Sunday, December 30, 2007

Farewell 2007, Hello 2008

We at IL Magazine often ask ourselves how far we have gone in reaching out to the readers on island and elsewhere? Did we somehow make a dent with the changes we have made? Did we accomplish the goals we set out to do this year? Did we satisfy the readers and our advertisers?

Answers to our questions would arrive by e-mail and word of mouth. We run into people who told us "the magazine is very interesting!" and "it is worth keeping!" and "it doesn't look FREE !" and other praises we never expected. We would like to thank them for letting us know that we have made a dent in our little ways. We have produced a magazine worth their time and effort.

From the day our new editor assumed her responsibilities in March this year, we set out to do goals which include among other things making a magazine that's worth our readers' time. We give out copies of IL Magazine for free but it does not necessarily follow that the magazine should shortchange the readers who deserve to get interesting articles.

The Management of Elite Printing saw the magazine as a tool to reach out to the community and discharge its social responsibility. Elite Printing managed to last 20 years in the business and stay in business despite the economic downturn—thanks to the community that has been supporting us all these years. And IL Magazine is Elite Printing's way of giving back to the community that supported us. Through IL Magazine, Elite Printing is helping provide an educational material that our young generation on island can learn from. The magazine is trying to provide our readers with articles that emphasize the importance of tolerance and appreciation of cultures, unity in diversity, and appreciation of the the islanders' forefathers.

The year 2007 would be remembered as the rebirth of a magazine that was known for providing directions to people looking for places to buy or sell stuff, or household tips or just finding or "locating" just about anything. In April, Elite Printing gave its full backing to the magazine's change in direction—towards becoming a cultural and lifestyle magazine. In so doing, logo had to be changed. Elite Printing's Art Director Rommell Buenaflor and the magazine's new editor designed a logo reflective of the islands' past. The logo highlighted the initials "I" and "L" and made into brush strokes with the full name written in small fonts below the initials.

That bold move was followed by changing the page layout and the contents. And the rest was history.

When we came out in April with the new IL Magazine, everyone thought it was a new magazine—but it isn't. It's an old magazine garbed in new "outfit". And with suggestions from our friends and readers, the other changes soon followed.

From the 28-page April issue, IL Magazine soon became 40-page magazine containing various articles and other engaging stuff for the readers.

And we could not also have done the changes if not for our advertisers who supported us all these years. We are always grateful for their support. Without them, our readers wont be getting their free copies of the IL Magazine.

As we reckon the months that passed us by, we at IL Magazine would like to offer a toast to Elite Printing Management, advertisers, readers and friends for making IL Magazine truly worth reading and worth keeping.

Come 2008, we promise our readers that they'll be getting more surprises from us.

To our readers both on-island and overseas, let us know what you think of our magazine. If you wish to contribute an article, send an email to and we'll see if we can accommodate the article for the forthcoming issue.

For those living overseas, you can send us a text message too by logging on to
and use their free text feature and send text to 670.285.8880. Dont forget to include in the message your contact details and full name.

Friends, 2008 is just around the corner. Let us all welcome it with joy and optimism.

Happy New Year to all!

Friday, December 21, 2007

A Holiday Angus Recipe from ARC

Pursuit of 'Happiness'

Gift Ideas for our pets

Bahia grass

Howland Island — Enigma of the Central Pacific

Cover Story: Hideo Honda

Happy Holidays!

Another month went by a like a blur and another year is about to end. Just as we start hearing the Christmas carols being played on the radio, we knew that the songs herald the holiday season and remind us that a new year is fast approaching.

The holiday bazaar and the artists’ holiday sale officially kicked off the holiday season on island. Interesting gift items were put on display for sale and residents were able to get interesting items. No matter how expensive or how affordable the gifts may be, still nothing compensates for the joy these gifts may bring to loved ones.

Talking about the holiday season, the island’s holiday celebration culminates in a grand feast as we serve the best of our homemade cooking. Aqua Resort Club’s executive chef Hubert Friedle shares with our readers an Angus beef recipe that can be served on Christmas day or any other special occasion.

Those who opt to just dine out on special occasions or on any other ordinary day, IL Magazine recommends that they try sampling the authentic Chinese cuisine at Happiness Chinese Restaurant in Garapan.

For this month’s special feature of IL Magazine, we bring you one of the busiest photographers: Hideo Honda. Hideo, who had previously been to the island before he located in 2004, has chosen to live on Saipan and call it his second home. With a pristine environment, Saipan offers Hideo an environment conducive to the prodigious display of his artistry and professionalism. Despite the slowing down of the economy on island, Hideo is looking at staying on Saipan where he believes he can fully reach the potential of his chosen profession.

Our sincerest gratitude goes to Aqua Resort Club’s Yoshimi Yanagisawa for helping translate for us our interview with Honda-san.

IL Magazine also continues its feature of the Humanities Council’s history institute. The third part of the series discusses the lecture given by Humanities Council’s assistant executive director and program officer Scott Russell who talked about the Japanese administration of the islands. Tun Juan Blanco also joined Scott Russell to give a rare oral witness account to the Nanyo Cho Period.

A mainland writer and publisher Doug Westfall shares with the islanders his article about Howland Island—the island where Amelia Earhart was supposed to make a short stop before heading to Hawaii to complete her world flight on July 2nd 1937.

It’s been a remarkable year for all of us. Another year is almost through and another one is waiting to begin. Let us welcome the coming year with the hope that things will get better for all of us.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Teachers Institute: Japanese Period, 1914-1944

IN the previous issue of IL Magazine, Japan allied with Britain during World War I and with Germany's defeat, acquired its possessions in the Pacific, including the Northern Mariana Islands.

Just as Britain declared war versus Germany, Dr. Spennemann said it had already been preparing to occupy German possessions in the Pacific, north of the equator, beginning with Jaluit.

Not long after, on October 14, 1914, Japan occupied Garapan on Saipan and immediately took over the administration of the islands. Some German settlers remained until they were deported on November 5, 1914.

Northern Mariana Islands Council for the Humanities assistant executive director and program officer Scott Russell, in his history lecture, talked about the background for Japan's interests in Micronesia as well as their administration of the islands from 1914-1944.

Russell provided a background for Japan's interests in Micronesia. He contends that World War II did not begin with the bombing of Pearl Harbor; however, it began with the humiliation of Japan in the 1850s that led to its desire to be on par with world powers.

Russell traced the ascent of Japan as a military power in the late nineteenth century, the nascent rivalry between Japan and United States in the Pacific that led to the former attacking Pearl Harbor in 1941.

He discussed Japan's interest in the South Seas citing strategic importance of the islands to Japan. It allied itself with the reigning naval power of the time-the British. Out of their support for Britain versus Germany during World War I, Japan was able to gain the German-held colonies in the Pacific.

