DISPATCHES FROM CURT — Leadership; Self-Applause; D.C. Wayfinder Jesse Shima; Everybody’s Equal; Japan’s Tiger of Malaya; Japan Consulate List; Detached Enlisted Men’s List; Italy’s Gothic Line; And African-American Soldiers


Curtis Narimatsu is a lifelong resident of Hilo who writes about the forgotten past such as the old plantation days & untold heroes.)


Earl Finch, 1915-1965, died a broken man, in spirit/body.  Where was the 442 leadership to take care of our boys’ savior/messiah?  Only Uncle Willy Thompson’s 2nd Batt. hdqtr. co. puts flowers on Earl’s grave every Memorial Day.  — Curt


Uncle Willy Thompson‘s invocation as 442 State Prexy in a recent message to members expresses that “our keynote speaker was retired Major Gen. Antonio Taguba — we were humbled to hear him describe Tom Brokaw’s definition of the Greatest Generation as epitomized by the Nisei warriors of WWII.”   Sheez….   Did anyone else besides Uncle Willy applaud forgotten prophets Earl Finch or John Tsukano long after the war was over?— Curt

D.C. Wayfinder Jesse Shima 

I spoke w/Jesse Shima’s only child, Lurie Shima Emmons, who rejected the idea of a Jesse Shima (190[1]-2002) tribute (exhibit) at the Smithsonian, on grounds that her father 1) has had sufficient recognition via media/orgs  2)  Jesse’s Issei era has passed & there is no compelling reason to redux it  3)  Jesse’s wife Miyoko is 90+ yrs. old & should enjoy her solitude/serenity.   Nonetheless, Lurie respectfully said that whatever I do to recognize Jesse is my prerogative/right, so good luck!   Let the world know the legacy of Jesse Shima [everybody’s equal].  Unlike earlier sojourner Issei, Jesse immigrated to settle down for good in America.  But in discarding okage sama de/sonkei mukashi no [Jesse’s parents to fend for themselves][Jesse adopted Mary Henderson as his spiritual mother], Jesse learned American feudal piety [social graces] via Mary Henderson.  Which is why Jesse ascended into high society as easily as a duck takes to water.  Mary’s late husband John was an early abolitionist & genesis of the 13th Amdt. which outlawed slavery, John having been orphaned early on & siphoned into indentured servitude, which gave John a rude awakening on the mistreatment of slaves.   Jesse learned service to others [less fortunate] under Mary & Mary’s only child John Jr.   Which is why Jesse befriended the substrata of society [ethnic minorities/tenement folk]. Very atypical of an upwardly mobile/status-tripper “social climber,” which most Nikkei coveted/were [acceptance by White society].   Thanks to the divine guidance of Mary Henderson, Jesse was not a male chauvinist, as you clearly see via strong/confident wife Miyoko/daughter Lurie.   And unlike kotonk individualism [every man for himself], Jesse was imbued with the aloha spirit [selfless generosity/compassion], especially via necessities [food/shelter/health care], yet not excluding incidentals [leisure indulgences].   And unlike fellow Nikkei, Jesse welcomed shin Issei as allies, & treated them w/great respect, come hell or high water.  And unlike fellow kotonks, Jesse was as fearless as Leonidas [nephew Henry, retired Air Force colonel, was much more cautious/arduously measured than daring Jesse].  Jesse had a superior eyeball evaluation of life — he fashioned conveyor food display/ he predicted the eventual irrelevance of racial differences [Heinz 57 euphemism]/ his flying & driving skills were nonpareil/matchless/etc.  — Curtis

Everybody’s Equal

When Jesse Shima was dropped off in shorts on a chilly October morning in D.C. 1923, he tasted bigotry 1st-hand — when a white landlady told him “I don’t rent to Chinese,” he told her, “but I’m Japanese!”  She fumed, “that’s even worse!”  So he ended up a street urchin living on park benches.  This crucible of racial mistreatment forever riveted him to the support of Blacks thereafter.  When Mary Foote Henderson & her son John Jr. later told Jesse “You are our family now,” Jesse wrote back to his kazoku/family here & in Okinawa, giddily saying how Jesse was gonna study at Dr. Kellogg’s sanitarium [corn flake mogul], to which Jesse’s kazoku told him to come back to Hawai`i immediately, because they thought he had gone nuts & was in a mental ward, w/delusions of opulent/idyllic grandeur.   When the U.S. Navy tried to coax Jesse into accompanying the U.S. Navy to flush out Okinawan holdouts at end of WWII [holdouts were fed Tojo propaganda that U.S. was the Evil Empire that raped women/ate children/tortured all for sadistic titillation], Jesse chafed to Pentagon associates, “I’m not going to watch you shoot my own family!”  Not unpatriotic, just realistic about Jesse’s Uchinanchu “kuni no tame” [die instead of shame one’s divine emperor Hirohito].   Jesse’s life was filled w/matchless surprises, incredible, almost preordained, really [everybody’s equal before God – Ecclesiastes 9:2]!!   —  Love, Curt 

Japan’s Tiger of Malaya

Ironic that Tojo’s imperialist nemesis Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita 1885-1946 is the first to die under command responsibility [vs. largest # of British combined POWs captured, 130,000] for war crimes vs. British combined POWs.  Yamashita encouraged end to 2nd Sino-Japan War 1937, encouraged peaceful co-existence w/U.S. [via only Manchuria conquest, not SE Asia/Indonesia invasion], which fell him out of favor w/warlocks Tojo/Hirohito [who wanted all of Asia!], & yet he takes the first hit under MacArthur for war crimes.   Command responsibility, a slippery slope — clearly, Yamashita/Homma culpable for POW atrocities, obeying orders [from Tojo] not excusable, though mitigatible,  yet the most culpable perpetrator Hirohito is spared by MacArthur [again to lead Japan, albeit as puppet of U.S.] to restore stability to Japan.  Brilliant move by MacArthur, but in cost/benefit analysis, stinks in that the principal perpetrator is let off the hook, kind of like a top mob figure turning government witness.  — Curt

