|Days of Infamy |
POD: March, 1941;
Relevant POD: December 7, 1941
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
|Date of Birth:||Late 1910s or early 1920s|
|Parents:||Jiro and Reiko Takahashi|
|Relatives:||Kenzo Takahashi (brother)|
Hiroshi "Hank" Takahashi was the elder son of Jiro Takahashi. Like his brother Kenzo, Hiroshi had been immersed in American culture, and felt himself to be American, rather than Japanese. Hank didn't take the family business seriously.
The family was aboard their fishing sampan, the Oshima Maru, when word came that the Imperial Japanese Navy had attacked Pearl Harbor. Hiroshi and Kenzo were horrified by the attack, and by their father's expressions of pride and excitement at the attack.
The family continued to live life as normally as possible while Japanese forces invaded Oahu. In December 1941, while the Takahasi men were fishing, Japan began bombing Honolulu to crush the American resistence. Hiroshi's mother, Reiko, was killed during the bombing. Her death proved to be another wedge between father and sons. Hiroshi and Kenzo blamed the Japanese for her death. Jiro blamed the Americans for not surrendering.
Despite the tensions, the Takahashis continued on with their lives. They were moved to a refugee and camp, and spent the duration of Japanese rule living in a tent. They continued to fish, both for food and for the trading value the fish had.
Hiroshi was in many ways caught in the middle in his conflicted family. On the one hand, he saw himself as an American, like his brother, and could not understand the pride his father felt in the situation. He and Kenzo frequently warned their father of the consequences he could face should the Americans return. On the other hand, Hiroshi was not overly enthusiastic about Kenzo's relationship with Elsie Sundberg, the daughter of a wealthy haole family, but he held his peace.
When the Americans did arrive in 1943, Hiroshi and Kenzo were both placed into military custody, until it was determined that they were no threat. Their father, who'd performed radio propaganda broadcasts supporting the Empire of Japan, had fled early in the American return.