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Japanese Internment

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.

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William Francis James

In 1872, the small island off Iwilei in Honolulu Harbor – “Kamokuʻākulikuli” – became the site of a quarantine station used to handle the influx of immigrant laborers drawn to the islands’ developing sugar plantations. Quarantine Island (what is now referred to as Sand Island) became the largest US quarantine station of the period, accommodating 2,255-individuals. This facility included two hospitals and a crematorium.

One of its residents was Dr William Francis James. James was a graduate physician and surgeon. His duty as Acting Assistant Surgeon required him to board vessels wanting to enter the port of Honolulu and examine their passengers and crew and ascertain if there are any diseases there among that would prevent the vessel from entering the port. His services went beyond medicine … “Plunging into waters infested with sharks, Acting Assistant Surgeon WF James, of the public health service, stationed at Honolulu, rescued a Japanese woman from drowning on September 23 (1912.)” He died May 23, 1944 in Honolulu.

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It was created by the filling of the reef flats during incremental dredging of Honolulu harbor and Ke‘ehi lagoon. The village of Kou, inland of it, had a long history of settlement. It originally consisted of marginal sandy lands on an elevated coral reef platform named Kahololoa.

For a time it was called Anuenue Island; that changed in 1969 when a proclamation by the Governor declared the Island shall be named Sand Island. One of the few lasting legacies of the Island’s former name is Anuenue Fisheries Research Center (AFRC,) a base yard, hatchery and culture center for DLNR’s Division of Aquatic Resources – it’s still operating on the Island.

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Coral doesn’t grow in fresh water.  So, where a stream enters a coastal area, there is typically no coral growth at that point – and,

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