 Japan Consulate List

Army G-2 [Intelligence section]/FBI rolled out Japan consulate jokun/awardees & contacts/honorary-symbolic liaisons & interned un-American listees on 12/7/41, incl. American citizens/Nisei Dr. Ernest Mitsuo Kuwahara/Frank Futoshi Arakawa, along w/O`ahu JCC Issei — only officer left was Nisei Masaji Marumoto 1906-1995, who didn’t even have enough heads for a mtg., much less a quorum — only one person left — Masaji among officers.  Sanji Abe/Frank Ishii also locked up.  Party line not factor [GOP locked up like Dem], though thoroughly haolified buddaheads like Takie Okumura, & those who weren’t into Nippon reverie like Nisei Taro Nakamoto [atty Roy’s/Gladys Sonomura’s dad], weren’t locked up.  It’s unlikely that Bill Thompson’s father-in-law Tasaku Oka/GOP, would’ve been interned had Tasaku lived to see 12/7/41 [1st AJA solon Terr. Legislature along w/Andy Yamashiro 1930], Oka dying young not long after he was elected to Terr. House of Rep.  Yamashiro died before Pearl Harbor attack.  Oka true-to-core assimilationist like Takie Okumura.  Oka tried to recruit youth leader Rich Imai born 1910 to join GOP, but Rich was committed Dem under Kanaka Johnny Wilson/Del Metzger.  — Curt

Detached Enlisted Men’s List 

Military kotonks/AJAs were shorn of firearms/weapons via DEML directive to remove kotonks/AJAs from sensitive military bases & reassign them to non-combat specs/non-weapon duties.  FDR’s E.O. 9066 to remove West Coast kotonks from West Coast designation as “military zone” still allowed kotonks to move inland/allowed inland [Central States] kotonks to stay put [like Utah’s Mike Masaoka].  E.O. 9066 did not impose martial law as FDR’s Order 2525 did [immediately detain “enemy aliens,” even though detainees incl. American citizens/Nisei-2nd generation AJAs] in our Haw’n Islands.  By nightfall on 12/7/41, our finest/patriotic citizens were hauled off to KMC/CCC camps [Panaewa], incl. Lincoln Wrecker/ County Bd. of Supervisor [County councilor] Frank Ishii 1896-1985/ our 1st-ever AJA Territorial Senator Sanji Abe 1895-1982/Dem Party honcho Dr. Ernest Mitsuo Kuwahara 1899-1983/Territorial Rep. Thomas Sakakihara 1900-1989.  Had buddaheads/Haw’n Islands AJAs been classified not as enemy aliens [which they weren’t] but akin to DEML [allowing military enlistment, even if shorn of weapons/firearms], we might not have had immediate detainment of patriotic American citizens like our solons/ politicians above.  But in the hysteria of Jap attack, our isolation in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean, our 160,000 Japanese residents in Hawai`i [one-third of overall population], our sugar industry vital to national interest [sugar food product]/essential commodity [manned by majority buddaheads in plantations], & no means of transport to relocate/intern-incarcerate Hawai`i buddaheads to Stateside venues – it was impossible to do to buddaheads what FDR did to kotonks/Mainland Japanese, who numbered less than us here [110,000 Mainland kotonks]. Thence re-classification of us citizens as enemy aliens under martial law. Martial law here & not Stateside because if U.S. lost Hawai`i to Japan, Japan would get tremendous foothold to attack West Coast.  Now, on the other hand, after Emmons’ air attack helped win Battle of Midway June 1942, w/Hawai`i secure from Jap invasion, was there military necessity to continue en masse internment/forced relocation of kotonks/Mainland AJAs per E.O. 9066?   No, but amid mass hysteria vs. Japs/shocking audacity of Japan to attack Pearl Harbor [FDR expected exact 12/7/41 daylight attack on U.S. bases in South Pacific, not Hawai`i], political reality dictated continued mass internment/Hawai`i martial law.  Even California’s Gen. De Witt questioned the practicality of wholesale removal of kotonks from Western “military zones,” backdropped by not one incident of espionage/subversion, prior to removal of kotonks, but amid the deafening clamor of so-called public opinion/mass hysteria, Gen. De Witt acquiesced to public obsession/paranoia.  Detainees in Hawai`i were called POWs, not WRA subjects.  In all, incl. 6,000 newborns/1,800 POWS paroled into WRA internment camps/2,200 Hawai`i family members who voluntarily entered WRA camps to reunite w/their “paroled” dads [like Frank Arakawa 1891-1977], the total # of internee residents was 120,000, not 110,000.  Yes, the end result [incarceration] was the same, though the euphemisms were different [Mainland kotonks removed from Western “military” zones per E.O. 9066][Hawai`i buddaheads selectively detained as POWs, & those whose wives wanted to reunite w/husbands were shipped off as parolees to Mainland/Stateside WRA internment camps.  — Curt

Italy’s Gothic Line

Yes, our 442nd/100th breached the Gothic Line, but the Allied Offensive in France was top priority.  The 442nd’s most revered General, Mark Clark, diverted his troops to head toward Rome, to beat other U.S. troops in liberating Rome, but this move let off the hook German forces otherwise defeated via breach of the Gothic Line.  Winston Churchill told Clark that Clark’s sluggish Anzio attack was like a dead whale, which infuriated Clark.  Which prompted Churchill to send for British Gen. Montgomery [another Patton daring-do warlock]. — Curt

African-American Soldiers 


Miracle at St. Anna reportedly follows four black soldiers of the all-black 92nd Infantry Division who get trapped near a small Tuscan village on the Gothic Line during the Italian Campaign of World War II after one of them risks his life to save an Italian boy.

