Gov. David Y. Ige
Governor of Hawai‘i (2015 to present)
Aloha . . . It truly is an honor and a privilege for me to be here today as governor of the state of Hawai‘i.
My grandparents, the Issei, immigrated to Hawai‘i from Japan and Okinawa more than a hundred years ago in search of a better life and a future for their family. They came to work in the sugar plantations in Hawai‘i — weeding, cutting and hauling sugarcane by hand — back-breaking work for just pennies a day. As children, my parents, the Nisei, endured living conditions that were dramatically different from my own.
My mother Tsurue grew up on Kahuku Plantation on the North Shore of O‘ahu. My father, Tokio Ige, grew up in ‘Ewa Plantation on the west side. At that time, public schools in the rural communities only went to the eighth grade. You know, their options for their future were limited and many professional occupations not accessible.