First they used Hawaiian labor on the plantations. But it was Hawaiian tradition to work only to meet immediate needs. So there was no year-round workforce. By 1850, the sugar industry exploded. Plantations needed cheap labor. Fast. The first workers came from China. Then Japan, Korea, the Philippines… The laborers had hopes of making money quickly and returning home. Raising Cane was backbreaking work and the pay was meager. Men who came to Hawaii had big dreams. They thought they would strike it rich. But the reality of plantation life was so different from what they were told by recruiters.
Gaylord Kubota, Domingo Los Banos, Espy Garcia, Ah Quon McElrath, Barbara Kawakami, Alma Ogata, Fuzzy Alboro, George Fujiwara, May Fujiwara, Jon Arisumi. Moses Pataki, and Richard Nagame. Scholars Ronald Takaki, Franklin Odo, Bill Puette, William Boylan, Lee Tonouchi, Kent Sakoda and Jeffrey Siegel. Actors Dann Seki, Chisao Hata, Denise Aoki Chinen, and Keith Kashiwada. Hole Hole Bushi songs were sung by Shigeko Miyashiro.