Miracle at St. Anna reportedly follows four black soldiers of the all-black 92nd Infantry Division who get trapped near a small Tuscan village on the Gothic Line during the Italian Campaign of World War II after one of them risks his life to save an Italian boy.

Spike Lee’s new feature is about WWII Black soldiers in the 92nd Inf., ignobly “led” by racist Gen. Ned Almond 1892-1979, who killed their morale before he made it easy for them to be killed.  Our 442 had passing linkage w/Almond, & thankfully Almond didn’t put us out to slaughter vs. the scuttlebutt that Almond forced the 442 back into the line [of fire] time after time.  Patton wasn’t much better than Almond & declared that Blacks were too dim-witted to be good Tankmen. But the 761st Tank Destroyers were the only available replacements, & nobody else wanted them, so Patton took them– [but unlike Almond] made great Tankers of them.  Patton’s unmatched pep talk/rally for his troops — Patton also put his life on the line at the front, fearless to a fault!    P51 Mustangs big boost to Black fighter pilots WWII.  Churchill discredited our Gen. Mark Clark as too conservative Anzio, akin to a dead whale on the beach vs. intrepid fighting machine.  Churchill discredited his own N. African commanders until Montgomery took over.  Boer War/maniacal WWI Churchill [used civilian ships as decoy for Navy — a no/no — Churchill another Osama Bin Laden — ends justify the means — death just an abstraction] win at all costs, no matter rules of engagement/human decency. But Churchill got the British thru Hitler’s reign of terror.  Hard to argue w/success. No, FDR didn’t provoke Japan to attack Pearl Harbor.  Yes, embargo forced Japan’s hand, but FDR expected Japan attack vs. Western Pacific outposts on morning of 12/7/41, NOT Pearl Harbor.  Nonetheless, Churchill had “quickened”/ snapped FDR’s “reluctance” while both conferred at sea — that unless U.S. entered WWII to defeat Hitler, Europe would fall to demonic Hitler.  Which hastened FDR’s expectation that our embargo vs. Japan would trigger Japan’s attack vs. our Western Pacific outpost(s).  FDR got more than FDR bargained for re Pearl Harbor. Lousy absence of exhortation by War Dept./FDR to scapegoats Kimmel/Short to prep for invasion 12/7/41.  D.C.’s fault, not ours here.  Put simply, a cornered animal attacks, & Japan got what it deserved from U.S., our getting cornered at Pearl Harbor [thanks to D.C. War Dept./FDR] being our clarion call to save the world from tyranny [remember Pearl Harbor/Day of Infamy].   As to Spike Lee being pissed off at Eastwood, hey, Negro supply men were greatly courageous, but Eastwood focused on war, not race.  As to Eastwood being racist, geez, he gave equal footing to Japs re Letters from Iwo Jima.  Just like balanced/fair All Quiet on the Western Front re Germans.  What’s Patton’s battle cry?  Per Joe Svinth, “Men, you’re the first Negro tankers ever to fight in the American Army.  I never would have asked for you if you weren’t good. I have nothing but the best in MY Army.  I don’t care what color you are, so long as you go up there & kill those Kraut sons-a-bitches!   EVERYONE has his eyes on you, & expecting great things from YOU!   MOST OF ALL, your race is looking forward to you — DON’T LET THEM DOWN!  DON’T YOU LET ME DOWN!!  Good luck, MEN!!”   Vintage Patton.   Dahlquist, our 442 bane?? Yikes — what a ding — he overshoots his Alamo boys — they get cut off – no supply line — so Dahlquist sends his own 36th D to rescue them — they fail — so Dahlquist knows we kick ass like no other — so he sends us 442/100th into the jaws of death — yeah, we lose 800 casualties to save 200 Mex/Alamos – the immortal saga of the “Lost Battalion.”  F__k Dahlquist.  He gets promoted to the top [politics], by standing on the heads of the Japs/442 he found expendable. Yeah, as we saw wMel Laird/Moorer/Abrams/etc. re: Henry Shimabukuro’s Lavelle, CYA — cover your ass, which personifies shamed [in our hearts] Dahlquist. Dahlquist f__ks up re Alamo boys, so he covers his ass by sacrificing our boys. Yikes!  — Curt

20 replies
  1. Curtis Narimatsu
    Curtis Narimatsu says:

    Thank you, editor Tiffany Edwards Hunt, for your great Memorial Day Tribute to our fallen heroes/forebearers!! Editor Tiffany has tremendous life experience/wisdom in part because she is a career soldier’s daughter. Which also are why Tiffany has the rarest leadership qualities of listen, learn, & THEN lead — if you read my take on Tiffany’s political magnificence about our County land preservation fund [in her Clarity/Crystallization of the big picture], Tiffany is the only leader who allies with the practical combination of sustainable government/sustainable environment policies by crafting retention of our land preservation fund to address the most critical habitat needs, yet transferring some of the fund to ensure continued vital government services. Neither the raiders of the fund [Mayor/Council] nor the defenders of the fund [conservationists] have such an equivalent legacy that our greatest empiricist/pragmatist Tiffany wayfinds thru. Our putative solons/ecologists are not the most gifted in the final run of great political leadership, such calibre of Clarity that promotes a new social order [responsible land use policies effectuated by solvent government performance]!! Mahalo, Tiffany, for recognizing our fallen heroes/forebearers on Memorial Day. Mahalo also for your concrete long distance destiny-making on positive land use/positive governance!! Aloha, -Curt [P.S.–my typo, my japanee hero Jesse Shima was centenarian 1901-2002]

