Hawai’i is still one of the favored destinations of Japanese tourists. To most Japanese, Hawai’i embodies the cliché of the eternal summer resort where they can communicate in Japanese. In this book, however, the author searches for the real Hawai’i behind the tourist façade: the natural landscape of the islands and the culture of the Hawai’ian people. The author spent two years traveling back and forth to Hawai’i, exploring its deep forests and volcanic craters. He met with entomologists and hula dancers, visited taro fields, and went surfing, And he was captivated by the richness of the Hawai’ian language.
An active novelist and resident of Okinawa who writes from an islander’s perspective, the author frequently compares Hawai’i to his Okinawan home, with which it has much in common. His attitude is frankly expressed by the bold use of the indigenous punctuation for the islands, “Hawai’i,” instead of the Japanese pronunciation, “Hawaii.” An excellent record of what the author gleaned during his travels, the volume is further enhanced by the lavish use of photographs and maps.
Shinchosha, 1996. 216 x 151 mm. 326 pp. ¥2,200. ISBN 4-10-375304-8.