Japanese-educated Tun Juan Blanco also joined Scott Russell in the lecture and provided an eyewitness account of what it was like to live on Saipan during the Japanese period. Blanco worked for the Nanyo Kohatsu Kaisha or NKK during the Nanyo-Cho Period.

Historical sources

Russell asked his audience: How we know what we know about this period?

He said archeological studies of Japanese period archeological sites revealed slabs and water cisterns. "The Japanese were literally everywhere on this island," said Russell.

These archeological studies, Russell said, tell us about something that is not in the history books like sites occupied by the workers that were not reported early on.

In doing research on the period, Russell acknowledged the need for more research into the primary source documents. He said, "The Japanese were as meticulous as the Germans were in keeping records. Japanese records for the most part remain un-translated and for the most part have not been looked at by historians."

He also said secondary accounts, on the one hand, are very much available.

Russell said oral histories like the account provided by Tun Juan Blanco is an important source.

He also said that oral histories like those of Blanco's are hard to come by these days. He said, "Unfortunately people that lived in the Japanese times, especially the early Japanese times are all gone now."

"If we have started doing oral history 30 years, we could have a lot better record of what happened from the oral point of view. As you learn about world history, you get things from oral history that you don't get from the written sources. Oral history has its strengths and written sources have their strengths. When you lose your oral history, you lose the rich perspective of history. And we are fortunate to have Mr. Blanco here today so we'll be able get that perspective," Russell said.

For a more detailed study of the Nanyo-Cho Period, Russell recommended to his audience a book titled, "Nanyo: Rise and Fall of Japanese in Micronesia" by Mark Peattie. Although 20 years old, Russell believes "that it is still the best English language source."

Background on Japan and her interest in Micronesia

According to Russell, in 1853, Japan was completely different from the Japan that we know today.

Russell said Japan was a feudal society. The Japanese were not interested in going out. It was more inward looking. There was no central government and the emperor was only a ceremonial figure. There was infighting among powerful warlords and these factions were constantly warring to gain control.

There was neither a modern army nor a navy at all, Russell said.

When the American ships pulled into Japanese ports in 1853, it created a big impact not only to Japan but also to the United States.

The forceful opening of the Japanese ports to trade sowed the seed that would sprout later into World War II.

During this interesting period in East Asia, Russell said merchants were going to the Pacific for whaling, China trade, sandal trade out of Hawaii. He said there were a lot of commercial interests by the Americans in the Pacific.

With the United States eyeing expansion in the Pacific, Commodore Matthew Perry and a naval squadron were sent to East Asia at the behest of the United States government.

When the Americans landed on the Japanese shores, one of the problems was Japanese refusal to trade and aversion to foreigners at their ports.

Russell said adding insult to injury, castaways were not treated appropriately on Japanese shores that necessitated the United States to seek for humane treatment of Caucasians washed up on the Japanese shores.

So, Russell said, the United States sent a military squadron to open up markets and harbors for commercial ships to come in. Commodore Matthew Perry who arrived there in 1853 was talking to the wrong group of people and came back the following year.

In 1854, Commodore Perry came back with his squadron of ships with more speed, more firepower and were at the cutting edge of technology then, said Russell.

Even without wind, Russell said, these ships could still sail.

Russell also said the squadron made its presence felt that the Emperor Meiji commented, "The steamships came, peaceful sleep interrupted. We were surprised only at four, it was not possible to sleep at night."

Commodore Perry, Russell said, made his demands on the Japanese and the latter realized that they were too weak to the superior firepower of the Americans. And the Japanese were forced to acquiesce to the unequal treaties as they realized they didn't have anything in their arsenal to withstand the American ships.

Russell said the British and other western forces started to smell blood in the water and also demanded concessions. The Japanese understood that they were vulnerable and gave concessions.

In the face of their vulnerability, the Japanese debated among themselves: learn western ways or keep their traditional ways. This led to a civil war with the side calling for major changes won out.

Thus, the Meiji Restoration engulfed Japan in 1868. With the emperor returned to his formal power, the shogunate was terminated and a Meiji Constitution was framed. The creation of their central government followed suit.

Learning from their past, the Japanese now turned to modernizing their Navy and their Army and they turned to the western powers. As modernizing its army and navy became inevitable, Japan looked to Prussia for its military development while for modernization of its navy, Japan looked to England.

Japan had a special relationship with the British, Russell said. And for them, he said, "Lord Nelson was god."

"From a feudal society, within 20 to 40 years, it was able to transform itself into a modern industrialized nation that was able to compete with the top European country of that time," Russell said.

Japan naval power clearly patterned itself after the British naval power as they had a special relationship with the British. "The Japanese learned all about British naval lore and this had repercussions later on," said Russell.

A powerful Japan rises

Quickly, Japan learned the ropes from its European tutors and soon it had to flex its military might in a duel with China in 1894-1895 and with Russia in 1904-1905.

The Japanese took on the Russians in 1904-1905, a war that sent the signal to the rest of the colonial powers that Japan was a world power to be reckoned with.

Although Russia had a stronger army, it was beaten by Japan in a naval battle. However, the war ended up stalemated as United States President Theodore Roosevelt stepped in and negotiated for the settlement of the conflict.

At about this time, Japan was developing as a naval power and a rivalry was developing as well-with the United States

Russell said the United States had always been seen by the Japanese Navy as its natural enemy while Russia was its natural enemy to the north from the Japanese Army's perspective.

Now a confirmed power, Japan now set its sights on the South Seas. According to Russell, if Japan wanted to become a modern nation, they needed raw materials and places to sell goods. Russell said it was looking for a sphere of influence similar to what the Western Powers had.

Russell said, "The Japanese admired the exploits of the western colonial powers and they wanted to be one-an Asian colonial power."

Japan's interest in Micronesia was rooted in the romantic view-or Nanyo Gunto-that circulated in the press about the South Seas being sort of empty-being populated by a few people-and ready for acquisition.

Russell also said Japan wanted to gain the South Seas in its desire for security.

As early as 1880s, Japanese were already trading in the region.

Russell talked about those prime movers of Japan's move toward the South Seas.

According to Russell, Meiji Period historian and economist Taguchi Ukichi visited the South Seas in 1890. For Ukichi, Russell said, ""Three thousand years have passed and our land remains Inviolate, and yet we live our unreal dream. While other nations break new soil and redeem their peoples, what of Japan? Now is the time to wake and rise!"

In clamoring for the Japanese movement to the South Seas, Ukichi was joined by Hinomoto who was the first person to espouse Japan as a maritime power. Russell said, "Hinomoto was always urging for the occupation of the South Seas territories for trade and for territory to take on excess population from Japan."

According to Russell, Hinomoto was a sailor by trade and worked on a Dutch ship in the 1890s. When civil war broke out in Japan, Russell said he chose the wrong side, lost, was imprisoned, and rehabilitated. He was made into vice admiral of the new Imperial Japanese Navy.

