Shuichi and Taneyo Fujiwara, immigrants from Shikoku, Japan, were in San Francisco during the 1906 earthquake. They lost everything they owned in the earthquake and went back to Japan.
They were returning to San Francisco, stopped in Hawai‘i and decided to stay. (Ohira) They purchased a nearly 1-acre property on Alewa Heights from the McInerny family and opened Shunchoro Teahouse (Spring Tide Restaurant) in 1921. It was “the first building on the hill;” they had to build their own road and put up utility poles.
“A customer named Yoshikawa used to come here during the day for tea or beer.” (Fujiwara; Sigall) Takeo Yoshikawa, a Japanese spy, arrived in Honolulu on March 27, 1941, aboard the Japanese liner Nitta Maru.
His papers identified him as Tadashi Morimura, the name he was always referred to while in the Islands (and subsequent investigative records.) (He’ll be referred to here by his real name, Yoshikawa.)
“I was a spy in the field without that secret inside information. But I assumed my job was to help prepare for an attack on Pearl Harbor and I worked night and day getting necessary information.”
“The Americans were very foolish. As a diplomat I could move about the islands. No one bothered me. I often rented small planes at John Rodgers Airport (now Honolulu International Airport) in Honolulu and flew around US installations making observations. I kept everything in my head.”
“As a long distance swimmer I covered the harbor installations. Sometimes I stayed underwater for a long time breathing through a hollow reed.” (Yoshikawa; Palm Beach Post)
“And my favorite viewing place was a lovely Japanese teahouse overlooking the harbor. It was called ‘Shunchoro.’ I knew what ships were in, how heavily they were loaded, who their officers were, and what supplies were on board.”
“The trusting young officers who visited the teahouse told the girls there everything. And anything they didn’t reveal I found out by giving riders to hitchhiking American sailors and pumping them for information.” (Yoshikawa; Palm Beach Post)
“When he was tired, (he slept) in an upstairs room where we had a telescope. Unbeknownst to us, he was using it to watch the ship movements in Pearl Harbor.” (Fujiwara; Sigall)
Yoshikawa did not work alone. Later joining him in espionage was a ‘sleeper agent’ Bernard Otto Julius Kuehn and his family, Nazi spies sent to the Islands by Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. (Washington Times)
At midafternoon on December 6, Yoshikawa made his final reconnaissance of Pearl Harbor from the Pearl City pier. Back at the consulate, he coordinated his report with Japanese Consul General Nagao Kita, and then saw that the encoded message was transmitted to Tokyo.
At 1:20 am on December 7, 1941, on the darkened bridge of the Japanese aircraft carrier Akagi, Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo was handed the following message:
“Vessels moored in harbor: 9 battleships; 3 class B cruisers; 3 seaplane tenders, 17 destroyers. Entering harbor are 4 class B cruisers; 3 destroyers. All aircraft carriers and heavy cruisers have departed harbor…. No indication of any changes in US Fleet or anything unusual.” (Savela)
The prearranged coded signal “East wind, rain,” part of the weather forecast broadcast over Radio Tokyo, alerted Kita in Honolulu, and others, that the attack on Pearl Harbor had begun.
The first wave of 183-planes (43-fighters, 49-high-level bombers, 51-dive bombers and 40-torpedo planes) struck its targets at 7:55 am. The second wave of 167-Japanese planes (35-fighters, 54-horizontal bombers and 78-dive bombers) struck Oʻahu beginning at 8:40 am. By 9:45 am, the Japanese attack on Oʻahu was over.
The government took over Shunchoro Teahouse during World War II and converted the building into an emergency fire and first-aid station. After the war, the elder Fujiwaras leased the teahouse to Mamoru Kobayashi, who ran it until the mid-1950s.
Lawrence Sr, youngest of Shuichi and Taneyo Fujiwara’s five children, had opened his own teahouse on School Street after the war. It was called Natsunoya (Summer House.) “They eventually tore it down for the H-1 freeway.”
Shunchoro had been closed for a couple of years when Lawrence Sr reopened the teahouse and changed its name to Natsunoya Tea House in 1958. (Fujiwara; Ohira)
Here’s a link to Google images of Natunoya Tea House: https://goo.gl/ZXhKdz
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