Pathways to the Present
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: University of Hawai'i Press
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I have long been fascinated by the Pacific. As a child, I grew up in Seattle during the 1940s and 1950s, decades noted for the dominance of the Boeing Company in the Pacific Northwest. During those years, my father captained a fishing vessel that pioneered in the opening of Alaska’s king crab industry, and I had the opportunity to visit the north on several occasions. I attended...
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Writing in his diary on May 29, 1943, Dr. Paul Nobuo Tatsuguchi of the Japanese Imperial Army observed, “All the patients in the hospital were made to commit suicide. I am only 33 years old and am to die. Have no regrets. Banzai to the Emperor. I am grateful that I have kept the peace of my soul which Enkist [Jesus Christ] bestowed on me at 8 o’clock.” The medical officer stationed with the Japanese occupation force on Attu, one of Alaska’s far-western Aleutian Islands, Tatsuguchi correctly foresaw his future. He tried to surrender to American soldiers who were...
Chapter 1: Pacific Developments
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In 1976, native Hawaiians and others sailed the Hōkūle‘a, a replica of a Polynesian twin-hulled voyaging canoe, using only traditional navigational techniques, to and from Tahiti, two thousand miles in each direction. In doing so, they demonstrated the feasibility of earlier large-scale migrations by canoe throughout the Pacific. Equally important, their actions helped unite many indigenous Pacific peoples in a consciousness of their common heritage. Some fifteen thousand celebrants met the Hōkūle‘a when ...
Chapter 2: The Hawaiian Islands: The “Healing” of Kaho‘olawe
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I n the late 1960s and early 1970s, American fighter-bombers training for the Vietnam War repeatedly swept down on targets placed on Kaho‘olawe, the smallest of the eight major islands of the Hawaiian archipelago and the only one then being used as a live-fire range. Between 1968 and 1970, the warplanes dropped 2,500 tons of bombs on Kaho‘olawe, and in the latter year alone they bombarded the island for 315 days, solidifying its reputation as “the most bombed island in the Pacific.” The American military had used ...
Chapter 3: The Pacific Coast: Seattle and Silicon Valley
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Writing in 1967 about the Seattle area, Philip Herrara, a journalist for Fortune Magazine, observed that the region was “a lovely land blessed with a mild, moist climate” and “tall, rugged mountains.” The area was, however, “in the grip of a tremendous boom” about which the “two million presumed beneficiaries seem to have decidedly ambivalent feelings.” The reason for doubt was not far to seek, Herrara thought...
Chapter 4: Alaska:The Aleutian Islands
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Returning to her home port of Cordova, Alaska, on April 28, 1976, the king crab boat Master Carl developed mechanical problems in the face of a fierce storm, a blow featuring waves more than thirty feet high. Water entered the vessel’s hull as she passed near Montague Island just outside of Prince William Sound, and at midnight the ship’s flooded engine died. Tossed by waves, the Master Carl rolled onto her side and her...
Chapter 5: Southern Japan during American Occupation: Hiroshima and Okinawa
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At 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb destroyed Hiroshima. Michihiko Hachiya, the director of the Hiroshima Communications Hospital, described what he saw in his diary: “The morning was still, warm, and beautiful . . . shimmering leaves, reflecting sunlight from a cloudless sky, made a pleasant contrast with shadows in my garden.” Then came the bombing: “Suddenly, a strong flash of light startled me . . . garden shadows disappeared. The view where...
Chapter 6: Guam, the Philippines, and American Samoa
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Writing on behalf of the Guam Legislature in 1971, that body’s secretary and speaker jointly observed, “The dominance of America’s presence in the Pacific explains so much of Guam’s economic growth and current land problems.” Continuing, they noted, “Although the U.S. interest in the Pacific dates back to the mid-19th century, it was really World War II that precipitated the major involvement by the Americans in the Far East and Pacific realms.” Finally, they observed that “for the central...
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It is worth repeating in closing that the Pacific—one-third of the globe, encompassing millions of square miles and millions of people—has always been, and remains, a large, complex region composed of subregions. Even Oceania, one of the subregions, is itself conventionally divided into Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. The complexity of the Pacific makes generalizations difficult and fraught with possibility for error. Restricting the scope of investigations to some of the regions owned or controlled by the...
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I have indicated the major primary and secondary sources consulted in my research in the copious endnotes to this volume. In this bibliographic essay, I want simply to highlight those sources that have been most important for me and that might best lead readers into additional avenues of thought. I have utilized many types of primary sources. Among the most important for anyone interested in recent debates on public issues having to do with business development and environmental protection issues are environmental...
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Publication Year: 2007