Hamakua Hero


Hamakua Hero


historic non-fiction

by Patsy Iwasaki
art by Berido

paperback, manga, 80 pp, 7" x 10"

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Nippon Golden Network's, “Bringing the Legacy of Katsu Goto to Life” is a 23-minute preview and a behind the scenes look at the making of the documentary featuring a fund raising campaign to document his story on film. The preview will air during NGNs “Freeview” period (Dec. 30 - Jan. 3) when NGN will be available for free to all Oceanic Time Warner subscribers in the state of Hawai‘i. Interviews will be captioned for Japanese and English speakers. 

The preview will run four times on Nippon Golden Network (NGN Channel 677):

9:35 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016
12 a.m. Sunday, Jan 3, 2016
6 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016
3:15 p.m. Sunday, Jan 3, 2016

You or your organization are credited for help in making this project possible, so please watch until the end! After airing on NGN, the segment "Bringing the Legacy" will be posted to our website. Yes, we now have a website: 



Written and illustrated in manga style is the true story of Katsu Goto, a Japanese man who journeyed to Hawaii seeking a better life as a plantation worker. This book illustrates the racial and cultural problems Japanese immigrants such as Katsu Goto faced in the plantations. It is a powerfully poignant biography about Katsu Goto's life and the injustices he and his countrymen faced in their years of work in Honoka'a, from when they arrived in 1885.


Patsy Y. Iwasaki was born and raised on Kauai, surrounded by sugar cane and plantations. Her grandparents immigrated to Hawaii from Hiroshima and worked on the Lihue Sugar Plantation. Iwasaki is currently a lecturer at the University of Hawaii at Hilo in the communication and English departments. 


" ... a smart piece of immigrant history."

Publisher's Weekly

"Hamakua Hero does a great job of drawing you in through the graphic novel medium and teaching you about history."

read the full review from HAWAII BOOK BLOG here

"Bess Press recently introduced the first historic graphic novel depicting the life and tragic murder of Katsu Goto, a Japanese immigrant and plantation worker who rose to prominence as a merchant on the Big Island... "

read the full story in THE HAWAII TRIBUNE HERALD here

"Bess Press is moving into manga in a big way, and that's an exciting development for this major Honolulu publisher... "

read the full story in THE HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER here