Lecture: An Okinawan Sense of Place

November 5, 2009, 3–4:30 p.m., Kuykendall 410

Jon Shirota is the author of Lucky Come Hawaii , the first novel by an Asian American writer in Hawai‘i to become a national bestseller. Shirota will discuss how he came to write this landmark novel. “It’s the ’Merican way of life,” Kenyei expounded. “’Merican children are not taught to have honor and respect for the elders, not even for their own parents. I’ve heard some of them calling their parents by their first names.” “You’re right, Kenyei,” Kama agreed, disconsolate. “The children in ’Merica are not being brought up properly. The sooner we’re under Japan, the better off our children will be. It’s getting so the Niseis don’t know they are Japanese anymore. They have funny names like Hah-ry, Ge-o-gie, Wi-ri-am . . . Only the other day, while walking down Market Street in Wailuku, I heard someone calling a Japanese boy ‘Rincon.’ Why, that boy looked no more like Ab-ra-ham Rincon than I look like Ge-o-gie Wa-shin-ton.”
—from Lucky Come Hawaii

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