Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Clarence Moriwaki posts to "Bainbridge Conversation"

Recently Bainbridge outside agitator Clarence Moriwaki provided a post to the "Bainbridge Conversation" blog moderated by Rachel Pritchett and the Kitsap Sun. Moriwaki's comments, snide in tone, were rebutted by a few different sources.

Unfortunately, Pritchett's "Bainbridge Conversation" hasn't been much of a forum for "conversation".

Pritchett refused to post any rebuttal to Moriwaki thus letting him get the last word. In this instance "Bainbridge Converation" could be more appropriately named "Bainbridge Propaganda".

Unlike the Kitsap Sun, "Friends of Historical Accuracy" does not ban civil deabate.

Here is a link to Moriwaki's comments:

Now let's engage in the debate Pritchett silenced on her own blog. That's a shame, Rachel.

Moriwaki: "To verify that 62 Bainbridge Island Japanese Americans actually served in WWII, Mr. Olsen didn’t have to plead to the Kitsap Sun to do his homework or fact checking. Mr. Olsen could have simply called me or others in the Bainbridge Island Japanese American community to ask us – or perhaps, more in character, demand from us – the proof and facts; however, that simple act of courtesy would in and of itself been an historic event."

Answer: Clarence, your record for providing the 100% truth is not great. This is akin to the fox guarding the hen house. We want verifiable resources. Why would Olsen call you for this information? You claim in the media to represent the "Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community". You represent your own little clique. That's it! Stop going around claiming to represent people you don't.

Moriwaki: "In all of these years of being a quixotic internment apologist, Mr. Olsen has never once spoken to me man to man. Instead, Mr. Olsen has preferred the refuge behind the prodigious use of his keyboard to hijack blogs and deluge newspaper editors."

Answer: In 2005, Jim Olsen wrote letters to BIJAC and IslandWood requesting an open public debate regarding this history to be held at IslandWood. BIJAC and IslandWood refused. Not only was Mr. Olsen willing to speak to you man-to-man Clarence, he was willing to do it in a public forum. I have all the letters. Shall we let the public read them, too?

Moriwaki: "While I understand that Mr. Olsen was an accountant for the Coast Guard, I do not know if he has had any formal training or academic background in demographics or statistical analysis. If so, he might want to brush up on his methods, since he concluded that it was mathematically impossible for 62 Bainbridge Island Japanese Americans to have honorably served our nation in WWII.

Well, Mr. Olsen, we poured over our numbers and we discovered that we were wrong.
There were not 62 Bainbridge Island Japanese Americans who served in World War II.

There were actually 68."

Answer: Well, Clarence, here are the questions we posed to "Bainbridge Conversation". Will you please provide more details to the public regarding this number?

Also, why did you get the numbers wrong in the first place?

1. Of this number how many served during hostilites?
2. How many were drafted in 1940?
3. How many served after hostilites, meaning the occupation?
4. How many volunteered from the Relocation Centers in 1942?
5. How many were drafted when the United States instituted the draft for Japanese Americans later in the war?

Break it out for us, Clarence Moriwaki.

I'm not denying 68 Japanese American Bainbridge Islanders wore the uniform. We just want verifciation and details.

You wouldn't expect any less from us, would you?

Moriwaki: "As you and your wife Mary Dombrowski profess to be “Bainbridge Historians” (I’ve scanned your website and noticed that both of you don’t list any academic accreditations) and as “Friends of Historical Accuracy,”

Answer: I am university educated in history with a lil' ol' BA from a state university. I haven't made a career out of this history, unlike Clarence. It's only a hobby.

Besides, is Clarence an accredited scholar in history? How about Frank Kitamoto? How about Tom Ikeda at Densho?

How about just one of the commission members that led to the Japanese Money Bill of 1988?

Of course not. They are all political activists and agitators.

One only need read the About Us section at Bainbridge Historians to realize I am neither Jim nor Mary. But it's nice to know Clarence has "scanned" my much neglected site and blog. I appreciate the plug.

Too bad, he can't debate the content.

Moriwaki: "The following list is of the 68 Bainbridge Island Japanese Americans who served in World War II, with the * indicating the 16 who served in the venerated 442 Regimental Combat Team:"

Answer: It's an impressive list which is why it needs to be verified. Let's look at the overall statistics for all relocation centers.

There were 800 JA volunteers who served in the U.S. armed forces. In addition, there were approx 3,200 draftees from the camps who also served. That would be a total of approx 4,000 from all of the relocation centers.

There were approx 19,000 males of military age in all the camps.

The 4,000 of them who served is 21% of the 19,000 total eligible for service.

Now if there were 191 U.S. citizens evacuated from Bainbridge and 68 of them served, that would be 36%. It seems doubtful that there were that many JA males of military age among the Bainbridge evacuees but even if there were, why would Bainbridge have provided 36% of their JAs to the army while the average for those from other locations in all the camps was 21%?

That would have JAs evacuated from Bainbridge Island providing almost twice as many of their number to the armed forces as JAs evacuated from other locations. That seems most unlikely.

Morawaki claims 16 served with the 100/442d. I have a roster of that outfit with some 8,500 names on it. So many names are the same and the list only partly alphabetized, that it would be an impossible job to try to find the 16 names from Bainbridge even if they were among the 8,500.

So how did Morawaki come up with the 16 names? From what official records, if any?

Aside from the 100/442d just about the only other outfit (with a few exceptions involving only a few people) they could have served in was the Military Intelligence Service in the Pacific. A total of about 3,500 served there.

If only 16 of the 68 served with the 100/442d, where did the other 52 serve? Did the other 52 all serve with the MIS? Very doubtful.

Pardon our skepticism Clarence, but your track record on historical accuracy is lacking and you have provided information that needs to be verified. Until you do so this information should be taken with a grain of salt.

The gate down at the post office, the Historical Society exhibit, the exhibit in the basement of Sakai School and certainly what is going to become the memorial in Eagledale to "educate" the public...it should all be taken with a grain of salt.

P.S. Where were all the enviromental activists on Bainbridge when the gully (or ravine as the newcomers call them) was ground down to make a parking lot for the "internment" memorial?

Not a word of outrage for the degredation of the island's enviroment. Certainly that gully in Eagledale is (was) much healthier than the gully in Winslow.

Why is that, Clarence?