The 17th Annual Honolulu Festival was held for 3-days from Friday, March 11 through Sunday, March 13, 2011. The Educational School Tour was the first event, where the local schools were invited. It was held at 9:00 a.m. at the Hawaii Convention Center.

Nearly 1000 students were expected to attend which is more than last year. Unfortunately, many of the schools got canceled due to the tsunami warning that was affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake which had occurred the night before the festival. The tsunami warning was issued after the disaster and it prolonged until the next morning at 7:30 a.m. At the same time, some of the schools were still able to attend the Educational School Tour.



The students were introduced to the Japanese mikoshi (portable shrine) used in the Japanese festivals. They also got to see a cart of the Daija used in the Daijayama of Omuta City in Fukuoka Prefecture. Currently, its head is used by the Honolulu Daijayama.

Furthermore, the members of the Free Guide Club at Kyoto University of Foreign Studies introduced about the famous shrines in Japan such as “Kinkaku-ji” and “Kiyomizu-dera”. They also introduced “omikuji” which are fortunes written on strips of paper at the Japanese shrines. The students had an opportunity to draw them, which the members of the Free Guide Club explained what was printed.

In addition, the students watched the traditional Taiwanese dance and Australian Aboriginal dance. Also, they challenged making hachimaki (headbands) and origami (paper-folding), which those crafts were taken home by them.

SUGAREN dancers

They are the members of Sugaizanairen.

As you can see, the students were excited by Yosakoi

The children’s eyes were shinning.

The students imitated the moves of the SUGAREN dancers.

The students challenged the yosakoi dance by imitating the moves of the dancers.

The children were serious about mastering the Yosakoi although it was their first time.

The children were serious in learning their first yosakoi dance.

The Hawaii students thoroughly enjoyed  dancing Yosakoi.

The students thoroughly enjoyed the yosakoi dance.

Students learned about the traditional Matsuri Experience by listening to the story of Daijayama from Fukuoka Prefecture.

The students learned about the tradition of Japanese festival often called the “matsuri” via the Honolulu Daijayama Booster Group from Fukuoka Prefecture.

The Wadaiko performance is always very popular with the students.

The performance of the Japanese drums is always popular.

Members of Japan's Kaze Damari Wadaiko group.

They are the members of Kaze-Damari from Japan.

Wadaiko challenge! Pretty good too.

The students challenged playing the Japanese drum. They were looking pretty good.

The beat of the wadaiko vibrates in your body… WOW.

The children were little surprised by the vibrations from the sound of the Japanese drum.

The flower and Hello Kitty origami were popular with the girls.

Origami was popular which allows one to be creative. The shape such as flowers and Hello Kitty were girls favorites.

Homeschoolers Brianna and her sisters from Wahiawa.

Brianna and her sisters are homeschooling in Wahiawa.

A one of a kind hachimaki, made with traditional Japanese designs.

The originality of your hachimaki will be expressed through various stamps of Japanese traditions.

Beth and her children from Kailua, all homeschooled.

Beth and her children are also homeschooling in Kailua.