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    "url_title": "Ernest Murai",
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    "modified": "2024-04-04T21:52:13",
    "title": "Ernest Murai",
    "body": "<div class=\"mw-parser-output\">\n <div id=\"databox-PeopleDisplay\">\n  <table class=\"infobox\" width=\"200px;\">\n   <tbody>\n    <tr>\n     <th scope=\"row\" style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      Name\n     </th>\n     <td style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      Ernest Murai\n     </td>\n    </tr>\n    <tr>\n     <th scope=\"row\" style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      Born\n     </th>\n     <td style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      September 12 1900\n     </td>\n    </tr>\n    <tr>\n     <th scope=\"row\" style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      Died\n     </th>\n     <td style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      April 12 1981\n     </td>\n    </tr>\n    <tr>\n     <th scope=\"row\" style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      Birth Location\n     </th>\n     <td style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      Honolulu, HI\n     </td>\n    </tr>\n    <tr>\n     <th scope=\"row\" style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      Generational Identifier\n     </th>\n     <td style=\"text-align:left;\">\n      <p>\n       <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Nisei/\" title=\"Nisei\">\n        Nisei\n       </a>\n      </p>\n     </td>\n    </tr>\n   </tbody>\n  </table>\n </div>\n <div id=\"databox-People\" style=\"display:none;\">\n  <p>\n   FirstName:Ernest;\nLastName:Murai;\nDisplayName:Ernest Murai;\nBirthDate:1900-09-12;\nDeathDate:1981-04-12;\nBirthLocation:Honolulu, HI;\nGender:Male;\nEthnicity:JA;\nGenerationIdentifier:Nisei;\nNationality:US;\nExternalResourceLink:;\nPrimaryGeography:;\nReligion:;\n  </p>\n </div>\n <p>\n  Dr. Ernest Murai (1900-1981) was a Honolulu dentist who was one of the founders of the modern Democratic Party in the Islands. Later, he was the U.S. Customs Director for Hawai'i.\n </p>\n <div aria-labelledby=\"mw-toc-heading\" class=\"toc\" id=\"toc\" role=\"navigation\">\n  <input class=\"toctogglecheckbox\" id=\"toctogglecheckbox\" role=\"button\" style=\"display:none\" type=\"checkbox\"/>\n  <div class=\"toctitle\" dir=\"ltr\" lang=\"en\">\n   <h2 id=\"mw-toc-heading\">\n    Contents\n   </h2>\n   <span class=\"toctogglespan\">\n    <label class=\"toctogglelabel\" for=\"toctogglecheckbox\">\n    </label>\n   </span>\n  </div>\n  <ul>\n   <li class=\"toclevel-1 tocsection-1\">\n    <a class=\"\" href=\"#Background\">\n     <span class=\"tocnumber\">\n      1\n     </span>\n     <span class=\"toctext\">\n      Background\n     </span>\n    </a>\n   </li>\n   <li class=\"toclevel-1 tocsection-2\">\n    <a class=\"\" href=\"#The_Emergency_Service_Committee_and_World_War_II_Activities\">\n     <span class=\"tocnumber\">\n      2\n     </span>\n     <span class=\"toctext\">\n      The Emergency Service Committee and World War II Activities\n     </span>\n    </a>\n   </li>\n   <li class=\"toclevel-1 tocsection-3\">\n    <a class=\"\" href=\"#Political_Activism\">\n     <span class=\"tocnumber\">\n      3\n     </span>\n     <span class=\"toctext\">\n      Political Activism\n     </span>\n    </a>\n   </li>\n   <li class=\"toclevel-1 tocsection-4\">\n    <a class=\"\" href=\"#U.S._Customs_Position\">\n     <span class=\"tocnumber\">\n      4\n     </span>\n     <span class=\"toctext\">\n      U.S. Customs Position\n     </span>\n    </a>\n   </li>\n   <li class=\"toclevel-1 tocsection-5\">\n    <a class=\"\" href=\"#For_More_Information\">\n     <span class=\"tocnumber\">\n      5\n     </span>\n     <span class=\"toctext\">\n      For More Information\n     </span>\n    </a>\n   </li>\n   <li class=\"toclevel-1 tocsection-6\">\n    <a class=\"\" href=\"#Footnotes\">\n     <span class=\"tocnumber\">\n      6\n     </span>\n     <span class=\"toctext\">\n      Footnotes\n     </span>\n    </a>\n   </li>\n  </ul>\n </div>\n <div class=\"section\" id=\"Background\">\n  <h2>\n   <span class=\"mw-headline\" id=\"Background\">\n    Background\n   </span>\n  </h2>\n  <div class=\"section_content\">\n   <p>\n    Murai was born in Kalihi on September 12, 1900, to immigrant contract sugar workers from Hiroshima. Murai's parents sent him to Oakland, California, when he was sixteen to live with relatives while attending school. Murai graduated from Oakland High School in 1921 and then he earned a dentistry degree at the University of California, Berkeley. After graduating in 1926, he returned to Hawai'i where he opened a dental practice in Pālama where most of his patients were Japanese Americans. While operating his practice, Murai volunteered with several community organizations, earning the trust of Japanese and non-Japanese in the community. The relationships that he created during this period would be critical to his activities during and after World War II.