Working in the pineapple fields

Father retouching photos of picture brides Getting married Possibility of being adopted by aunt Day Pearl Harbor was bombed Working in the pineapple fields Tree planting

Transcripts available in the following languages:

Our social life in those days were really the YWCA. We were Y-Teens, and that was a great part of our social life. And, I remember a lot of my girl friends came from Whitmore City, and Whitmore City is, of course, situated right in the middle of pineapple fields. And they used to work every summer, working in the pineapple fields.

So, you know, one year I decided, “Hey, you know, I can do that, too.” So, I joined my girl friends, and I worked in the pineapple fields. And it was quite an experience because, although they had machines in those days, we youngsters had a big pack. We had a big sack that we would sling over our shoulders, and we would go in our little sombreros, or in our big hats, and we had palaka shirts on. And my mother sewed this denim apron, and we would wear these aprons. And we would wake up early in the morning, and the trucks would pick us up. And we would walk through the fields. And I remember the pineapple, you know, the plants and how the leaves would poke—I mean, that’s what the aprons were for. But, regardless, when we got home we had hundreds of these pokes on our legs. But we picked the pineapples by hand and put them in this great big bag. And then, after the bag was filled, we would go to the corner of the pineapple plot, and we would dump the pineapples. And I really stuck it out that summer. And it was one of my healthiest summers, you know, I really looked healthy.

And the best part of it all, I remember, was how we would all congregate—you know, my girl friends. And we would spread our aprons on the dirt road and eat our bentos. And it was the bentos that my mother had made—musubi and spam and Vienna sausage, and you know, all that kind of good stuff. And so, I have very fond memories of those pineapple fields.

Date: December 15, 2003
Location: Hawai`i, US
Interviewer: Lisa Itagaki
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum.

bento hawaii pineapples

Itadakimasu 2! Another Taste of Nikkei Culture

Read the Itadakimasu 2! stories >>

Get updates

Sign up for email updates

Journal feed
Events feed
Comments feed

Support this project

Discover Nikkei

Discover Nikkei is a place to connect with others and share the Nikkei experience. To continue to sustain and grow this project, we need your help!

Ways to help >>

A project of the Japanese American National Museum

Major support by The Nippon Foundation