During World War II, Japanese Americans were incarcerated at Honouliuli Gulch, Sand Island, and the US Immigration Station on Oahu, the Kilauea Military Camp on the Big Island, Haiku Camp and Wailuku County Jail on Maui, and the Kalaheo Stockade and Waialua County Jail on Kauai. The forced removal of between 1,200 and 1,400 local Japanese began a nearly four-year odyssey to a series of camps in Hawaiʻi and on the continental US.
They were put in these camps, not because they had been tried and found guilty of something, but because either they or their parents or ancestors were from Japan and, as such, they were deemed a “threat” to national security. On December 8, 1941, the first detention camp was set up on Sand Island. The fact that the internment did happen here in the Hawaiʻi are something to never forget.