Honouliuli is located near the city of Waipahu in the central-eastern region of the island of O’ahu. O’ahu, the third largest Hawaiian island, is also home to Honolulu, the state capital and the largest city. Proclaimed a national monument with the presidential proclamation in 2015, Honouliuli commemorates the internment camp located on the site from 1943 to 1946.
Honouliuli Internment Camp
Honouliuli Internment Camp was a Hawaiian internment camp located in a dark valley surrounded by agricultural fields on the island of Oahu. The internment camp was the largest and the longest operating among the seventeen internment sites in Hawaii. The camp was opened in 1943, in particular for a long internment, and was closed in 1946. During its operation, the camp contained about 320 interned. The Honuliuli Internment Camp became the largest prison camp during the second world war holding over four thousand prisoners of war.
The construction of Honouliuli
The reason for the construction of the Honouliuli internment camp was that it could contain internees from the Sand Island camp that was about to close. The camp was built near Waipahu and Ewa on the island of Oahu. Its construction took place on about 160 hectares of land in a dark island valley. Enclosing the field was a double 8-foot barbed wire. The camp also included eight sighting towers that were guarded by the military police. The location of the camp in an isolated valley has led to being nicknamed the Hell Valley or Jigoku Daniby its residents. The interior of the camp was dissected using barbed wire in divisions that were used to separate residents based on civil, military, national or gender status. The camp project was so that it could hold 3,000 people.
The camp was run by the American army under Captain Siegfried Spillner. The camp was officially opened in March 1943. In August of that year, there were about one hundred and sixty Japanese Americans, of whom 69 were interned. In the end, more than 4,000 people were detained in the camp, including American Germans, Italians, Okinawans, Taiwanese and Koreans. It is believed that early Koreans who were non-combatant workers captured during the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign came to the camp in late 1943 and early 1944. Beginning in 1943, versions of American Japanese began. They have been released or transferred to the continental justice department or have been released on probation. The third transfer of November 1944 left only 21 US civilians in the field. Among the interned known include lawmakers of the Hawaiian Territory, Thomas Sakakihara and Sanji Abe.
Repatriation efforts in the field began in 1945. These efforts continued in 1946 when the camp was closed and the structures dismantled. After the camp closed, the land that housed the camp was leased from the Campbell estate by Oahu Sugar Company. Monsanto Corporation purchased on the ground in 2007.
The Honuliuli Internment Camp was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 21, 2012. On February 24, 2015, the Honouliuli Internment Camp site was named Honouliuli National Monument by Barack Obama’s presidential proclamation. The US National Park Service, in collaboration with the Hawai’i Japanese Cultural Center, the Pacific Historical Parks and the University of Hawai’i West O’ahu, is working to transform the monument into an operational park.