It seemed that this time Hideki Tanaka was off to Guam, where in 1941 the Japanese forces had defeated the American troops stationed there. Hideki’s mission on the island went well; the requisite oil and rubber, and small amounts of steel were acquired and once again some gold and treasure was also obtained. Upon reaching the end of the mission, Joshua was surprised to read that Tanaka had actually assisted the contact and his family, taking them away from Guam and escorting them to his next destination, Palau. Perhaps he’d had a guilty conscience after Saipan, Joshua mused.
Palau’s economy at the time was based mostly upon coconuts, local produce, and of course fishing. But apparently Palau held an amazing secret, concealed within the ancient history of its largest island, Babeldaob. Treasure. Coincidentally, Tanaka’s contact on Palau was named Takara, which in Japanese meant ‘treasure’. In his memoirs, Tanaka wrote that this was a good omen for the mission.
Incredibly, there existed an ancient stone pyramid on Babeldaob that was at least two thousand years old, concealed from the outside world by the surrounding trees, and beneath that lay treasure that had remained hidden for centuries. With guidance from the contact, Hideki Tanaka’s men were able to enter the sub-surface burial chamber and steal the treasure gathered there. Hideki’s men had left the pyramid looking as if nobody had been there, and departed the island before the nearby tribe of natives had even suspected their presence. No lives had been taken, and once again Hideki Tanaka was able to help out the contact by securing a job for him back on Palau’s main island of Koror.
Joshua shook his head, admitting that maybe he had been wrong in assuming that Tanaka’s grandfather Hideki was purely a monster. Obviously he had possessed a good and honorable side to him as well, and Joshua supposed that good and evil existed side by side in most people. He wondered if the same was true of Tetsuo Tanaka. Could the Oyabun possibly have a good side to him? Joshua thought that would be hard to imagine, despite how civil and hospitable he had been so far on this trip. But Tanaka had forced his own wife into slavery! Joshua reminded himself. Just thinking about it made his mind spin, and he forced himself to re-focus on the journal.
Before Joshua read further, he briefly wondered what happened to all the treasure that Hideki accumulated during the war, and considered flipping to the diary’s last page. However, he resisted the urge, as it would be hard to try and locate the exact point where Hideki may have explained that. He would have to translate pages of kanji in the process, and Hideki might not have even revealed where the gold ended up or where it was concealed if that were the case. Instead Joshua kept reading from the page he was on.