Sansei Legacy In A Mixed Plate Culture

Sansei Legacy In A Mixed Plate Culture

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Grant Kagimoto

Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

Legacy. What is our generation passing on to the next generation? I don’t feel comfortable speaking for all of us. I think that arena is best left to anthropologists or social scientists. I can only speak for myself. So what am I trying to pass on?

I have always thought it was important to contribute to the community I live in — not just take
up space. So, with my company, Cane Haul Road, I have tried for the last 39 years to “Celebrate Hawai‘i” and what I consider meaningful about LOCAL life. I tried not to do it in an overt political manner, but rather with humor, strong graphics and a sense of history. By observing how local people interact with each other, by listening to their Pidgin English, by seeing what they eat, I try to do designs that reflect my interpretation of that behavior. My earliest designs in 1977 were of saimin, shave ice, a lunchwagon and musubi — all local icons. So, from the outset, my designs reflected my desire to highlight Hawai‘i’s unique lifestyle. I tried to treat the T-shirt design as a poster to display what I thought was important.


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