Haiku Camp, Maui (detention facility)


US Gov Name Haiku Camp
Facility Type
Location Haiku, Maui ( lat, lng)
Date Opened
Date Closed
Population Description Held people of Japanese ancestry, citizens and non-citizens.
General Description
Peak Population

Besides Wailuku County Jail, authorities incarcerated Maui residents at Haiku Camp in tents and temporary structures for a period of time following the Pearl Harbor attack. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)'s custodial detention list of December 4, 1941, listed fifty-eight Maui residents to be arrested in the event of war.[1] An FBI memo dated March 30, 1942 indicates that 34 aliens and eight citizens were still interned on Maui as of March 26.

Although the exact location and number of inmates is unknown, Kenneth Okano, who knew about the camp as a child, recalled that it was located on an athletic field about 250 feet toward the ocean of the old Haiku Pineapple Company cannery that was sold to the Hawaiian Plantation company during the war.[2] During the war, the former bachelors' residence used by cannery workers became an officers' club. Maui resident David Lindsay also remembered the general location of the Haiku Camp as the existing Horizon's Academy building located at 740 Haiku Road that may have been part of the Old Haiku Pineapple Company.[3] During the war, Swedish Vice-Council G.W. Olson reported on September 23, 1943 that Haiku Camp was "the best of all the internment camps in the territory" noting that as it was a "most delightful place . . . I would have stayed there than return to the hotel in Wailuku."[4] At the time of Olson's visit on September 8, 1943, there were only four internees, only one of whom was a Japanese citizen.

The current area that the camp was likely located in is now a residential area that has no trace of its use as an incarceration site during World War II. The Horizon's Academy building that was the officers' club has been extensively remodeled although the general structure appears to be original. Further research is needed on this and other Maui incarceration sites to determine its exact use, prisoner population, and duration of operation.

Authored by Kelli Y. Nakamura, University of Hawai'i

For More Information

Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians. Personal Justice Denied: Report of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1997.

National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. Honouliuli Gulch and Associated Sites: Draft Special Resource Study and Environmental Assessment, May 2014. Washington D.C.: U.S. Department of the Interior, 2014.

Footnotes

  1. Jeffrey F. Burton and Mary M. Farrell, World War II Japanese American Internment Sites in Hawai'i (Tucson, Arizona: n.p., 2007), 37.
  2. Burton, 39.
  3. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Honouliuli Gulch and Associated Sites: Draft Special Resource Study and Environmental Assessment, May 2014 (Washington D.C.: U.S. Department of the Interior, 2014), 38.
  4. "Honouliuli, Haiku, Kalaheo Report," Japanese Internment and Relocation: The Hawaii Experience, University of Hawai'i, Hamilton Library, Special Collections, Item 249.