Russell said, Hinomoto, on his own in the 1870s, approached the Spanish government without any provision from his own government if they were interested to sell the Marianas and Palau to the Japanese. Russell said both Spain and Japanese government were not interested then so inquiries went answered.

According to Russell, Hinomoto also established the Tokyo Geographic Society which published articles about the South Seas. He also established South Seas Assembly that aimed to gather data about the South Seas and disseminate information in Japan. The assembly also promoted naval training in Micronesia and ships sailed to Micronesia to train crews. These ships allowed journalists to accompany naval expeditions to Micronesia.

As for the disenfranchised samurai, Hinomoto also set up a fund for them in Tokyo so they could earn a living.

With expeditions carrying journalists who wrote about the trips, Hinomoto caused other Japanese traders to start coming out to Micronesia in their small sailing ships to bring pots, knives, and other useful things.

Russell said there were no stores on the islands; however, trade was conducted only on Guam and all other islands in Micronesia remained isolated.

The islanders traded mainly copra, sea slugs, shells, and traders were collecting things that were only available on island.

Russell said the Japanese traders never had good relations with neither Spanish nor Germans. He said the Japanese were suspected of bringing in alcohol and guns to the local communities. Russell also said the traders were the first Japanese presence in Micronesia in the late Spanish onto German times.

Growing animosity between a more powerful Japan and US

With Japan acquiring a more respectable status among nations with its clobbering of China in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895 and its taming of Russia in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, its relations with the United States remained adversarial. Russell claimed that U.S.-Japan relations "was never good, and most of the times, openly hostile." This became evident in the first decade of the 20th century.

Russell said Japan didn't like the policies instituted by the United States and it felt humiliated by the racial policies. Russell said it was a constant source of friction for both countries.

He said Japan didn't like the terms of the Treaty of Portsmouth brokered by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. There were tensions over spheres of influence. Japan wanted to be in the Philippines and Guam in the South Seas, Russell said.

With the defeat of the Spanish armada in the Battle of Manila Bay in 1898 that resulted in the sale of the Philippines and Guam to the United States, the latter became a world power. Russell said the cartoon depicting the benevolent Uncle Sam showed pro-annexation of the PI.

At about the same time, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt sent his Great White Fleet around the world to impress press people about growing naval power of the United States. The ships made a two-year voyage around the world.

Although the voyage sent around the world was intended for goodwill, Russell said when you send modern battleships around, it was sending a strong signal. But this message, Russell said was lost on the Japanese.

Adding to the Great White Fleet's sauntering around the world to show American naval might, the United States financed the construction of the Panama Canal which made the United States a one-ocean Navy.

Russell said the Japanese didn't like this and felt threatened.

There was also another cartoon that was circulated during the Russo-Japanese War that showed an underlying racial tension among the colonial powers and the emergent power-Japan. The cartoon showed a Japanese clad in yellow kimono battling a white Russian bear surrounded by men which was prominently led by U.S. President Roosevelt in shorts.

Russell said the European powers could not accept Japan as one of them, and they saw Japan as belonging to the yellow race-an inferior race. He added that the cartoon also conveyed the message that westerners' tendency to band together.

Then came the Root Takahira Agreement that made official the recognition of the two nations of the territorial status quo. According to Russell, the said agreement recognized China's independence and territorial integrity, and the American recognition of Japan's influence in Korea and Manchuria.

This somehow doused the brewing tension between the two powers and calmed things down for the next decade up to the beginning of World War I.

World War I and Japan's Acquisition of German colonies

According to Scott Russell, World War I afforded the Japanese the opportunity to seize control of the German colonies in the South Seas.

Russell asked the audience why Japan would involve itself in a European land war?-because Japan had an alliance with Britain signed in 1902 aimed at controlling the Russians. Russell said Japan seriously took its treaty obligations.

Russell told his audience that Japan had a high regard for the British; however, the British were concerned over the mistake they had made. They were worried in the beginning about the Japanese taking advantage of the war and taking territories in the Pacific and also in China.

"They (the British) knew there was nothing much they could do in China. But they were hoping to prevent the Japanese from taking the German islands," Russell said.

On August 7th, 1914 the British were concerned about two missing German warships they thought were in Micronesia. Russell said the British didn't have warships in the area to deal with these German ships. They were concerned the German warships would go into East China Sea and harass British shipping. So, Britain asked Japan to look for them and destroy them as much as possible.

"The Japanese didn't want to ruffle feathers with the Brits in pursuing the German controlled islands. When the Brits asked Japs to look for German ships. They did so," said Russell.

On August 23rd, Japan declared war versus German and sought after the two German warships which at the time had already gone back home.

For Russell, Japan entered the war to pursue its own interests: gain territories. In Japan, Russell said, the taking of the islands had been polarizing the nation. The hardliners wanted to grab the islands and make the southern advance at no cost. The other group wanted not to antagonize the British and cautioned from taking over the islands.

However, the hardliners won out in this debate. So, a naval squadron was dispatched to take over the islands. On October 14th, Japan occupied Garapan on Saipan. With the Japanese on island, the Germans

Meanwhile, Russell said Britain appeared to be a reluctant ally to the Japanese. When the Japanese took over the islands, they became concerned and they realized they couldn't get the Japanese out of Micronesia. There was debate in London at the time over what to do with the Japanese.

Foreign Secretary Edward Grey issued his objection to it; however, First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill supported the idea of allowing the Japanese to stay in Micronesia. Russell said Churchill told Grey, "I think you are chilling indeed to these people. I can't see any halfway house between having them in and keeping them out. If they are to come in, they may as well be welcomed as comrades. You may easily give mortal offense-we are not safe yet-by a long chalk. The storm has not yet broken."

Thinking that World War I could be a protracted one, Russell said Churchill thought that England needed allies more at that time.

With the expulsion of the Germans and the withdrawal of warships, Japanese naval rule of the islands commenced. The Provisional South Seas Defense Force was set up with headquarters in Chuuk. The naval government structure was composed of five naval districts: Saipan, Palau, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Jaluit with each district headed by a naval officer.

Russell also said the Japanese, in wanting to consolidate their stake at Micronesia, scientific parties were sent to study Micronesia. As they don't know anything about the islands, the scientific studies aimed at making maps of harbors, identifying flora and fauna, and seeking all information they needed to defend the islands for their own use.

Japan sought to strike a deal with Britain over the administration of the islands. When Japan provided assistance to Britain in the Mediterranean and exacted heavy casualties on the enemies, this tipped the scales for Britain supporting Japan's taking over of the islands in the South Seas. With support from the key players and with the United States left out of the negotiations due to its neutral stance, the League of Nations allowed Japan to administer the islands under a Class C mandate-least developed area. With the Japanese administering the islands as part of its empire, the Micronesians became subjects, not citizens, of the Japanese empire.

