Missouri on September 2nd 1945. This means that these ships show the start and end of war.
Missouri and Arizona
Third, he praised Japanese “SAMURAI” spirit. We talked about Daniel Inoue and Heihachirou Togo and I thouth we can learn a lot from history and great persons.
Before this trip, I visited Okinawa, Hiroshima, and Korea. I thought there is a common feature among these countries that they are still influenced by the war. Through this trip, I decided to deepen my understanding of the pacific war and someday I would like to travel in China and Southeast Asia countries for tracing the memories of the wars. Before that, my next trip is to go to Kagoshima prefecture to watch Chiran and Kanoya air bases which are famous as a suicide attack base during the war. I will upload my next report as to this experience by April. See you next time!