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Books: Gen X Nostalgia

New releases bring back '70s and '80s Hawaii.


These new releases will bring some readers back to their teen and childhood years.

Do you remember when a little, yellow book of illustrated pidgin terms first came out? Suddenly, everyone seemed to have a copy of Peppo's Pidgin to da Max, with its cartoons and definitions that spelled out the difference between, say, bento and benjo. The first book was so popular, it was followed by a sequel, Pidgin to da Max Hana Hou!

Well, here's some news to knock your slippahs off – Bess Press has just released the 25th Anniversary Edition Pidgin to da Max ($16.95), combining both books in a single volume. And what a time capsule the books turn out to be, not just because every guy in the illustrations sports a vintage middle comb. You might read the book wondering when such terms as "map hang" or "mass drop" fell out of use, or just when it was that the word mahalo could've been defined as, "Tourist-ese for 'T'anks eh?' used mostly by entertainers, aunties and interisland flight attendants."

Languages don't stand still over a quarter century, but this book will help jar some memories. Also available, Pidgin to da Max refrigerator magnets ($14.95), with 500 different words you can assemble for spontaneous pidgin poetry.

If you remember the 1970s Japanese science-fiction action series, Kikaida, you no doubt also remember Kamen Rider V3, which ran on KIKU-TV in 1975. Kamen Rider V3 was edgier, more action-packed than Kikaida. Local media company JN Productions has just brought the entire 52-episode series out in a single, lavish, six-disc DVD boxed set, packed with extras. The digitally remastered episodes are in Japanese, with English subtitles. Look for the series at an introductory price of $169, before it goes to its regular price, $199, at Shirokiya or at www.generationkikaida.com.

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Honolulu Magazine July 2019
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