Thursday, January 16, 2014


People often don't realize what a "happening place" Saipan was before World War II.  Thanks to the Japanese, business was in full swing in that island, dominated by the sugar industry.  The island population swelled in the 1930s as Japanese, Okinawan and Korean laborers and civil workers came to farm sugar, open stores and man the government offices.  The pre-war population of Saipan exceeded that of Guam, thanks to the huge numbers of transplants from Japan.

Japanese merchant ships traveled from Japan to Saipan, often making stops on Guam until the political climate chilled as war drew near.  Not only was trade necessary, people also traveled by ship between Guam and Saipan.

From a passenger list on the Japanese schooner, the Chomei Maru, in 1936 we get an idea.  It carried 140 tons of freight and 9 bags of mail.  On board traveling to Guam from Saipan were :

CHAMORROS, some of whom had relatives in Saipan, probably returning from a family visit and some who went on holiday; as well as Saipan Chamorros doing the same on Guam :

Adas.  Jose T and Maria T Ada, as well as Lydia, Delia, Elvira, Luise.

Ataos.  Natividad SN, Pedro SN, Carmen SN and Isabel SN Atao.

Ana C. Blas
Ismael T. Calvo
Concepcion M. Camacho
Pedro L. and Joaquina M. Cepeda
Jose P. and Francisca T. De Leon
Jose C., Constancia C. and Felicita C. Dungca
Alejo C., Ana C. and the future Archbishop Felixberto C. Flores
Francisco B., Lagrimas P. and Maria P. Leon Guerrero
Ignacio Q. and Isabel C. Sanchez
Ana M., Guadalupe M. and Jose M. Reyes
Maria LG and Miguel LG Salas
Ana D. San Nicolas
Joaquin and Constancia Camacho
Federico M. Lizama
Jose P., Maria SN and Luise P.Wilson
Gertrudes de la Concepcion


Ambrosio T. Shimizu
Dolores SN Takano


T. Shinohara, married to a Chamorro
S. Sudo, married to a Chamorro
and others with no Chamorro connections

ON THE WAY BACK TO SAIPAN we see more Chamorros living on Saipan returning there after a visit to Guam, to see relatives or perhaps to do some business or enjoy a change of scenery :

Agultos.  They were originally from Sumay and moved to Saipan.

Ylanos.  Also spelled Ilano.

Palacios, Blanco, Bermudes, Concepcion, Evangelista, Toves, Quitano, Santos and de Leon Guerrero....all of whom had relations on Guam.

And some Guam Chamorros going up to Saipan for a visit: Emiliana F. and Juan F. Perez, Tomasa A. and John A. Perez.


  1. I would be quite interested in where you obtained this rare passenger list for the Chomei Maru. Are there others available for the period from 1935 to 1940?

    1. The Guam Recorder regularly published passenger lists in and out of Guam in the 1930s, possibly also (I don't have copies in front of me now) from the 1920s. Copies are available to view at Micronesia Area Research Center at the Univ of Guam