Tuesday, May 7, 2013


War is a very complicated experience.

It's not always black and white; good guys versus bad guys.

Take the two Japanese Catholic priests sent to Guam during the Japanese occupation.

One of them, Monsignor Dominic Fukahori, spent just a short time on Guam.  The other, Father Petero Komatsu, spent more time on Guam and got to know some people, like Carmen, interviewed in the video clip above.

Father Komatsu had also spent time in Saipan before the war.

As Carmen explains, Father Komatsu was a pleasant and friendly man.  She did not recall him preaching Japanese propaganda.

Another Chamorro family I know also remembers him as a mild-mannered, friendly man who said very little about politics or war.

While it is certain that Father Dueñas voiced his objections to the presence of Japanese priests who had no authority from the Vatican to be on Guam; and while it is certain that some Chamorros had their suspicions about them and kept some distance, it is also clear that some Chamorros found Father Komatsu a harmless and friendly priest who was able to say Mass for them at times and hear their confessions.

In civilian attire when he was detained by the Americans after the liberation

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