Class C Mandate, according to Russell, is the type of mandate for small or isolated territories.

According to Russell, the Americans objected to the Japanese taking over German colonies in Micronesia. He said the United States raised protests after League of Nations ratified the mandate because it feared Japan would militarize the mandate.

Russell said although the islands were put under the administration of the Japanese, there was one major restriction to the mandate: it couldn't be fortified for military purposes. Russell said the Japanese agreed not to fortify the islands and this helped appease the United States.

Aside from not fortifying the islands, the Japanese were to submit annual reports to the League of Nations on how they administered the islands.

With Japanese power firmly entrenched in the islands, Russell said the Americans continued to keep an eye on the Japanese activities in the region. Russell showed an intelligence report dated 4 October 1922 that monitored the developments the Japanese were making on Saipan specifically the railroad construction.

Eight years after the Japanese naval structure was setup, it had to give way to a civilian government or the Nanyo Cho (South Seas Government) in 1922 as a requirement of the Mandate. Russell said, "The Nanyo was not a sovereign colony-inhabitants were not protected by the Meiji Constitution. Russell also added that from Chuuk, the headquarters of the Nanyo Cho was transferred to Koror in Palau.

The Nanyo Cho, Russell said, was headed by a colonial governor who exercised executive, judicial and legislative powers.

Russell showed photos of the Administration Building of the Nanyo Cho which was erected on the same site where the Georg Fritz built the German administration building in Garapan.

He also showed his audience some photos of early Nanyo Cho period with a small Chamorro and Carolinian population on Saipan and Rota while Tinian and the northern islands remained uninhabited.

Russell also said the economy was based on subsistence farming and fishing and land resources intact.

According to Russell, the Japanese didn't encourage immigration and early attempts were made to establish sugar firms that brought a couple of thousand of Japanese workers on island.

Unfortunately, Russell said, the sugarcane industry went bankrupt and the owners fled leaving 2,000 workers without means of support. At the time, the Mandate was looked upon as an unattractive place to do business.

When the industry hit rock bottom, along came Matsue Haruji, who would later be known on island as the "Sugar King." Matsue who had visited the islands on several occasions to explore the islands established Nanyo Kohatsu Kaisha, or more popularly known as NKK or Nanko.

Russell said Matsue was a Japanese schooled in the United States. He said he had an MA degree from LSU and went to work for a sugarcane company in Pittsburgh that was making the cubed sugar. Russell also said Matsue spent time in Taiwan and came only to Saipan in 1920. He said Matsue spent several weeks going to inaccessible areas and he also built on the railroad system that the Germans had.

Securing key support from the civilian government, Matsue put stranded workers to work and recruited more workers from Okinawa. Russell said Okinawan laborers were recruited because labor was cheap and Okinawans were used to the same tropical climate.

He also said Matsue constructed a narrow gauge railroad system to transport sugarcane from the plantation to the processing mill. Russell said the Japanese built their mill on what is now the site of Mt. Carmel Church.

Despite the efforts to engender the growth of the sugarcane industry, Russell said initial efforts were threatened by several factors: insect problems, high cost of building railroad, poor quality sugarcane, careless work, and slump in world prices of sugar.

To remedy the infestation of insects, NKK ordered for the burning of all cane fields to get rid of diseased plants. Having discovered varieties weak to infestation, Matsue introduced new insect-resistant varieties of cane. He also trained workers how to trim cane and introduced competitions among plantation teams.

Russell also said Matsue infused additional capital to complete the railroad project that went all the way to the Sugar Dock.

By 1926, Russell said NKK efforts paid off. There were sugar plantations in Kagman and Laulau aside from the previous five plantations in Chalan Kanoa.

NKK decided to expand the sugar industry to Tinian where they found a more suitable soil for sugar plantations. Russell said NKK chose Tinian because it had no local population at the time, land was more flat than Saipan and soil was better.

Russell said the NKK also tried to expand to Rota where the production output never reached the production levels on Saipan and Tinian because the soil was not suited for cane agriculture.

Aside from the sugar industry, Russell said there were also other industries like mining, fishing, and copra production.

Russell said mining was an important industry on Rota where phosphate was being mined. On Saipan, mining was minor as there was limited bauxite and manganese mining.

With economic development came the growth of indigenous population, rise of towns with modern infrastructure, rise in the standard of living, environmental degradation, and marginalization of the indigenous population.

In 1930s, Russell said the NKK relied heavily on outside labor, changing patterns of labor on the islands. According to Russell, it came to a point when there are more Japanese nationals than locals who were outnumbered 10 to 1.

In 1935, Russell said there were 20,280 Japanese nationals (Japanese, Okinawans, and Koreans) on Saipan, 3,282 Chamorros and 10 Carolinians. On Tinian there were 14,208 Japanese nationals versus 25 locals. On Rota, there were 764 locals as against 4,841 Japanese nationals. It was only on Pagan where the Chamorros outnumber the foreigners by a small margin: 131 to 89.

Russell said the islanders were marginalized as local residents were being pushed aside and had negligible role in the affairs of the islands. Local population, he said, was even seen then as "impediment to progress."

He also said the social ranks was very discernible. The social order during the Nanyo consisted of a three-tiered system: first rank, Japanese from the home islands; second rank, Okinawans and Koreans; third rank, islanders (Toming). The Tomings were further divided into Chamorros and other Micronesians referred to as Kanaka.

Aside from growth in population, the islands also saw a steady rise in the standard of living. Russell said wage work was widely available at the time, land leases were common, and there was better healthcare.

When the Japanese occupied the islands in 1914, Russell said there were a few villages but there was no town. During the Nanyo Cho Period, these villages grew into towns: Garapan and Chalan Kanoa on Saipan, Tinian town on Tinian, and Songsong on Rota.

Economic development was not without drawbacks. Russell said it had a huge impact to the environment. He said the extensive clearing of native vegetation to allow for mining and planting of sugarcane affected the subsistence carrying capacities. With the introduction of cane varieties came the introduction of pests.

As for education, Russell said local children attended Kokakko schools that consisted of three years while the Japanese attended eight-year primary schools called Shogakko.

Russell said half of the time spent in classrooms went to the teaching of Nihongo or Japanese language while the other half was divided into teaching moral education, math, geography, gymnastics, and handicrafts.

He added that teaching was "by rote memory with frequent doses of corporal punishment. Much emphasis was placed on hard work and obedience to authority with no expectations for personal advancement.

As for the practice of their religion, Russell said the local community was exclusively Roman Catholic. However, the islanders had had to contend with the absence of a priest from 1914-1921 until the Spanish Jesuits arrived in the Marianas in 1921 with the Mercedarian sisters following in 1927. At the time when there were no priests officiating the mass or overseeing the spiritual life of the people, Gregorio Sablan (Kilili) kept the religious records, said Russell. He said Sablan was an educated man who would later serve as Saipan's first mayor.

