The Spanish Culture in the Pacific after 1898
Julio 19, 2016
Distancia, aislamiento y aventura
Julio 19, 2016

Monsignor Olano, A Bishop in World War II

Florentino Rodao

 

Micronesian Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences. ISSN 1449-7336
This is a peer reviewed contribution. Received: 23 Jul 2005 Revised: 16 Apr 2006 Accepted: 20 May 2006
Vol. 4, Nº 2. Rainy Season Issue, December 2005
HeritageFeatures Internacional, PO Box 3440, Albury NSW 2640, Australia
Monsignor Olano, the last Spanish bishop in Guam (1933-45), presided a period of intense political disputes, ordered to exile from the island both in 1941 and in 1945. Japanese, Spaniards and Americans pulled strings through him, both during the Pacific War and before, but the whereabouts of the prelate relate also to the attempts to influence the lives of Guamese. Olano and the Catholic church was perceived as a way the Chamorro in Guam historically expressed their agency and efforts were done by the foreign powers in order to reduce it. This article analyzes the issue mostly through Spanish documentation, at different archives.

 

The last Spanish priest who headed the Catholic church in Guam, Miguel Ángel de Olano y Urteaga (Alzo, Guipuzcoa, 1891- Guam, 1970), represents much more than the final name of a long list. Monsignor Olano who lived for decades in Guam under the American Naval Administration, and the Japanese, provides a good example of the difficulties missionary work can face when it becomes entangled with strong political pressures. Although Olano arrived when the missionaries were already suspected by Navy governors as being a disruptive force, the challenge against missionary influence over the island increased over the island increased over time, while at the same time the Guamanians became increasingly less influences by Olano’s messages -partly due to the convoluted years of war and tension. This article traces Olano’s activities in prewar Guam, his life following the Japanese occupation of the island, and the confrontational interests of the three countries he dealt with during the war: Japan, Spain, and the United States. Given that Olano held a key position during the violent times of World War II, his personal situation and the significance of his actions allow us to better understand the conflicting interests over the fate of the Guamanians.

 

SPANISH MISSIONARIES IN AN AMERICAN COLONY

Spanish cultural legacy and religious ties remained strong in Guam, just as they did in the Philippines, despite the fact that Madrid ignored Guam and the rest of Micronesia after its defeat at the Spanish-American War in 1898. The underlying reasons for this are easy to understand: official contacts stopped almost completely because of the small number of Spanish citizens resident there and the great distance that separated the two territories. However, there are also other factors that why the separation was abrupt: on the part of Spain there was a sense of relief of getting rid of an unwanted venture, as in the Philippines, while, Washington displayed an understandable reluctance to allow contacts with the former colonialists. Indeed, the Navy Department refused the Spanish consul in Manila to exercise any jurisdiction over Guam.[2] [86] Nevertheless, the Spanish identity remained strong in Guam, mainly through the efforts of the Catholic church, which remained as the only link between the Chamorro and their former metropolis. But it was in part also due to the Chamorros themselves, who had assimilated that Spanish legacy as part of their own and felt the need to maintain it, at least as a way to counterbalance the might of their new colonial power, the United States of America (Rodao 1995, pp. 175-180).
There are references about the Chamorros’ desire to maintain some aspects of the former colonial identity; Lt. William Edwin Safford, aide to the first U.S. naval governor of Guam, found the elite or manak’kilo of Agaña “well educated, highly Hispanicized, and rather disdainful of the Americans as less sophisticated than the Spaniards” (quoted in Rogers, 1995, pp. 118-19). Such references are neither limited to the first years on American colonization, nor to the island of Guam, where the U.S. physical presence was concentrated. Willard Price, an American traveler through the Pacific islands after World War I, shared his astonishment with the Japanese governor of the Micronesian island of Yap, upon the way the Chamorro in the town of Colonia, maintained an “Spanish aura” (Price, 1944, p. 98) based around the Catholic traditions: “More than one hundred per cent Catholics,” (Price, 1944, p. 98) the Japanese Governor remarked to him.
The enduring influence the Catholic Church had over the inhabitants of Guam due to their strong religious feelings, was one of the aspects of the Spanish Era that American Navy officials most endeavored to change. Their first declaration, on August 10, 1899, stressed separation of church and state. Apart from striving to diminish the enormous autonomy from the political authority the Catholic church had enjoyed until then, the U.S. Naval administrators tried to make the missionaries more akin to accept their instructions, using different strategies, such as isolating the priests from their superiors, disrupting their chain of command, or searching for missionaries more likely to follow their orders. The new American rulers were keen to get more appropriate missionaries and removed from Guam all Augustinian Recollects, the Spanish missionaries in charge of apostolic work among the Chamorros.

