Hiro Hiskia's Role In The Vietnam War

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Hiro Higuchi served as a clergyman for the 442nd Regional Combat Team during World War II. He was born in Hilo, educated at Oberlin College and University of Southern California, where he met his wife, Hisako Watanabe, a native of Los Angeles, and returned to Hawaii to work as a pastor for a Christian church in Waipahu. He volunteered for his wartime position, believing it his duty to console troops from the horrors of war by offering religious services. Although he did not partake in battles at the front line, Higuchi still experienced the war by transporting dead soldiers, comforting wounded soldiers, conducting services for the dead, and completing other administrative responsibilities. Through his personal correspondence with his wife…show more content…
The families in the community supported each other; they made sure the children were happy and gave them spending money, covered for each other at work if someone was ill, and most importantly, discussed news that they received from the battlefront. They enjoyed a strong sense of community and celebrated events, such as weddings and birthdays, together, sharing foods such as hekka, rice, tsukemono, and haru, and ingredients that were considered difficult to acquire, for example, fresh chicken and eggs (Higuchi letter, p. 3). Hisako also discussed the need for the community to support returning veterans; in particular, helping veterans find employment. She worried about people unwittingly making reintegration into society difficult for veterans and expressed desire to reenter the field of social work so that she could help with the rehabilitation of soldiers (Higuchi letter, p.…show more content…
She mentioned that she had removed the blackout paper from their windows at home and expressed desire to put up new drapes upon the occasion of Hiro’s return home (Higuchi letter, p. 1). She also noted that regular usage of car lights and street lights would be resumed later that evening (Higuchi letter, p. 2). In addition, Hisako had heard that anti-Japanese sentiment on the mainland was no longer the majority opinion, leading her to believe that everything would turn out alright (Higuchi letter, p. 2). The gradual return to normalcy at home combined with rumors of peace spurred by events such as Japanese ambassador Ken Harada’s interview with the Pope, assassination attempts on Hitler, the ousting of General Hideki Tojo in Japan and the consequent reformation of the Japanese government, left Hisako with a sense that Japan and Germany’s internal structures were collapsing that allowed her to anticipate the end of the war (Higuchi letter, p. 1, 3). However, it is also likely that her anticipation for the end of the war and the return of her husband stemmed from wishful thinking rather than logical thought.
Although, one could argue that the main attractions of the Hiro Higuchi Papers are his letters that detail his wartime experiences and concerns during his service, Hisako’s letters to her husband reveal a plethora of details regarding life as a Japanese American living in Hawaii

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