During this time, Japan advocated militarism and it made Shinto a state religion. Russell said young men's associations were stressed and inspirational tours of Japan were arranged. He added that Japan, had been at odds with western colonial powers, started to deride western concepts and practices.

Not very long, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor that signaled the start of World War II.

(To be continued)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Thank You!

As the year ends, we look back on how we managed to coast through the difficult times and we find you—our readers and partners in business—keeping us company the whole year through.

Transforming into the magazine that will make for a satisfying read and culturally enriching experience, IL Magazine turns to you—our beloved advertisers—every month to help us bring to the readers a compendium of good articles and engaging page design.

In this season of merrymaking and thanksgiving, allow us to say how glad we are to have you by our side. We certainly have our ups and downs, but your belief in IL Magazine inspires us to come out with better materials every month.

To IL Magazine's readers and supporters—Thank you and Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Disney dream come true

Disney dream come true for Saipan 14-year-old

It was a Disney dream come true when the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Guam informed 14-year-old Rica, from Saipan, that she and her family would be going to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Rica has always wanted to do something that involved her entire family. When it came time to deciding what her one true wish was, she didn't hesitate to say that she wanted to take her family to Disney World.

The trip became possible in coordination with Give Kids The World in Orlando. The Give Kids the World is a non-profit organization whose mission is to fulfill the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions from around the world who want to experience Central Florida and all its attractions.

Century Travel, PTI, DFS and Deloitte donated airline tickets for Rica's family. Moreover, Couture Marketing, Commonwealth Industrial Supply Inc. and Yan Tai (Saipan), Inc. also provided support for this Wish. Because of the dedication of these local businesses, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Guam was able to send Rica and her family on their way for a one-week adventure to experience the magic of Disney, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld.

"I was awed by the outpouring of support of the CNMI business community for Rica., said Kathryn Barry, board member for Make-A-Wish Foundation of Guam. "This Wish was granted very quickly because of the commitment our businesses have to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and our mission. Rica personally expressed her thanks for making her dream come true," she added.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Guam celebrates 21 years of granting wishes to children on Guam and throughout the Northern Mariana Islands who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition and are between the ages of 2 and a half and 18 years of age. Rica is the Foundation's 160th Wish Child.

For more information on the Make-A-Wish Foundation, please call the office at 649-9474 or send an email to

The Artists' Holiday Sale — Dec. 1-2

Artists’ Holiday Sale ends on a high note

The proverbial muses took the day off as the artists came out for a two-day artists holiday sale at the Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe on December 1-2.

Homegrown artists along with those who relocated here from the United States, the Philippines, and China sold their various works of art in their respective booths.

According to coordinators Jeanne Rayphand and Katharyn Tuten Puckett, this is the third time they held an annual holiday sale by artists. This year, Rayphand and Tuten-Puckett said the sale was bigger involving close to 30 artists.

Some of the artists who participated this year were as follows: Jeanne Rayphand, Katharyn Tuten-Puckett, Gregg Elliott, Don Farrell, Ed Propst, Mike Tripp, Barry Wonenberg, Joe Weaver, Joe Race, Bob Coldeen, Marconi Calindas, Jacqueline Hernandez, Robert Hunter, Jill Arenovsky, Tokie Mojica, Mr. Bin of Saipan Treasure, Rino Obar, among others.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Marine Water Quality Report


For the week of November 26, 2007

The Division of Environmental Quality has raised the red flag on 16 sites on Saipan and 1 site on Rota and advises the public not to fish or swim within 300 feet of these locations for the next 48 hours or until otherwise notified.

Samples collected from

1. Jefferies Beach

2. North Laulau Beach

3. South Laulau Beach

4. Tanapag Meeting Hall

5. Central Repair Shop

6. DPW Channel Bridge

7. S. Puerto Rico Dump

8. Smiling Cove Marina

9. Am Memorial Park

10. Dai Ichi Drainage

11. Samoa Housing

12. Grand Hotel

13. Sugar Dock

14. CK Dist #2 Drainage

15. CK Dist #4 Drainage

16. San Antonio Lift Station

17. Rota District #2 Drainage

contained excessive concentrations of fecal indicator bacteria-enterococci-that exceeded the CNMI Marine Water Quality Standards.

These bacteria can indicate the presence of human and animal waste in the water. However, studies have shown that storm water runoff in tropical environments may also contain these bacteria from the natural environment, which may not be directly associated with public health concerns.

Managaha waters are assigned a green flag.

DEQ analyzes samples of marine recreational and storm drainage water from 38 locations on Saipan, 10 on Tinian , and analyzes a total of 11 samples from the shore surrounding Managaha. The agency welcomes all inquiries as to the quality of the beach water. The public is encouraged to contact DEQ at 664-8500 with any questions concerning this matter.

Essay Writing and Logo Making Contest

"The Hafa Adai and Tirow Way!" Essay and Logo Contests

The "Hafa Adai - Tirow Spirit Committee" a new Ad-hoc committee of the Marianas Visitors Authority Board of Directors is kicking off its work with a logo contest for island artists and an essay contest for students grades 7-12.

"A major component of the MVA's strategic goals is bringing our unique spirit of hospitality, greetings, generosity and warmth to all of our visitors," said Committee Chair Robert H. Hunter. "The Hafa Adai-Tirow Spirit Committee will propose and carry out programs that will forward this effort."

Anticipated programs will include visitor greetings, student and community workshops, employee incentive programs, exhibits, cultural performances, and activities that address improved signage, crosswalks and driver education, public art, cultural landmarks and other related programs and projects.

"It is the goal of the committee to coordinate its efforts with the many organizations that represent the various segments of our community so that all areas of our community work together towards our collective success," Hunter said.

The Logo Contest is open to all resident artists of the CNMI of any age. Logo designs must illustrate the theme "The Hafa Adai and Tirow Way!", must incorporate the theme text, must work well in black and white, and must work well when reduced down to 2.5 inches. Artists may submit as many logo designs as they wish. All submissions must include the name, telephone number and address of the artist. The deadline for submissions is 4:30 pm, December 27, 2007. Logo designs must be submitted to the front office of the Marianas Visitors Authority, San Jose, Beach Road. A first place prize of $250.00 will be awarded for the winning logo. Additional first place prizes, as well as, second and third place prizes will be announced. Awards will be presented at the Garapan Street Market in early January.

The Essay Contest is open to all CNMI students grades 7-12. Essays must address the question, "What can I do to show 'The Hafa Adai and Tirow Way!'?". Essays must be between 400-500 words, be the original work of the student, and be typewritten on plain white paper or legibly hand written on white lined paper. All submissions must include the name of the student, school, grade, address and phone number. The deadline for submission is 4:30 pm, December 27, 2007. Essays must be submitted to the front office of the Marianas Visitors Authority, San Jose, Beach Road. First, second and third place prizes will be awarded. Prizes will be announced in the coming weeks. The winning essay will be printed in its entirety in the Saipan Tribune and awards will be presented at the Garapan Street Market in early January.

