Aloha Friday

Tropical and warm.

the koi tanks


poinsettia bush, in ground


potted plants, around and behind the house


My grandparents had emigrated from Japan in the late 1890s, landing in Honolulu. My great-grandparents had decided my grandpa had to leave Japan when rumors of war with Russia were becoming louder and louder. They came to the conclusion the United States would be the best place for my grandpa and grandma to relocate. While my grandparents had considered going on to the mainland, they decided to stay instead.

Though my grandpa was a skilled carpenter, work for Japanese émigrés were quite limited. The most plentiful jobs were in the sugar cane fields and pineapple fields, with Dole being one of the largest employers in the territory.

Literally saving their pennies, my grandpa and grandma had saved enough to buy a pair of small homes, next door to one another, in the Kalihi District of Honolulu. With grandpa finding better paying work as a carpenter in the construction trades, they continued to save money and eventually buying a triple lot to build a larger house after the war in the 1940s. It was located on a lane near Houghtailing St.

my grandparents home, Christmas Season 1978


With my grandparents passing away in the early 1970s, two of my aunts lived in the family home until they decided to downsize in the early 1980s. Before they placed the home on the market, they asked my mom if she wanted the house. They would deed over the house, free and clear. My mom and dad thought about it, but declined their kind offer. The house needed some important repair and upgrade work, particularly with the sewer, water and electrical. Besides, Colorado was home. And, living in Hawaii had already become expensive.

When the property was listed, it sold in the $2M range. The biggest selling point was the lot size, and the lot was “fee simple” (no lease).


Brush With Fame –

With a Catholic School located a street over, behind the house, every morning, the school band would play the Hawaii Five-O theme, after the National Anthem, to begin their day. The other connection with the original series is that on Halona St, running parallel to the H-1 freeway, several scenes were shot there during the mid-1970s. When the studio shot the scenes, both of my aunts said there was a pretty good crowd watching the whole process.



The Hawaii Five-0 theme is considered to be one of the most iconic pieces of television music. Also, the program opening is considered to be an iconic piece in television history. The Season 1 program opening can be seen here.


About the photos

The photos were taken in 1978 using a Canon FT b 35 mm SLR with Kodak Max Color film (most likely ASA 400).


9 thoughts on “Aloha Friday

  1. Love the story and the Hawaii 5O music – fantastic. There is a lovely Aussie film about the Moon landing called ‘The Dish.’ When the American ambassador arrives for a formal reception in the sleepy town of Parkes to see the Satellite Dish responsible for beaming the images of the moon walk around the world, the local band’s version of the American National Anthem is (of course) the Hawaii 5O theme. It’s a lovely film if you ever get a chance to see it.

  2. Love those old 35MM film cameras! And, btw, Hawaii still looks a lot like this! As ex-Californians, we still go there because it was so easy/cheap from LA. Not so easy or cheap now but we love the land of aloha. Thanks for sharing these photo memories!!!

    • You’re very much welcomed. I haven’t been there since 1988. Not too many of my mom’s family remains, and I know may be two or three cousins.

      I still shoot some film, not a whole bunch. It makes you be a bit more disciplined in setting up your scene before you press the shutter.

  3. You just took me back to the beautiful years I lived in Hawaii. Half a decade sounds so long, but 5 years flew by in no time. Many little duplexes, with their quirks, that I lived in. The time in Kaimuki was the happiest of times, and living near the foot of Diamond Head was quaint, as long as tourists could be ignored. My future hubby and I planted left over pineapples in the sunny backyard on Wauke street, made friends with the neighbors and their mango tree, and seared Ahi at night on the Lanai…

    • Sounds like you really enjoyed those years.

      Speaking of mango trees, a couple of neighbors next door to my grandparents’ house had towering mango trees. It was sort of “if you want help yourself but you got to climb the tree yourself.” And, the cookouts, always on a hibachi.

Comments are closed.