  2. Curtis Narimatsu
    Curtis Narimatsu says:

    Dedicated editor Tiffany Edwards Hunt provided the beautiful photos that accompany the topics. Thank you, Tiffany!! John Tsukano wrote the greatest book on the 100th/442nd titled “Bridge of Love” that initially left his boys skeptical of his motives, inasmuch John was a former champion swimmer for Maui’s Soichi Sakamoto, & not tabbed as an “intellectual” by his fellow AJAs. Nonetheless, after spending his whole life savings [John a sportsman promoter with Ralph Yempeku/Richard Pablo Chinen–yes, our Pablo for whom Hilo Civic Auditorium is named] on his research for his book, John’s book is the most thorough & complete history of the AJA warriors. See, the sad thing about our 442 boys born after 1920 is that they are status trippers/social climbers because they pride themselves as Horatio Alger types who picked up themselves by the bootstraps [their high school diplomas made them impetuous–diploma equivalent to college degree back then]. The loss w/such self-infatuated notion is that the silent disciples of “everybody’s equal” such as John Tsukano & Earl Finch are displaced by show-offs like John Ushijima, who, as Lincoln Wrecker qtbk. was hit hard by Waiakea-Uka’s Joe Inamine [great boxer Paul Inamine’s baby bruddah’–Paul killed in Pearl Harbor attack] & sent to the hospital for cracked leg, compliments of our Uka Uchinanchu. Twist is that I have lovely photo of Joe Inamine/John Ushijima/my Dad on their guitars/’ukes in the battlefields of Europe as this unlikely trio strums to “Hilo my Hometown.” Fittingly, when John Tsukano’s book was published, his 442 boys were shocked that jock John Tsukano was capable of producing the masterpiece for all eternity! My typo error: I meant to say that our 442 forgot prophets Earl Finch AND John Tsukano, not either of them. Thanks, –Curt

  3. Curtis Narimatsu
    Curtis Narimatsu says:

    Shokan “Jesse” Shima[bukuro] 1901-2002 is our greatest American Nikkei [person of Japanese ancestry worldwide] for restoring America’s faith in our loyal Issei immigrants & their AJA progeny. Jesse’s nephew Henry Shimabukuro born 1931 of Pi’ihonua is among the 1st ever AJAs/Uchinanchu to ascend up the Air Force Command structure, retiring as Col. though he was up for General, to come back to Pi’ihonua to care for Henry’s ailing mama, who is his biggest inspiration. Henry’s destiny is to restore honor to Henry’s Air Force 2-star Gen. John D. Lavelle 1916-1979, who was demoted from 4-star Gen. in 1972, unprecedented, for trumped-up false charge of unauthorized air strikes in North Vietnam, even though Defense Sec./VP-vetted Mel Laird told Gen. Lavelle in person in 1971 that the rules of engagement require aggressive attack vs. SAM missile sites that could shoot down our jets/air support. Laird commented 2 yrs. ago about Air Force Mag’s 2006 discovery of Nixon audio tapes that authorized protective reaction to take out anti-aircraft sites that could be activated under tech canopy to shoot down U.S. fly-by missions. Laird hypocritically had condemned Gen. Lavelle during Gen. Lavelle’s 1972 ouster as Vietnam Air Force Commander for unauthorized air strikes. Yet Laird commented 2 yrs. ago that, in Laird’s own words to Air Force Mag, “New orders permitted hitting anti-aircraft installations and other dangerous targets if spotted on their missions, whether they were activated or not.” JCS Chief Thomas Moorer while in Vietnam even personally approved Gen. Lavelle’s request November 8, 1971 to attack MIG airfield at Dong Hoi. Despite such report, Gen. Lavelle was disgraced and demoted in rank from 4-star to 2-star General, unprecedented. Thence, though 35 yrs. too late in 2007, Mel Laird’s confession fully vindicates Gen. Lavelle. Gen. Lavelle, like Gen. Mark Clark & Clark’s 442nd RCT, & like High Command’s Gen. Omar Bradley, our Soldier’s General, ONLY WANTED TO PROTECT HIS MEN/SQUADRON FIGHTERS!! Destroying Sam missiles was necessary to prevent our aircraft from being destroyed/our men from being killed. Gen. Lavelle’s dearest friend & subordinate retired Col. Henry Shimabukuro is destined to vindicate/exonerate Gen. Lavelle & restore honor to Gen. Lavelle & Gen. Lavelle’s family. Air Force Mag published great revelations in the past 4 yrs. about Gen. Lavelle’s utter crucifixion in the name of politics/CYA[cover your ass][every man for himself], from Nixon [who actually wanted to clear Gen. Lavelle but was persuaded that to do so could jeopardize our Paris Peace Talks–Laird didn’t want to have fingers pointed at Laird] on down to Saigon command — everyone covered up & expediently fingered Gen. Lavelle, the most caring/compassionate General. “Stir the waters” Biblical but necessary to vindicate our framed-up/crucified Gen. Lavelle. Essentially, God’s covenant w/Abraham entailed God’s promise — “I will bless those who bless you, I will curse those who curse you.” God’s chosen ones include Gen. Lavelle, who died in 1979 at age 62 from a fatal heart attack, no doubt triggered by his disgraced termination from the Air Force. Kudos to crusader Henry Shimabukuro for restoring honor to our hero Gen. Lavelle. Henry Shimabukuro/John D. Lavelle are Jesus’ silent disciples. Love, –Curt

