Plaintiff, a Hawaiian corporation, brought suit under section 9 of the Trading with the Enemy Act for the return of real and personal property vested in 1948 under authority of section S(b). Evidence was introduced to show that plaintiff's members were largely alien Japanese; that, prior to December 7, 1941, plaintiff operated what purported to be a Shinto shrine in Honolulu where three Japanese gods were worshiped; that the shrine looked like a Shinto shrine and was in some respects operated like one. It was further shown that plaintiff's members had no real understanding of the tenets of Shintoism as it existed in Japan; that in Japan Shintoism had been distorted and used as an ideological weapon against Japan's enemies; and that plaintiff had ties of love and affection with the Shintoist organization in Japan. The court found as a fact that plaintiff was not controlled, directly or indirectly, financially or ideologically, by the Japanese government, and that, whatever ties with Japan might have existed before or during the war, MacArthur's order of 1945, providing that Shintoism would no longer be recognized as a state religion, divested the Japanese government of any control over Shintoism anywhere in the world. Held, "the plaintiff has proven itself eligible under the Act to have a judicial order directing the Custodian to return to it the vested property ... it will be so ordered .... " The evidence disclosed no enemy taint, and the vesting was a violation of the first amendment of the Constitution of the United States. Kotohira Jinsha v. McGrath, (D.C. Hawaii 1950) 90 F. Supp. 892.
Jean Engstrom S. Ed.,
INTERNATIONAL LAW-ALIENS-CONFISCATION OF ALIEN ENEMY PROPERTY-ALIEN ENEMY CHARACTER OF SHINTO SHRINE IN HAWAII,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol49/iss8/20