Wahiawa is a town located more or less in the center of Hawaiian island of Oahu, on the plateau or "central valley" between the two volcanic mountains that comprise the island. In Hawaiian, "wahi a wā" means "place of noise", perhaps a reference to the fact that once upon a time, heavy surf on the distant coast could be heard here.
Wahiawa in Days of Infamy
Wahiawa was subject to the brutal rule of the Empire of Japan (represented by Major Hirabayashi) when it conquered the whole of Hawaii in 1942. Radios were confiscated, curfews were imposed, and all citizens were expected to bow to Japanese soldiers on the streets.
Jane Armitage decided to stay in the town when the Japanese came. She was forced to become a gardener to keep a supply of food. She witnessed the execution of the school principal Mr. Murphy, and she herself was forced to become a "comfort woman" in a brothel.
Wahiawa was the site of fierce fighting when the United States retook the islands in 1943, as the town was bombed and Japanese soldiers fought from house to house. When the city was back in American hands, people who collaborated with the Japanese were forced to run a gauntlet and receive beatings from the angry citizens.