Through the magic of storytelling the grandparents of my friends came alive, and their customs were explained. I came to understand how it was that the whites (haoles) owned the plantations, why the Chinese were obsessed with real estate, what made Japanese fathers so bossy and Hawaiians so easygoing. Near the end of the book, when the races were intermingling and in a few cases intermarrying (this was still the Fifties), Michener’s prose turned almost dreamlike. He spoke of the Golden Man, a creature few of us had actually encountered.
In 1946, when Nyuk Tsin was ninety-nine years old, a group of sociologists in Hawaii were perfecting a concept whose vague outlines had occupied them for some years, and quietly among themselves they suggested that in Hawaii a new type of man was being developed. He was a man influenced by both the west and the east, a man at home in either the business councils of New York or the philosophical retreats of Kyoto, a man wholly modern and American yet in tune with the ancient and the Oriental. The name they invented for him was the Golden Man.49 years after he was envisioned by Michener, a Golden Man from Hawaii ascended a stage in Denver. He is adored by millions for who he is, not for what he has done. In five months he may become the most powerful man in the world. © 2008 Stephen Yuen
At first I erroneously thought that both the concept and the name were derived from the fact that when races intermingled sexually, the result was apt to be a man neither all white nor all brown nor all yellow, but somewhere in between [snip].
But in time I realized that this bright, hopeful man of the future, this unique contribution of Hawaii to the rest of the world, did not depend for his genesis upon racial intermarriage at all. He was a product of the mind. His was a way of thought, and not of birth.