The only priest allowed to remain was the secular José Torres Palomo, later to become the first native of Guam to be ordained a priest of the Roman Catholic Church. They also strove to remove the Mariana islands from the Dioceses of Cebu. At first, Guam and the rest of the Marianas were assigned under an apostolic prefecture in charge of a German priest residing in Saipan, then under German rule (Spennemann 1999, pp. 150-152). But due to personality conflicts, access to Guam was denied. Navy officials made difficult to monitor the mission in Guam from the outside -even the Catholic archbishop of New Orleans and apostolic delegate to all new U.S. territories was denied to visit Guam on his way to the Philippines (Rogers, 1995, p. 120). The American navy was a much more powerful political authority than the previous Spanish governors and since the Spanish-American war American lay power dealt on more balanced terms with the missionaries. For the first time since the Spanish-Chamorro wars, in the seventeenth century, the influence of the Church in Guam was balanced by the political power.
The Navy, on its side, had to accept some changes to fulfill the religious needs of the islanders. Due to the lack of funds and the difficulties in replacing the expelled Augustinians, in 1901, the only solution available was to bring three Spanish Capuchins from Yap to Guam. Later, Navy officials changed merely the missionary order in charge of providing missionaries, from Augustinians to Capuchins; the latter assigned this task to their Province of Catalonia. And finally, in 1911, the status of the Catholic Church in Guam was raised to that of an independent vicariate. In the same year, the provenance of their missionaries was changed permanently to Navarre, the same province from where the Augustinians Recollects originated. During the year 1915, the first group from Navarre arrived, led by Bishop Joaquín M. Oláiz y Zabala, who managed to receive (from Governor Willis Bradley) commissary privileges for the priests, because of their service to American military personnel. [87]
In the 1930s, after Oláiz resigned, the relations between priests and Navy officials soured dramatically. Oláiz’s substitute was another Capuchin who had long been the parish priest of Sumay, Msg. Olano. Appointed in Guam as Titular Bishop of Lagina and Vicar Apostolic of Guam, Olano sailed for Rome to attend the Episcopal consecration on 5 May 1935. Upon his return trip through the United States, Olano was not received by the Apostolic Delegate in Washington (Vera, 1949b, [12]). Finally, at Guam, under the new American Navy Governor George Alexander, Olano understood clearly that the audience with the Pope did not smooth his task in the island. During his absence, there had been two campaigns asking to substitute the Spanish missioners. The first campaign was apparently not followed through while the second one was mixed with an application to allow a Japanese ship laden with rice entering into the port of Guam (Vera, 1949b, [9], [11]; 1949c, 16). The American officials had already clear ideas as what to do and in the meantime they started efforts to substitute the Spaniards by inviting American missionaries to Guam. The Spanish padres had a very conservative ideological attitude and therefore the priests were accused of being, as Robert Rogers writes, “all still ultraconservative Basques [who] opposed coeducation and other practices introduced by the Americans” (1995, p. 159). Governor Alexander was not the only raising this kind of ideological alarms; Laura Thompson, who stayed then at Guam, referred to the “Spanish padres” similarly, as “ill-fitted to understand or sympathize with the new influences rapidly gaining a foothold in Guam” (1947, p. 186).
The importance of political opinions or the American zeal to push for social advances in Guam cannot be overstated. The Spanish church was conservative and its missionaries abroad, certainly, expressed very traditional points of view, as reflected also in the Capuchin documentation. They were disgusted at their fellow American Capuchins who were dressed with shoulder strap and trousers, and one of the brothers actually being divorcee (Vera, 1949b, [11]). Another Spanish priest proclaimed belonging to freemasonry a mortal sin (Anonymous, n.d., 5). The Capuchins’ political ideas, however, were not extremely reactionary, especially when compared to other missionaries under American rule. During the Civil War (1936-39), Basque and Navarrean Capuchins in the Philippines were the only missionaries siding with the Spanish Republic, following the fervently Catholic Basque Nationalist Party. And while the Spanish Civil War had no noticeable impact in Guam while it happened, we can assume that the Spanish priests were not idle bystanders. This can be demonstrated by the fact that on the anniversary of the death of the late King Alphonse XIII -deposed by the Spanish Republic in 1931- Olano celebrated a mass in Tokyo in 1943. This act implied an overt support to the restoration of monarchy in Spain, the option favored by the United Kingdom against the desires of general Franco.[3]
On Guam, Americans seemingly were distressed by the reaction against their new ways of life, and Laura Thompson noticed the reluctance among Chamorros to a woman traveling by herself and living alone, but this was the same opposition to be found by urbanites at these times in many rural places in America. It was probably most important that missionary opposition to some of the American innovations was seemingly shared by many locals, who agreed with the idea of deciding by themselves which foreign influences should be adapted to local habits, and which not. While it reflects a kind of conservative thinking, it did not necessarily mean that Chamorros blindly followed the missionaries discourses.
In the Philippines, the mixing of genders in the classrooms was opposed not only by many of the schools of Spanish missionaries but also by Filipinos who considered those measures introduced by Americans as socially inconvenient. Some of the opponents were even anticlericals, like senator Vicente Sotto (McCoy and Roces, 1985, 134). Last but not least, American officials in the colonies tended to be ideologically more conservative. Differences with Olano, furthermore, had existed for long and were well known to the Navy officials in Guam, since the Monsignor had preached in Sumay, the Navy’s big [88] gest concentration. The conservatism argument, then, appears as the overt argument to justify a measure motivated for more covert reasons; probably was mostly an smoke-curtain.
The reason for the drive against Spanish missionaries seemingly rested in the need to reinforce the American power, Naval and otherwise, over Guam at a time when the Japanese empire showed an increasingly assertive policy in Asia and the Pacific. Mutual contacts remained stable for some years after World War I, when Tokyo obtained the rest of Micronesian islands as a “Class C” mandate from the League of Nations -which amounted to a territorial cession. While the Washington Naval Conference of 1921-22, between the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom, reached an agreement not to construct additional fortifications and thus contained suspicion of the other’s motivations, the Japanese military triumphs in Manchuria of 1931 dramatically changed the context. Although the possibility of war was still perceived as remote, the menace perception was amplified and convinced the Americans, despite the absence of clear proof, that Tokyo was secretly fortifying their islands in the rest of Micronesia, in spite that there was no clear proof (Peattie, 1985, pp. 200-201; Naga, 1988, p. 159). Tension provoked a “swift” reaction by Washington, ordering naval maneuvers, which were followed by the Japanese fleet with their own, in sight of Guam (Maga, 1988, pp. 119-120), The increasing tension in the world, certainly, mattered for a strategically located island with a closed port that played a key role in eavesdropping on foreign communications. The American Navy was searching for confidential information –and preventing others from obtaining it.
In the 1930’s, security reasons surpassed any other. The welfare of Chamorros was directly affected, because shortages of rice developed as commerce was cut with the Japanese mandated islands or through ships of Japanese nationality. Japanese companies that traded copra and other goods with Saipan and Japan (Higuchi, 1997, 158-159) were especially affected, but the community living in Guam noticed it mostly through the so-called Sawada Incident. In 1933 a comment by a Japanese living on Guam appeared in an article in the newspaper Osaka Mainichi, titled “Anti-Japanese Agitation is Strong in Guam.” This publication triggered an unusually strong reaction from the Navy (Higuchi, 1997, 164-65).
It is easy to guess that suspicion towards missionaries was also affected, and from both sides. Dispersed throughout Micronesia after the exit of the Germans when defeated at the World War I, Spanish missionaries could circulate information among themselves without previous knowledge of their respective governments, and both American and Japanese Governors appear sensitive to this possibility of leakage, regardless of who could benefit more from an hypothetical exchange of information. The Japanese government increased pressure against missionaries under its rule, making requests in 1936 to the Bishop in charge of the South Seas District to replace Spanish and Americans with Japanese. (Higuchi, 2006, 150) American authorities also increased suspicions, partly because Protestants, with merely 1-2% of backing among Chamorros, never matched the influence of the foreign Catholics over the Chamorros. Protestant influence was much lower even to the levels of the Philippines, where they neared 10%. Security reasons coloured how the Spanish missionaries were perceived: it more directed at their “foreigness” than at their “catholiciziness”.
Being mindful that his period as bishop of Guam was destined to be the last provided by a Spaniard, Olano seemingly focused on the efforts to maintain the local blend of Catholicism. On one hand, he guided the incorporation of the new missionary arrivals when in 1936, the first American Capuchins were posted to Guam from Pennsylvania. Later, additional Americans arrived from Detroit, bringing to a total of ten the priests who came to Guam to work before Pearl Harbor. At the same time, Olano’s attempt to bring American teaching sisters to Guam failed. On the other hand, Olano established new institutions that would remain after his departure. He organized catechetics and established pontifical works, following the instructions of ei [89]ther the Pope or Monsignor P. Piani, the Apostolic Delegate to the Philippines. A strongly conservative Catholic youth organization, The Knights of Christ the King’ (Caballeros de Cristo Rey), was founded under his Vicariate (Thomson, 1947, p. 185; Olano, 1949, 210).
The bishop caused further problems to the Navy officials. In March 1937, Olano did criticized the American educational system as less effective than the Catholic, which provoked a strong reaction by the Navy governor B. V. McCandlish. He accused the church of corruption in the handling of fees for marriages and the like, but the Monsignor won the row, basically thanks to the backing of the Guam Congress, both on the critics to the new educational system and against the accusations of misusing fees.
At the outbreak of the Pacific War, the process of replacing Spanish with Americans was nearly complete. From the group of ten missionaries and two brothers,[4] only Fray Jesús de Begoña, born as Ramón Jáuregui Aranzábal, remained, working as the Bishop Olano’s secretary. In the meantime, as the international situation worsened, the number of American officials on Guam had also decreased due to the Roosevelt administration’ increasingly pessimistic perception about Guam’s future. It considered the island as the most “impractical” (Maga, 1988, p. 169) territory to defend in case of Japanese attack and, as a consequence, most of the American personnel had been evacuated. Olano’s preoccupations about the demise of his strand of Catholicism among Guamanians, certainly, were marginalized by the shadow of the war.

