Hawaii Essay, Research Paper
This book is a story of a Japanese and a white boy in Hawaii during the
attack on Pearl Harbor. The story depicts how the Japanese were treated
during the war and what life was like on the islands.
Tomi Nakaji and Billy Wilson are best friends in eighth grade.
Tomi?s Mom, Dad and Grandpa are from Japan and Billy is a rich white
or haole boy (means white in Hawaii). Tomi?s mom works for Billy?s
family as their maid so Tomi and his family are allowed to stay on their
property in a house behind the Wilson?s.
One day Tomi?s grandpa for some unknown reason pulled out his
old Japan flag and started cleaning it. After he had finished he hung it up
on the cloth line to dry out where every one could see it. When Tomi saw
it he wanted him to take it down but grandpa didn?t see any reason to.
He thought that he was Japanese not American so he didn?t see anything
wrong with it.
Grandpa has a bunch of different kinds of racer pigeons that are
his pride and joy. Every day Tomi would let them go and they would fly
out into the sky then come back after they were tired. But what Grandpa
really cherished was the kanta, which was a samurai sword that has been
passed down through their family for over 200 years. Now it was his and
he would soon pass it on to Pa then on the Tomi.
Tomi?s dad is a fisher man who owns his own boat named the
Taiyo Maru. He takes it out to fish up to a week at a time he just stays
on the boat and sleeps out under the stars. With him he has Sanji a
young guy just out of high school with a wife and daughter. He helps Pa
fish because when you get a huge fish over 300lbs. you might need some
help. One day Pa decide to take Tomi and Billy out fishing with him so
one morning Pa, Tomi, Billy and Grandpa all got in Sanji pick-up and
went down to the dock almost three miles away. When they got out there
they saw allot of Japanese fishing boats out on the water. On Pa?s boat
there was nothing for shelter only a tarp that you could put over your
head incase it started raining. When Billy and Tomi started fishing they
each grabbed a line with bate and threw it out the line was wire about 1/2
in. thick that way it wouldn?t snap on the end a huge hook with bate on
it. They both knew if they were going to catch something it was going to
be big. They both got bite?s at about the same time but Grandpa and Pa
also had bites so they were on their own. Tomi had to get gloves to pull
in the huge fish, but after a couple of hours he got it in. Ended up being
about 100 lbs. fish. Billy on the other hand took five hours to reel in his
200 lbs. fish. After that Billy had the pride and respect of every one on
Then one day out of the middle of no where Mr. Wilson came up
to Tomi and told him to tell his grandpa to knock off that Jap crap or else.
Tomi didn?t know what Mr. Wilson was saying until he went into his
yard and saw Grandpa flying the Japanese flag up and down and singing
the nation anthem of Japan.
On December 5, 1941 every thing was going fine Tomi and
Billy got up early in the morning to play baseball when they saw allot of
planes flying really low. They also heard sounds like thunder off in the
back ground. So Billy and Tomi climbed a tree and looked out over Pearl
Harbor, it was being bombed! Then to make matters worse when one of
the planes flew by grandpa got his flag out and started waving it to try to
signal the pilots. Tomi quickly tried to stop him but surely some one saw
him wave his stupid flag. They were so surprised they didn?t know what
to do. They watched the Japanese with their blood-red sun on them,
bomb and try to destroy Pearl Harbor. From that day on forth life on the
island would change dramatically.
When all this happened Taro Nakaji Tomi?s dad was out on the
water fishing he was planning to be gone only a few days but turned into
a longer trip. After the bombings the next day some military men came
to Tomi?s house looking for his father and asking if they knew if anybody
was trying to signal the airplanes. Grandpa had been seen and Tomi knew
if he told them that they would shoot him so he lied and said no. Then
when Tomi told them that Pa went fishing they said they would wait for
him at the dock. Tomi heard from grandpa that those men wanted to
arrest Pa because they thought he and all the other fishermen were taking
gas out to Japanese submarines in the Harbor. The men arrested Pa but
because he was not flying an American flag they shot at him hitting him
in the leg and killing Sanji. His boat was sunk and stuck in a army camp
like a prisoner.
The whole island was put under Marshal Law where there were no
light?s at night and the curfew was sun up to sun down. Then about a
week later some more army people came to Tomi?s house asking for him
and Grandpa to show him the messenger birds. But Tomi told them they
were only racer. The man didn?t listen he told Grandpa and Tomi that
they had to kill the pigeons because they were sending messages to the
enemy. So Tomi went inside got two sharp fishing knives went back out
side, where him and Grandpa killed every one of the poor helpless
pigeons. They didn?t even have a chance, didn?t do anything wrong.
Later Tomi found out that Keet, Billy?s older mean brother, told on them
saying that the pigeons were used as messengers. Keet really wanted to
get Tomi?s family in trouble.
Tomi?s knew it was time to get all the things from inside the house
that even remotely linked them to Japan and bury them. He grabbed
pictures the flag and the shrine set up for grandma and put them under
the house. The kanta Grandpa took with him to hide some where in the
forest beside their house. They knew that if any officer searched the
house and found these things they could be arrested because they though
they were spy?s.
Grandpa?s view about Japan was starting to change he was
ashamed about what they did so now he called him self American not
Japanese. Then one day Mama, Tomi and Billy went to visit Sanji?s wife
and daughter. It was the day after Christmas and Billy was wearing his
new binoculars his father had given him. When they saw them she
looked no older than a senior in high school but she was Sanji wife.
Mama and her talked about how Sanji was like a son to Pa and how she
was sorry for what had happened. Mean while Billy was playing with the
little girl, she was cute. Before they left Billy handed his binoculars to
Sanji wife and told her to keep them. She was so moved by the gift she
couldn?t say any thing. Now Billy had the respect of Mama she said he
was a good boy who was welcome at her house anytime.
Then a couple days later Tomi decided that he was going to go find
out where his father was. He walked all the way down to the police
office to ask where they took his father. One nice officer said they took
all the people who got arrested to Sandy Island. With knowing that Tomi
was determined to see his father. So the next day he woke at dawn just
after curfew had passed and headed toward the dock. When he got there
he was amassed at how different the dock looked like it had barbed wire
strung all along the side to where Sandy Island was. Tomi tried the direct
way to the island ,a bridge, but two MP officers stopped him. He was
turning around when it started raining. It rained so hard that Tomi had to
go under a bridge just to take cover. While under the bridge he got the
craziest idea in his head. He could see Sandy Island and between it and
him was only about one-half mile of water there was no barbed wire on
the bay side only where the tents were. So Tomi decided to swim across
the channel in the rain no one could see him so he had nothing to worry
about. When he got to the other side he crept around until he was next to
his father he was surprised to see him and told him to stay low until dark
then return to shore. So Tomi just slept in the bushes all day with out
moving. When he awoke it was dusk and Tomi knew he couldn?t find
his was back to shore when it was dark because all the lights were
blackened out. So he started back, when he got back to the bridge he just
fell asleep because he was so tired. A time later an MP officer awoke
Tomi asking him what he was doing out pass curfew and why he was so
far from home. He just said he was swimming, they didn?t believe him
but let him go this time
Then when Mr. Wilson came one day to Grandpa and Tomi of the
news that they were going to move Tomi?s father to the main land they
were crushed. How was he going to get back? Were was he at? Mr.
Wilson said he was moved to someplace in Texas and would be home
soon. But then just when things started looking good some officer came
and arrested Grandpa also. From then on Tomi had to be the man of the
house and be brave until the war ended and Grandpa and Pa would come
home and see what a good job Tomi did of taking care of his Mother and
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