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The name ʻEwa comes from the Hawaiian word for "crooked". The area was so named because of its crooked shape, which is formed by a bend in Māmala Bay. This area has been home to Native Hawaiians since ancient times. In modern times, it became an agricultural center with sugarcane and pineapple as primary crops until the mid-20th century when these industries moved into West Oahu. In 1942 during World War II, Japanese planes bombed Pearl Harbor and many people who lived on ʻEwa Beach were killed or injured by shrapnel from exploding bombs dropped onto their houses or fields near them; some survivors have scars from this event that can still be seen today (see photo).