|Days of Infamy |
POD: March, 1941;
Relevant POD: December 7, 1941
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
|Date of Birth:||c. 1922|
|Parents:||Ralph Sundberg, Mrs. Sundberg|
Elsie Sundberg (b. ca. 1922) was the daughter of a wealthy American family in Honolulu, Hawaii. She was a high school classmate of Kenzo Takahashi's, and the two dated. When the Empire of Japan invaded Hawaii in 1941 and drove out the Americans, Elsie was suspicious of Kenzo, despite his self-identification as an American.
Elsie and Kenzo became more civil in 1942 after Kenzo, a fisherman, gave Elsie part of his catch. Realizing that he was sincere in his disdain for Japan, Elsie and Kenzo resumed dating. Her parents, realizing the value of having close ties to a fisherman when food supplies were scarce, permitted the relationship.
Elsie and Kenzo progressed into a loving relationship. Early in 1943, Kenzo kept Elsie from being raped by drunken Japanese soldiers. He received a beating, but he also received the gratitude of the Sundbergs.
When the Americans reinvaded the island in 1943, Kenzo joined Elsie and her parents in a make-shift shelter her father had built. They remained there until the American troops retook the city. Although the Sundbergs vouched for Kenzo, he was still taken into custody. He and Elsie acknowledged that they loved each other.