House in Kapa‘a Has Been Home to Four Generations of the Kurasaki Family
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald
“Long periods of suffering have left their imprint on her face and posture, but her spirit and faith have remained strong and undaunted through the years.” — Isami Kurasaki writing about his mother, Hide Kurasaki
My Uncle Isami wrote this in a 1961 essay about his mother — my grandmother — Hide Kurasaki. In that one sentence, he perfectly summed up her life of hardship and resilience. Like many women of her generation, Hide-Obaachan worked tirelessly to bring her family out of extreme poverty and give them a better life.
THE EARLY YEARS
My obaachan (grandmother, lovingly) arrived in Hawai‘i in 1910, the picture bride of my ojiichan (grandfather), Aijurö Kurasaki, who had immigrated to Hawai‘i in 1905. Both were from the poor farming village of Marifu-cho, Iwakuni, in Yamaguchi Prefecture. Both had only meager educations — Ojiichan only attended school until the fourth grade; Obaachan only finished first grade. Both were forced to quit school and help out on their family farms.