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Hatsue heard of the bombing of Pearl Harbor while standing in the foyer of the Amity Harbor Buddhist Chapel. She and her family listened to the radio on the way home and all afternoon. Her father received and made several phone calls. The Japanese community was concerned and feared the worst. Fishermen removed all the lights from the Japanese-owned movie theater and then drove to the owner’s house to insult him. Armed men were posted in the harbor, prepared for an attack. Hatsue’s father took his unloaded shotgun form the closet just in case.
Ishmael’s father distributed the first war extra in the history of the island. Three leaders of the Japanese community pledged the support and loyalty of all Japanese islanders. Ishmael’s father asked in his column not to blindly hate those of Japanese ancestry who are now loyal American citizens, any more than they should hate those of German or Italian descent.
The San Piedro Review, which Ishmael now helped his father produce, carried reminders and news. However, islanders began to feel Art Chambers was siding too heavily on the side of the Japanese islanders by printing stories, particularly on the front page, of their acts of loyalty, such as enlisting in the army. Islanders began to cancel their subscriptions. Art Chambers printed letters that denounced his actions, as well as letters against the small-minded in the community.
After Pearl Harbor, tensions between the Japanese and white communities rise. Japanese bank accounts are frozen and a few arrests are made, while at the same time, the Japanese islanders pledge their loyalty. Two distinct viewpoints emerge. One wants to maintain calm and keep prejudice and hatred from taking hold. The other viewpoint places blame and shows its anger against all that defend anyone of Japanese descent in any way.