History center offers series on Hawaii under wartime martial law

Hawaii under martial law will be examined in a series of weekday lunch-time events at the King Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center.

Covering the years 1941 to 1944, the series is in observance of the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The 12 noon to 12:30 p.m. tours will be offered by reservation from Monday, Dec. 5 to Friday, Dec. 9. at the history center on 417 S. King Street.

Tours include a viewing of the Center’s short film, “When Fear Reigned,” followed by a tour of the museum exhibition, “Hawaiʻi Under Martial Law: 1941–1944.”

Within hours after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States declared martial law in Hawaii. During World War II, Hawaii was the only part of the United States in which the civilian government was suspended and replaced by a military government. Martial law had a dramatic impact on both the Territory of Hawaii’s judiciary and civilian population.

Participants will receive a free copy of the Center’s publication about martial law, which provides an overview of daily life under military rule and a synopsis of Duncan v. Kahanamoku, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that stands as an important beacon of American liberty.

To make reservations, call 808-539-4999 or email info@jhchawaii.net.

The center will also be presenting “Reflections of Honor: The Untold Story of a Nisei Spy” from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8.

Arthur Komori, a Nisei from Kauai, was one of two Japanese Americans recruited to the U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps to pose as a Japanese sympathizer and spy on Japan’s activities in Manila in the Philippines in the months leading up to World War II. When the war started, Komori served his country as a translator and undercover agent both on the front lines and behind the scenes in General Douglas MacArthur’s headquarters, even while at home over 120,000 Japanese Americans were interned in relocation camps.

More than just a spy, Komori’s varied responsibilities also included interrogating prisoners of war and helping to train new linguist recruits and prepare them for work in the Pacific. Komori was also with MacArthur when he retook the Philippines and was in Tokyo Bay to witness the surrender of the Japanese to the Allied Powers. Fortunately, Komori recorded his story in journals, reports, and even poetry.

Speakers will be the biography’s authors Yoshinobu Oshiro (Military Intelligence Service veteran and retired principal, Department of Education) and Lori Ward (Managing Editor at the Curriculum Research & Development Group, College of Education, University of Hawaii at Manoa).

For more information about this event, click here.

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