Pagan Island in the Distance...

This website holds an English translation of a collection of personal memoirs about Japanese era life on Pagan Island in the Northern Mariana Islands (NMI). The source of these memoirs is a Japanese website by Okamoto Mariko called, “Harukanaru Pagantô yo…" 「遙かなるパガン島よ…」 <>  [Pagan Island in the Distance…].

Mariko is the daughter-in-law of Okamoto Eiko who moved to Pagan with her parents in the 1930s. Her parents worked there as schoolteachers during the time of the Japanese colonial administration of the region. “Harukanaru” hosts a collection of memoirs written by Japanese civilians like her mother-in-law, along with memoirs by former military personnel.

The stories in this e-book provide vivid details about what it was like to live during the Japanese colonial period and the Second World War on Pagan Island. It is the hope of the Okamotos and those who collaborated to produce this English translation that this website might contribute to public knowledge of the history of Pagan and the Northern Mariana Islands, and might promote appreciation and understanding of postwar Japanese memories of empire and war in the region.