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, which is now available as a printed softcover book, opens 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.
Later that day, Andy Pafko wrote a column that only he and his editor at the Advertiser ever saw. Titled “Overreached,” he accused Dillingham’s appearance before Congress the previous year for yesterday’s pier-landing fiasco, saying it had stirred up California’s delegation by asking for a special allotment of 30,000 Chinese laborers while warning of the dangerous Japanese immigration.
“Andy,” said his editor, “I didn’t bring you back to get us both run out of town.”
More sober now than when he wrote the column, Pafko balled it up and tossed it into the trashcan.
“Good choice,” said the editor. “We’ve had enough social wars over schools and immigration. It’s gone on longer than the Great War. You saw the crowds yesterday. Subdued. While the racists in California held bonfire celebrations, our haole did not. There is a sense that enough is enough. It’s a draw.”
“Yes. No more Japanese immigrants, but they get to keep their schools.”
“That’s not settled,” said Pafko, perking up into a fighting mode.
“We never thought Makino would actually make a federal case of these school restriction laws,” said the editor. “But he did. The lower courts have called all of our school acts violations of the Fourth Amendment, freedom of speech. It will eventually end up in the Supreme Court, which has been clear about freedom of speech challenges for 150 years.
“By the way,” added the editor, “Okumura phoned. You might want to return the call.”
* * *
The next day, Pafko quoted Okumura’s response to the immigration act.
Author Michael Malaghan is a retired businessman who divides his time between Hawai‘i, Georgia and Japan.
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