Pacific Book Review
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Author Interview with Tere Tremaine Fase    

December 7, 1941: A Week of Terror

May 2011

Reviewed by:  Gary Sorkin, Pacific Book Review



PBR:  Today we have the pleasure of talking to Tere Tremaine Fase, a native of Hawai’i, and author of the new book, A Week of Terror.  Tere, thank you so much for spending some time with us.

TTF:  Thank you.

PBR:  I can’t help but notice your passion for history, and I have since learned that being a historian runs in your family.  Can you please tell us about that?

TTF:  Yes. My grandfather, David Malo Kupihea, also a Historian, was the grand-nephew of David Malo, one of Hawai’is first historians during the reign of the Kamehameha Dynasty.

PBR:  When in your life did you begin to learn about the incident involving the downed Japanese airman, and the events you wrote about in your book?

TTF:  In 1986, I read an article about the tragedies that occurred on Ni’ihau,  the smallest of the inhabited islands in the State of Hawai’i, and the amazing stamina of the villagers as they struggled to survive the threats made to them by Airman Shigenori Nishikaichi, a pilot in the Imperial Japanese Navy.

PBR:  To what extent has your research been different from others that have written about the incident?

TTF:  Because little was known about the island of Ni’ihau, or the reason why it was called the ‘forbidden’ isle,  information  about their lifestyle was very difficult to find. After nearly twelve years of intensive research,  the true but tragic story that occurred on the island of Ni’ihau during the week of December , 1941, was verified by a descendant of the first owner of the island.

PBR:  The downed airman Shigenori Nishikaichi had secret documents in his possession that, of course, were one of the pivotal points of the story.  Where are those documents now?

TTF: They can be found in the Military Archives of the United States Army, Navy, and Air Force. 

PBR:  This story is truly riveting as truth is known now about much of what has happened.  This book represents a historical record of such an important event.  Do you plan to tell other stories about other significant historical events in future writing?

TTF:  Most likely.

PBR:  What has been the reaction to your book within the Hawaiian Historical Society?

TTF:  Shocked, surprised, happy to know the true story about the island they only knew as the ‘forbidden’ island. 

PBR:  Again, thank you Tere for your time, and we wish you the most success with A Week of Terror.

TTF:  Thank you.


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