Okage Sama De: I Am What I Am Because of You (Trailer)

Chapter 1 - Departures and Arrivals

Departure & Arrivals explores what brought Japanese immigrants to Hawai'i over a century ago. Since the first arrivals in Hawaiʻi of the Gannenmono (First People) in 1868, we've asked "Why did they leave behind everything they knew in Japan for a foreign land?" Long-time volunteer docent, John Okutani, will guide you in understanding the journey of the first Japanese immigrants and the lives they pioneered in Hawai'i for themselves and future generations to come.

Chapter 2 - Plantation and the Plantation House

For many Japanese people in Hawaiʻi, plantation life contrives vivid memories. Listen to Ethel Murakami share hers and her fellow docent Elaine Okazaki's families' stories of living and working on the plantation.

Chapter 3 - Pre-WWII Hawaiʻi

Lynda Miyamoto Asato, a volunteer docent, shares her grandmother's journey as a picture bride and how Japanese newspapers, labor strikes, education, religion, and new business ventures shaped pre-WWII life for the Japanese in Hawai'i.

Chapter 4 - World War II Hawaiʻi

Join volunteer docent, Jane Kurahara, in exploring World War II Hawai'i. What was life like on the Homefront for those living in Hawai'i during WWII? What happened to a selective part of the Japanese population in Hawai'i during WWII—namely those who were arrested and incarcerated? What was the response of 10,000 Nisei sons, or second-generation American citizens of Japanese ancestry, to the war?

Chapter 5 - Post-WWII Hawaiʻi

Volunteer docents Kathy Inikinen and Melvin Inamasu explain how the values brought home by the Nisei soldiers transformed business and politics in post-World War II Hawai'i. This chapter discusses the rise of Hawai'i's Democratic Revolution, the diversification of the workforce, and the shifting values and aspirations of Japanese-Americans in a post-war society.

Chapter 6 - Cultural Celebrations & Local Heroes

Volunteer docent, Marilyn Higashide, shares her family's stories of celebrating New Year's, Hinamatsuri (Girls' Day), and Kodomo no Hi (Children's Day). Betsy Fujii Young honors the stories of Tokujiro Sato, Steere Noda, and Jesse Kuhaulua -- three local heroes whose legacies continue to inspire for generations to come.

Supported by 

  • Central Pacific Bank Foundation
  • First Hawaiian Bank
  • Island Insurance Foundation
  • Sekiya of Fukuoka Hawaii Endowment Fund
  • Atherton Family Foundation]