Buntaro Nakahara

Buntaro Nakahara of Hawaii is told by his told by his granddaughter Kelly Nakahara Walitt. My grandfather Buntara Nakahara was born in 1877 in Japan and moved to Bokai bay Wainai Hawaii where he leased property in Wainai sugar plantation and started a fishing business and had a fleet of fishing boats. He was 34 when he married my grandmother Kiwa Kageyama Nakahara. This was her second marriage and she was a widow. Mother Waiomen was born in 1918 she was one of the few women who graduate business college in Honolulu. When japan bombed Pearl Harbor her grandfather was taken without notice to an internment camp in Santa Fe New Mexico when mother and grandmother returned to their home that day it had been demolished and the family fishing boats had been confiscated. This happened within two weeks of the bombing. The FBI had determined the Nakahara family was a security thread to the safety of the United States because of their ancestry they were also suspicious because they were the only family of Japanese ancestry residing in Boikai bay Wainai. Mr. Miller of the FBI stated that Mr. Nakahara was taking gasoline to offshore Japanese submarines. This was found to be an untrue statement. As gasoline was rationed and my grandfather’s fishing boats couldn’t possibly transport the fuel needed to operate a submarine. My mother sat on the steps on the governor’s residence for 2 weeks trying to find out what happened to her father and carrying documents that he had indeed had been helping pilots throughout the years when they had been in trouble and had no possible way to get gasoline to the submarines. There were over 2,000 at this detention camp most of them were actors from japan who were arrested because they were interned as enemies of the US. They were in the US as traveling shows because of that they built a beautiful stage and put on kabuki performances in full costumes and props as they had all that with them when they were detained and were allowed to bring to the detention center. Approximately 400 to 500 hearings were given to internees of New Mexico over the years and they were released. When my mother was finally given a hearing by the governor staff for my father it was determined he would have a formal hearing in Santa Fe New Mexico where it would be determined if he would be released. After exanimating his grandfather was scheduled for release, at the camp his name was called over a loudspeaker to appear to a hearing officer. Apparently he thought he was being called to be executed, he was terrified as he didn’t speak English and had a heart attack. He was one of few if any men that died at camp. In Santa Fe Mexico detention center. A funeral was held by the internees which was approved by the government. We do not know where was buried or cremated and we could not find any records other than what the US department of justice redress of administration has. We do not even know the date of death. Just notified he was dead. His fellow internees sent the photos, letters and Japanese of his death which is how we, my mom and grandmother found out information. When the soldiers came to evict grandmother she walked to the Yamasaki grocery store and lived there with my mother when my mother finally found a place to live on Inose lane in Honolulu my mother supported grandmother for the rest of her life.

 

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