Reader Mail

The importance of Hawaii's history

The opinion piece “Japan and the former Kingdom of Hawaii” in the Feb. 11 edition led me to ponder the history of Hawaii.

I’ve visited Hawaii several times. Visiting the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor compelled me to pray that we should not repeat war under any circumstances in the future. And I’ve met some Japanese Americans and heard their stories, including the difficult time they experienced after the Pearl Harbor attack.

Thanks to Kuni Miyake’s article, I can understand the Kingdom of Hawaii ‘s historical relationship with the Empire of Japan in the 19th century. And I fully agree that “native Hawaiians must be remembered and honored.”

Recently I read the book “From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawaii by University of Hawaii professor Haunani-Kay Trask.

I cannot forget the words in her book: “Tourists flock to my Native land for escape, but they are escaping into a state of mind while participating in the destruction of a host people in a Native place. … Our whole universe, physical and metaphysical, is divine.”

Her book seems to challenge our viewing of Hawaii as a place to vacation and to open our eyes to the real historical picture of Hawaii seen through native eyes.

The voice of a native daughter is mighty. We must be vigilant not to destroy any of Hawaii by our behavior. Rather, to understand Hawaii, let’s not forget to learn the native Hawaiian’s history, culture, language and view of the universe with an attitude of respect and thanks. I also feel that we should be expected to behave appropriately in ways that benefit and protect the native people of Hawaii.

Let us always learn from history and examine our behavior constantly for creating peaceful coexistence around the world.

HIROSHI NORO
HADANO, KANAGAWA PREFECTURE

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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