  4. Curtis Narimatsu
    Curtis Narimatsu says:

    Yes, the ones you don’t hear about in smalltown Hilo who come from/live here might be the most powerful in the world. I politely introduce Isamu Kanekuni born 1921 442 RCT to Henry Shimabukuro born 1931 retired AF Col. SAC as Henry walks by Isamu/me at our local eatery. I tell Isamu, Henry’s a retired officer, AF. Isamu scowls, “I don’t talk to officers!” Yikes!! In turn, I tell a bemused Henry, “Brah, Kanekuni PFC 442 RCT!” Henry instantly drops down on “bended knees” & tells Isamu, “Man, you guys are my heroes!! I worship you!!” Isamu laughs at this almost vaudeville posture. Tells Henry, “Okay, okay, get up, you making me look bad!! We all laughed heartily!! Whoa, then walks by Gen. Lee [Gov. Lingle’s appointee], I intro Isamu to Gen. Lee. Gen. Lee doesn’t drop to one knee, but politely salutes Isamu, who stands a foot shorter than Gen. Lee [tall Chinese McKinley High grad ’66 or so], a salute that could’ve slapped Isamu one deserved across Isamu’s face had Gen. Lee been any closer to us in proximity. Ha! BTW, JAVA [Japanese American Veterans Assn] boss Terry Shima is Jesse’s Laupahoehoe nephew/Henry’s 1st cousin, based in D.C./Virginia. Terry proud, not earthy/grassroot like Henry & Uncle Jesse. Of course, Terry Georgetown U/foreign diplomat creds, 442 replacement. Love, –Curt

  5. Curtis Narimatsu
    Curtis Narimatsu says:

    Terry Shima is JAVA boss & rep for Bronze Star applications for combat veterans WWII. I thank Terry/DoD for issuing Wanderers icon John Yuen’s born 1923 Bronze Star, but doesn’t such award moot out original Bronze Star awardees like Uncly Willy Thompson/Uka Camp 6 “ice in his veins” Haru Henry Oshiro [great boxer/Advertiser Sandra’s dad]?? After all, CIB/Distinguished Unit Badge in great fashion/dignity do honor fighting units/those who were exemplary in battle. Why dilute our treasured Bronze Star via such giveaway that JAVA seems to endorse? Boy, Henry Shimabukuro wants to bury his head in the ground after hearing that first cousin Terry Shima[bukuro][Uncle Jesse’s nephew] is on nationwide newspaper releases for WWII combat veterans to apply for “gimme” Bronze Star. Yikes!! Love, –Curt

  6. Curtis Narimatsu
    Curtis Narimatsu says:

    Yes, Henry Shimabukuro born 1931 is our little jesus who got unprecedented government lease to fee simple conversion for his austere mama Matsu & her Pi’ihonua Camps 3,4,5 laborers/lessees. Henry’s mama Matsu’s Pi’ihonua standard [dream of home ownership] 15 yrs. ago might never be replicated again, amid today’s fiscal downtown. The sugar plantations provided home ownership for their workers, just as Bishop Estate was forced to do so via high court edict, but our grassroot government provision for home ownership is unique/exemplary, inasmuch it rewards century-old+ family lessees w/their dream of owning their lots on which their ancient 1’x12″ crackerbox homes sit, it averts more recipients on the welfare rolls [displacement would add to gov’t handouts], & it increases property tax revenues, inasmuch home ownership has resulted in new/remodeled homes that increase the property values/increase gov’t revenue. If anything, such pride of home ownership behooves HUD/HHA [Pi’ihonua was NOT HUD/HHA but generic State land] to convert housing units from lease to fee simple & stop bleeding gov’t coffers [dependency mentality/syndrome]. Love, –Curt

  7. Curtis Narimatsu
    Curtis Narimatsu says:

    Sorry, I meant fiscal downturn, & 1 foot by 12 feet “whitewash” homes w/batten-wood strip to cover the cracks between walls [whitewash means to splash lime on walls]. My apology for not proofreading. –Curt

  8. Paula Helfrich
    Paula Helfrich says:

    Aloha Curtis and thanks for the memories … out here in Myanmar it is very difficult to find news of Hawaii — but your great reflections on the past and Tiffany’s support in the present make a huge difference … hope to see you all soon // paula helfrich

  9. Curtis Narimatsu
    Curtis Narimatsu says:

    Paula Helfrich would be a fine solon, balanced/even-handed. I applaud her for giving voters a choice. Do you know that at Hilo public schools 75 yrs. ago a practical individualist Chinaman Mr. Ching taught “Common Sense” during homeroom free time? Yes!! Which brings us to President Obama’s pick of Judge Sotomayor, Puerto Rican from the Bronx Projects, for U.S. S.Ct. Justice. Her pick won’t change the political face of the court, w/Justice Kennedy still the swing vote, but what you see are 2 great developments w/her pick: 1) socio-economic diversity, not just rich folks w/inherited wealth on the court; 2) our 1st Puerto Rican, NOT simply Latina, but the lowest substrata of society measured by standard of living! I see Milagros Rodriguez/etc. of 35 yrs. ago Puerto Rico/Bronx law students dancing in their homes today w/Judge Sotomayor’s pick! Never mind that Judge Sotomayor was picked by Bush Sr. for initial judgeship — the ethnic pride/American Dream [coined amid our Great Depression] are FIRSTS!! Oh, back to “Common Sense.” I know that had President Obama not been blessed w/immense-strong family roots, the stereotype of him facially would be a Popolo/Puerto Rican mix spitting wind direction at Houghtailing/Lanakila district. This is what’s a heartstopper about President Obama/Judge Sotomayor — this dynamite duo singularly breaks our class/caste/racial stereotypes!! Only in America!! Land of opportunity!! Paula, Sotomayor’s pick is for you!! Love, –Curt

  10. Curtis Narimatsu
    Curtis Narimatsu says:

    Gen. George Patton was based in Hawai’i mid-1930s & drew up his “Subversives” list based mostly on Japanese newspapers. His list included names stricken off the later list 1941 by FBI’s Bob Shivers. Patton’s “hit list” names that were stricken by Shivers included eventual 1st AJA S.Ct. justice nationwide Masaji Marumoto/Masaji’s fellow Harvard law grad-eventual solon-judge Tom Okino of Hilo [Uncle Willy Thompson’s uncle]/our greatest buddahead Christian pastor Takie Okumura/Hochi publisher Fred Kinzaburo Makino. Hung Wai Ching & Jack Burns had a lot to do w/averting more internment after 12/7/41, based on their trust in our buddaheads. Aloha, –Curt

