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‘Okage sama de: All that I am is because of you’

Posted on Apr 29, 2016 in Main

mom igeShe grew up on a sugar plantation, dreamed of becoming a nurse, and raised six sons – one of whom became governor of Hawai‘i. For Mother’s Day, Gov.   David Ige reflected on the impact  his own mom, Tsurue Ige, 94, has had on his life and the part mothers play in our lives.

“My mom has always been one of my biggest supporters,”he said. “She and my dad sacrificed because they believed in the value of a good education. Our family didn’t have much, but my parents figured out how to give us opportunities.”

In his inauguration day speech, the governor included the heartfelt words, “Okage sama de . . . All that  I am is because of you,” for his mom, watching from her hospital bed that day.


Tsurue Ige grew up on Kahuku Plantation on O‘ahu’s North Shore, where public schools at the time went up to only the 8th grade. But at age 15, with the help of a family friend, Tsurue traveled alone by steamship to the mainland for school and eventually earned a nursing degree. “My mom believed we could be whatever we wanted to be,” Governor Ige recalled.

As for mothers statewide, he said, “Our moms are our first and most important teachers. I want to thank them for maintaining the values that make Hawai‘i such a special place.”


Read more in our May issue.