Pieces of Aloha

A documentary

 

Seventy-five years ago, a simple act of love, has set into motion multiple projects that will be featured for the first time at this year’s silver anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. What began the day the U.S. involvement in WWII has joined Gordon Richiusa, (Author, editor and story owner) with co-producer Michelle Manu (half-Hawaiian teacher of Lua/Hula) as they return a special artifact to Oahu to take part in the 75th Anniversary events.

The documentary, Pieces of Aloha (with participating Oahu director, Edgy Lee--and managing director Mark Cole) follows a real life quest of a son to honor his 95 year old father’s wishes and to “Do something good” with the only known “Sweetheart Souvenir” from the battle of Pearl Harbor. A linking hearts bracelet, designed and made by Sam Richiusa, we call Heroes’ Hearts© was made from a downed Japanese plane by a young Marine Corporal for his newlywed bride. The actions and simple recollections of an average, Sicilian American Marine, is the catalyst for launching a larger story of love and duty to which all generations can relate. The documentary is part of several currently evolving stories/projects, which rewrite WW2 history for the Hawaiian people, Japanese Americans and nationals, Italian Americans, and African American Marines. “When this story is fully revealed,” says Michelle Manu. “We will all have a richer understanding of the word Aloha.”

The original bracelet will be displayed at various museums around the country including (on occasion we hope) the Japanese American Historical Society Museum in Los Angeles, California. Currently, the ONLY place to see the original bracelet on PERMANENT DISPLAY, is at the Pacific Islands Ethnic Art Museum, in Long Beach, CA. https://www.pieam.org

In addition to the documentary and other film and text projects, exact replicas of the Heroes’Hearts bracelet are being created, with the hope of offering assistance to PTSD victims. “Our hope is that we can create a symbol of true aloha that is beyond all borders and restrictions, something that any man or woman, father, mother, daughter, or son can relate understand and value. When we talk about Heroes’ Hearts, that’s what we mean…When my dad handed me the bracelet, at my mother’s memorial and said, ‘Do something good with this,’ he knew exactly what he was doing.”

Michelle Manu at Hickam Beach wearing the original and replica Heroes' Hearts bracelets 

Michelle Manu at Hickam Beach wearing the original and replica Heroes' Hearts bracelets 

Hickam Beach, 60 years after Pearl Harbor

Hickam Beach, 60 years after Pearl Harbor

Michelle Manu dances on Hickam Beach wearing the origianl and replica Heroes' Hearts bracelets