  11. Curtis Narimatsu
    Curtis Narimatsu says:

    Hilo’s favorite son Del Metzger, ethnic German from Granger land Kansas plains [like Kansas boys Oren Long/Martin Pence/Tom Coffman], was infuriated that Del’s ethnic German poker buddies were interned WWII. Del was federal ct. judge here & invoked habeas corpus to release them after martial law was partially lifted. But martial law governor Gen. Richardson refused to release internees, so Metzger held Gen. Richardson in contempt, fining him w/threat of incarceration vs. Gen. Richardson. FDR finally intervened & pardoned Gen. Richardson!! The ethnic German internee cases were mooted out when they were sent Stateside [out of our jurisdiction]. Yes, U.S. citizens of German ancestry were detained/interned nationwide WWII, along w/any ethnic enemy combatant suspects [Italian]. Yikes!! Yes, Hilo’s own raconteur Del Metzger faced down FDR & the War Dept. & won!! Love, –Curt

  12. Curtis Narimatsu
    Curtis Narimatsu says:

    Inokichi Ishigo was sentenced to hard labor for 1 yr./fined $l,000 for possession of current enemy combatant’s flag [Japan red hamburger] WWII. Shinto churches such as in Ishigo’s Honomu/Hilo somehow ID’d w/State Shinto under Hirohito [Hirohito as divine emperor, from Sun God] even though Hirohito twisted so-called traditional Shinto [nature “pagan” worship] toward worship of him/Hirohito as descended from Sun God, which traditional Shinto never did [no worship of mere mortal human/sentient]. Nonetheless, Ishigo was a good Issei/immigrant American & fully loyal to U.S. to a fault, unfortunately keeping the Japan flag as keepsake of his ancient culture. Ishigo’s kids were fully Americanized/loyal U.S. citizens. Next door to Honomu’s Ishigo bakery was Higaki bakery [in front of Odaisan Shinto church][442 DSC Tsune Takemoto’s lovely wife’s parents][no relation to entertainers Judy/Alan Higaki]. Higaki kazoku/family was extremely generous w/plantation folks, giving villagers pastry/breads if goods were not sold at end of day. Shige Katekawa muses about Higaki generosity, recounting whether such generosity resulted in Higaki giving up bakery long before Ishigo retired [2 bakeries were adjacent to each other]. Shige bemoans that Hideo Ishigo [Inokichi’s son] born 1913 [still handsome as ever], 10 yrs. older than Shige born 1923, would do deliveries/camp sales [before WWII ignominy when whole Honomu buddahead gang avoided Ishigo like the Plague per flag possession conviction — buddaheads didn’t want to be stigmatized like Ishigo], & Hideo once asked 15 yr. old Shige to watch Hideo’s wagon when Hideo went around Shige’s camp to sell pastries/breads. Well, a camp resident stole Hideo’s basket of breads right under Shige’s nose. Shige dared not defy the camp resident who was a grown man vs. 15 yr. old Shige. Anyway, when Hideo came back to Hideo’s supply wagon, Hideo noticed the missing bread & asked Shige what happened to the bread. Shige was stone silent & shrugged Shige’s shoulders. Hideo then went to complain to Shige’s dad about Shige’s silence. Shige’s dad told Hideo that Hideo had no business making Shige responsible for safeguarding Hideo’s wagon. Who’s right??? To me, Hideo wrongly entrusted Shige w/watching Hideo’s wagon, despite Honomu being a small village where everyone knows each other. Hideo should’ve brought along his family worker as Hideo’s asst./passenger. Which goes to show that maybe Hideo assumed too much about rural respect/honor. Which also goes to show that had Shige’s dad known ahead of time that Hideo was gonna ask minor child Shige to watch Hideo’s wagon, Shige’s dad would’ve put a stop to it, being that Shige’s dad probably didn’t like Hideo [perceived as tightwad]. Hideo actually was a decent man, because Earl Nakasato’s dad fully supported Hideo, telling Hideo that other villagers stole pastries from Hideo, so to beware of such individuals. To me, Shige/kazoku-family compared Ishigo w/Higaki generosity, thence such derision vs. Ishigo. Irony is that today’s John the Beloved Earl Nakasato himself purloined manju from Ishigo bakery when Earl was a devil-may-care teenage rebel. Earl was the toughest hombre on the block & got his way via his fists. Yikes!! Today’s Earl is not the early John Son of Thunder Prince of Rage but the reformed John that we all love. Love, –Curt

  13. Curtis Narimatsu
    Curtis Narimatsu says:

    Vietnam War sage Gen. Matthew Ridgway 1895-1993 dispelled Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s all-out war vs. Red China by retaking Seoul & crossing the 38th Parallel. Gen. Ridgway also averted our intervention to prevent French defeat in Indochina, arguing that ground forces equal to those in Korea were necessary to turn the tide for the French [like Gen. Shinseki argued re Iraq], vs. intervention proponent Admiral Radford, who incorrectly argued that Naval/Air power were sufficient. Gen. Ridgway showed keen insight on the objective of limited war, unlike Admiral Radford/Gen. MacArthur. Gen. Ridgway insisted on our withdrawal from Vietnam after our Gulf of Tonkin ruse, arguing that we were destined to lose to civil war forces via our containment focus, on difficult terrain, via limited warfare. Gen. Ridgway’s prescience laid the foundation for Reagan’s Weinberger doctrine 1985 that dissuades us from committing troops to conflicts in which no direct vital interests are at stake [ergo Iraq]. Yikes!! Colin Powell is a Weinberger doctrine proponent, which is why Colin was devastated that CIA’s feed to Colin about Iraq’s WMDs was b.s. Colin stuck on too long w/Jr. Bush, got isolated/marginalized by warlocks Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld, & eventually was replaced by Condy Rice. –Curt