 

THE PACIFIC WAR

On 8 December 1941, Agaña was bombed and the island fell to the Japanese Navy. Bishop Olano learned about the war immediately, since the first news of bombings in Sumay, Apra Harbor and Piti Navy Yard arrived while he was celebrating the Mass of the Immaculate Conception in the Agaña Cathedral (Carano and Sanchez, 1964, p. 269). Olano’s task became much more pressing, partly due to the change-over itself (although it had been relatively peaceful), and partly due to the fact that the number of missioners in charge was reduced to some of the Americans, the two Chamorro recently ordained as Catholic priests (Fathers Jesús Baza Dueñas, in 1938, and Oscar Luján Calvo, in 1940), and a Baptist minister, the Reverend Joaquín Flores Sablán. On 8 January 1942, scarcely a month after the invasion, however, Olano and Jáuregui were ordered to exit the island, to be taken aboard the Japanese ship Argentina Maru, together with prisoners from Allied countries, such as their fellow American missionaries.
Olano and Jáuregui traveled first to the island of Shikoku, then to Kobe where they were interrogated. In Japan, both were released after verification of their nationality and enjoyed relative freedom, living at a Jesuit convent in Itabashi, Tokyo, the headed by the Rev. Fr. Berganza, the superior of the Jesuits. Olano and Jáuregui stayed together with fellow Basques especially devoted to Micronesia. Jesuit father José Herreros Cervera, who had traveled occasionally to Micronesia as the solicitor of the Caroline Islands and had published a book on the Catholicism there,[5] was the most prominent, but among them were also Juan Bizcarra, who spent the rest of his life in the Palau, and Brother Juan Arizeta, who had lived also many years on Pohnpei and Palau. (Hezel, 1991, pp. 116, 243) Olano’s status in the church hierarchy encouraged many visits from fellow clerics, such as those from members of the Adoratrix of the Most Holy Sacrament, who lived nearby; the Handmaidens of the Sacred Heart, some of whom also came from Navarre; the Mercedarian Sisters of Berriz, in charge of the missions in Micronesia, Marianist Leonardo Medinabeitia, or the cloistered Carmelite Sisters, from Tokyo’s Seminary Mayor.
Spanish diplomats managed to include Olano and Jáuregui in the second citizens’ exchange between Japan and the Allies and they were permitted to leave Axis territory. On 15 September 1943, the priests sailed on the Teia Maru (taking with them a gift from their fellow Jesuits of 200 yen, the total amount of money permitted to be taken out of Japan)[6] and disembarked in Goa, then a Portuguese colony in India. Here, Olano and Jáuregui could not [90] board the exchange ship that carried most other fellow evacuees, USS Gripsholm, and had to decide by themselves what to do: leaving Axis territory was the easy part, finding a place to reside was not.
The two Spaniards had different options about their final destination. First, they could both wait and apply for permission to travel to the United States. Second, they could also travel to Spain, one of the few countries in the world at that moment that was not involved in the War. Capuchins had sent them enough money, through the Spanish Consulate in Bombay, apparently 500 rupees (Anonymous, 1945, p. 211), for their return trip to Spain, that could be made by plane, via the coast of Africa and London. The third option, and their final decision, was to return to Guam as soon as possible and therefore remain at India until permitted to return to Guam. Olano and Jáuregui remained for several months in Goa, from October 1943 to February 1944, and were received by Mgr. José Nuñez, patriarch of India. When they were allowed to move to British India, invited by Archbishop Mgr. T. Roberts, the Spanish Capuchins proceeded to Bombay. There they carried out pastoral work, living with the Catalan Jesuits (Bandra) and engaged in a social life was as intense as in Japan. Olano and Jáuregui often participated in activities: they visited Capuchin missions in the countryside, broadcasted at radio stations and again met many people, mostly to collect donations in order to return to Micronesia. Among the acquaintances made at this time were Fernando Navarro Ibáñez, a Spanish military attaché on his way to Japan (Olano, 1949, p. 215)[7] and a former apostolic envoy to Guam, Father Villalonga, who bragged of having convinced Philippine President Manuel Quezon, to leave the Masons.
In December 1944, after fourteen months in India, Olano and Jáuregui traveled to Australia, where the general headquarters for the counter offensive against Japan was located. The stay was complicated for a disease that had emerged again and made him to stay most of the two months in a hospital. In March 1945, while Manila was still embattled, Olano flew from Brisbane to the Philippines. From Leyte, then, Olano was able to fly finally to Guam on 21 March 1945. After 21 months in Tokyo, 4 months in Goa, 9 months in Bombay and 2 months in Australia, and with a weight loss of 21 kilos, as noted in a manuscript note, Olano returned to his island (Arrayoz, 1943, p. 7).
The bishop’s joy was short lived, however, partly because the hundreds of schoking stories he listened to but also because of the changes in the Catholic church itself. Olano learned of the violence and the suffering of the Chamorro people during the Japanese occupation, which included also the recent death of one of the priests he had ordained, Jesús Baza Dueñas[8]. The other priest, Oscar Lujan, offered him his house, since the Episcopal palace was destroyed, but Olano could not rebuilt the relations they had before the war -Lujan evaded by not sharing time at home with the bishop. Olano noticed Lujan “very cold” [bastante frío], reserved, trying to conceal what he thought, and therefore making Olano feel that his return to Guam had not been completely welcome, even finishing with a self-question “Was he [Lujan] waiting to become a Bishop?”.[9] After three months, Olano left Lujan’s house to return to his Episcopal Palace, where a small house made of sagnali (canes and straw) was built. [10] Finally, Olano became also the subject of one of the shocking news: Most Rev. Apollinaris W. Baumgartner, OFM Cap. was consecrated titular Bishop of Joppe and Vicar Apostolic of Guam. Olano left the island aboard the USS Pastora, two days after his successor’s arrival. With his departure, the centuries of Spanish predominance over the Chamorros Catholicism ended. It was approximately half a century after Spain’s political departure, when Spanish position at the world was at her lowest ebb. His departure occurred, more importantly, at a time when the need of ensuring the security strategic island involved, for the first time, the decision to shape as much as possible the life and culture of islanders.

 

OLANO, BETWEEN THREE GOVERNMENTS

To understand the definite departure of Olano from Guam as a Bishop, the Pacific War provides an overall context, but also the conflict [91]ing interests of the governments playing around the issue. For years, the fate of the Basque Bishop’s depended, more than on his own deeds or personal beliefs, on the confrontational interests of three governments: those of Tokyo, Madrid and Washington, all of which were more interested in their propaganda machines and their own interests in Guam than in the welfare of thousand of islanders. All three governments were acutely aware of the value of the personal authority of a person who held the title of Bishop on fervently Catholic Guam; an island with a strategic value much bigger than its size. Not surprisingly all three governments did their utmost to adapt that prestige to their purposes. And although the world experienced the same war, the interests of each country must be traced separately.

 

Japan

After the Japanese invasion of Guam, Olano and Jáuregui could expect being well treated by the new masters, both because of Olano’s Spanish identity and his religious position. As citizens of Franco’s Spain, a regime friendly to the Japanese Empire, they could easily hope to remain in the island working as before. Their other identity as missionaries could help also at smoothing their contacts with the Japanese authorities. Tokyo’s “Southern Advance” (南進 ) was coupled with propaganda campaigns proclaiming how much they cared about the religious beliefs professed by their conquered populations, whether Buddhist, Islamic, or Christian. In the rest of Micronesia, the officials had shown some appreciation because of the missionaries’ attempts to “civilize” and since the early 1920’s, their fellow missionaries working in their “mandates” had even received occasional subsidies from the governors to support their activities (Peattie, 1988, p. 84). After Pearl Harbor, furthermore, the bishop’s fellow Spaniards in the Carolines remained in location as before, same as in the other territory with majority of Catholics, the Philippines, where the Church was glad to recognize even the recovery of their privileges. Even a wartime diary written in secrecy by a Dominican Father, Juan Labrador O.P. expressed favorable impressions of the new masters in religious affairs: “[Japanese authorities] reiterated their assurances that they would respect religious beliefs in occupied countries […] In a broad sense, one could say that they comply with their commitments.”[11] And the particular situation in Guam did not preclude any harsh measure, since even the American fathers were free for about two weeks following the Japanese invasion. This situation turned sour soon, however. First, the American fathers were interned and, later, Bishop Olano and Jáuregui followed suit and were taken to the Episcopal Palace, where they remained under guard until being expelled. After Guam was pacified, the soldiers departed to fight elsewhere, the Japanese Navy governed the island and all missionary activity was left to the two recently ordained Chamorro priest.
The reasons for the Japanese decision against Olano do not appear clearly expressed, and the arguments provided, when asked about it, were not much convincing. Pascual Artero, an Spanish entrepreneur and landowner who was also taken temporarily in prison but released just before the Argentina Maru departed with the Americans and the Spaniards, was told that he was not included in the list because he was “good” for Chamorros and Japanese alike (Flores Montoya, 1984, p. 111). Later, when the Spanish government did the same question, more than a year after, the Japanese Foreign Ministry argued that the evacuation should be considered as having been unavoidable.[12] The responses were mere smoke screens as there is no trace of Olano obstructing the new Japanese regime. The bishop himself could count on his own experience in maintaining the Catholic Church in Guam through strong cooperation among Catholics, either Spaniards, Chamorros or even Japanese. It is difficult to think that the Japanese priests asked for it. Mgr. Fukahori Sen’emon, the prelate from the Diocese of Fukuoka [wrongly spelled as Fukuhoku in Olano’s Diary] in charge of religious affairs, who later would be appointed Bishop of Japan, or Mgr. Ideguchi Miyoichi, the Apostolic Administrator of Yokohama and the South Seas, or Nan’yô (南洋) demonstrated good relations -and during his exile in Japan, Olano [92] maintained a collaborative attitude. He accepted plainly the new masters by writing a letter appointing Dueñas as pro‑vicar apostolic and priest in charge of the vicariate in his absence (Olano, 1949, p. 48)[13] and eased his work in Guam to Japanese prelates, like Ideguchi, who expressed sympathy for his mistreatment. Even, thanks to their shared religious beliefs, Olano and Fukahori maintained a relation apparently above their national identities; the Japanese took the risk of carrying letters to and from Guam -which Ideguchi refused- and prevented father Dueñas from being sent to the island of Rota. Even, Fukahori referred to Olano his frustration better than to Japanese militarists, as Wakako Higuchi has shown, since he asserted to the army that the Church efforts were doing “well, more than […] expected”, but, when visiting Olano in Tokyo, acknowledged a deep failure about the low Chamorro attendance to Mass (Higuchi, 2006, 150).
Three reasons related to Guam can be surmised to explain the decision to expel Olano. First, as Olano himself suggested, the authorities wanted to use his home. The decision of using his well preserved buildings for military offices or residence could have been an important reason even if the premises were seized partially: Olano was to be asking continuously the devolution of Church’ properties, both in person and through written complaints, and, if allowed to stay at the premises, the neighborhood would be, at least, unpleasant. Second, the Japanese could think that despite deporting Olano, they could retain some of his influence by appointing a local –and inexpert- prelate. In fact, just before the outbreak of the Pacific War, in 1941, Tokyo had managed Rome to order the replacement of all foreign priests who headed dioceses in Japan, as “suggested” by its apostolic delegate in Tokyo, Monsignor Paolo Marella. Furthermore, the Army’s General Staff Headquarters opened a Catholic pacification work office (Higuchi, 2006, 151): if given a chance, they would try to substitute Olano for a local priest, who could be given also the possibility of working without the shadow of the former bishop. Thirdly, the Japanese command in Guam did not show much sophistication, as demonstrated by some of their decisions. The comments and conversations recorded of the Japanese in Guam show that they did not go deep in nuances about the different legacies left by Spain and the United States, and even the biggest political issues were expressed in very vague terms, such as asserting “Franco is a good friend of us” (Olano, 1949, p. 23). Asking the Catholic priests to write a letter to George Tweed, a U.S. radioman hided in the jungle, encouraging his surrender, as the Minseibu (民政部), or Department of Civil Affairs did, points at least to an erratic policy in their search of the only American out of their control, as does the temporary arrest of the only another Spaniard in the island, entrepreneur and landowner Pascual Artero (Flores Montoya, 1984, p. 110).
Guam, however, was part of a much wider Empire. Then, placing the focus in the Tokyo headquarters we can find two more explanations to the expelling of Olano, and perhaps more significant. Firstly, the fact of Guam being an small island without foreign contact allowed the Japanese officials more freedom to act as they wished. This fact may suggest why Olano was expelled while his fellow missionaries in the Philippines were not: as a way to test the reaction towards a much more important personage, again a foreigner belonging to a Neutral country (Ireland) and heading the Catholic church of the another recently conquered overwhelmingly Catholic territory: the Archbishop of the Philippines, Monsignor Michael J. O’Doherty. Olano’s position was resolved soon, but the Archbishop’s issue was stalled during the whole occupation, waiting for a negotiation with Rome (Terada, 1999, pp. 237 – 240). Secondly, the intense Japanization policy to be carried out in Guam. Different to other areas conquered in the first stages of the Pacific War, the Japanese command designated Guam as a “permanent possession”, that is, an area where “independence or even political participation was [not] likely” (Higuchi, 2001, p. 23). Having in mind the experience in the rest of Micronesia, but also the example of the Ainu in the island of Hokkaido, the Minseibu started the Japanization soon and forcefully. [93] The early opening of elementary schools, scarcely one month after the occupation, and the longer number of hours dedicated to teach Japanese language, as compared to other conquered territories, such as the former Dutch East Indies (Higuchi, 2001, p. 22-23), shows the different objectives aimed at the Chamorros. While Indonesia or the Philippines were to be granted independence, Guam was not. Perhaps with too much voluntarism, because the imperial government perceived Chamorros in Guam as being too influenced by the United States and the Catholic church, the Minseibu considered the Japanization “easy to implement” (Higuchi, 2001, p. 22) -and that entailed a harsher treatment to the Bishop.
The Japanese did not respect Chamorro Catholicism as they did in the Philippines, and bishop Olano’ exile was the first consequence of this. While Japanese were desireous to get the Catholic church in the Philippines to cooperate, with a policy based on negotiation, gradual steps and care to avoid further difficulties (Terada, 2003, p. 235), the Department of Civil Affairs in Guam opted for prioritizing strategic targets, like using priests in pacification campaigns. The decision by the Japanese military to send Olano away from the island, then, shows that neither Americans after their arrival in nineteenth century, nor Japanese after Pearl Harbor, wanted the presence of a foreign bishop, both being afraid of its influence. But it also shows the difficulty of putting into practice what the propaganda had said, since the postulated respect to the religious beliefs of the conquered populations stopped not only at the vicinity of battlefields but also at the imperial perceptions held in Tokyo. Respect to religious beliefs depended on general assumptions related to the overall interest of the Empire, upon which the decision to respect them ultimately rested: they were to be maintained so long as Tokyo considered them useful.

 

Spain

The interest of Madrid in Olano increased as the war progressed, but it was related mostly to its foreign concerns. From the Spanish perspective, we can divide the Olano affair in three stages that show the different aims of Spain’s foreign policy: pro-Axis, Neutrality and, the last one, looking for survival. During the first months after Pearl Harbor, Olano’s problems were hardly noticed in Madrid, mostly because his distress was set against Spain’s political friendship with Tokyo. General Francisco Franco’s brother-in-law and leader of the Falange Party, the Spanish counterpart of the Italian Fascists, Ramón Serrano Suñer, was the minister for Foreign Affairs. He helped Japan’s war effort after Pearl harbor, either providing intelligence, accepting the representation of Japanese interests in most of the Americas or exchanging goods. Therefore, when Spain’s ambassador in Tokyo, Santiago Méndez de Vigo, informed him of Olano’s difficult situation, the report, together with those concerning the problems suffered by other missionaries scattered about the Asia‑Pacific area, was demoted in importance. Since the Catholic Church was an influential lobby that supported the regime, the news about Olano created some unrest among officials and weakened relations between Madrid and Tokyo, but little was done officially to alleviate Olano’s situation. Political relations were paramount.[14]
After September 1942, when Serrano Suñer was substituted as Foreign Minister by Count Jordana, the Olano affair changed to a second stage. A military of conservative ideas, Jordana started gradually a policy move towards neutrality, which he did by compensating the pro-German activities of the Spanish regime in the European theater with pro-American moves in the Pacific area. For this policy in search of neutrality, Bishop Olano’s case became an excellent asset for Madrid: he was a high‑ranking Spaniard with a task not politically related, being in “desperate straits” due to mistreatment and, furthermore, the Japanese were to be blamed, not Germans or Italians. In the Spring of 1943, furthermore, Tokyo proposed to up-grade their legations to embassies and the new Minister preferred not to oppose the proposal straightforwardly (it was previously accepted, and promoted by his predecessor, Serrano Suñer) but complained about Olano’s treatment. The first reaction of the Japanese was to defend their deeds –[94] neither Olano nor Jáuregui had been mistreated, their property was maintained, as were the religious services at the cathedral-[15] but later, mindless of arguments, realized that it would be better to accede to Spanish demands and agreed to include Olano and Jáuregui among those nationals departing wartime Japan via the exchange ships. It was a last minute decision, taken only after the United States had agreed to accept Olano and Jáuregui -and a fact made known to Madrid only after Olano had disembarked in Goa. In any case, by allowing the exchange, Japan, in fact, chose the easiest demand to comply with of the various number of Spanish complaints concerning the treatment of their citizens in the Philippines.[16] During Jordana’s pro-Neutrality policy, searching for a solution to the problem of Bishop Olano became one of Madrid’s more strongly voiced complaints against the Japanese, and the pressure got a favorable result.
The third stage in the Olano affair shows the lack of resources of Madrid when the tide of the war was against the Axis. Olano ceased to be a subject of discussion with the Japanese diplomats, but then became a propaganda weapon and, by the beginning of 1944, when the growing possibility of an Allied victory made desireable for Spain to display openly the ill feeling with Japan, Olano appeared in relevant articles of the Spanish press. He was mentioned in a purported news dated February 11, from the branch of the official Spanish News Agency, EFE, in Buenos Aires, that stated: “intellectual circles in Latin America are disturbed by the bad behavior toward Bishop Olano and the near suppression of the Spanish language [in the Philippines].” On the February 16, the front page of the Falangist daily, ¡Arriba!, recognized that Spaniards should have been aware earlier of the occupying Japanese army’s prosecution against Spain, its citizens and their culture in the Philippines. Olano’s presumed mistreatment was expounded and newspapers started to offer news contrary to the Japanese, such as his trip with the American prisoners, that he was assigned to the lower deck of the ship, that he had to endure 39 hours without being able to come out on the deck or had to carry his own luggage. With it, on one side, the government of general Franco rallied the backing of the Church. Heralding the preoccupation for a priest doing its missionary work was a good mark, while the government’ task was helped by concerned Capuchins, in Navarre, who published a leaflet with reports taken from different media about Olano’s whereabouts, entitled, “What is happening in Guam?” as well as a letter from secretary Jáuregui, written in Basque to avoid censorship. (Arrayoz, n.d., pp. 1, 4) On the other hand, the campaign was prepared as a useful way to rally fellow Spaniards behind a changing foreign policy leaning towards the Allies, as it was the first time that the Madrid Government allowed this level of open criticism against a former friend. General Franco had been caught in a extremely difficult situation: he desperately needed to side with the former enemies while maintaining the same ideological appearance inside the country. That strange article clearly expressed the difficult perspectives for the regime under the Allies. Voicing Bishop Olano’s case, that Spain had been deluded by Japan and that its fate was none of their business, even to the point of suggesting that Japan’s defeat was welcomed was a strange volte-face. Dictatorships rarely acknowledge publicly their past mistakes, certainly, and The Times referred to this comment as “eye-opening news”[17].
As the time passed, Madrid was in even more precarious situation. Once the end of the war could be foreseen, Madrid needed, more than ever, to approach the Allies with arguments demonstrating their confrontational attitude against the Axis. Then, Olano’s case was remembered again, in spite that there were no more news about him. For instance, in September 1944, General Franco mentioned to the American ambassador in Madrid, Carlton Hayes, that he had been on the brink of breaking off relations with Japan a year earlier, mentioning explicitly Olano’s case and the situation in the Philippines. (Hayes, 1945, pp. 332-333) Later, as the end of the war drew near, the need to reveal their problems with the Axis increased by leaps and bounds, and the news concerning Olano was exaggerated more than [95] ever. Therefore, in March 1945, the Spanish media included now false accounts of Olano; it was said that he had been incarcerated because of his complaints against the Japanese authorities; also that he was put in a concentration camp in Japan.[18] Of course, they did not mention that, by then, Olano was traveling from Australia to Guam and no attempt was made to help the bishop in his aim of entering the island. Madrid was thinking of declaring war on Japan as a way of participating in the San Francisco Conference and of gaining a place in the Allies-dominated world, but there was ample proof of its friendly relations with Germany and Italy. Accusations against Japan were interpreted as last minute lifesavers.
Regardless of the effectiveness of these attempts, Spain’s foreign policy made a complete about-face toward Japan, much more radical than toward Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy. Olano’s case was an appropriate excuse, used by the Spanish propaganda machine when it fitted into its overall foreign policy, making use of facts that best suited its situation vis a vis the United States. But after departing Japan, the fate of Olano and Jáuregui was no longer relevant, much less so when their desired to return as soon as possible to Guam -and it involved difficult negotiations with the American government that Madrid was not ready to carry on. The grievances against Japan were easier to use. Like Tokyo, Madrid cared very little for Olano’s real interests, much less for the Guamanians welfare.

