H. Doug Matsuoka's notes in the margin of the Big Everything.


Something cheap and offensive [NOT] from the Hawaii Tourism Authority

[Update 06/27/2011, 4:05pm: The "Princess Ka‘iulani" Twitter account described below is NOT the work of the Hawaii Tourism Authority.  Click here for updated info.  Doug]

When I got an email this morning telling me "Princess Ka‘iulani is now following you on Twitter!" I thought for sure it was a Hawaiian sovereignty activist account.  Who else would assume the persona of such an outspoken opponent of the annexation of Hawaii?  Boy, was I wrong.  

The profile URL for the account is to GoHawaii.com, which is the consumer-facing travel website for the Hawaii Tourism Authority.  You might not know that looking at the page, but that's who the registrant is.

I can't believe the Hawaii Tourism Authority thinks it's okay to use Princess Ka‘iulani's name and persona to pitch affordable vacation packages.  She was heir to the throne and practically a martyr to the cause of an independent and sovereign Hawaii.  Conscripting her persona for commercial purposes strikes me as cheap and offensive.  Yes, there already is a Waikiki hotel named after her, but there is no virtue in perpetuating error. 

The Hawaii Tourism Authority is the "lead state agency for tourism" according to their own website.  The first element in their vision is, "Honor Hawaii’s people and heritage."  Some people can lie without flinching.

Anyway, am I being too sensitive about this?  I'm not Kanaka Maoli (native Hawaiian) but I got an adrenaline smack in the face when I saw this and I'm still kinda pumped.

What do you guys think?

25 June 2011
Makiki, Honolulu

[Update of 6/27/2011: The Princess Kaiulani Twitter account is probably NOT the work of the Hawaii Tourism Authority.  More info at my post here.]


  1. A'ole Pono. I googled the Twitter feed but can't find it.. Did they remove it?

  2. No new tweets (just 4 so far), but the account is still there: https://twitter.com/#!/HRH_Kaiulani

  3. Wow. This is horrible, horrible Twitter campaign. A breach of good taste. An insult to the crown, the people and the woman herself. I can believe it.