Monday, March 4, 2013

Mystery Monday: New Leads But No Answers About the Japanese Passport

Be patient and don't give up.  I say this to myself on a regular basis these days as I continue to search for answers about Maka Kanehawa and her passport that was found in my uncle's WWII photo album.  While I still don't have answers about what happened to Maka or how to find her family, I have initiated a few new contacts, and I'm hopeful that I'll get some helpful responses.

So far, I've contacted the following organizations, telling my story and asking for assistance:

  1. History Detectives (PBS) on or around 2/18/13
  2. Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum on 2/25/13
  3. Thomas Corrao, Public Relations Officer for The Chicago Okinawa Kenjinkai on 3/3/13
  4. Department Of Defense Public Communications Office on 3/4/13
I've gotten no response from my first three contacts.  I received a notice from the Department of Defense saying that they had gotten my email and would respond as soon as they could.

Next on my list to contact are these two organizations:

  1. Vincent High School's Army JROTC in Shelby County, Alabama--While studying WWII, these students were given a personally inscribed Japanese flag from the Battle of Okinawa.  They decided that the right thing to do was to return the flag to its original owner in Japan.  The last I read of their quest was that they had contacted the Japanese Consul and were hopeful of getting assistance there.  I want to contact the high school and see what the outcome of their project was and to see if they can give me some tips about how to proceed with my passport mystery.
  2. U. C. Santa Cruz's Center for the Study of Pacific War Memories--People here are working to link displays at the Okinawa Peace Memorial Park and corresponding displays at memorials in Santa Cruz.  I would think these folks have access to at least some of the information I'm seeking, and they may be willing to share it with me.  And, who knows--maybe my story will peak someone's interest who will want to help solve my mystery.
So there's my progress report for last week as well as my to-do list for this week.  Keep your fingers crossed for me, please!  Let's hope one of these contacts will help me send Maka's passport home.

To learn more about this story, check out these blog posts.

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