The Japanese Occupation of an Alaska Island
Distributed for University of Alaska Press
The bastion of Japan’s possessions in Alaska, Kiska was soon fortified with 7,500 enemy troops, their equipment, and a labyrinth of tunnels. For thirteen months Japanese troops withstood constant bombardment from American forces while retaining a tenuous hold on the island. Finally forced to abandon their position, the Japanese occupiers evacuated without their equipment and personal effects, leaving behind a trail of artifacts.
Brendan Coyle spent fifty-one days on the island searching out the tunnels, the equipment, and the objects, all frozen in time. Kiska brings together the images Coyle amassed during his exploration and his archival research. Accompanying explanations put the images in historical perspective, opening a window on a little-known battlefield and shining a rare light on a shadowy occupation.