 

The United States of America

United States’ first reaction to bishop Olano should have been surprise, after his appearance in Australia insisting on returning to Guam, followed by a kind of uneasiness. They were suspicious of the Prelate trying to chase the advances of the American troops in Guam in order to reach the island as soon as possible and Olano must have anticipated the unease through the permission denied to his personal secretary. First, Jáuregui’s authorization to travel to Guam did not reach Australia at the same time as Olano’s. Then, the bishop never managed to arrange a permission for his secretary to follow him to Guam, in spite that he personally called on Admiral Chester Nimitz, commandant of the Pacific Fleet. The American answered him merely to write a letter requesting the favor, which was later denied through a message written in pencil on a “small piece of paper”[19]. Olano, then, tried to circumvent the refusal by talking with a Major cooperative with the Catholics, William P. McCahill, but he had been sent to the United States in early May and replaced by Captain Charles McVarish (Olano, 1949, p. 127).
Olano soon understood that he was next on the list. On the very day that Japan surrendered, 15 August 1945, Olano had a crucial lunch with the American prelate who arguably had played the biggest role in U.S. foreign policy in World War II (by visiting, for example, Spain, the Vatican, and other countries, in 1942-43), New York’s Archbishop Cardinal Francis Spellman. Spellman delivered Olano a letter from the Pope, counseling him to renounce the vicariate, while joining personally this advice, that others had transmitted Olano before, such as Buffalo’s Bishop O’Hara, also present at the lunch, who had informed Olano earlier of Nimitz having opposed his entry to Guam (Olano, 1949, p. 132). The bishop resigned the same day and five days later Pope Pius VI named Baumgartner as Bishop, who was to stay in the island until the year 1970. Then, on 23 October, the new bishop arrived on the island almost secretly, aboard Nimitz’s personal aircraft, and on 25 October, Olano was directed to leave the island. Bishop Olano decried it as being a surprising move because he was given two hours to pack everything, but the same had occurred when former American missionaries arrived in the island (Olano, 1949, 134; Rogers, 1995, 201).
Two broad arguments can explain such a strong American position to the point that the Pope was forced to accept: security reasons, like during the 1930s, gave preference to US or local priests, and the Denazification policy, as agreed during the Potsdam conference. Foreign eavesdropping and intelligence activities continued to be crucial to the American presence in Guam, but it is difficult to accuse Spanish priests of obstructing the gathering of intelligence, specially after the Japanese were gone [96] and the whole of Micronesia was under the American umbrella. The possibility of Spaniards sending information to the Soviet Union or to another foreign power does not seem to be a feasible possibility, and much less to Spain, a pariah in the world at that time fearing reprisals for its pro-Axis past. Nimitz showed clearly also his personal preferences at Olano’s first visit, who wrote later about the “rude” behavior in contrast with that to the Chamorro Padre: “Whereas, how charming with Padre Calvo” (Arrayoz, 1943, p. 29)
Getting rid of Axis remains was a cherished policy by Admiral Nimitz. He wanted not only to expel Japanese from the islands, but also Italians, Germans and Spaniards. In October 1945, for instance, Nimitz asserted that the ten Germans living in Micronesia were a “subversive element” (Friedman, 2001, p. 121), and seemingly had a similar perception of the many other foreigners, Spain was widely identified as Fascist at this time, with a Falange Party in charge whose foreign branches during the war years were said to have been working as a secret army for the Axis interests. Partly, it was true; Falange admired Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany and displayed openly their anti-Americanism while there were Falangist branches in many foreign countries, through the Spanish communities scattered not only in Latin America. However, they had stopped it activities in the years 1940-41, although in some cases did underground work. There was also a Falange branch in the Philippines but, in any case, Nimitz’s perception could not be applied to the Spanish citizens in Guam. They had a remarkable anti-Japanese record, both laymen and missionaries. There had been no Fascist or anti-American activities prior to the war and the only American who remained free in Guam during the Japanese occupation, the already mentioned radioman George R. Tweed, managed to do so because he was hidden on family lands by Antonio Artero, the son of the only Spanish lay citizen living in Guam, Pascual Artero. The U.S. government recognized this risk by giving Artero the only Medal of Freedom awarded to Guam after the war, in spite that many others had helped Tweed while he was in hiding. The missionaries had also an anti-Japanese record, besides Olano and Jauregui’s exile. Six of the Spanish Jesuits in Micronesia were killed in Yap and Palau by Japanese soldiers. Certainly, nobody could point to traces of any Spaniard in Guam or Micronesia having acted as anti-American, let alone as fifth-columnists.
Although Guam presented a different picture to the Philippines, Nimitz preferred to use the same simple ideas in relation to the Spanish missionaries and argued they were “Francoists and Fascists”, as noted in a deleted text in the manuscript of the History of the Mission by father Román de Vera (1949, 16). The Commander of the Pacific Fleet informed Cardinal Spellman that he did not want Spaniards in Guam and, as for the Spanish missionaries documentation, he himself pressed and managed to have the Vatican accept the changing of nationalities. The references to Fascism look like, again, as a smoke screen to hide the real motivations.
At the end of the Pacific War, there was another difference with previous stages of American presence in Guam: Washington’s policy towards islanders aimed a step further up in their control of Micronesians. Cultural security, meaning that “American planners hoped to couple Pacific Islanders’ loyalty to the United States through the use of religion, language, and social values” (Friedman, 2001, p. 119) appears as the main reason for the American decision to do away in haste with Olano. Between 1945 and 1947, American strategic planners were seriously interested in the future racial composition and cultural orientation of the Pacific Islands, especially Micronesia (Friedman, 2001, p. 118). Bishop Olano was perceived as a possible hindrance, then, in forging the loyalty towards the United States, both through the language he used, through the religion he defended and social values attached to it.
