Hawaii families discover connections to ancestors who toiled on plantations long ago
By Nina Wu email@example.com
May 27, 2018
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ILLUSTRATION BY MARTHA HERNANDEZ / MHERNANDEZ@STARADVERTISER.COM
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the very first Japanese contract laborers in Hawaii. They are known as Gannenmono, or “first year people,” because they left their native country at the start of the Meiji Era in Japan.
BISHOP MUSEUM ARCHIVES
Four Gannenmono, in photo at far right, Katsusaburo Yoshida, left, Yonekichi Sakuma, Sentaro Ishii and Hanzo Tanagawa made Hawaii their home. This photo was taken in 1922.
COURTESY GWEN SANCHEZ
Portrait of Tokujiro Sato and his wife, Kalala.
ANNA PACHECO / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER
Jamelyn Pe‘a of Kohala, Hawaii island, is the daughter of Gwendellyn Sanchez and a fifth-generation descendant of Tokujiro Sato, one of the Gannenmono who arrived in Hawaii in 1868. Jamelyn and husband Una Pe‘a are pictured with their children, from left, Mahonri, 8, Nephi, 11 months, twins Isamu and Emiko, 4, Emma, 2, Liahona, 7, and Levi, 5
COURTESY HAUNANI JOAQUIN
Portrait of Sentaro Ishii and his wife, Kahele.
RON PAUL / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER
Haunani Joaquin of Hilo, third from left, is a fifth-generation descendant of Sentaro Ishii, a former samurai who left Japan in 1868 to work on Hawaii sugar plantations. She is surrounded by her children and grandchildren. Pictured from left are Kualono Ka‘upu, Kahele Joaquin, Haunani Joaquin, Iwikau‘ikaua Joaquin, Naupaka Joaquin, Hinaikamalama Guadiz, Randall Guadiz, and front from left, Lei‘ulahinaakamamalu Guadiz, Kupulau‘aweo Joaquin.