UH West Oʻahu-produced canefields documentary re-broadcast on PBS Hawaii this February


Canefield Songs: Holehole Bushi, a compelling documentary about the songs of Japanese immigrant workers sung while laboring in Hawaiʻi’s sugar plantations in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, will be re-broadcast on PBS Hawaii on Thursday, Feb. 18, at 9 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 21, at 1 p.m. Canefield Songs: Holehole Bushi was co-produced by the University of Hawaiʻi – West Oʻahu Center for Labor Education and Research and PBS Hawaii. The documentary first aired on PBS Hawaii on Sept. 17, 2015.

Canefield Songs: Holehole Bushi is part of The Canefields Songs Project that seeks to preserve and protect the legacy of holehole bushi as part of Hawaiʻi’s plantation history. The Canefield Songs Project includes Voices from the Canefields, a book about holehole bushi by Franklin Odo; a sugar plantation website designed by UH West Oʻahu Creative Media students, and the preservation and digitization of historic video interviews with original plantation workers. The Canefield Songs Project is generously supported by The Smithsonian Institution, Arthur A. Rutledge Endowment for Labor Studies, Bank of Hawaii Foundation, Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaiʻi, and Farmers Insurance Hawaii. A portion of the archival footage was supported by a grant from the Hawaiʻi Council for the Humanities.

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UH West Oʻahu documentary about the songs of Japanese immigrant plantation workers to air on PBS Hawaii Sept. 17

Image courtesy of Barbara Kawakami Collection