The palaka shirts became popular in the 1920s. The fabric
as made of cotton with blue and white design. The Japanese
called the palaka “gobanji” (Japanese term for a plaid or check
design). The palaka shirt, although cool, was not suitable for the
“hapai-ko” (packing cane) men who packed bundles of cane
weighing about one hundred pounds on their shoulders. Many of
the “hapai-ko” men began using ahina fabric for their shirts.
ahina is a thick cotton fabric dyed in blue. Ahina means blue dye


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Pahoa, HI. 96778
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All historical excerpts and photos
courtesy of
By Hiroo Sato

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