English does not seem to be extensively widespread at this time. Father Pastor de Arrayoz in his notes on the History of the Mission of Guam mockingly comments on the data offered by World’s Almanaque, that in the 1936 edition pointed to a 10% of islanders as English speakers, while the next year raised the percentage to a 70% after a new census. The priests asserted that the Census was elaborated on by the school teachers, much akin to adding crosses on the questions related to the speaking of English language. Furthermore, he considered the 10% was an excessive figure and asserted that “the Chamorro people still today does not speak English” (Arrayoz, n.d., p. 29). Spanish was almost not used anymore, except among religious priests and the most deeply hispanicized. Oscar Luján Calvo, or Pale Scot, as he is called, the only Chamorro priest to survive the Japanese occupation of Guam, can show these feelings as thorough the references that can be read in Olano’s Diary of the Japanese Occupation. On one occasion, he heard the confession of eleven blind Puerto Ricans, surely in Spanish and on another, he decided to speak, again in Spanish, when asked to record, phonographically, about his experiences during the Japanese occupation. (Olano, Diary…, pp. 129, 131) There are also other references that point to a language not yet forgotten but, in any case, Spanish was not an alternative to English and was not used anymore for preaching after 1916 (Vera, 1949b, [12]).
Washington’s policy of Chamorros speaking English, then, had to be detracted from the use of Chamorro. Olano seems to suggest this as the reason for his departure, when, in his Diary, he warns American officials that without more Chamorro-speaking priests, in addition to Father Calvo, many islanders would die without receiving the last sacraments. The answer was clear: “There are orders that English must be used.”(Olano, Diary…, p. 133) Of course, Spanish could be an impediment to that policy and the arrival, on 19 July 1945, of Francisco Ramón Espinosa, a Spanish professor at Annapolis, in order to translate Spanish documents concerning the history of Guam into English, emphasizes the American concern with the Spanish language as a hindrance for their desires. (Olano, 1949, p. 156) But the main obstacle to American planning was the still widespread usage of Chamorro, which is what Arrayoz asserted the Guamese were speaking.
The position of American officials in relation to religion and the social values of the population appears as having the same line of thinking. While the American usage and habits seem to have made little inroads among the population, the more conservative ideas held by the Spanish priests fitted better with the traditional points of view of the elders pf the islands. They surely shared Olano’s comments in a letter dated August 27, 1945, against the 200.000 soldiers “hungry for pleasure” and the suspicions towards the girls attending dances on Saturdays and Sundays, “it is not strange that misfortunes happen (they are countless).” (Arrayoz, 1943, p. 20) Besides any kind of cultural attachment to Spain, that was even more remote after the Pacific War, the popularity of those values relied on being assumed by the population as their own. The diminishing of the importance of Hispanic culture as a part of the Chamorro identity can again be understood as the continuation of the pre-war policy that considered Christianity and the English language as the two most important aspects in assimilating the Micronesians to US control, but with a reinvigorated strength. The substitution of Spaniards by the American clergy could help speed a ‘‘… more rapid Americanization of the natives.’’[20]
In 1945, there was a crucial difference to the policy towards the Chamorros that had been carried out before: this time the Navy did not pursue its policy towards the islands exclusively. Spellman’s disagreements with Nimitz forced the Cardinal to write President Truman, soon after the admiral’s dismissal in November 1945, warning on the consequences of the departure of western missionaries: ‘‘… all the good done in the interest of Christianity will be lost and the natives will then have only one path open to them —the return to their former pagan and savage lives.’’[21] President Truman ordered the State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee to study it. Following Friedman, they came to the agreement that those missionaries would not be removed (unless they had been members of Fascist parties) but that it was inadvisable to allow new ones. And the Joint Chiefs of Staff “more specifically,” wanted to limit Spanish priests and nuns while [98] American missionaries were to be “utilized to the maximum extent possible” (Friedman, 2001, p. 121). Truman seemingly accepted the recommendations and Spellman didn’t protest further.
The course of these events resembles the decision after the Spanish-American War to expel Spanish missionaries, later partially overturned just for the lack of other candidates to fill the post. And the need to secure the territory can be traced back to the 1930’s, since Nimitz in 1945 simply revived a policy that the U.S. naval governors had pursued before the war. After the war, the policy was more vigorous: preparing the island to become the base for a bigger and better military defense, this time against the Soviet Union and needing more space than before. Yet, many decisions remained in the air: for example, the regime to govern Guam was to be decided (Maga, 1985, p. 188). And, in relation to the Catholics, the American officials finally were satisfied enough with the removal of the head. Since 1946, there was a kind of relaxation towards Spanish missionaries, that were allowed to enter, even while Fr. Bizcarra, for instance, had attended Falange celebrations in Japan.
For the first time there was an ample agreement in Washington on policy towards Guam, that focused on the cultural security. The results are obvious. Julius Krug, Ickes’ successor as Secretary of the Interior, visited Guam in February and March of 1947, and he asserted that naval administration had taught the Guamanians the general principles of the American way of life and that the Guamanians were ready for autonomy since they ‘‘… speak our language with facility; they understand our political philosophy and have the same social organization and institutions that we have on the mainland. They have been devout Christians for generations and their loyalty to the United States is attested to in suffering and bloodshed.’’ [22]
Things Spanish entered definitely into the historical sphere and the Church stopped being an instrument of agency by the Chamorros against the political power, as had occurred in the Philippines and Guam, both during the Spanish and the American period. The reaction against Tweed can be an example of that lost pattern. The American radioman criticized Fathers Calvo and Dueñas in his memoirs for their behavior during the Japanese Occupation, and Calvo was the organizer of a protest against Tweed when he returned to the island for a while. But this time, the impact of the protest was scarce, without the backing of the American Bishop. Olano surely was also enraged, but his only opportunity was to diminish the importance of the conflict, as he referred a them merely as “small tribulations” in a letter to Cardinal Fumasoni (Olano to Cardinal Fumasoni, Agaña, in Olano, Diary…, pp.154-55.) By then, Olano’s influence was too weak to resist in any way the American wave. When Olano was ordered to leave Guam for the second time, besides the uncertainty about his future, he also carried a sense of puzzlement about the islands in which he lived for almost three decades: so many things had changed in the last weeks that he was unable to grasp them completely. His departure had a deep meaning for Guam since with him went away Catholicism’s association with old Spain and, with it, for better or worse, an identity that for centuries had been part of Guam. Some time later, when Olano returned Guam, his arrival was merely as a person who wished to live in the island. And he died there, in spite of all the changes undergone.

