Hole Hole Bushi
Japanese laborers quickly comprised the majority of Hawaiian sugar plantation workers in Hawai‘i in 1885. The men cut the cane; the women’s work was to strip the leaves from sugar cane stalks so that it produces more juice while providing fertilizer for the growing plant.
These women sang songs about work and the dilemma of plantation life. The songs, called Hole Hole Bushi (a hybrid term that combines the Japanese word for tune (bushi) with a Hawaiian term describing the stripping the leaves off of sugar cane (hole,)) used old Japanese folk tunes, and mixed Hawaiian and Japanese words for dramatic lyrics.