\n   </p>\n  </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"section\" id=\"The_Emergency_Service_Committee_and_World_War_II_Activities\">\n  <h2>\n   <span class=\"mw-headline\" id=\"The_Emergency_Service_Committee_and_World_War_II_Activities\">\n    The Emergency Service Committee and World War II Activities\n   </span>\n  </h2>\n  <div class=\"section_content\">\n   <p>\n    Under\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Martial_law_in_Hawaii/\" title=\"Martial law in Hawaii\">\n     martial law\n    </a>\n    in Hawai'i during World War II, the Japanese in the Islands faced legal, social, and economic discrimination by the military and the constant questioning of their loyalty. The Japanese responded to the war with extensive efforts to mobilize their community in Hawai'i. Under the Morale Section, various organizations were formed within different ethnic communities, such as the\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Emergency_Service_Committee/\" title=\"Emergency Service Committee\">\n     Emergency Service Committee\n    </a>\n    . Murai was one of the founding members of the Emergency Service Committee and the purpose of this organization was to \"channel the inherent loyalty of the people of Japanese ancestry into a program of active participation in the war effort\" and to counter the \"insecurity and fear\" they felt after the Pearl Harbor attack.\n    <sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref1_1-0\">\n     <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref1-1\">\n      [1]\n     </a>\n    </sup>\n    Members of this group worked as liaisons with the military on matters affecting the Japanese community and assured the military of the complete loyalty of the Japanese population.\n    <sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref2_2-0\">\n     <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref2-2\">\n      [2]\n     </a>\n    </sup>\n    They disseminated information at 209 meetings, contacting approximately 10,000 individuals from February through December 1942, relieving community anxieties during a period when authorities had suspended Japanese radio broadcasts and newspapers.\n    <sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref3_3-0\">\n     <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref3-3\">\n      [3]\n     </a>\n    </sup>\n   </p>\n   <p>\n    The Emergency Service Committee also spearheaded various efforts in the Japanese community to prove the loyalty of its members. They secured their leadership role within the Japanese community by dissolving Japanese societies and institutions, such as language schools and Shintō shrines that were traditionally considered as sources of nationalistic sentiment.\n    <sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref4_4-0\">\n     <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref4-4\">\n      [4]\n     </a>\n    </sup>\n    Authorities had interned many of the priests and language teachers immediately following the attack, and they were thus were helpless to prevent the dissolution of their organizations. Members also confiscated $2.4 million dollars in frozen bank assets from three leading Japanese banks in the territory, and the money was converted into war bond purchases.\n    <sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref5_5-0\">\n     <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref5-5\">\n      [5]\n     </a>\n    </sup>\n    Through letters and personal phone calls, they collected $147,408.75 that was invested in war bonds. In June 1943, members raised over $10,000 for the \"Bombs on Tokyo Campaign.\"\n    <sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref6_6-0\">\n     <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref6-6\">\n      [6]\n     </a>\n    </sup>\n    This concerted effort to control of the finances of the Japanese community was designed to limit possible popular uprisings by eliminating sources of funding and impoverishing traditional leaders. While the Office of the Military Governor supported these actions, it was the\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Nisei/\" title=\"Nisei\">\n     Nisei\n    </a>\n    like Murai who implemented these policies and challenged any sort of alternative discourse on the war through self-censorship of the community.