Hisakichi Kuroiwa was born in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan, in 1870, migrated to New Caledonia in the early 1900s and worked there as a labourer. He was arrested in New Caledonia by the French authorities in late 1941 and transferred to Australia for internment via the Cap des Palmes in March 1942. He was sent to Loveday immediately upon arrival in Australia. In January 1943, Kuroiwa spent three days in isolation in Loveday when found in possession of 500 francs.
Kuroiwa, who had chronic asthma, was 75 years old at war’s end and requested that he be repatriated to New Caledonia rather than to Japan. In March 1946, Hisakichi was transferred to the Tatura Internment camp in Victoria pending a decision on his fate. In September 1946, the Department of External Affairs contacted the French Legation in Canberra asking if he could be returned to New Caledonia. The French Legation’s reply was that the Governor of New Caledonia had vetoed his return there. On 3 April 1947, due to his poor physical condition, the Minister for Immigration approved a rare indefinite stay on his deportation. Hisakichi died at the Heidelberg Hospital in Melbourne on 26 October 1947 at the age of 77.
NAA: A367 C73351 Kuroiwa Hisakichi
NAA: MP1103/1 CJ22221 Prisoner of War/Internee: Kuroiwa Hisakichi; Year of birth 1870; Nationality-Japanese
Ward, R (2016) ‘Repatriating the Japanese from New Caledonia, 1941-1946’, The Journal of Pacific History 51 (4): 392-408.
Author: Rowena Ward