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An Unlikely Revolutionary

Matsuo Takabuki and the Making of Modern Hawai`i

Matsuo Takabuki

Publication Year: 1998

A confidant of Governor John Burns, a member of the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of Honolulu, a business associate of developer and financier Chinn Ho, a trustee of the Bishop Estate - Matsuo Takabuki has been at the heart of many of the sweeping social, financial, and political changes that have fundamentally altered Hawaii in the last half century. An Unlikely Revolutionary is Takabuki's own story, told in his characteristically straightforward manner, of his life and work as one of the "movers and shakers" behind Hawaii's transformation from an isolated, agriculture-based territory to a highly diverse, competitive modern community.

Published by: University of Hawai'i Press


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

SOMETIMES WONDER why this book needed to be written. I did not care to respond to the many things written about me, largely uncomplimentary, in books and newspapers. I treasure my privacy too much, and I do not have an egotistical urge to do a book on myself. ...

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pp. 1-18

"SOCIAL REVOLUTIONARY” IS not a term that one would normally associate with Matsuo (“Matsy”) Takabuki. Well-known in the Hawaiian Islands over the past four decades as a financial and political leader, Takabuki has been largely viewed as a prominent member of the island establishment. ...

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PROLOGUE Keiki o Ka Aina

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pp. 19-22

THE MAGNIFICENT Great Hall of China in Beijing was filled with government officials of the People’s Bank of China, the Central Bank of China, and the Central Bank of the People’s Republic of China, Asian business leaders, and representatives of the Pacific Rim institutions that had joined together to create ...

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CHAPTER ONE From Hawai‘i’s Plantation to Europe’s Battleground

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pp. 23-46

THE HAWAI ‘I IN which I was born in the 1920s would be a foreign world to the modern generation of islanders familiar with the bustling cosmopolitan society of the Hawaiian Islands. I grew up in Haleiwa, a small town on the North Shore of Oahu, which was at the time a tight-knit community primarily consisting of ...

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CHAPTER TWO Hawai‘i after the War: A Time for Change

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pp. 47-60

EVEN AFTER THE war, the nisei’s desire to prove themselves as first-class Americans continued to be a driving force. Our military service qualified us to receive certain benefits under the GI Bill of Rights. For those of us whose university careers had been suspended by war service, this was a godsend, providing us with ...

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CHAPTER THREE At the Heart of a Revolution

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pp. 61-78

THE EXHILARATION FOLLOWING our political victory at the polls soon abated as the realities of governing became clear. As a newly elected member of the Board of Supervisors, I quickly realized that I was only one vote out of seven. The many changes we as veterans had envisioned could not occur simply ...

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CHAPTER FOUR The Financial Revolution

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pp. 79-96

BESIDES THE POLITICAL revolution that was transforming Hawai‘i, there were also exciting economic changes. Returning veterans were educated, highly skilled professionals seeking greater economic participation within the community. They were teaming up with budding entrepreneurs and older-generation risk-takers ...

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CHAPTER FIVE The Nisei Trustee of the Bishop Estate

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pp. 97-140

THE FORMAL ANNOUNCEMENT of my appointment as trustee of the Bishop Estate came as a complete surprise to the community. I had not been suggested as one of the probable candidates in the rumor mill, and interested parties knew I did not solicit appointment to the position. ...

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CHAPTER SIX Toward the Pacific Rim Century

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pp. 141-170

IT IS WIDELY recognized that the twenty-first century will be characterized by the emerging economic growth and leadership of the Pacific Rim nations. The greatest challenge for the United States, which is biased toward Europe, is to overcome the many cultural misconceptions that seem endemic to East– West relations. ...

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CHAPTER SEVEN Reflections from inside Hawai‘i

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pp. 171-188

THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS have experienced many changes in the past fifty years that have revolutionized our society, economy, and way of life. In retrospect, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the advent of World War II, the triumphs of the 100th Battalion and 442nd and the military intelligence groups, and the political ...

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EPILOGUE As Good as the Next Guy

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pp. 189-192

AS I APPROACHED mandatory retirement at the age of seventy in 1993, my staff and my daughter began planning a retirement party. Early on, I indicated that I did not want a big celebration at a Waikiki hotel, but a small, informal, by-invitation-only gathering with the Kamehameha Schools’ ohana and friends. ...

Appendix A The 442nd Veterans Club: A President Looks Back on Its First Five Years

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pp. 193-196

Appendix B An Address to the Hawaiian Civic Clubs

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pp. 197-203

Appendix C Legacy of the Princess: An Address to the Oahu District Council of Hawaiian Civic Clubs

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pp. 204-210

Appendix D Bishop Estate Today—The Rest of You Tomorrow

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pp. 211-216

Appendix E Speech to National AJA Veterans Reunion

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pp. 217-221

Appendix F 1991 Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate Service Awards

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pp. 222-228


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pp. 229-232


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pp. 233-237

E-ISBN-13: 9780824861438
Print-ISBN-13: 9780824820237

Publication Year: 1998

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Subject Headings

  • Takabuki, Matsuo, 1923-.
  • Politicians -- Hawaii -- Biography.
  • Hawaii -- Politics and government -- 1959-.
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