\n   </p>\n  </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"section\" id=\"Political_Activism\">\n  <h2>\n   <span class=\"mw-headline\" id=\"Political_Activism\">\n    Political Activism\n   </span>\n  </h2>\n  <div class=\"section_content\">\n   <p>\n    Due to his work with the Emergency Service Committee, Murai also developed close ties with police captain\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/John_Burns/\" title=\"John Burns\">\n     John Burns\n    </a>\n    who was active in the\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Police_Contact_Group_(Honolulu)/\" title=\"Police Contact Group (Honolulu)\">\n     Police Contact Group\n    </a>\n    . Burns introduced Murai to individuals with strong political and community ties including labor leader Jack Kawano, Mitsuyuki Kido, and Honolulu Councilman Chuck Mau. During and after the war, they discussed ways to change Hawai'i's political and economic climate and became committed to overthrowing the Republican dominated white oligarchy. Burns and his team began recruiting Nisei veterans in the postwar period to become members of the Democratic party. They also started identifying and grooming political candidates including\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Daniel_Inouye/\" title=\"Daniel Inouye\">\n     Daniel Inouye\n    </a>\n    ,\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Sakae_Takahashi/\" title=\"Sakae Takahashi\">\n     Sakae Takahashi\n    </a>\n    , and\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Spark_Matsunaga/\" title=\"Spark Matsunaga\">\n     Spark Matsunaga\n    </a>\n    . Murai helped to organize Democratic rallies and Kawano recruited new Democrats among union members. Together, these men were instrumental in the\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Revolution_of_1954/\" title=\"Revolution of 1954\">\n     Revolution of 1954\n    </a>\n    that marked the ascension of the Democratic party in Hawai'i and the rise of Nisei politicians. According to Murai, \"I had a strong feeling that we would be victorious, but this is more than I ever imagined.\"\n    <sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref7_7-0\">\n     <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref7-7\">\n      [7]\n     </a>\n    </sup>\n    Following the rise of the Democrats, Murai and his colleagues focused their attention on winning\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Hawai%27i_statehood/\" title=\"Hawai'i statehood\">\n     Hawai'i statehood\n    </a>\n    and for six years, Murai attended the Democratic national conventions in the Mainland, lobbying for statehood until Hawai'i became the 50th state in 1959.\n   </p>\n  </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"section\" id=\"U.S._Customs_Position\">\n  <h2>\n   <span class=\"mw-headline\" id=\"U.S._Customs_Position\">\n    U.S. Customs Position\n   </span>\n  </h2>\n  <div class=\"section_content\">\n   <p>\n    In 1962, President John F. Kennedy appointed Murai the director of the Honolulu Customs Office where he worked for the next twelve years before retiring. In 1975, the government of Japan awarded Murai the Third Order of the Rising Sun for his community activism, his contributions to the Japanese American community in the Islands, and his work as the director of the U.S. Customs office. Murai was a past president of the Oahu Dental Society, a director of the Hawaii Chapter of the National Society for Crippled Children, a member of the Honolulu Lions Club, and a director of the Red Cross. On April 13, 1981, Murai passed away and was survived by his wife Hazel; two daughters, Jeanette M. DeMello and Lorraine Mortimer; two sisters, Shizuko Ohta and Mabel Kimata; and three grandchildren.\n   </p>\n   <div id=\"authorByline\">\n    <b>\n     Authored by\n     <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Kelli_Y._Nakamura/\" title=\"Kelli Y. Nakamura\">\n      Kelli Y. Nakamura\n     </a>\n     , University of Hawai'i\n    </b>\n   </div>\n   <div id=\"citationAuthor\" style=\"display:none;\">\n    Nakamura, Kelli\n   </div>\n  </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"section\" id=\"For_More_Information\">\n  <h2>\n   <span class=\"mw-headline\" id=\"For_More_Information\">\n    For More Information\n   </span>\n  </h2>\n  <div class=\"section_content\">\n   <p>\n    Murai, Ernest. \"Interviews with Ernest Murai.\" John A. Burns Oral History Project. Phase I. Honolulu: n.p., 1975.\n   </p>\n  </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"section\" id=\"Footnotes\">\n  <h2>\n   <span class=\"mw-headline\" id=\"Footnotes\">\n    Footnotes\n   </span>\n  </h2>\n  <div class=\"section_content\">\n   <div class=\"reflist\" style=\"list-style-type: decimal;\">\n    <div class=\"mw-references-wrap\">\n     <ol class=\"references\">\n      <li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref1-1\">\n       <span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\">\n        <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref1_1-0\">\n         ↑\n        </a>\n       </span>\n       <span class=\"reference-text\">\n        Hawaii, Office of the Military Governor, Morale Section, Emergency Service Committee, Final Report of the Emergency Service Committee (Honolulu: n.p., 1946), 1; Hawaii, Office of the Military Governor, Morale Section, Emergency Service Committee,\n        <i>\n         Report of the Emergency Service Committee\n        </i>\n        (Honolulu: n.p., 1945), 1.