Tonouchi graduated from Aiea High School in 1990. He promotes the idea that the Creole language known as Hawaiian Pidgin is an appropriate language for both creative and academic writing. He was inspired by the works of Eric Chock in the journal Bamboo Ridge. All of his writing, including his Master's Thesis, is in Pidgin. He was an instructor of English at Kapiolani Community College in 2007. He also taught at Hawaii Pacific University during 2005, and later. His works often address family relationship in a humorous way.
His principal works:
- Hybolics (1999), literary magazine in Hawaiian Pidgin (co-editor)
- Da Word (2001), a collection of short stories
- Living Pidgin: Contemplations on Pidgin Culture (2002), a collection of poems and essays
- Gone Feeshing (2004), a play first produced at Kumu Kahua Theatre
- Da Kine Dictionary:Da Hawai'i Community Pidgin Dictionary Projeck (2005), a dictionary of Hawaiian Pidgin
- Ryan Senaga (November 13, 2002). "Da Pidgin Guerrilla: Does the fate of Hawaiian Creole English lie in the hands of Lee Tonouchi?". Honolulu Weekly. Retrieved December 3, 2010.
- "Heavy Lifting: The experimental journal Bamboo Ridge has survived 25 years, but its founders have realized promoting local literature is a Herculean task". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. March 6, 2003. Retrieved December 3, 2010.
- "Lee Tonouchi is Living Pidgin: Instructor preserves Pidgin through teaching and various works including a play". The Kapio Newspress. February 13, 2007. Retrieved December 3, 2010.
- "Local Writer Teaches Pidgin Literature Class at HPU". Hawaii Pacific University. Summer 2005. Retrieved December 3, 2010.
- "Texts and Culture courses". Hawaii Pacific University. Retrieved December 3, 2010.
- John Berger (May 19, 2004). "Brothers’ rivalry runs as deep as the ocean". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved December 3, 2010.
- Catherine E. Toth (July 13, 2001). "Hybolics 2 helps get 'da word' out". Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved December 3, 2010.
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