Booksigning at KCC

Booksigning by Barbara F. Kawakami of her book Picture Bride Stories

On April 13 ,2017 from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
Kauai Community College   Office of Continuing Education and Training Bldg.  room  106 c/d

During the 1885 to 1924 immigration period of sugar plantation laborers from Japan to Hawaiʻi, more than 200,000 Japanese, mostly men, made the long journey by ship to Hawaiʻi.

As it became apparent that they would never return to Japan, many of the men sent for brides to join them in their adopted home.  More than 20,000 of these “picture brides” immigrated from Japan and Okinawa to Hawaiʻi to marry husbands whom they knew only through photographs exchanged between them or their families.

Based on Barbara Kawakami’s first-hand interviews with sixteen of these women, Picture Bride Stories is a poignant collection that recounts the diverse circumstances that led them to marry strangers, their voyages to Hawaiʻi, the surprises and trials that they encountered upon arriving, and the lives they led upon settling in a strange new land.  Many found hardship, yet persevered and endured the difficult working and living conditions of the sugarcane plantations for the sake of their children.  As they acclimated to a foreign place and forged new relationships, they overcame challenges and eventually prospered in a better life.

The stories of the issei women exemplify the importance of friendships and familial networks in coping with poverty and economic security.  Although these remarkable women are gone, their legacy lives on in their children, grandchildren, and succeeding generations.

The program will include a screening of excerpts of interviews with some of the women featured in Picture Bride Stories that were conducted with Barbara Kawakami for various segments of the Rice & Roses television series.

These interviews presentation is courtesy of the Center for Labor Education and Research (CLEAR), University of Hawaiʻi – West Oahu. Chris Conybeare, Producer/Writer, Joy Chong-Stannard, Director/Editor.”

This program was made possible with the generous support of a grant from The Hiroaki, Elaine & Lawrence Kono Foundation and the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i.