  14. Curtis Narimatsu
    Curtis Narimatsu says:

    Conscription Lottery Draft averts needless U.S. incursion/imperialism as we see w/Jr. Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld in Iraq. Jr. Bush/college kids were exempt from VNW era draft 1960s, so that kids at the bottom of the social ladder [inner city/rural bumpkins] did our fighting in Vietnam. All changed when the Lottery picked names out of a hat [my age peers were the 1st NON-class distinctive conscripts], kids of high social standing included. Yes, all of a sudden the VNW got much more relevant to our aristocrats/nouveau rich/suburban folks. Which are why the Paris Peace Talks took on serious significance — our rich kids could not be sacrificed for a war that did not directly involve our national security!!! And in large part our Lottery answers why we got out of Vietnam once the non-class distinctive draft took place post-1969. Yikes!! Love, –Curt

  15. Curtis Narimatsu
    Curtis Narimatsu says:

    If one looks at life from a free society vantage point, everybody’s born equal. Our Western Culture/Christians say Jesus died for everyone, both rich & poor alike, no caste system. Let’s face it — Hawaiian sovereignty is not about race/ethnicity, but about class — our maka’ainana-hoa’aina peasants were fleeced by their own chiefs/konohiki — our commoners never had a fair hand regarding kuleana lots/fee simple lands. Need-based analysis, not ethnic-based bigotry, restores sensible recognition about the misdirected notion of sovereignty. Class, not race-ethnicity, the point. Everybody’s equal without regard to race/ethnicity, so bedrock socio-economic need on which material/financial recognition ensue. Duresse oblige–bear the heavy cross of overthrowing Lili’u??? Lili’u was a most capricious despot, to whom money is god. Of course, Thurston was no better in governance. Sadly, Iaukea was the most capable leader, but because he was not descended from the purity of blood/royal line, Iaukea never got to govern. Remember our good relations w/other countries via Iaukea?? Remember Iaukea on his last legs brokering peace along w/Rev. Palmer over our race riots/sugar strikes?? Iaukea, not our royal lineage [the fallacy of governance via inherited power/wealth!!]. Love, –Curt

  16. Curtis Narimatsu
    Curtis Narimatsu says:

    Respect often is gained via defeat, not victory!! Charles Goodyear 1800-1860, intrepid rubber guru, accidentally spilled rubber mixed w/nitric acid on a hot stove & discovered vulcanization. Despite his later renown, Goodyear lived & died in serious debt, & spent most of his life in debtor prisons in pursuit of his “impossible dream” of marketing a rubber commodity. Ironically, Goodyear Tire is not connected w/him at all but was named in honor of him in 1898, nearly 40 yrs. after his death. Sorry, no royalties ensued. Goodyear sadly was relegated to deadbeat status thruout the 1800s. Hell-torn yrs. for him & his ever-suffering family. Yet today Goodyear is our larger-than-life mythic hero. We’d be in the “Stone Age” w/out rubber products. Alexander Pope 1688-1744 is among the greatest of English poets [“to err is human, to forgive is divine”], renowned for his 2 line couplets, but his life was gravely affected by Pott’s Disease [spinal TB], which stunted his growth 4’6″ where he looked like a twisted lower stump of a tree, & by the anti-Catholic vitriole vs. him/his family. Yet, out of such terrible adversities suffused the most beautiful verses to this day — Pope’s couplets are current standard references — metaphysical/beyond compare. Love, –Curt

  17. Curtis Narimatsu
    Curtis Narimatsu says:

    Tasuku Harada 1863-1940 bridged Japan-U.S. relations — Eiichi Shibusawa 1840-1931, father of Japan industrialism, hand-picked Japan’s 1st Yale U. Divinity grad Tasuku Harada [President of Kyoto Christian Doshisha U. 1907-1920/dearest friend of diplomat Bill Castle Jr. of Hawai’i] to head new UH Japan Studies Program 1921. Harada bridged East-West relations w/our greatest altruists Rev. Bill Westervelt-Charles Hemenway-Frank Atherton-Alex Hume Ford. Harada’s internationalism/cross-cultural understanding mantra spawned the next generation of mega-leaders/peacemakers — Hung Wai Ching-Hilo’s Shigeo Yoshida-Kea’au’s Shunzo Sakamaki, w/Hung Wai Ching 1905-2002 being the greatest of Harada’s progeny. Extraordinary/amazing succession of leaders from Shibusawa to Harada to Hung Wai Ching. Cross-cultural from Nipponese to Chinese-American [Hung Wai Ching], just as idyllic internationalists Westervelt-Hemenway-Atherton-Ford would have it. Love, –Curt

