Issue 21: Identity

Published March 2015

This issue features the kind of people who look inward rather than out to define their identities; the kind of people we can all take cues from.


Have you ever seen sand crabs in a bucket? If you’ve spent time camping at any of Hawai‘i’s beaches, you know what this looks like: crabs of all sizes—some the size of the tip of your pinky finger, some as large as your fist—scratching against the plastic 5-gallon bucket, clawing over each other to get to the top. If they were smart enough, they’d work together to form some kind of complex ladder system, then reach back down, claw-in-claw, to pull the last remaining crab from the bucket. But they’re just crabs after all, and as such, they mostly just pull each other down and ensure their collective demise.

At the inception of this issue, we came to the realization that we had somehow gotten ourselves caught in the bucket. We were, perhaps, looking too hard at what everyone else around us was doing. Social media certainly does not help this, where it is all too easy to become bogged down by the noisiness that surrounds—the constant scratching against plastic. In trying to top what everyone else was doing, we, perhaps, lost sight of ourselves, got away from who we first sought to be, which was a medium a bit irreverent, a bit stubborn, a medium that did things its own way—perhaps not unlike the child on this issue’s cover.

In a place as tight-knit as Hawai‘i, it’s only too easy to find yourself in the bucket, just another crab. It’s perhaps the best and worst thing about the islands, this small town mentality, where people sometimes can’t stand to see others succeed, and where complimentary words, or kisses on cheeks, are followed almost immediately by words of aggression (behind backs, of course). But it also means our city is growing. People talking, even if about each other, means people are doing. It is, no doubt, an exciting time to be in Hawai‘i. Every week, something new seems to happen. Publications launch, restaurants open, designers produce, musicians play—Hawai‘i hums with energy.

The thing about some Hawaiian crabs is that they can be especially strong. This issue features those types. They’re the kind of people who look inward rather than out to define their identities, the kind of people we can all take cues from. The kind that manage to escape, climb up out of the bucket, and scuttle into your campsite, causing panic and screaming because, well, crabs, the cockroaches of the sea, are disgusting little creatures. So perhaps you will close this issue in disgust, perhaps you will be inspired by it. Either way, we hope you will be motivated to go on and do your own thing, define your own identity, and live your life as you damn well please.

With aloha,

Lisa Yamada

Overtime at the Park

Images by John Hook On a school day morning, Innocenta Sound-Kikku sorts plastic chairs and follows up on paperwork in a two room apartment converted into a vibrant community center at the back of Hawai‘i’s largest public housing complex, Kuhio Park Terrace. “Auntie Inno,” as the kids call her, was the first female police officer in Saipan, an investigato[...]


SLIDESHOW. You've seen them, those subtle signs that define our islands. So has graphic artist Matthew Tapia.
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