Chito Isonaga
A Different View

Reflections and Observations

Had her life not been disrupted by World War II, Chito would have worked in real estate. She remembers a time when the luxury resort area of Poipu, Kauai, was selling for ten cents a square foot.

In retrospect, her government work offered Chito opportunities for service to the United States, travel, meeting people, and helping family and friends. She has fulfilled her goals.

Looking Back

[If World War II had not happened,] most likely I would have liked to do real estate. At that early time, Poipu was opening up [to housing and resort development]. I look back now and think, maybe I’ll ask Herbert to help me take the [real estate licensing] examination and get into real estate. Because it was at a time when land in Poipu was ten cents a square foot.

When I was working, my brother next to me, who is a jeweler on Kauai, he told all of his friends. He encouraged them to buy land down in Poipu and he never told me. But I could have gotten land at the time they were selling for ten cents a square foot.


I think I got more out of joining the WACs than the government got out of me. (Laughs) When I worked in Washington, D.C., every other year I came home and then every other year I traveled in Europe and all over, so I got a lot. Practically all of Europe, I was able to travel.

Even after I retired, I used to take long trips and then cruise trips. And I met lot of nice people, too.

[I became a WAC] mainly [because I thought] I had something to offer for the United States. I had more knowledge of Japanese than the people that stayed home because I had six years in Japan. [I also thought I could be of some help to my family and classmates in Japan.]

Chito Isonaga. WAC photo.
Chito Isonaga. WAC photo.

I think [I fulfilled my goals].

Chito Isonaga's interview courtesy of the Center for Oral History. Photographs courtesy of Chito Isonaga.

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