History of Hawaii - Hawaiian Shirt and Plantation in Hawaii

Updated: Mar 24

Unfortunately the Honolulu Festival 2021 has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

By Masami Matsuoka


 Prior to this year, the Honolulu Festival had been held every March from 1995 through 2019. The Honolulu Festival is an annual Honolulu event in Oahu that promotes Hawaii’s culture and mutual understanding between the people of Hawaii and the Pacific Rim region, such as Japan, the Philippines, Tahiti, Tonga, China, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, and the mainland of the U.S.A. and allow you mixed cultural experience in Hawaii.


 The Honolulu Festival started with the concept of introducing Japanese festivals to Hawaii. Japan and Hawaii have had a long history and a deeper relationship than we think. The relationship between Japan and Hawaii Kingdom began in 1868 when the first 149 Japanese moved to Hawaii as the first generation of Japanese settlement in Hawaii. Then in 1885, the Japanese and Hawaiian governments signed an immigration contract and it continued for 10 years until 1894, the year after the disappearance of the Kingdom of Hawaii. Today, Japanese-Hawaiian makes up one-fifth of Hawaii's population. Also, nearly 1.5 million Japanese people visit Hawaii each year and create a close politically and economically inseparable relationship.

 As I mentioned, how deep Japan and Hawaii’s cultural relationship. Hawaiian shirt, known as Aloha Shirt, is one of the good examples of Japanese and Hawaiian cultural fusion that become such an iconic Hawaiian item. In recent years Hawaiian shirts are worn by many people worldwide from casual wear to even formal business attire, vintage clothes, and special occasions such as Weddings, not only for vacation clothes. Yet, Hawaiian Shirts were originally not really made for fashion in mind.


<How and Who Created the Aloha Shirt?> 

 One of the predominant theories is that the Hawaiian shirt originated from the Kimono, which is the national dress of Japan and traditional Japanese garment.


 Since there are various stories about the origin of the Hawaiian shirt, no one really can identify the genesis of the fir