\n       </span>\n      </li>\n      <li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref2-2\">\n       <span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\">\n        <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref2_2-0\">\n         ↑\n        </a>\n       </span>\n       <span class=\"reference-text\">\n        Members of this organization included Y. Baron Goto, Masa Katagiri, Mitsuyuki Kido, Dr. Katsumi Kometani,\n        <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Masaji_Marumoto/\" title=\"Masaji Marumoto\">\n         Masaji Marumoto\n        </a>\n        , and Dr. Ernest Murai, with\n        <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Shigeo_Yoshida/\" title=\"Shigeo Yoshida\">\n         Shigeo Yoshida\n        </a>\n        , Hung Wai Ching and Charles Loomis serving as ex-officio members. Later appointees included Ernest Furukawa, Tadashi Haga, Shigeru Hirotsu, Robert Ishikawa, Dr. Masao Kanemaru, Dr. Robert Komenaka, Yoshito Matsusaka, Walter Mihata, Katsuro Miho, Shigeo Mikami, Iwao Miyake, Stanley Miyamoto, Robert Murakami, Shizuo Onishi, Kaji Suzuki, and Masao Watanabe. Dorothy Ochiai Hazama and Jane Okamoto Komeiji,\n        <i>\n         Okage Same De: The Japanese in Hawaii 1885-1985\n        </i>\n        (Honolulu: Bess Press, 1986), 147.\n       </span>\n      </li>\n      <li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref3-3\">\n       <span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\">\n        <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref3_3-0\">\n         ↑\n        </a>\n       </span>\n       <span class=\"reference-text\">\n        For a list of speeches and topics discussed in Emergency Service Committee's sponsored forums, consult\n        <i>\n         Report of Second Oahu Conference of Americans of Japanese Ancestry, January 28, 1945\n        </i>\n        (Honolulu: n.p., 1945).\n       </span>\n      </li>\n      <li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref4-4\">\n       <span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\">\n        <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref4_4-0\">\n         ↑\n        </a>\n       </span>\n       <span class=\"reference-text\">\n        Hawaii, Office of the Military Governor, Morale Section, Emergency Service Committee,\n        <i>\n         Final Report of the Emergency Service Committee\n        </i>\n        (Honolulu: n.p., 1946), 17.\n       </span>\n      </li>\n      <li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref5-5\">\n       <span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\">\n        <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref5_5-0\">\n         ↑\n        </a>\n       </span>\n       <span class=\"reference-text\">\n        Members confiscated $897,175 from the Pacific Bank, $785,725.29 from the Sumitomo Bank, and $722,000 from the Yokohama Specie Bank. Hawaii, Office of the Military Governor, Morale Section,\n        <i>\n         Emergency Service Committee, Final Report of the Emergency Service Committee\n        </i>\n        (Honolulu: n.p., 1946), 19.\n       </span>\n      </li>\n      <li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref6-6\">\n       <span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\">\n        <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref6_6-0\">\n         ↑\n        </a>\n       </span>\n       <span class=\"reference-text\">\n        <i>\n         Final Report of the Emergency Service Committee\n        </i>\n        , 22.\n       </span>\n      </li>\n      <li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref7-7\">\n       <span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\">\n        <a class=\"\" href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref7_7-0\">\n         ↑\n        </a>\n       </span>\n       <span class=\"reference-text\">\n        Kei Suzuki, \"Ernest Murai,\"\n        <i>\n         Hawai‘i Herald\n        </i>\n        , September 2, 2011, 18.\n       </span>\n      </li>\n     </ol>\n    </div>\n   </div>\n   <!-- \nNewPP limit report\nCached time: 20240418160753\nCache expiry: 86400\nDynamic content: false\nComplications: []\nCPU time usage: 0.018 seconds\nReal time usage: 0.025 seconds\nPreprocessor visited node count: 246/1000000\nPost‐expand include size: 2103/2097152 bytes\nTemplate argument size: 277/2097152 bytes\nHighest expansion depth: 6/40\nExpensive parser function count: 0/100\nUnstrip recursion depth: 0/20\nUnstrip post‐expand size: 3686/5000000 bytes\nExtLoops count: 0\n-->\n   <!--\nTransclusion expansion time report (%,ms,calls,template)\n100.00%   17.933      1 -total\n 38.96%    6.987      1 Template:Databox-People\n 18.41%    3.301      1 Template:Reflist\n  8.25%    1.480      1 Template:Published\n  8.05%    1.444      1 Template:AuthorByline\n-->\n   <!-- Saved in parser cache with key encycmw:pcache:idhash:3608-0!canonical and timestamp 20240418160753 and revision id 36130\n -->\n  </div>\n </div>\n</div>\n<div class=\"toplink\">\n <a href=\"#top\">\n  <i class=\"icon-chevron-up\">\n  </i>\n  Top\n </a>\n</div>",
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