Hello again from beautiful Hawaii, where my son and I are continuing our adventure. We’ve eaten Hawaiian shave ice, visited a tree that everyone in Japan knows and loves (it’s been used in Hitachi commercials since 1973), and everything has been great. Today we’re stargazing atop Mauna Kea, the 4200 meter/13,000 feet high mountain where you can find some of the world’s largest telescopes. I’m actually writing this update on the mountain while I wait for the stars to come out, making this an even more random J-List update than the one I wrote entirely while standing in line at Disney World in Florida.
Since my son is of both Japan and the U.S., I’ve always made a point of bringing him to those special places that have defined the history of our two countries, such as Arlington National Cemetery, Hiroshima, and the U.S.S. Intrepid museum in New York. So I naturally made sure to plan a trip to Pearl Harbor to visit the U.S.S. Arizona memorial and show him this area of history. It was a very solemn experience, and the U.S. park service has done an outstanding job educating visitors about the history of the attack, including what happened in the months leading up to it.
There are two other vessels sleeping in the sea off the coast of Oahu: the Japanese submarines i-400 and i-401, the world’s first and only submersible aircraft carriers. They were oversized subs with long central cores in which three bombers were squeezed with their wings folded up, which could be launched by catapult. The submarines were conceived as a way to attack the U.S. in unexpected places like New York harbor, though as the war went on and construction of the massive subs lagged, the mission changed, eventually with the ships to be used against the Panama Canal. As the end of the war drew near, they were diverted again, ordered to make a 特攻 tokkou or “special attack,” as suicide attacks are known in Japanese, against America’s carriers. As the ships prepared to attack, the news came over the wireless of Japan’s surrender, making i-400 and i-401 the best weapons of war ever, ones that never fired a shot at an enemy. They were taken by the U.S. navy, studied, and sunk off Hawaii to avoid the Soviets from learning about the technology $125 or more, and get $25 back…or order $60 or more and get $10 back, if you can’t find enough cool stuff for the bigger discount. The money will be issued to you as a store credit which can be used at any time on either jlist.com or jbox.com sites, and it will carry over to the new site when we launch later this month. Let’s shopping at J-List!