The Tao of Ho

Eighty-five years ago today, out where the warm trade winds blow, Don Ho began life in Hawai’i, one of the nicer outposts of our current reality. In time, his mellow singing entertained so many people that Don became synonymous with the Islands. His trademark tune “Tiny Bubbles” put him on the pop charts and, indirectly, The Brady Bunch. During the Seventies, network television gifted him with the highest tribute to celebrity/genius that our mob culture can offer: a daytime talk show. The program only lasted a season or two but Don proved nigh-immortal, entertaining crowds at his Waikiki club until ill-health took its toll in the Oughts.

Our landmark series Music in American Life has yet to add Don to its lineup, though if you’re working on that manuscript, we’re interested. In the meantime, let UIP prove it knows Hawai’i by glancing at some of the numerous books we publish on The Don Ho State.

revell carrHawaiian Music in Motion explores the performance, reception, transmission, and adaptation of Hawaiian music on board ships and in the islands, revealing the ways both maritime commerce and imperial confrontation facilitated the circulation of popular music in the nineteenth century.

James Revell Carr shows how Hawaiians initially used music and dance to ease tensions with, and spread information about, potentially dangerous foreigners, and then traces the circulation of Hawaiian song and dance worldwide as Hawaiians served aboard American and European ships.



van zantShipwrecked sailors, samurai seeking a material and sometimes spiritual education, and laborers hoping to better their economic situation: these early Japanese travelers to the West occupy a little-known corner of Asian American studies. Pacific Pioneers profiles the first Japanese who resided in the United States or the Kingdom of Hawaii for a substantial period of time and the Westerners who influenced their experiences.

“Van Sant has the language skills to do archival work, coupled with a solid grasp of Japanese history. He has produced a small but important work.” —Paul Spickard, American Historical Review


labradorDrawing on ten years of interviews and ethnographic and archival research, Building Filipino Hawai’i delves into the ways Filipinos in Hawai’i have balanced their pursuit of upward mobility and mainstream acceptance with a desire to keep their Filipino identity.

Roderick Labrador speaks to the processes of identity making and the politics of representation among immigrant communities striving to resist marginalization in a globalized, transnational era. Critiquing the image of Hawai’i as a postracial paradise, he reveals the ways Filipino immigrants talk about their relationships to the place(s) they left and the place(s) where they’ve settled, and how these discourses shape their identities. He also shows that struggles for community empowerment and identity territorialization continue to affect the ways in which minority groups construct the stories they tell about themselves, to themselves and others.