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Special Pearl Harbor exhibit coming to The Wharf

By Staff | Nov 30, 2017

History buffs can look forward to this weekend, when the “Hawaii at War” special exhibit opens at The Wharf Cinema Center in Lahaina.

Marking the 76th memorial observance of the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, this interactive exhibit tells the story of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that precipitated America’s entry into WWII.

Free and open to the public, the exhibit will be on display from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Dec. 2-10 on the first level of the center located across from Banyan Tree Park.

According to Chief Curator Bryant Neal of The Story of Hawaii Museum, “The story is presented in a fresh and timely manner using vintage maps, documents, ephemera and artifacts from Japan and America.” The primary materials date from the 1930s and 1940s.

The exhibit will debut “Yokaren,” rare Japanese film footage showing early Army and Navy pilot training and preparation for Kamikaze missions and attacks. There were 241,683 boys who were called Yokaren (pilots) by the end of the war.

A short trailer can be viewed at https://youtu.be/hgED9UiGItQ.

Bryant asked Rinko Jeffers, a volunteer at Maui Friends of the Library, to translate the film.

“Those films were made by Japanese people for Japanese audience,” Jeffers said of “Yokaren” and its emotionally charged content to promote the military.

“Citizens already heard the first news about the successful attack on Pearl Harbor with great emotion… You will see the actual bravery of our special combat forces as shown in this actual film footage,” the narrator states in “Yokaren,” as warplanes take off from carriers.

“All men must fight to the death.”

Jeffers, who Bryant called a “godsend,” has done film and TV translations for over 400 films, all the way back from the original “Godzilla” movie in 1954 to “The Shawshank Redemption” in 1994.

Take advantage of the opportunity to see this timely, museum-quality exhibit.