The Oldest Japanese in Hawaii

Mrs. Ryu Muramoto was the oldest Japanese in Hawaii in 1915. Seventy-five years old, she lived with her son by St. Andrew’s church. Her family was the only Japanese family with four generations in Honolulu. Read more about it in “Is Oldest Japanese in Hawaii.”

“Is Oldest Japanese in Hawaii”
Honolulu star-bulletin, November 1, 1915, Page 7

First Territorial Legislature

This month in history — February 20, 1901 — the Territory of Hawaii’s first legislature met for the first time in Iolani Palace. During the first session in Honolulu, territory president Sanford B. Dole welcomed the newly elected representatives and senators. Afterward, the legislature was already considering a controversial issue: legalizing opium. Read more about it in the Hawaiian Gazette.

Hawaiian Gazette’s Coverage of the Hawaii Legislature’s Beginning
The Hawaiian gazette, February 21, 1896, Page 4

A Glimpse of Honolulu

A hundred and one years ago, a writer from Nebraska described the scenes and lifestyle of Honolulu:

“The Hawaiian islands are a lotus eaters’ land, where it is always afternoon and where the call to strenuous work is seldom heard. They are an ideal place for a vacation, especially in the winter months…”

Read more about it in “A Glimpse of Honolulu.”

Travel Writing: “A Glimpse of Honolulu”
Dakota County herald., September 10, 1914, Image 3

Valentine’s Day Disappearing in Honolulu?

Today in history — Valentine’s day 1902 — The Hawaiian Star reported people in Honolulu no longer celebrated Valentine’s day:

“The … established customs of St. Valentine’s day with its exchange of tributes … have apparently passed into decadence … and the mail carriers of Honolulu will not dread St. Valentine’s Day with a haunting preminiscence of a heavy load of loving missives. Even the storekeepers have practically given it up.”

Read more about it in “Dan Cupid Flouted.”

“Dan Cupid Flouted: Valentines No Longer Sent in Honolulu”
The Hawaiian star, February 13, 1902, Image 1

Hula at the Panama-Pacific Exposition

With Hawaiian music playing, Hawaiian women danced in grass skirts before thousands of attendees in the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco in 1915. With their “dusky beauty and grace,” the smiling dancers introduced Hawaii as the land of hula. Read more about it in “The Fascinating South Sea Villages at the Great San Francisco Fair.”

“The Fascinating South Sea Villages at the Great San Francisco Fair”
Richmond times-dispatch, June 6, 1915, Image 47

Happy birthday, Kamehameha IV!

Today in history — February 9, 1834 — Happy birthday, King Kamehameha IV! Born Alexander ʻIolani Liholiho, he would eventually become the fourth monarch of Hawaii. Read more how he celebrated his twenty-eighth birthday in “His Majesty’s Birthday.”

“His Majesty’s Birthday”
Polynesian, February 15, 1862, Image 2

Hawaii’s First Movie Night

Today in history — February 5, 1897 — the first motion pictures were shown for the first time in Hawaii at the Opera house. Advertisements proclaimed, “It produces life!” “It baffles analysis!” and “It amazes all!” Read more about it in “First Night at the Movies.”

First Night at the Movies

A Chinese Marries a Japanese: A Rare Occurrence in Hawaii in 1907

Interracial marriages are accepted in Hawaii today, but it wasn’t always like that. In 1907, a Chinese man married a Japanese widow in Honolulu. The judge remembered only one other case in which a Chinese person married a Japanese. Read more about it in “Chinese Marries Japanese Widow.”

“Chinese Marries Japanese Widow”
The Pacific commercial advertiser, October 12, 1907, Image 1

Princess Likelike’s Death

Today in history — February 2, 1887 — Princess Likelike, the mother of Princess Victoria Kaiulani, died at age 36. Afterwards, she was lying in state in the throne room of Iolani Palace:

“In the center, resting upon a catafalque, … lay the body of the deceased Princess clad in a robe of spotless satin, whose snowy folds depended over a pall of yellow plush, bordered with blue of a similar material. Her white gloved hands were crossed upon her bosom in an attitude of resignation. The shadeless hue of the garment she wore was scarcely relieved by the pallid countenance, which was marked by an expression of peaceful tranquility, the head resting upon a pillow of white satin.”

Read more about it in “Lying in State.”

“Lying in State”
The Pacific commercial advertiser., February 04, 1887, Image 3