The Attack on Pearl Harbor Didn’t Stop the Japanese from Dreaming of Hawaiian Vacations

In Postwar Japan, the Aloha State was—and Still Is—a Longed-For Paradise

In August 1946, a year after Japan surrendered, a musical entitled “Hawaii no Hana” (“Hawaiian Flower”) opened at the Nichigeki Theater in Tokyo’s Ginza district. The city had barely started to recover from the devastation of the war, and a good portion was still in ruins. The Nichigeki hadn’t been damaged in any of the American air raids, but it was in bad shape. Before the war it was Tokyo’s most lavish entertainment venue, but now it was falling apart from neglect, with most of the seats missing. Patrons had …

In Hawaii, an Immigrant Family that Bridged Japanese and American Worlds

How Siblings Torn Between Two Sides of the Pacific Forged Identities in the Aftermath of War

I still remember them at the dining table after dinner each night in our Honolulu home. Three elegant sisters, styled out of Vogue magazine, their jet black hair in neat …

The Japanese-American Officer Who Helped Take Down and Then Rebuild Japan

Born in Seattle in 1920, Harry Fukuhara Was Fully Bicultural, Bilingual, and Binational

When I first met Harry Fukuhara, in 1994, he was orchestrating a Tokyo press conference for Japanese Foreign Ministry officials, former Jewish refugees from the Holocaust, and veterans of the …

Somersaulting into America

As a Top Japanese Gymnast, My Dad’s Future Was Laid Out for Him. He Opted for Adventure in the U.S. Instead.

The letter that would change my father’s life—and eventually lead to his recent induction into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame—arrived in 1964, at his high school in Nara, Japan. …

I Discovered America Through Japanese Eyes

What Happened When a Kid From Chicago Became an L.A. Correspondent for Japan’s Largest Newspaper

“Scarlett, Scarlett!” I waved pleadingly. Across the red carpet she sauntered, her eyes invitingly meeting mine. There I stood—a 24-year-old Jewish kid from Chicago decked out for the 77th Annual …

In Glendale, World War II Isn’t Over

A Southern California City’s Memorial to Korean ‘Comfort Women’ Raises Questions of Responsibility, Memory, and Human Suffering

A federal judge will soon decide whether to remove a memorial in Glendale, California to so-called Korean “comfort women” who were forced into sexual slavery by Japanese soldiers in World …