Ushiyo Kaneshiro was born in Aza Sunza, Okinawa on March 6, 1897. She came to Kekaha Sugar Plantation on Kauai as a picture bide of Kame Oshiro, and wore a silk, striped-black (bo-jima) kimono for her wedding on December 28, 1914. She was 17 years old, her husband was 10 years older. Ushiyo immediately started working in the sugarcane fields along side her husband and did the heavy manual labor of piling cane and hapai-ko (carrying bundles of sugarcane). For 8 hours of hard work she was paid $16 a month. Her husband died in 1925 when Ushiyo was 27 years old.