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Grandfather Fujioka in Wailua

My grandfather Fujioka was quite an entrepreneur himself. I don’t know how he did it but he somehow got out of the cane fields pretty early and he actually got the lease from the plantation to run the plantation store so he ran the plantation store (they had different camps at these plantations) so they went to Wailua on the north shore of Oahu, Wailua Sugar Company, and so they had the general store there in Japanese camp, but then they expanded and ran the general store for all the camps, and at the height of his business whatever history, they had three stores, a movie theater… anyway he was quite the entrepreneur. And so typical Japanese style, two brothers and the sister ran the store, and my father being the youngest, he was the first graduate from Wailua high school, and he was the first Fujioka to to go to college, and graduate from college and go to dental school, so they just pushed him up the next rung.


entrepreneurship Hawaii plantations stores United States

Date: April 25, 2018

Location: California, US

Interviewer: John Esaki

Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

Interviewee Bio

Robert Fujioka was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1952. He attended the University of Michigan earning a BA degree and earned an MBA from the University of Hawai'i. He has been in the banking industry since 1974 and currently serves as Vice Chair, Japanese American National Museum Board of Trustees, a Trustee of the Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation, and the First Hawaiian Bank Foundation. (November 2018)

George Ariyoshi
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George Ariyoshi

Decision to run for governor

(b.1926) Democratic politician and three-term Governor of Hawai'i

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George Ariyoshi
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George Ariyoshi

Being fair

(b.1926) Democratic politician and three-term Governor of Hawai'i

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George Ariyoshi
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George Ariyoshi

Role of Hawaii internationally

(b.1926) Democratic politician and three-term Governor of Hawai'i

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Jean Hayashi Ariyoshi
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Jean Hayashi Ariyoshi

Working in the pineapple fields

Former First Lady of Hawai'i

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Jean Hayashi Ariyoshi
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Jean Hayashi Ariyoshi

Tree planting

Former First Lady of Hawai'i

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Haruo Kasahara
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Haruo Kasahara

Sings traditional plantation labor song (ho-le ho-le bushi) in Japanese and Hawaiian

(b.1900) Issei plantation worker in Hawai'i.

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

Going back to Hawaii

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

1920 labor strike

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

Racial make-up of plantation camps

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

Clothes of plantation workers

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Barbara Kawakami

Surviving after father's death

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

Washing for Filipino bachelors

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Barbara Kawakami
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Barbara Kawakami

Kids working hard

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Bombing of Pearl Harbor

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