Complete Logo Contest and Essay Contest guidelines are available at the Marianas Visitors Authority office, the NMI Museum Office, or you may contact Robert Hunter at telephone 664-2160/4 if you would like the guidelines faxed or emailed to you.

Beach Cleanup

(DEQ) - The Division of Environmental Quality (DEQ) cleanup brigade will be at it again, picking up trash from Tank Beach .

If you would like to volunteer your time to clean and beautify our island, please meet at Tank Beach in Kagman on Saturday, December 1, 2007 at 8:00 a.m. Come join us and "Pick it Up!"

Volunteers will clean until 10:00 am and break for drinks and then if continues, if needed. This month, outstanding brigade volunteers who participated in at least ten (10) monthly cleanups will receive a brigade cap and those who participated in at least three (3) cleanups will receive a green brigade t-shirt.

This is a cleanup that should not be missed, so join DEQ's cleanup brigade and "Pick It Up!" Let us work together for the health of our coral reefs and cleanliness of our beaches for everyone to enjoy.

The DEQ cleanup brigade began in 1996 and continues to maintain clean, healthy beaches. Last month, brigade volunteers cleaned Sugar Dock.

For more information about volunteering, please contact the DEQ office at 664-8500.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Interested to write?

Are you interested to contribute an article? Is it about culture, history, health and wellness, food, women issues, or sports, or travel stories? Email your inquiries and your article to the editor at and we will see if we can accommodate your article.

Friday, November 23, 2007

History Institute 2007: Spanish and German Periods 1885-1914

History Institute 2007: Spanish and German Periods 1885-1914

(Second part of a series)

Text by Alexie Villegas Zotomayor

IN the previous issue of IL Magazine, the lectures of Dr. Brian Butler and Dr. Augusto de Viana were discussed, covering prehistory up to the first part of the Spanish period.

As historical periods sometimes overlap so do lectures of the scholars who delved into these topics for the teachers institute.

Dr. de Viana's lecture focused on the contributions of the Filipinos to the Marianas, and he also talked about the period in which there was a great influx of political exiles from the Philippines.

Complementing the lecture conducted by Dr. Augusto de Viana on the morning of August 25th was Carlos Madrid's afternoon lecture that delved into the Marianas' milestones in the nineteenth century.

Picking up where Dr. de Viana left off, Madrid said in the study of the Marianas in the nineteenth century, there were some complexities.

Recognizing that the nineteenth century as a watershed in NMI history, Madrid said more research is needed on primary sources for this period. He also stressed the need for an island-oriented perspective of Marianas' history.

Madrid mentioned some of the key episodes in the Marianas in the 19th century as settlement and trade in the NMI by Carolinians, resettlement of Saipan by Chamorros, demographic crisis of the 1856 smallpox epidemic on Guam, rise and fall of whalers trade, extension of colonial government to the NMI. He also spoke of accelaration of technological and political developments with thee major powers Japan, Germany, and United States eyeing an interest in the Marianas. He also mentioned the so called division of the Marianas archipelago in 1899 with Guam becoming an American colony while the other half, the Northern Marianas falling under German control.

Madrid divided the history of the Marianas in the nineteenth century into three key periods: 1804-1850, 1850-1885, and 1885-1899.

With the arrival of the colonizers, Madrid said the Carolines-Marianas trade was interrupted for quite some time. It was reopened again in 1804 when Luis de Torres used an American ship to visit the Carolines.

With Saipan repopulated, and with families moving back to the island from Guam, Carolinians from Lamutrek and Satawal also settled in the islands.

Aside from the island repopulation, Madrid also mentioned the arrival of scientific expeditions most notable of which was the expedition captured by Jacque Arago in his prints that comprise the Freycinet Collection.

From 1820s to 1860s, Madrid said there was a ramp up of operations of whalers with the discovery of sperm whale oil as a better alternative to coal. He said this oil from ambergris burns slowly and produces little smoke.

During this time of increased whaling activity in the Pacific, Guam served as a supply station for the whalers.

As for the Galleon Trade, Guam served as a supply station for ships plying the route from Acapulco to Manila. He said the trade was interrupted in 1815.

With the interruption of the trade, Marianas and Spain grew distant with correspondences taking six months. He also said Spanish colonial officials too tend to be assigned for a much longer period of time.

Aside from the economic activity, with the islands repopulated, Madrid spoke of the political structure on island. As in the Philippines, the smallest political unit was the barangay headed by a cabeza de barangay. Madrid said that the cabeza can be elected as gubernadorcillo or head of the town who also serves as a judge.

Madrid also said that only males were allowed to cast vote or to get elected.

He said Casa Real was the seat of power during those times. He said that the Casa Real on Saipan is located on the site where Jollibee stands.

He also said the Casa Real on Rota is the oldest existing building to date in the Marianas.

Madrid pointed out that the two pillars of Spanish administration of the islands were Catholicization and the implementation of the law.

He referred to a debate in the 16th century in Spain concerning the use of religion in conquest and colonization. He said Patronato Real, the agreement between the pope and the king of Spain allowed the colonizers to spread Christianity.

Teaching of religion was part of the Spanish-administered school's curriculum. He said a Jesuit-run school, Colegio de San Juan de Letran operated on Guam at the time until the expulsion of the Jesuits.

As Guam received more ships from the Philippines in the early part of the nineteenth century, there erupted a smallpox epidemic in 1856. Madrid said that the contagion could have come from the ship from the Philippines that pulled into Apra Harbor.

Although the law on Guam then required quarantine, it was never observed when two individuals (who could have been infected with small pox) were not inspected.

Thus, the epidemic spread and claimed the lives of 60 percent of the population.

From 1870s, there was an increase in the number of political prisoners being sent to the islands. After the Cavite Mutiny in the Philippines of 1872, there was a considerable increase in exiles sent to the Marianas that resulted in the disruption of the scarce food supply.

With the Spanish crown restored and an amnesty granted, deportees were sent back to Spain except a few who stayed.

From 1885-1899, imperial interests in the region became apparent. The United States, Japan, and Germany were eyeing the region as colony.

In 1898, the Americans defeated the Spanish forces in the Philippines at Manila Bay, resulting in the United States winning the Spanish-American War.

With the signing of the Treaty of Paris, Guam and the Philippines were ceded and sold to the United States while the Northern Marianas was sold to Germany. This made final the split of the Marianas into Guam and the Northern Marianas.

German Administration

The Germans did not administer its other colonies in the same fashion as it did in the Northern Marianas.