  18. Curtis Narimatsu
    Curtis Narimatsu says:

    President Barack Obama’s tutu wahine “Toot” was very fortunate to come to Hawai’i 1959 [Statehood] because Hawai’i suddenly opened up to the world/inclusionary vs. customary Big 5 oligarchy exclusion. Toot fortuitously was blessed that Rudy Peterson 1904-2003 busted open Bank of Hawai’i 1955-1961 to women/minorities at the cusp of Statehood. Unquestionably, Rudy Peterson is the greatest exemplar to banking not just here but Stateside as well [Bank of America]. Born into dire poverty, Rudy never forgot his roots, but unlike contempos then & now, Rudy always was compassionate/generous/a soft touch. Essentially, Barack Obama has Rudy Peterson to thank vicarously/derivatively — Toot didn’t have a college degree/was tough to the bone — not that escrowers needed a BA/BS, but accession at the top post-Statehood welcomed a college degree. Michelle Obama said that to understand Barack, one needs to understand Hawai’i. Rudy Peterson impacted Barack’s life like no other, sustaining Toot as the primary wage-earner/breadwinner for Toot’s extended family, ergo her daughter/grandkids. Rudy even set the mark for rival First Haw’n Bank’s Johnny Bellinger, another rough-tough commoner haole like Toot. By the time Toot came to traditional hand-maiden Bank of Hawai’i [subrogated to top-producer Bishop Bank nka 1st Haw’n Bank] 1959, Cooke’s aristocratic bearing sadly branded Bank of Hawai’i as the elitist/hi-maka-maka bank, vs. customer-friendly 1st Haw’n Bank. But grounded/grassroot Peterson steered Bank of Hawai’i toward populist marketing [Rudy was recruited by sage Walt Dillingham 1875-1963, who’d learned Walt’s bitter lesson to make up to buddaheads/local ethnics because Walt double-crossed us Asian immigrant progeny WWI by backing sugar planters in saying we were the Yellow/Brown Peril/Barbarians from the East/Asia] & popular inclusion [ergo, marketer Bob Sasaki/directors incl. Hung Wo Ching 1912-1996, Hung Wai Ching’s baby brother, Hung Wo 1st non-haole director 1958, Chinn Ho, Masaji Marumoto/grassroot banker Jim Evans/etc.]. And Jack Burns 1909-1975 Delegate to Congress 1956-1959, born into poverty like Rudy Peterson, understood well & worked intimately w/Rudy in their common quest to bring equality of opportunity to our teeming masses. Egalitarian/altruist exemplars to the tee. And Hung Wai Ching 1905-2002 got jump start on creating affordable home ownership for us teeming masses via Rudy’s/Bank of Hawai’i financing of Hung Wai’s tract housing developments. Neophyte GOP Gov. Bill Quinn 1959-1962, ever imperious/impudent despite his veneer Irish tenor singing voice, just was too clueless/elitist for Rudy’s vision to build a fair/equal society via banking opportunities. Hawai’i is opposite from Stateside esp. on race relations. Here local vs. malihini include vs. haole/dark-complexioned people. Thence geopolitical, not race per se, in that we locals against haoles/popolos/any outsiders. Class-culture wars, not race/ethnic wars. After all, Luso-Portuguese are white as snow, but Luso are us locals, not outside haoles. Yikes!! Love, –Curt

  19. Curtis Narimatsu
    Curtis Narimatsu says:

    Yes, father of modern world banking Rudy Peterson was an immigrant Swede who got his start at Frisco along w/forebearer Dean Witter [both Rudy/Dean Berkeley grads] 1924, Dean being Chinn Ho’s investment mentor. Of course, per barb Chinamen no can trust each uh-dah, Chinn Ho used Matsy Takabuki as Chinn Ho’s/Gov. Jack Burns’ emissary to Wall St. to draw investment houses/world banrollers to our newfound State/Hawai’i. Hung Wai Ching/baby brother Hung Wo Ching used Masaji Marumoto as their atty/counsel. Uncle Hiram Fong, ever beloved among commoners [ILWU’s greatest friend, Uncle Hiram deferred/forgave/graced interest payments on Hiram’s Finance Factors loans to ILWU members amid strikes], was a career solon who was not used by McKinley High classmates Hung Wai Ching/Chinn Ho [McKinley High Class of 1924 is the most renowned in public school history in the Haw’n Islands, & included Masaji Marumoto–after all, McKinley was the only public high school in Honolulu & had enrollment population #s that look like today’s UH Manoa enrollment population #s :-)]. Bill Richardson/Hung Wo Ching worked out of the same Ching bldg. & were close friends. It’s no surprise that Richardson as CJ S.Ct. got Ching in as Bishop Estate trustee & not GOP independent Rusty Blaisdell, who retired as mayor to try & get Rusty’s expected trusteeship. Hung Wo, ever the braggert [unlike egalitarian big brother Pastor Hung Wai Ching, who was 7 yrs. older than impetuous Hung Wo], was Burns’ bankroller [distant ancestral kin Clarence Ching was Burns’ treasurer — Burns had the nouveau riche young Chinamen up Burns’ militant Democrat sleeve]. Burns groomed Ariyoshi to succeed Burns. Ariyoshi was in w/1st Haw’n Bank’s commoner haole Johnny Bellinger [Roosevelt High, not Punahou], which is why Bellinger’s protege Luso Walt Dods was Ariyoshi’s right hand campaigner. Interlinkage — power relationships — NEVER coincidental!! Irony is that GOP independent Rusty Blaisdell was St. Louis College Catholic gang, as were Democrats Burns/Clarence Ching/Walt Dods on the other side of the political party wall. Because Frisco-based Bank of America [Rudy Peterson] orginally was Bank of Italy [Italian Catholics], Rudy had great affinity w/everyone, from Catholics like St. Louis alumni Burns-Clarence Ching/Blaisdell’s St. Louis College-High gang/Fasi’s boys/Vince Esposito’s gang, to Congregationalists like Hung Wai Ching/Hung Wo Ching/Merchant St. godfather-C&C boss Frank Atherton’s progeny/UH genesis Charles Hemenway’s UH boys, Charles also from Congregational NE Atlantic Coast-Vermont/YMCA product Chinn Ho/etc. –Curt

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  1. […] Retired chairman and CEO Bank of Hawaii * * * * * * * * * * * * * http://www.bigislandchronicle.com/2009/05/23/dispatches-from-curt-%e2%80%94-leadership-self-applause… * * Curtis Narimatsu Says: May 27th, 2009 at 11:37 […]

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