October 25, 2010 – Honokaa, Hawaii
Video by David Corrigan | Voice of Stephanie Salazar
History was remembered this weekend, with the Memorial Service for Katsu Goto held at the Honokaa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple. The event commemorated the 125th anniversary of Japanese Immigration to Hawaii (1885 – 2010), and also remembered the legendary Goto, called a hero to Hawaii’s plantation workforce.
The event was attended by the son and daughter of Dr. Kaya, a Goto descendant of from Japan.
State Senator Dwight Takamine reminded those in attendance of the importance of remembering the story of Goto.
Goto was one of tens of thousands of men and women who left behind family, friends and their homeland for these islands in the middle of the Pacific to seek their fortunes. Goto arrived on the island of Hawaii on February 8, 1885, aboard the “City of Tokio,” the first of 26 shiploads of “Kanyaku Imin,” government contract laborers.
Goto worked on the Ookala Plantation along the Hamakua Coast, fulfilled his 3-year contract and opened a successful general store in Honokaa town. He became a liaison between the Japanese laborers and plantation management. Goto met a tragic fate in what historians say was a labor related lynching. Goto was found hanged to death in Honokaa in October, 1889.