For Dr. Dirk Spennemann, visiting scholar from Charles Sturt University in Albury, Australia and an internationally recognized leader in the field of Micronesian history and heritage, the Germans instituted policies in the Marianas which were landmark policies for a colony. No other colonies under the German administration or any other colony of a colonial power enjoyed the same privileges that the Chamorros and Carolinians enjoyed under German rule.

According to Dr. Spennemann, the Germans, in pursuit of attracting back population on island, allowed for the distribution of huge tracts of land.

Dr. Spennemann said, "During the Spanish period, the Spaniards controlled the land on Guam."

They also made education compulsory among the natives with the instruction in their mother tongue: Chamorro and Carolinian.

As giving them land and education were not enough, the Germans even allowed the natives to open savings accounts and apply for loans that would eventually give them financial independence.

These and much more were part of the lecture delivered by Dr. Dirk Spennemann before 32 participants of the history institute at the PSS headquarters.

Dr. Spennemann divided his lecture into the following: overview, context, administration, economic development, social development, ethnic relations, environment, and the German legacy.

Providing an overview of world politics in the late nineteenth century, Dr. Spennemann said the colonial powers of the time divided the Pacific and Germany was a later-comer. Although Spain "controls" the Pacific the time, Dr. Spennemann said other powers were surreptitiously eyeing the region with their explorations.

He said England's interests in the South Seas became apparent after the European settlement in Australia in 1789. As trade between Australia and England developed, its route necessitated to pass through Polynesia and then to China and then to England.

Just as the British were developing interests, so did the French and Americans. The American interests developed as the US Exploring Expedition in 1840 and the US Guano Act.

According to Wikipedia, the Guano Act is "a federal legislation passed by the U.S. Congress, on August 18, 1856, which enables citizens of the U.S. to take possession of islands containing guano deposits. The islands can be located anywhere, so long as they are not occupied and not within the jurisdiction of other governments. It also empowers the President of the United States to use the military to protect such interests, and establishes the criminal jurisdiction of the United States."

The Guano Act empowered any American to discover islands with guano deposits and this also led them to consider the islands in the vast Pacific Ocean including the Marianas.

Russia on the other hand ceased to pursue its interests in the Pacific after the purchase of its Alaska and Californian bases.

As early as 1850s, Dr. Spennemann said that Germans had already been in Samoa and had been trading in the region. Through Goddeffroy and Sons, Germany explored and monopolized trade in the Central Pacific. The company would use small vessels in transporting copra from the islands to the depots that would send copra to Europe.

The Germans were also in the area of New Guinea for trade in the 1870s Fifteen years later, Germany declared New Guinea as a protectorate with an administrator holding office in Rabaul. It was initially run as a concession company and later it was run as a colony in 1898.

A trader, Adolph Capelle had been trading in the region long before the Germans acquired the Northern Marianas from Spain. Capelle traded in the Marshalls, Carolines, and the Marianas in the 1870s.

With the Americans winning the Spanish-American War, by virtue of the Treaty of Paris in 1898, the United States ended Spanish colonial power not only in America but also for the most part in the Pacific. With Guam and the Philippines ceded to American rule, Spain sold the Northern Marianas to Germany which took control of the islands on November 17, 1899.

According to Dr. Spennemann, the Germans took the Marianas because they thought of it as a logical extension of the Marshalls which Germany bought from Spain in 1885. He also said claiming the Marianas would add prestige and political clout to Germany. Not only for political reasons, the Marianas, according to Dr. Spennemann, were needed by Germany for economic reasons as well.

Under the leadership of Administrator Georg Fritz, the following socio-economic policies were instituted.

According to Dr. Spennemann, if in the administration of the islands during the Spanish period education was voluntary and church-based, the Germans made education compulsory. On April 1, 1900, compulsory education for 6-12-year-olds began. Dr. Spennemann said. "Every kid has to go to school."

Dr. Spennemann clarified it was only on Saipan where education was made compulsory. He added the education aimed at engendering economic revival.

Schools were built on Rota, Garapan and Tanapag on Saipan. For Dr. Spennemann, it was a "chalk and talk" education structure.

Dr. Spennemann also said the German concept of education was nationalistic. He said the curriculum was localized.

"No where else can you find where locals were not favored. Even Chamorro values are favored," said Dr. Spennemann.

Even the school books, he said, were designed and written for Chamorros.

Even the languages of instruction were neither Spanish nor German. Classes were taught in Chamorro or Carolinians, he said.

He said the study of German language was made optional and offered to adults.

Although the Germans did not teach the classes in German, they also discouraged the teaching of English.

For Fritz, according to Dr. Spennemann, providing education to the natives meant making the economy better. Dr. Spennemann echoed Fritz by saying the better educated the people are, the better the economy (becomes).

As natives were becoming educated, they later became translators or intermediaries of the German administration. Dr. Spennemann said the Chamorros were used to administer other colonies at German bidding.

In other words, Dr. Spennemann said the Chamorros became middle-level administrators.

Education provided the impetus for the emergence of a new social class-the Chamorro elite.

Dr. Spennemann said one of the local people who became part of the elite was Ada who earned the friendship of Administrator Fritz.

As for his work in the environment, Fritz commanded the people to plant trees and during his term as administrator, thousands of trees had been planted on Saipan.

During the German period, Dr. Spennemann said the church structure was Guam and the NMI combined under one prefecture. The Spanish Recollect monks headed the church in the region until 1908. As the Germans had a confrontational course with United States authorities on Guam, a new apostolic vicariate was formed in 1911.

Dr. Spennemann said the Spanish Recollect monks were allowed to hear mass until 1908 and were subsequently replaced by German Cappuchin monks.

Dr. Spennemann said the presence of Carolinian immigrants posed a challenge to the church at that time.

Morever, the health system on island was being administered from Pohnpei by Dr. Girscher who did linguistic work in Pohnpei.

Dr. Spennemann said Dr. Girscher, the longest-serving German administrator in the Pacific, showed ability to marshall support from other communities. He made possible vaccination of the islanders for small pox from 1901-1905.

He also encountered conjunctivitis cases or pink eye (as they are called on Saipan today) which was introduced by Carolinians who evacuated to Saipan after a strong typhoon.

In 1909, the islands had the opportunity to have permanent physicians: Dr. Schnee, Dr. Mayer, and Dr. Salecker.

In 1911, Dr. Spennemann said a hospital was finally established.

Land ownership

If there is one groundbreaking policy that the Germans instituted in their colonies, it is ceding to the natives the right to own land.

Historically, the Article XII of the Northern Mariana Islands Constitution may have taken a cue from the German administrator Georg Fritz. After acquiring the islands from the Spaniards who instituted that land be distributed among Chamorros and Carolinians only.

Despite the huge tracts of land left to the Germans by the Spanish government at their disposal, Administrator Fritz chose to distribute the land among the natives.

