Q: In the following passage, does “fireworks” mean “ammunition?”
Taka paused as four trucks loaded with soldiers roared past from the opposite direction.
“And then…something really amazing happened. Shivers said, ‘General, now that you have issued that proclamation ordering Japanese to turn in their shortwave radios, guns and fireworks, it might be a good idea to have Nisei soldiers handle the confiscations.’”
A: Good question. Many families kept fireworks for July 4th, New Year’s Eve and other celebrations. Since fireworks had gun powder, in theory, Japanese spies could make a bomb with them, if they were so inclined. In the hysteria of the day, the authorities seemed to think that Japanese immigrants and their descendants shouldn’t continue to hold such dangerous items that might be re-configured into tools of sabo-
tage. Of course, real spies and saboteurs might be tempted to hide their guns and fireworks!