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Hamakua Hero
Hamakua Hero
Hamakua Hero
On Sale

SKU: 9781573063210

Hamakua Hero

A historical graphic novel by Patsy Iwasaki

Over 120 years ago, tens of thousands of men and women left behind family, friends, and their homeland for these island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean to work on the sugar plantations of Hawai‘i. Filled with hopes and dreams, they were drawn to this tropical paradise to seek their fortunes.

This graphic novel, Haumakua Hero: A True Plantation Story brings the Japanese-Hawai‘i immigrant experience to life through one man’s hardships, successes, injustice, and tragedy, shedding lifht on an intriguing but little known piece of Hawai‘i’s past. Follow Katsu Goto as he takes you on his journey… back to a time when sugar was king along the Hamakua coast of the Big Island.

Watch Nippon Golden Network’s documentary about Katsu Goto at Filmed in Japan and Hawai‘i, the documentary  brings to life the true story of Japanese immigrant and martyr Katsu Goto through intimate interviews with his descendants and immigration historians.


Patsy Y. Iwasaki was born and raised on Kauaʻi, surrounded by sugar cane and plantations. Her grandparents immigrated to Hawai‘i from Hiroshima and worked on the Lihue Sugar Plantation. Iwasaki is currently a lecturer at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo in the Communication and English departments.


“ ... a smart piece of immigrant history.”

Publisher's Weekly

Hamakua Hero does a great job of drawing you in through the graphic novel medium and teaching you about history.”

read the full review from HAWAII BOOK BLOG here

“Bess Press recently introduced the first historic graphic novel depicting the life and tragic murder of Katsu Goto, a Japanese immigrant and plantation worker who rose to prominence as a merchant on the Big Island... “

read the full story in THE HAWAII TRIBUNE HERALD here

“Bess Press is moving into manga in a big way, and that’s an exciting development for this major Honolulu publisher... “

read the full story in THE HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER here
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  • Regular price $12.95