Mōʻiliʻili, Hawaii is a neighborhood of Honolulu CDP, City, and County of Honolulu, Hawaii, on the island of Oahu. Its name means “pebble lizard” in Hawaiian. The commercial district at South King Street and University Avenue in Moiliili is the closest such district to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. The H-1 Freeway is located between UH Manoa and the business district.

Located roughly between McCully Street to Kapahulu Avenue, an area stretching from the Ala Wai Canal up to the University of Hawai’i, Mo’ili’ili was part of the ahupua’a, or ancient land division of Manoa and Waikiki. The area was formally known as Kamo’ili’ili and was owned by King William Lunalilo in the 19th century; in addition, Queen Kamamalu’s summer cottages “stood near the present site of Willow’s restaurant on Hausten Street.” Many scholars have documented that the Queen and her court reveled in the balmy summer water of the Kapaakea Springs. A1 Bed Bug Exterminator Honolulu

Considered a “flat wet area where the Hawaiians grew taro until the 1800s,” Mo’ili’ili’s population had a keen sense of being connected to the land (Choy et al. 18). With a dependence on. Chinese taro, rice, and lotus root, many Chinese immigrants came to Mo’ili’ili from the 1870s and continued settling the land there for a duration of thirty years. Few can forget Lum Yip Kee, the “Taro King,” who along with his fellow Hawaiian and Chinese counterparts, worked hard to “develop the well-watered region into a productive agricultural district” (“Mysteries” 01). Japanese immigrants, discouraged and disgruntled by the wage slavery and exploitation of the plantations, left the frustrating morass of the luna, whip, and cane behind and settled in Mo’ili’ili, hoping to create better lives for themselves and their families. Some depended on their own labor, working long hours to tend to their pig farms and rice fields.

Mo’ili’ili is today stereotypically thought of as an old and “entrenched” Japanese community, one in which the major social institutions, the Mo’ili’ili Community Center and Mo’ili’ili Hongwanji, reign supreme in the social scheme of this community. While part of this stereotype is true, it is important to discover exactly what factors made these social institutions so important in the lives of Mo’ili’ili residents.

Nearby Restaurants and Pubs

  • A Place to Eat is located at 1035 University Ave Ste 104, Honolulu, HI
  • Kahai Street Kitchen is located at 946 Coolidge St, Honolulu, HI
  • Thai Lao Restaurants is located at 1960 Kapiolani Blvd, Honolulu, HI
  • Irish Rose Saloon is located at 478 Ena Rd, Honolulu, HI


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