“GO FOR BROKE” COMMEMORATIVE STAMP UNVEILED
On Friday, June 4, the U.S. Postal Service, Gov. David Ige and First Lady Dawn Ige showcased the commemorative “Go for Broke” Soldiers stamp, the very first issue to feature Asian American soldiers. Titled “Go for Broke: Japanese Americans Soldiers of World War II,” the stamp features a photo of Shiroku “Whitey” Yamamoto, who became a member of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.
Born in Nïnole on Hawai‘i island in 1923, Yamamoto was a high-school student when the Japanese attacked O‘ahu in 1941. When school was suspended under martial law for several months, he volunteered with the Civilian Conservation Corps, which built Saddle Road that connected Kona to Hilo. He later joined the 442nd RCT and trained at the famous Camp Shelby, Mississippi. Assigned to the Antitank Company, Yamamoto was then deployed with the rest of the 442nd to Europe. The stamp’s photograph was taken in 1944, when he was at a railroad station in France.
“Bravery and sacrifice on the battlefields in Europe and the Pacific is just part of the story of the Nisei Soldiers,” explained Lynn Heirakuji, co-chair of the Hawaii Stamp Organizing Committee. “When they returned from the war to Hawai‘i, they helped break down societal barriers, take a stand against discrimination, instill cultural pride, and as a result, created greater opportunities for future generations.
“Today, we all benefit from their hard work. The little stamp serves as a reminder to continue to do what the Nisei Soldiers started generations ago.”
Eileen Veach, Hawai‘i District Manager of the U.S. Postal Service, offered the perspective of the post office, adding that “It is truly an honor for us to add the ‘Go for Broke’ stamp to the list of special stamps that have previously commemorated Hawai‘i’s history, landmarks, historical figures and natural wonders.”
Other representatives participating in the event included Gov. David Ige and First Lady Dawn Ige; Maj. Gen. Suzanne Vares-Lum, U.S. Army (Ret), former Mobilization Assistant to the Commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command; Shinye Gima, Nisei Veteran, Military Intelligence Service; and Rachel Radona, the granddaughter of a Nisei Veteran.
The U.S. Postal Service held a virtual dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 3, the day before this physical ceremony. The virtual ceremony celebrated the First-Day-Of-Issue of the stamp from Los Angeles, California, the designated First-City-Of-Issue. Regions across the country, including Hawai‘i, now hold their own stamp unveiling events after the FDOI.
Organizations which took part in the Hawai‘i Stamp Organizing Committee were the Sons & Daughters of the 442nd RCT, the 442nd Veterans Club, the 442nd Legacy Center, the 100th Infantry Battalion Veterans, the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center, the Military Intelligence Service Veterans Education Society of Hawai‘i and Herakuji’s Nisei Veterans Legacy.
Neighbor island governments and communities also held their own ceremonies. On Kaua‘i on that same Friday, June 4, date, Mayor Derek Kawakami, Rep. Nadine Nakamura and Rep. James Tokioka offered certificates to, and issued proclamations before, World War II veteran Norman Hashisaka at a limited-audience event at the Līhu‘e Neighborhood Center.
On the Valley Isle, the Maui County Council presented a resolution in honor of “Go For Broke Stamp Day” and Mayor Michael Victorino proclaimed the day as Go For Broke Stamp Day at a private event.
Appointed by the Postmaster General, the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee evaluates the merits of about 50,000 stamp suggestions each year. The debut of the Go For Broke stamp represents a 15-year effort by three California Nisei women who were incarcerated during World War II and who had wanted a U.S. Postal Service stamp to perpetuate the story of Nisei soldiers who had bravely defended the United States, despite Japanese Americans being suspected as potential enemies of America.
The three women’s “Stamp Our Story” campaign garnered bipartisan endorsements from congressional, state and local government officials as well as the support from family, friends and others, including descendants of French soldiers liberated from German forces by these Nisei soldiers.
Other Hawai‘i-themed stamps, according to Veach, have featured ‘Iolani Palace, Waikïkï Beach, Duke Kahanamoku, Haleakala National Park, the U.S.S. Missouri and the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial.
The Go For Broke stamps are Forever stamps, meaning they will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce price.
KAHUKU HONGWANJI MISSION SCHOLARSHIP
Though the Kahuku Hongwanji Mission closed its doors in February 2013 after serving community members’ spiritual and cultural needs for 111 years, one aspect of its legacy continues onward. The mission established a scholarship to support college students and to develop future generations of the Hongwanji. Two scholarship recipients, who will be selected to receive $2,000 each, must meet these criteria:
- The applicant must be a member of the Buddhist Studies Committee Fellowship Club or an active member of a Hawaii Kyodan organization.
- She or he must be a full-time student at an accredited college, university or post-high-school program in the state of Hawaiʻi, meaning the student earns at least 12 college credits per semester.
- The applicant must have a required minimum college GPA of 2.5 and be of college age (up to 35 years old).
- He or she should submit an application form with an essay on “Dharma and My Life.”
BAMBOO RIDGE CALLS FOR “SPECULATIVE” WORKS
For its 122nd issue, the beloved local literary journal Bamboo Ridge is soliciting “speculative work.” In the literatures of Hawai‘i and the broader pop-culture landscape, speculative and fantastical genres have “seen an explosion in recent years, most notably from BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color community members) and LGBTQIA+ (people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning or queer, agender or asexual and other gender) creators,” explains the journal’s call for speculative submissions. Science fiction, fantasy, horror, fairy tales and other popular imaginative genres today are authored by such minority creative people, to speak back to power and address issues of oppression, marginalization and social justice. These authors and artists “have reshaped the landscape of these genres, allowing us to imagine other worlds, other histories, other presents, other futures, and other ways forward that are not dominated by white-male colonial fantasies,” editors of this special issue elaborate.
In encouraging writers and other creatives to turn in imaginative works, the editors explicate that they are “adopting a broad view of ʻspeculative,’ encompassing science fiction, magical realism, high fantasy, climate fiction, fabulism, alternate histories, slipstream, the new weird, horror – in short, anything that encourages us to ‘imagine otherwise.’’’ They welcome both written and visual forms: that is, short fiction, poetry, plays, comics, experimental forms, hybrid- or mixed-genres, even speculative nonfiction.
Here in Hawai‘i, “our word for science fiction is ‘möhihi‘o,’ a combination of the words ʻmö‘ike’ (to interpret dreams or the feeling you get when you experience something in the way your ancestors did) and ‘hihi‘o’ (a vision),” the BR editors state, giving island-based speculative storytelling a strong cultural framework. “Möhihi‘o encompasses and invites visionary works still rooted in ‘äina, ancestral practices and beliefs.”
Though the project welcomes submissions from writers of all backgrounds, these editors are especially interested in speculative works rooted in, and from, Hawai‘i, the Pacific region and island communities. They are thrilled by storytelling that “helps us think more deeply and imagines us into better possible worlds.” As such, they are not looking for work that promotes hate speech, presents stereotypes and/or romanticizes or exoticizes a culture/place/ or community. “Work that is clearly racist, homophobic, ableist, sexist, classist or anti-trans will not be considered,” BR states.
Submission deadline is Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021. Submit works to BRPsubmissions@gmail.com.
Following these guidelines or instructions: bambooridge.org/news/submissions-open-for-the-speculative-issue. Please email email@example.com with questions.