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.

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

Chapter 134

Across town, Haru’s eldest son Takeshi sat quietly in the back of the Throne Room in ‘Iolani Palace, scribbling notes as the Hawaiian Statehood Committee wrapped up its meeting. Seven United States senators and 12 members of the U.S. House of Representatives were reading their final remarks after two weeks of hearings.

An hour later, Taka took his usual spot in the Cabinet Room of Washington Place. Still clutching his pad and pen, the committee’s official scribe was struggling to keep up with territorial Gov. Poindexter’s fiery address to his statehood delegation.

“Despite their rum-tongued promises at the reception last night, the congressional committee punted. Today, the hung-over, back-peddling chairman pontificated, ‘You have fulfilled every requirement for statehood. Conduct a referendum and we will consider statehood.’”

Poindexter spat out the word “consider.” “I am too mad to consider . . . a response to their retreat from a promised ‘recommendation’ for statehood.”

Shigeo Yoshida, renowned orator, school principal and son of a samurai warrior who had spoken eloquently in support of statehood at the hearings, ran a hand over his wavy hair. “This back-stepping is all about whose side we . . .” — he paused to look at his two fellow Japanese on the committee — “will support when war breaks out. It would be better if Japan declared war today and we settled the loyalty question once and for all.”

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