Blogs/Op-Eds/EssaysFirst Taken, Last Released: Overlooked WWII Internment: The book, excerpted from Tommy’s Wars and augmented with additional details, is set to be published in May. The publication is especially timely given the fact racists once again are promoting the idea of interning hundreds of thousands of people because of their looks, culture, religion or national origin. First Taken chronicles what four years behind barbed wire was like for Japanese and Japanese-American men kept away from family, children, wives and laughter. Could we seriously entertain such an atrocity again?
Blogs/Op-Eds/EssaysCountdown from Pearl Harbor—Part IX, First Hearing-1942: That mid-January day of 1942, Shinri Sarashina’s first hearing in captivity, supposedly to give him due process, continued as the Army officers and FBI men continued questioning him. They then went through his family, establishing that the five children, whose order of birth he got mixed up, were dual citizens.
Blogs/Op-Eds/EssaysCountdown from Pearl Harbor—Part VIII, In Captivity-1942: Not long after the infamous year of 1941 turned to 1942, the first of the detainees got their long-promised hearing by an inquiry commission. That meant a welcome trip off the hated island, although back to the Honolulu Immigration Office and at least an overnight in its also-hated upstairs room.
Blogs/Op-Eds/EssaysCountdown from Pearl Harbor—Part VII, First Internment Christmas: At Sand Island, the first-taken who would become the last-released, all pillars of Honolulu’s Japanese community, experienced their first collective humiliation of having to stand naked in the chill of the evening December air as their clothing was searched for contraband just because a martinet camp commander found a banned piece of metal on another prisoner returning from a day of work duty.
Blogs/Op-Eds/EssaysCountdown from Pearl Harbor—Part VI, First Night: Sand Island likely had been selected for its emergency task because it was isolated, with no connection to any other land except by open water. As such, the 15-acre island that was little more than a large sand bar was used to quarantine arriving ships believed to be carrying disease-infected passengers.
Blogs/Op-Eds/EssaysCountdown from Pearl Harbor—Part V, First Barbed Wire: After their first two nights, the original one hundred-sixty men taken in Honolulu were moved from that crowded Immigration Office room across the commercial harbor to Sand Island where they were put behind their first barbed wire. It offered an indication of what would become a new life of humiliation, subjugation and half a dozen moves from one part of the US to another with little advance notice. And no personal contact with family.
Blogs/Op-Eds/EssaysCountdown from Pearl Harbor—Part III, Hunkered Down: Not long after the bombs and machine-gun fire began, the military ordered the local telephone company and its operators to preserve the lines for emergency calls only, most definitely not to put through any calls to Japan. Honolulu and area residents were left in a communications blackout. Without telephone service, and orders for all but military and emergency personnel to stay off the streets and remain where they were, the priests and those already present at the Honpa Hongwanji, mostly children, were trapped.
Blogs/Op-Eds/EssaysCountdown from Pearl Harbor—Part II, Racism, Xenophobia, Nativism: At least thirteen groups of FBI agents and military personnel had dusted off 1939 files with a long list of names, sorted in order of importance in terms of presumed community influence and authority. Some of the information was old. Shinri’s address was listed as the rented house he had moved from after his family left for Japan. But it had his work address at the Honpa Hongwanji.
Blogs/Op-Eds/EssaysCountdown from Pearl Harbor—Part I, Before Deed Done: J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI didn’t wait for the  Dec. 7, 1941 deed to be done at Pearl Harbor. The agency already had been gathering intelligence on communists and their US movement as it gathered steam during the depression. The suspicions also extended to other aliens abroad who might pose a threat as belligerency spread in Asia and Europe.
Blogs/Op-Eds/EssaysCountdown to Pearl Harbor—Part XI, Deed Done, December 7, 1941: The trans-Pacific coded traffic that took Roosevelt’s letter to Hirohito on Dec. 6, 1941 U.S. time also carried in the other direction what passed for Japan’s prior notice of an attack as required by the Hague Convention of 1907.The notice, labeled “Memorandum Against the United States” relayed from Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo in Tokyo to his two ambassadors in Washington, D.C. also carried instructions that the notice not be delivered to the Secretary of State until 1 p.m. local time, which was just one hour before the scheduled attack on Pearl Harbor, at 8 a.m., Hawaii time.
Blogs/Op-Eds/EssaysCountdown to Pearl Harbor—Part X, Last Chance. December 6, 1941: President Rooosevelt’s personal 802-word letter, sent by mid-morning to Hirohito in the form of a very long telegram, arrived at the American Embassy in Tokyo and the desk of Ambassador Joseph Grew. Grew had it sent immediately on to Minister of Foreign Affairs Shigenori Togo. In Washington, Japan’s two ambassadors were not informed of the letter and learned of it only after it was reported on American evening news broadcasts that Saturday, the State Department having announced it publicly, stressing that it was trying for a peaceful solution to the standoff. The account the Japan ambassadors heard mentioned neutral Thailand and that they stressed.
Blogs/Op-Eds/EssaysCountdown to Pearl Harbor—Part VIII, 8th Imperial Conference Transcript. Prime Minister Hideki Tojo had the last words, winding up the conference after Hirohito’s mouthpiece referring to the possibility of a long war. “Tojo: “The government also realizes the grave importance of the matters brought up in your opinion and views, and has adopted prudent policies. All preparations for long war are being done. Efforts for early ending of war are being made by every means. In case of a long war, we will do our utmost to stabilize people’s spirit, especially to maintain order, to prevent unrest, to prevent foreign plots….”
