Shopping Hints for Visitors to Hawaii

Visitors to Hawaii often buy gifts to take home. Food can include Macadamia nut chocolates, Kona coffee, and dried poi. Merchandise can include ukulele, aloha shirts, and lei.

Over a hundred years ago, the Hawaiian Star recommended a few curios: Hawaiian calabashes, weapons, tapa cloth, and jewelry. Read more about it in “Shopping Hints for Visitors.”

Okame, the Shark Hunter

In a story, King Kamehameha sentenced Okame, a fisherman, to death for insulting the fire goddess Pele. Kamehameha loved shark fishing, so he used his prisoners as shark bait, which was soon to be Okame’s fate. However, Okame realized that he could help Kamehameha capture a huge shark without and survive. What happened to Okame?

Read this story, “Okame, The Shark Hunter,” in The Washington Times.

Women from Hawaii visit the Pacific Northwest

In 1909, four women from Hawaii would go on a four-month tour of the U.S. Pacific Coast. The Seattle Star says Florence Kim-Fung Ho was “one of the most interesting fair visitors” and describes her as an American “except for her Chinese features”: “She speaks and acts just as any American young woman would, and she is thoroughly interested in teaching.”

Ho describes how children in Hawaii do not dress:

“A few years back the children of the Hawaiian islands may have gone to school scantily clad, or in some case clad as nature adorned them, but those days have passed.”

Another woman on the tour, Elizabeth K. Victor, a granddaughter of former governor S. K. Kipi, expresses her pride in her Hawaiian culture:

“I am very proud of my country, and while I have always thought our music the most beautiful in the world, I am more than ever in love with it since hearing it far away from home.”

Read more about these women in “Chinese Girl Who Teaches in Hawaii is Visiting Here.”

The Development of Hotels in Waikiki

What images do you usually conjure up when you think of Waikiki? Hotels? Tourists? Retail businesses? It wasn’t always a tourist mecca. In fact, before the 1800s, Waikiki was a marshland where Native Hawaiians raised taro and fish, and Hawaiian royalty surfed the waves at the beach.

As the number of visitors to Hawaii increased in the 1880s, hotels were opening and Waikiki, and Waikiki became a place for visitors. Hawaii newspapers provide an insight to the development of Waikiki. Read more about it in the “The Development of Hotels in Waikiki.”

Prostitution in Hawaii

Japanese women in Hawaii in the 1800s worked in the plantations, but many of them also worked as prostitutes.

As Hawaii served as a hub for the whaling industry in the 1800s, many transient men came to Hawaii, and the prostitution industry in Hawaii boomed. But who did the boom benefit?

Woman’s Christian Temperance Union activist Ada Murcutt laments the sex trafficking of Japanese women in Hawaii:

“… Japanese girls are employed on the plantations. They have … long hours and small pay. The procurer visits the scene of their labors and assumes the role of ‘guide, philosopher and friend.’ He generally begins by [sympathizing] with them in their hard lot and ends by promising to get them easy, lucrative employment in the city. The poor girl, ignorant of his wily devices, gladly accepts his proffered assistance, the plantation hoe or rake is dropped, the city is sought, and the first link in a chain … is forged, and too late the girl awakes to the fact that her erstwhile benefactor is her master and she his slave.”

Read more in the editorial “Slavery Under the Stars of Stripes.”

“The Pacific Commercial Advertiser (PCA)” begins!

Today in history — July 2, 1856 — The Pacific Commercial Advertiser — later known as The Honolulu Advertiser — debuted on the streets of Honolulu. The first issue reported the marriage of King Kamehameha IV and Emma Rooke.

Read more about it in the very first issue!
Pacific commercial advertiser, July 2, 1856

The Pacific Commercial Advertiser was an Establishment newspaper in English and Hawaiian Honolulu, weekly, semiweekly, then daily except Sun,
2 Jul 1856–3o Mar 1921.

According to Helen Chapin, the PCA is the 2nd oldest continuously published newspaper in Hawai‘i. (The Friend began in 1843.)
Founding editor Whitney observed correctly that it is a paper “destined to exert more than an ephemeral influence on . . . our community and nation.” Original publication coincided in 1856 with the U.S. 4th of July observance. Except for 1880–1887, when Walter Murray Gibson ran it and supported King Kaläkaua and his policies, the PCA was editorially and in its news columns pro-American and pro-annexation. Whitney also began the Daily Bulletin, ancestor of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

Other title: Daily Pacific Commercial Advertiser.

Included in Hoku Loa O Hawaii (Morning Star), which became a separate publication in 1856, and Nupepa Kuokoa (Independent Press), (1861–1927). Pubs 19th c: Henry M. Whitney, James Black, James Auld, Henry L. Sheldon, Walter Murray Gibson, W. G. Irwin & Co, Hawaiian Gazette Co, Lorrin A. Thurston; 2oth c: Lorrin A. Thurston, Advertiser Publishing Co, Thurston Twigg-Smith family, Gannett Co, Inc. Eds: 19th c: Henry M. Whitney, W. L. Green, H.A.P. Carter, H. L. Sheldon,Walter Murray Gibson, Joseph. S. Webb, Robert J. Creighton, Wray Taylor, Henry Northrup Castle, Arthur Johnstone, Wallace Rider Farrington, W. N. Armstrong, Walter Gifford Smith; 2oth c: Walter Gifford Smith, Roderick O. Matheson, Edward P. Irwin, Sam Trissel. Cont by Honolulu Advertiser, The (1921- )

Union List: AH mf, HSL mf, UHM mf General circulation.

Chapin, Helen Geracimos. Guide to newspapers of Hawaiʻi, 1834-2000. Honolulu : Hawaiian Historical Society, 2000.

The Twelve-year-old Thief

A twelve-year-old boy stole twenty-five watches in two days. How did he do it?

Read more about it in “12-Year-Old Lad Expert Thief.”