As the German administration was actively seeking new settlers and returnees, Fritz realized that to encourage settlers, he needed to bribe them. And given the huge tracts of unoccupied land on Tinian and large tracts on Saipan, Fritz knew that he could distribute these lands so he could entice people to repopulate the islands. With people, Fritz could now begin reviving the economy.

At about the same time, Dr. Spennemann said, many Chamorros on Guam were beginning to be dissatisfied with the American administration. According to Dr. Spennemann, the Americans prohibited the people from celebrating fiestas and from acquiring religious education in schools. Predominantly catholic, the Chamorros also were not receptive to the American introduction of civil marriages.

Fritz pioneered the homesteading on Saipan where one hectare of land was granted to every family. To further induce repopulation of the islands, he also offered newlyweds a hectare of land so they could start building a family.


Now that he had people, Fritz introduced taxation whereby natives who do not have money to pay for taxes may opt to pay taxes through labor.

Each unmarried male, Dr. Spennmann said, was obligated to work 20 days while married males were allowed to work only 12 days. Dr. Spennemann then asked his audience what the tax break was for?-incentive for married males to make children.

Dr. Spennemann also said Fritz also offered tax exemptions. According to Dr. Spennemann, Fritz exempted the following from paying taxes: those certifiably unable to work, clerics, choral singers, father of more than five children (labor exempt), and father of more than eight children (labor and tax exempt).

As for those who would want to buy out their labor obligations, each male pays 50 Pfennig per work day. For the equivalent of 20 days, either the native pays 10 Reichsmark or the equivalent of 325 copras.

For head tax, Dr. Spennemann said the rate was 3 Marks per adult male.

According to Dr. Spennemann, Fritz collected taxes that would be ploughed back into public works. He also said labor obligations on public works were geared at building roads and water pipelines.

Moreover, money raised from cash buyouts of labor obligations and from taxes remitted were also used to pay work contracts offered at the rate of 50 Pfennig per day and was subsequently increased to 75.

Private finance

"If you want to get the economy going, you need money," Dr. Spennemann told the his students at the history institute.

The use of money in exchange for goods made obsolete the barter system on island. Dr. Spennemann said, "Money was swapped instead of goods."

As people began to use money, Fritz raised the bar several notches higher with another groundbreaking policy-allowing the natives to invest their money in a savings bank where they could also apply for loans.

Dr. Spennemann said the bank was the only one of its kind in the entire German possessions.

Although the natives were allowed to apply for loans, Fritz made sure that the pieces of land that were granted to them would not be mortgaged.

In spite of the fact that the new policy empowered the local population, Berlin was not at all impressed with this policy. The government in Germany saw it as a threat to their colonial rule.

Dr. Spennemann said Berlin didn't like it because it would grant locals the financial independence. He also said that had the Germans stayed on and ruled the islands for 30 more years, the locals would have clamored for political independence.

Meanwhile, Dr. Spennemann tackled the finances of the German Islands Territories-Carolines, Marianas, Palau.

Based on the figures of public finance shown by Dr. Spennemann, in the Germans' first year of administering the islands as a colony, expenditure rose to 259,000 marks yet income was 7,000. The following year, expenditures were slashed by 47,000 while income rose by 26,000. However, in the years that followed up to 1910, expenditures and incomes increased. In 1910, expenditure was 659,000 and income was 362,000.

Dr. Spennemann also discussed the conduct of operations of trading companies involved in leases of coconut plantations, Tinian cattle, and bird islands.

According to Dr. Spennemann, leases entailed land development obligations such as planting of coconuts. He said the Germans planted 95,000 palms and they kept planting. He also said there was a huge systematic planting scheme and production was going up.

Dr. Spennemann provided a summary of figures pertaining to copra production in the islands in 1905. Copra production on Saipan alone reached 60,000 while Pagan and Agrigan had 32,000 and 26,400.

In all of the islands, the total copra production reached 168,800 with 95,600 young palms and 73,200 producing palms.

Public works

Dr. Spennemann also discussed the major public works in the islands like government buildings, harbors, and roads.

As for the German administration building, Dr. Spennemann said it was during the German period that the replica latte stones were first used in a non-traditional setting. Showing a photo of the German administration building perched on top of a hill in Garapan, Dr. Spennemann said the use of replica latte stones as columns at the base of the hill issued a message: German power rests on local support. Dr. Spennemann said this symbolizes continuity between traditional Chamorro past and the new colonial power.

When a strong typhoon hit the islands in 1905, it devastated the plantations and destroyed the administration building. When the building was rebuilt, it was made into a school. The school

Dr. Spennemann said when the Germans came, they inherited the islands with little examples of Spanish architecture.

Expressing concern over forces of nature such as earthquakes and typhoon, Fritz requested that his own residence on Saipan be made following the Japanese design which he believed could withstand earthquakes.

Dr. Spennemann also talked about town planning.

Moreover, Dr. Spennemann also talked about communications from Berlin to the German possessions in the Pacific and communications between the colonies themselves. Dr. Spennemann said shipping and communication difficulties allowed the district officers to make direct contact to the government in Berlin instead of going through the chain of command in the Pacific.

Dr. Spennemann also talked about shipping whereby the only shipping connections at the time of the German acquisition of the Northern Marianas were Japanese traders operating out of Yokohama.

He said these traders would conduct trade on Saipan on an irregular basis in one year.

So, mails would be sent via the traders that pass by Yokohama.

However, Dr. Spennemann said there was no efficient mail delivery due to this irregularity of traders plying the route to Saipan.

He also talked about two German trading companies in Jaluit: Jaluit Gesselschaft and Norddeutscher Lloyd. Dr. Spennemann said Jaluit Gesselschaft was first and foremost a shipping company and shipping, second. Norddeutscher Lloyd, on the other hand, was a shipping line only. He discussed the importance of the two companies for the colonies, specifically for Saipan.

Given the complexities of running the entire German colonies, and given that two major typhoons destroying the coconut plantations that would have otherwise exceeded Samoan production of copra, the German colonial authorities realized administering the islands was a losing proposition.

In 1907, the German administration demoted Saipan from district to a station. It was also during this time that Fritz, who instituted groundbreaking policies on Saipan, vacated his post as administrator.

As the Japanese were already trading with Saipan during this period, little did the authorities on island knew that it was eyeing it as a colony.

Unknown to the rest, Japan and England made an alliance and the latter sought Japan's help. At the time, Germany invaded Belgium that signaled the start of World War I.

On August 4, 1914, England declared war on Germany after the invasion of Belgium and Japan followed suit. Ten days later, Japanese ships were in the waters off Saipan. A month later, on November 5th, the Germans were deported.

For helping England during World War I, Japan was given the administration of the islands previously ruled by the Germans.

And the Northern Mariana Islands passed on to Japanese hands.

(to be continued)