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Hamakua Hero : a true plantation story

by P Y Iwasaki; Berido

  Print book : Biography

1880's Hawaiian-Japanese Relations   (2013-02-24)

Very Good

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by bemisjil

Relying on personal interviews with Dr. Fumiko Kobayakawa Kaya, Goto’s niece, and period newspaper reports and other previously published material, author P.Y. Iwasaki and illustrator, Berido capture the cultural legacy and history of the early migration in the 1880’s of Japanese government contracted immigrants to Hawaii. Intermixed with Berido’s snapshot images are tibits about Japanese culture, language, history and extremely poor working conditions that led to the unrest between the Japanese laborers and plantation management.


Told through the eyes of one immigrant, Katsu Goto‘s life is a story of hardship, success, injustice, and ultimate tragedy. In 1885, at 23 years old, Goto left behind his family to join the first shipload of immigrants to sail to Hawaii. There he served three years of indentured service on a sugar plantation before he became a successful store owner. He remained an influential community leader in the fledgling Japanese community until his murder by lynching in 1889.


Ultimately, this is an interpretation of a shocking but little known incident in Hawaii’s history.

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