No Sword to Bury: Japanese Americans in Hawai’i during World War II by Franklin Odo + Author Profile [in Bloomsbury Review]
Write what you know best” is the advice that writers probably hear most often. Franklin Odo, activist, academic, and museum curator extraordinaire, does exactly that. His latest title, No Sword to Bury: Japanese Americans in Hawai’i during World War II, takes him back to his native Hawai’i to explore the experiences of a shrinking group of Japanese American men who survived World War II as part of the Varsity Victory Volunteers (VVV).
Made up of about 170 young American men of Japanese descent, the VVV was a nonmilitary group that performed public service – mining rocks in local quarries, building roads, repairing public property – on the island of O’ahu in 1942. Although no one recalls how the group got its name, the VVV was officially designated the Corps of Engineers Auxiliary and attached to the 34th Combat Engineers Regiment of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In spite of their American-born status, for over a year after Pearl Harbor, the men of VVV were classified as 4C: “aliens ineligible to serve in the armed forces of the United States.” More than half a century later, the VVV’s legacy of loyalty and service to their homeland – the United States of America – remains a largely untold story … until now. …[click here for more]
Author profile: The Bloomsbury Review, May/June 2004