A quick stop to Hilo’s sister city Ikaho, Japan

A quick stop to Ikaho (sister city of Hilo, Hawaii! Check out the Hawaiian festival poster attached!) near Shibukawa, for cover shots of Robert Walker Irwin’s summer villa. Irwin was the Minister of Emigration for King Kalakaua and the Kingdom of Hawaii. Key figure in the Kanyaku Imin government sponsored emigration of Japanese sugar plantation laborers to Hawaii. Born in 1844 in Copenhagen, he was the third son of William Wallace Irwin who was a representative for the United States. Arrived in Japan in 1866 to head the Yokohama office of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company (with financial contracts to transport Japanese immigrants to Hawaii) His marriage to a Japanese national was the first international marriage approved by the Japanese government.

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