Sarah Sogi Witnessed Pearl Harbor in '41

                                                            by Sarah M. Sogi


Sarah Sogi kindly sent us her recollection of Dec. 7, 1941, which had been printed in New York Nichibei, a local paper, when it called for readers to send in their recollections of Dec. 7, 1941 


 With trembling hands, I pointed a shaky camera out the window to take camera out the window to take a picture. It was December 7, 1941, early on a Sunday morning, and the block of houses across from ours was burning very fiercely. I had heard over the radio that "This is the real McCoy! This is not a drill!". 


Hawaii had been attacked by the Japanese!


We found out later that our own anti-aircraft shells had fallen short over Honolulu. Mckully & King Streets was one of the unfortunate places that had been hit. It was right across the street from our home and I was very scared as  I took the pictures.


I had begun my freshman year at the University of Hawaii. Sundays were treasured days for sleeping late but t was not to be on his fatal day. We stayed close to home and hosed down the house, as it was very hot from the flames across the street. I saw a woman crawling out of the flames. It was hours before any fire engines or ambulances came, for they were all busy at Pearl Harbor.


War years at the University were a drag with all the male students not around. They were all out on ROTC duty, or with the Territorial Guard from which they were summarily dismissed if they were Japanese Americans. The disappointed and restless young students formed a Varsity Victory Volunteer Corps, which joined the famous 442nd Battalion of Japanese Americans all. The volunteers were eager to help in any way they could to help with the war effort, even if it meant digging ditches or any menial work, which much of it turned out to be. They were the cream of the crop of the campus and it emptied the campus of most males - a most lonesome and discouraging aspect for all of the female students.


As the last of six kids going off to the big city from a home in Kona, Hawaii, we left the two elderly folks  alone to cope as best they could. What they felt we do not know. We were not able to travel then, but our parents continued their humble lives without much upheaval. They were not rounded up into camps as were their counterparts on the west coast of the U.S., even though Hawaii was the very front of World War II at the time. They raised all of us to be good Christian American citizens, to be good hardworking, honest and moral children. Three of us finished the university, while the two eldest helped us out. One married in mid-university days and was married to the first Japanese American to become an Army Chaplain. He served in Europe with the 442nd boys.


#57 Parkway Vol.6 No.6 December 1992



サラ・ソギさんから届いた1941年12月7日の思い出は、地元紙Nichibei New Yorkが1941年12月7日の思い出を読者から募集した際に掲載されたものである。


 私は震える手で、カメラを窓の外に向け、写真を撮りました。1941年12月7日、日曜日の早朝のことで、我が家の向かい一帯は激しく燃えていました。ラジオで 「これは現実です!訓練ではありません!」と、言っているのが聞こえました。










最後の6人目の子供が、年老いた二人を残して、ハワイのコナから大都市に出ることになりました。二人がどう思っていたかはわかりません。当時、帰郷することはできませんでしたが、両親はあまり混乱もなくつつましい生活を続けていたようです。当時、ハワイは第二次世界大戦の最前線だったにもかかわらず、アメリカ西海岸の日系人のように、キャンプに送られることはありませんでした。両親は、私たち子ども全員を良きクリスチャンのアメリカ市民に、そして、勤勉で、正直で分別ある子供に育て上げました。私たちきょうだいのうち3人が大学を修了しましたが、上の2人の助けがあったからです。 1人は大学時代に結婚し、相手は日系人で初めての陸軍牧師になりました。彼は第442戦闘団と共にヨーロッパの任務にあたったのでした。