Blogs/Op-Eds/EssaysCountdown to Pearl Harbor—Part VII, 8th Imperial Conference Transcript. Yoshimichi Hara: “The effects on homeland were explained previously in details by the minister of Interior, but there is something I am not convinced. That is air bombardment. To minimize damage, basic training such as anti-air-raid drills are conducted vigorously, is very good, but in case of fires and you stay on to extinguish fires, is it possible to do that with buildings such as those in Tokyo? What are you going to do if there is a large-scale fire in Tokyo? Are you prepared? These are a few things on my mind at present.”
Blogs/Op-Eds/EssaysCountdown to Pearl Harbor—Part VI, 8th Imperial Conference Transcript. Yoshimichi Hara, president of the Privy Council, who speaks for the emperor: “…in view of the graveness of the matter, I’m going to ask a few questions. One of them is about the really unfair reply from the U.S. state secretary to the two ambassadors. I hear that both ambassadors have explained about demands we cannot accept. Especially, U.S. support of the Chungking regime and demanding [our] retreat from entire China. When U.S. uses the wording, ‘China,’ does it include Manchukuo? Did both ambassadors verify this point? What is their understanding?”
 Blogs/Op-Eds/EssaysCountdown to Pearl Harbor—Part V: Dec. 1, 1941, Japan decides to launch the day of infamy. The Imperial Conference was not intended to be, nor was it expected to be anything more than a rubber stamp of decisions and plans already made. But it needed the emperor’s imprimatur. That two-hour conference determined the course of history.
Blogs/Op-Eds/EssaysCountdown to Pearl Harbor—Part IV: On Nov. 26, 1941, Adm. Chuichi Nagumo led his amassed Japanese Aircraft Carrier Strike Force fleet out of ports in the snow-covered Kurile islands north of the homeland and out into a remote part of the Pacific Ocean.
Photo Gallery—Lots of new photos—Book-signing held at Ka’anapali Golf Courses Wednesday, Nov. 18. Featured subject, Tommy Sarashina, as well as the author signing. Plus, all the latest tweets about it.
Blogs/Op-Eds/EssaysCountdown to Pearl Harbor—Part III: November 5, 1941 was a another date critical to Japan’s decision to attack Pearl Harbor, an act that pull the United States into a war, launch the Pacific theater of World War II and, as all parties agreed would happen, lead to the attacker’s destruction.
Where to buy Tommy’s WarsKa’anapali Golf Courses pro shop beginning Wednesday, October 21Now available for ordering at all Barnes & Noble StoresStill available for sale on—Sale and Book signing: Lahaina Hongwanji Bazaar, Oct. 24, 8-11 a.m.—Author discussion: Combined West Maui Book Club, Kapalua Morning Book Club, Oct. 30, 9 a.m.
Blogs/Op-Eds/Essays—First Taken, Last Released—Internment: To most of the world, World War II ended with Japan’s formal surrender on September 2, 1945. It was just beginning for Tommy Sarashina in a Siberia POW camp and still far from over for his Buddhist minister father, Shinri, still behind barbed wire in Santa Fe, N.M.
Blogs/Op-Eds/Essays—Countdown to Pearl Harbor—Part II: October 16, 1941 was another key date in Japan’s reluctant stumbling toward its decision to attack Pearl Harbor, launching the Pacific Theater of World War II. Events that led to that day were set in place two days earlier at the informal meeting of Japan’s leadership.
Blogs/Op-Eds/Essays—Countdown to Pearl Harbor—Part I: Few people not born or married on October 14 would consider it a significant date, but it was the day in 1941 that set the clock running on the countdown to the attack on Pearl Harbor and the opening of the Pacific Theater of World War II.
75 Years Ago-1940 September 27—Japan, Germany, Italy announced Tripartite Pact Japan engages in germ warfare, dropping bubonic plague-spreading bombs on Ningbo, China
75 Years Ago-1940 September 26—Japan begins taking Vietnam capital of Hanoi
75 Years Ago-1940 September 25—Japan lands tanks, troops at port city of Haiphong
75 Years Ago-1940 September 24—Japan begins taking control of northern Vietnam
Blogs/Op-Eds/Essays September 23—Great Depression— Throughout the 1930s, Americans were focused solely on their own internal problem: the Great Depression and widespread joblessness.
75 Years Ago-1940 September 22—Passive French Vichy government signs accord giving Japan large Indochina presence, Japan immediately takes more
Blogs/Op-Eds/Essays September 21—Empires
Blogs/Op-Eds/Essays September 20—Open Cocoon Policy
Where to buy Tommy’s Wars Early print issue:   TheBookPatch Buy Now style 1 button
Blogs/Op-Eds/Essays 74th Anniversary, Sept. 6/Day Japan Set in Motion the Pacific Theater
Blogs/Op-Eds/Essays Why the U.S. Wasn’t Represented in China’s Celebration of End/Its Government is Not the One the U.S. Helped Defeat Japan
Did You Know? Factoids from Tommy’s Wars: World War II Post-War: The government holding China’s 70th anniversary celebration of the end of war is that of the Communist Party led by Mao Tse-tung with U.S.S.R. support, which hampered the Nationalist Party government led by Chiang Kai-shek and recognized and supported by the U.S. and allied forces that helped drive Japan out of the country and end the war.
                             -Factoids from Tommy’s Wars/World War II Pre-War:In one of the war’s many ironies, the United States was responsible for Japan ending 200 years of isolation
Blogs/Op-Eds/Essays Blame Europe for Today’s Conflicts/Remains of Dissolved Empires
Featured Excerpts Blame Europe for Much of Today’s World Conflict
Tweets Kaanapali Golf @kaanapaliresort/“What an amazing book Fields has written about Tommy’s life!”
70 Years Ago-1945  September 3–Soviets take command of half million Japanese/Troop boards boxcars believing headed for repatriation to Japan
                                                       2–Formal surrender signed aboard USS Missouri/Troop told to prepare to leave