In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Lucky Come Hawaii
  • Jon Shirota


Very deep and sincere gratitude is expressed to the following: the late Lowney Handy of the Handy Writers' Colony in Marshall, Illinois; Professor Katsunori Yamazato of the University of the Ryukyus for discovering this novel and changing my life because of his discovery; Professor Frank Stewart of the University of Hawai'i for his faith, belief, and willingness to come out with this new edition of Lucky Come Hawaii; Pat Matsueda for her devotion and fine reediting of this novel; Marilyn M. Owens for her rare friendship and understanding during the initial stages of the novel; and my late sister, Evelyn Y. Tan, without whose contributions this novel would never have been written.

J. S. [End Page v]

Chapter One

It was just another sunny, lazy Sunday morning, but for Kama Gusuda, driving to Wailuku in his light-green 1938 Ford pickup with a slaughtered pig and three empty slop cans in the back, it was a day of much happiness. Only last night he had listened to his number one son, Ichiro, speak all the way from Tokyo. Ichiro had been the honored speaker for the 1941 class of Waseda University.

There must have been thousands of Japanese in Hawaii who had also listened to his son over the radio, Kama told himself proudly. He kept driving the pickup at a crawling pace, rubbing his craggy, unshaven chin with his free hand, feeling slightly hungover from drinking too much sake. And the Nippu Jiji was bound to have an article about it in next week's issue. Perhaps even have Ichiro's picture on the front page. Kama's eyes behind the steel-rimmed bifocals beamed wistfully. After all, his number one son was the first Nisei to graduate from Waseda with such honors.

It was good to know that Ichiro had at last gotten through school. His education had been very costly. But it had been worth it. He was a wonderful boy. A credit to the family. The number two boy, Niro, was also a credit to the family. He was attending the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. Of course, it would have been much better had Kama been able to afford a Japanese education for Niro, too. But Niro had always wanted to go to America someday and become a dentist, and was willing to work his way. Kama was proud of these two sons.

But the third boy, Saburo, who was still in high school—what happened to him? Why was he so different from the other two? He was lazy, didn't care for school, had no ambition at all. The worst part was that he had no respect for his father and mother anymore. Kama had even caught him in a pool hall in Wailuku one day when he should have been in school. Something definitely must be done about that boy, or he might end up a good-for-nothing bum. [End Page 1]

And there was Kimiko, the only girl in the family, just above Saburo. She, too, was hard to understand. At times she acted like a Kanaka girl. She cared nothing about the Japanese traditions. Good God, there was no telling! If he had not put a stop to her going to those awful dances where men and women practically went through the sexual act while embracing each other on the floor, she might have married one of those lazy Porlegee or Kanaka boys from around those places.

Moving slowly on the narrow macadam road bordered by green cane fields, Kama thought Kimiko would one day meet some nice Japanese boy and get married. She was already eighteen, so it would not be long before she had a family of her own.

The best thing for the Gusuda family—now that Ichiro had graduated—was to move back to Japan. That way, the two younger children would be under Ichiro's influence and would have a closer tie with the customs of the old country. But moving to Japan was expensive. Maybe in a year or two it might be possible.

Pushing his sweat-stained straw hat to the back of his head...