 

NEW ERA, ADAPTED IDENTITY

In the midst of the violence generated by the Pacific War, when many people lost their lives, the personal story of a bishop who wanted to remain among his people and continue preaching was of minor importance. Olano’s rank, or the influence he could wield over the people of Guam, were much more important than his drama and his desire to stay at the island. Regardless of the regime, whether Japanese, Spanish, or American, all looked on Bishop Olano’s case as a means of achieving a particular goal, either to exert a stronger hold over the Chamorros, or to set the foundations for a new policy. Olano, definitely, was a loser because he was powerless among the strings pulled by the opposing interest of foreign interests. [99]
The policy with more lasting consequences was at the end of the Pacific War, when the Bonins, the Volcanoes, and the Aleutians became the ‘‘ultimate’’ line of American defence in the Pacific. It meant that Guam, different than during the Pacific War, was to be defended as an American territory, and made the Americanization of the islanders a target to achieve. That is, that Chamorro identity, or kostumbren chamorru, should be re‑elaborated, so as to be as similar as possible to American culture. By this time, an outdated and specially conservative strand of the Hispanic language, culture and social values had become part of Chamorro ethnicity, supplementing their own original indigenous ethnicity -such as when they used the Chamorro language as a way to distance themselves from their rulers. The reasons to expel Olano, then, appear to have been more pro-American than anti-Spanish or anti-Catholic.
Americans were devoted to the idea thinking it was the best also for the islanders who, in most cases, shared the idea. Many Chamorros in 1945 were inside this category, eager to comply with American suggestions and accepting the culture of the victor as their own. Instead of asking the priests to learn Chamorro, as had happened in the past, they rushed to learn English themselves. They were accepting themselves the convenience of using the English language considering the rejection of part of their own identity as a necessary trade-off with the path of modernity.
Regardless of the contradictions of searching a better future that entailed for them a more limited autonomy than in other territories, the faith placed in the Americans after their liberation from Japan seemingly provoked a certain loss to the Chamorros. By at least in par renouncing their different practice of Catholicism Chamorros lost also an agent for agency, since the Spanish strand can be considered as, in Vicente Diaz’s words, as “a virtual Chamorro domain, a kind of surrogate cultural space” (Diaz 1994, p. 49). Catholic church had worked in the seventeenth century to justify their extermination, but later had been their main defender against the despotism of the governors and the rest of authorities. Chamorros had always run to the church for salvation –material and spiritual- in difficult moments, first when the nationality of the governor and that of the priests were the same, and later when they were different. But after the Pacific War, the political power was not to be overwhelmed easily. If the Guam legislature and the bishop defeated the Navy governor before the war, the case was to be different. The Chamorros seem to have been peripheral losers in the struggle among the great powers to profit from the bishop’s influence and, later, they also lost a part of their ability to influence their own identity.

 

Bibliography

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Author biography and contact
Florentino Rodao holds a Ph. D at the University Complutense of Madrid in Contemporary History and is to get a second degree at the University of Tokyo in Area Studies in 2006. He has taught at the Universities of Wisconsin-Madison, Keiō (Tokyo), Ateneo de Manila and presently works at the Universidad Complutense. He was appointed Associate of MARC and Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University.

 

Home Books Scholarly Articles Reviews

[1] An earlier draft was edited by Marjorie G. Driver; the author thanks her not only this contribution but also the documentation provided for research for this article; without it, this work would have not been written. Wakako Higuchi and an anonymous reviewer have been also very helpful.
[2] Office of Coordination and Review, Department of State, Washington, February 8, 1932. NARA. Record Group 59. Box 3716.
[3] Spanish Foreign Ministry Archives (henceforth, AMAE, for its name in Spanish), Leg. 1737, exp. 13. Méndez de Vigo to Jordana, 8 March 1943.
[4] M.R.P. Xavier de Sangüesa, M.R:P. Román de Vera, M.R.P. Bernabé de Cáseda, M.R.P. Blas de Cáseda, , R.P. Gil de Legaria, R.P. Marcelo de Villavax, R.P. Eugenio de Legaria, R.P. Pastor de Arrayoz, R.P. Serafín de Lazaun, R.P. Santiago de Ibiricu and Br. Vicente de Beortegui.
[5] Interview with Fr. Juan Bizcarra, Koror, May 30, 1994. I thank the information on the book to Wakako Higuchi.
[6] See correspondence in AMAE, Leg. 3195, exp. 36.
[7] Traveling with his wife, daughter, and maid, Navarro Ibáñez’s was an attention-grabbing late appointment made in order to learn of developments in the Pacific War. He was told to proceed first to Río de Janeiro but, in Brazil, his itinerary was changed to travel to India in order to board the Teia Maru.
[8] Interview with Doris Lujan Carrillo, Guam, 1 December 1990.
[9] Notes taken apparently after a question “Which was the reason that you left the house of P. Calvo?” In Arrayoz 1943, p. 28.
[10] Notes taken alter a letter from Bishop Olano to the Convent in Burlada, apparently dated September 27, 1945. Arrayoz, 1943, p. 18.
[11] “[Las autoridades japonesas] ha reiterado la afirmación y promesa de que respetarán la creencias religiosas de los pueblos conquistados. […] En general, se puede decir que han cumplido su promesa” Typescript copy at the Convent of Santo Tomás [Ávila]. Entry of 8 Feb. 1942, pp. 42-43. The published English translation, in Labrador 1989, pp. 60-61.
[12] Magic Summaries, 5 July 1943.
[13] Before this comment from April 24, 1942, in March 8, Olano refers to the same letter as “advising” Dueñas to take charge.
[14] AMAE, Leg. 3195, exp. 32. Méndez Vigo to Serrano Suñer, Madrid, 31 January; and Serrano Suñer to Méndez Vigo,30 March 1942.
[15] Magic Summaries, 5 July 1943. Foreign Minister Shigemitsu to Ambassador Suma, Tokyo, 16 June 1945.
[16] AMAE, Leg. 3196, exp. 36. Jordana to Méndez Vigo, 7 July 1943. On 23 November 1943, the Spanish Foreign Minister still did not know that Olano and Jáuregui had left Japan. AMAE, Leg. 3195, exp. 30.
[17]British comments can be seen in The Times, 17 February 1944, “Spain and Japanese Injustices. A Change of Opinion”; also from the Ambassador in Public Record Office, Foreign Office, series 371, exp. 39735. C2386/216/41, 28 February 1944. Regarding Japanese comments, Magic Summaries, Shigemitsu to Suma, March 1, 1944.
[18] “El obispo de Guam, de origen español, fue encarcelado por sus protestas ante las autoridades niponas. Se quejó de las matanzas realizadas por los japoneses entre la población indígena. Chile va a declarar la guerra a Japón”, ¡Arriba!, 27 March 1945.
[19] Olano, 1949, p. 126; Arrayoz, 1943, pp. 29-30. An intriguing manuscript comment adds “Due to this denial some miles of dollars hidden under the earth were lost.”
[20] House Committee on Naval Affairs, Study of Pacific Bases, 1012–1013, quoted in Friedman, p. 121.
[21] Spellman to Truman, January 15, 1946, file ‘‘State Department Correspondence, 1946–1947,’’ box 38, White House Central Files, HSTL, quoted in Friedman, ibid.
[22] See ‘‘Report to the President: Pacific Island Inspection Tour Of J. A. Krug, Secretary of the Interior, February–March 1947,’’ file OF 85-L, White House Official Files, box 572, HSTL, quoted in Friedman, op. cit., p. 140.

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