Thoughts about Ifiri Sapan by Peter Black
Tobi and World War II
- Two papers by Peter Black discuss the Tobians' conversion to Roman Catholicism during the 1930s: The Domestication of Catholicism on Tobi (Pacific Studies, Vol. 17, No. 1, March 1994, pp. 1-28, and The Apotheosis of Father Marino: Foundations of Tobian Catholicism (in Culture and Christianity: the Dialectics of Transformation, George R. Saunders, ed. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1988, pp. 47-72). (A version of this paper was previously published as The Teachings of Father Marino: Christianity on Tobi Atoll (In Mission, Church, and Sect In Oceania, James A. Boutilier, Daniel T. Hughes, and Sharon W. Tiffany, eds. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1978. Pp. 307-354.)) The Domestication paper is a fuller account because it contains material in addition to the oral history on which the first paper is based. The priest who converted most Tobians was Father Elias and not Father Marino.
- More about Father Marino and Father Elias: In 2000 a U.S. Army team from the Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii searched for ten days for the burial place of American airmen, Jesuit missionaries, and a family who was murdered in Ngatpang State in September 1944 by the Japanese military police. See article in Tia Belau, October 21-27, 2000, pp. 1, 11.
- Read this account about Tobi taken from A Cruise Through Tobi and Sonsorol by Shigeru Motoda. Kagaku Nanyo, Vol. 2, No. 2, 1939. Pp. 44-62. In Japanese, translator unknown. With illustrations and water colors.
- Paul Jacoulet, an artist working in the 1920s, created the Tokobueï Sculptor. [Le Sculpteur de Tokobueï, Mere du Sud . . .]
Does anyone have any idea who this man is?
- An 1945 excerpt on the Southwest Islands from the United Kingdom's Geographical Handbook Series: Naval Intelligence Division. 1945 Pacific Islands. Vol. IV. Western Pacific (New Guinea and Islands Northward). B.R. 519 C. Geographical Handbook Series. U.K.
- Kotondo Hasebe. 1928 The Tattooing of the Western Micronesians. Jinruigaku Zaashi (Journal of the Anthropological Society of Tokyo) 43(3):120-152. Good illustrations of Tobi and other (including Fais) tattoos. Connects Tobi tattoos to religious beliefs. In Japanese.
- In 2009, Maki Mita published Palauan Children under Japanese Rule: Their Oral Histories. Her work included interviews with Sato Remoket, Barbara Telams, Lawrence Ierago Sr., and Patris Tahemaremaho in which Tobi Island, Hatohobei, or the Southwest Islands were mentioned.
Sato Remoket told of a beating he and others received from a Japanese soldier and remembered hearing that the official responsible for it was sent to Tobi Island. Barbara Telams was banished with her family to the Southwest Islands and remembered that on Tobi, taro and giant taro were cultivated. Lawrence Ierago talked of how the Southwest Islanders differed from the Japanese. Patris Tahemaremaho remembered Tobi in the 1930s and during World War II. Peter Black noted that many Tobians told him that the British attacked Tobi soon after Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941. More exactly, in 1968 Tobians claimed an unexploded bomb on Tobi's southern reef edge was dropped by a plane, probably from New Guinea, shortly after Pearl Harbor was attacked.
Updated: June 14, 2010