Thursday, April 11, 2013

On December 7, 1941, Japan did more than attack Pearl Harbor

One of the interesting facts about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is that on the very same day, December 7, 1941, Japan also attacked several other locations, including Hong Kong, Philippine Islands, Guam, and Wake Island. And the very next morning, Japan attacked Midway Island. All of these attacks have been pretty much ignored, and are not well known, even though President Roosevelt mentioned them by name in his address to Congress on the morning of December 8th, when he asked Congress to declare war on Japan.

When I learned about these other attacks, I was fascinated by how the small nation of Japan was able to secretly expand its military strength without the rest of the world paying much attention. Japan was able  to carry out all these surprise attacks in diverse locations, and do it in less than a 24 hour period!

I am further fascinated that these other attacks are hardly mentioned in the history of this period, perhaps because their attack on Pearl Harbor was so surprising and damaging to the American fleet.

The armada that Japan sent to attack Hawaii was huge, including six aircraft carriers carrying more than 350 attack planes (both high-level bombers, torpedo bombers, fighters, etc.), the pilots and service personnel to man them, plus two submarines which led the attack force across the Pacific, plus tankers for refueling, plus mini-subs that were assigned suicide missions to enter the harbor itself and attack any ships that were not sunk by their aerial attacks.

When war ends, hatred dies slowly. America hated both Japan and Nazi Germany, but the hatred for Japan seemed even deeper, because Japan had invaded our "land" by air without warning, in what was called "a sneak attack,"

It is interesting that in the years since WWII, our relationship with Japan has dramatically changed . . . from hatred to friendship, just as did the relationship between a Japanese pilot, Zenji Abe, and an American Marine, Sgt. Richard Fiske. We decided that this touching story deserved to be written down and preserved.

We tried our best to do that in our book and DVD, "Pearl Harbor Warriors." (See our online pages for full info).
Many years after the war, Zenji Abe and Richard Fiske together
at the USS Arizona Memorial present
their moving 'Roses' ceremony.

Japanese pilot Zenji Abe, on the deck of Japan's flagship carrier, Akagi, as it crosses the Pacific Ocean, on its way to attack Pearl Harbor.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Pearl Harbor Child teaches hula in Czech Republic

Dorinda was surprised to learn that her native Hawaiian dance, the Hula, is being taught in the Czech Republic, especially in Prague, which has a hula studio. So while visiting, she asked her new friends in Loucka if they would like to learn a popular hula, and they said, "Yes!"

So the group gathered in a Community Center for a lesson, had a great time, and posed with their new teacher from America.

Exciting developments in Loucka, Czech Republic

On July 6, 2012, in the small city of Loucka, Czech Republic, Dorinda stands in front of a map of Pearl Harbor, featured in a new WWII and Pearl Harbor museum. The giant map shows the harbor as it looked on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attack occurred. Dorinda was living on the Pearl City Peninsula, only a few hundred yards from Ford Island. If you look carefully at the map behind her, you can see the extreme tip of her peninsula above the letter "P." One of our previous posts shows her location more clearly.

Dorinda was thrilled that her book, Pearl Harbor Child, shown above, was translated into the Czech language by Marcela Ultrova (seen here with Dorinda in front of the American Embassy in Prague, where Dorinda told her Pearl Harbor Child story), and released to the public that same day the Museum was opened. Her book in English, with a fresh new look, is now in its 12th printing, and will be available near the end of March, 2013.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

On our last trip to Hawaii, we went to the USS Arizona Memorial (as we always do) and were to happy to see a special friend who had come all the way from Japan. Her name is Naomi Shin, and she is the daughter of Zenji Abe, the Japanese Warrior who is featured in our Pearl Harbor Warriors book and DVD.

Naomi's father is the pilot with his goggles ready to board his plane for the attack on Pearl Harbor. Many years after the attack he and Sgt. Richard Fiske overcame suspicion and hatred to become great friends. This friendship is the story told in our award-winning "Warriors book."

It was great to renew our friendship with Naomi, and we are SO pleased that is is able to come to Pearl Harbor for these special events.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Welcome to the Pearl Harbor Child blog

WELCOME and ALOHA! Mahalo (thanks) for visiting my site. Please take a good look around.

My name is Dorinda Makanaonalani Nicholson. I was born in Hawaii to a Hawaiian mother and  Caucasian father. On December 7, 1941, we were living as civilians on the Pearl City Peninsula inside Pearl Harbor, only a few hundred yards from Battleship Row (see map below). We stayed until the Navy forced us to give up our home after the war ended. Sadly, our peninsula was needed for Navy housing, and so our entire small neighborhood of locals was forced to leave.

The top image shows me at age 6 with my gas mask and dog, Hula Girl, and a recent photo of me with a flower in my hair, ready to dance.

My mother was a hula teacher, so I made my debut as a hula dancer at the age of three. I graduated from Punahou School in Honolulu, then attended the University of Hawaii, where I met a local producer and was invited to be the hula dancer on a weekly TV show, "Campus Canteen."

I won a hula contest when I was 18, which took me to the mainland. While there, I went to Independence, Missouri to meet my father's family for the first time. I decided to stay for a year, and attended college in Kansas City, then became a flight attendant for a national airline, and then married Larry Nicholson, a photographer and multimedia producer.

After the birth of our four sons, I earned undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate degrees at the University of Missouri-Kansas in Counseling Psychology, then worked for a large community mental health center in Kansas City as a psychotherapist.

During these later years, I began to realize that I had survived a surprise attack that literally changed the world. I also found that while many books had been written about the attack, they were all written from a military standpoint. There was almost nothing written about what happened to civilians, so I decided to tell my story. The result was "Pearl Harbor Child," which is now (2013) in its 12th edition.

Ever since our marriage, Larry and I have worked together as a team in producing our books and DVD's. After the first editions, I was contacted by other survivors, both military and civilian, who wanted to share their stories, which I included in all subsequent editions. One of the soldiers I met had such a powerful story . . . it became our second book, "Pearl Harbor Warriors."

You can learn all about our books and DVD's on the pages of our website.