Michael G. Malaghan

Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

Editor’s note: We continue Michael G. Malaghan’s serialized historical novel, “Picture Bride — A Family Saga,” based on the Japanese immigrant experience. Malaghan’s trilogy takes readers from turn-of-the-20th-century-Japan to Hawai‘i in the picture bride era; the Islands during World War II, highlighted by the exploits of the Nisei soldiers; and beyond.

The novel begins with 12-year-old Haru-chan, fleeing her home in Amakusa, Kyüshü, for Hiroshima, where she becomes the picture bride of a Buddhist priest in Hawai‘i.

Author Michael Malaghan is a retired businessman who divides his time between Hawai‘i, Florida and Japan.


The three days passed without Kenji harping on the dangers of the coming boat ride. At mid-morning, they headed off to Kona to spend the night with Irie before catching the ship to Moloka‘i at nearby Kailua Harbor. The children, standing next to Auntie Ko, shouted, “Come back soon,” although Haru suspected they were looking forward to Ko’s looser discipline and her easy dispersal of sweets.

Two hours later, Irie’s three children squealed gleefully as they ran to meet the Ford pulling into their yard. Haru’s eyes flew open, and then she snapped a hand over her mouth. She and Kenji glanced at each other in alarm. There were smudges of dirt and caked food all over their naked bodies. One child was sucking on a cane stalk while drizzle dripped from the chin of another toddler holding a half-eaten mango.

When Kenji and Haru emerged from the car, the two older kids grabbed Haru’s hand. “Auntie Haru! Auntie Haru!” cried the oldest. “We are so glad to see you!” The other child squeezed her hand and gazed at her with wide, loving eyes.

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