Gerald Kato
Commentary
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

As a young boy, Ted Tsukiyama was cast in an Ali‘iolani Elementary School Thanksgiving Day play as Captain Miles Standish, commander of the Plymouth Colony, a representative American who founded and forged the shape of the country. The experience made a deep and lasting impression on Tsukiyama — so much so that it came as a shock years later, in the weeks after Japan’s Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, that he and other Japanese Americans serving in the Hawai‘i Territorial Guard were told they were being discharged.

“We were hit with the painful reality that we Japanese Americans were being rejected and disowned by our own country, just because we bore the face of the enemy,” Tsukiyama wrote in his newly released memoir, “My Life’s Journey.”

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