The 17th Annual Honolulu Festival was held for 3-days from Friday, March 11 through Sunday, March 13, 2011.
The Educational School Tour was scheduled on the first day for the local schools in Oahu. It was opened to public in the following day where there was a lot of visitors.

Go Beyond the Boarder: United to support the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake
The Great East Japan Earthquake had occurred in the day before the 17th Annual Honolulu Festival on March 10 (March 11 JST). Thus, the participating groups from Japan couldn’t make a visit to Hawaii, which disabled them from attending our festival.
And Yet, we have decided to host the festival as scheduled to support those victims of the earthquake among the participating groups from the countries of Asia-Pacific region and visitors from around the world. Also, the disaster relief fund was set up where there was a donation box in each site of the Stage Performance which a lot of donations were made.

The theme of the 17th Annual Honolulu Festival was “We are all neighbors, around the world”, which served its meaning by supporting the victims.



Various Festivities at 5 Locations

These were the 5 locations where the Stage Performance was held in the following dates:

March 12

  • Centerstage, Ala Moana Center
  • Waikiki Beach Walk

March 13 

  • Waikiki Shopping Plaza
  • DFS Galleria

Main Venue

  • Hawaii Convention Center


The Hawaii Convention Center was the main venue which is the same as last year. The performers from various countries such as Japan, Hawaii and others performed on stage. Also, there were events such as the Ennichi Corner, Craft Fair and Anime Corner inside the venue. In addition, the Film Festival was held on Saturday, March 12. The bon dance was also introduced for the first time on the same day. Moreover, the Hawaii Music Festivals was held on the 3rd floor, where the atmosphere was different compared to other events on the first floor.

[ Hawaii Convention Center ]

The very unique costumes of the ASSESS cheerleading team of Inha University of Korea are quite prominent.

The unique costumes of the ASSSESS Cheerleading Team from Inha University stood out.

The members of Hawaii's Filcom Banda Kawayan play gentle and natural sounds on their traditional Filipino bamboo musical instruments.

The members of Filcom Banda Kawayan played the traditional Filipino musical instrument that is made of bamboo, which created a gentle sound.

Drum Dance Artists Churasa from Okinawa are all smiles. They are great representatives of the power and cheerfulness of the Okinawan people.

The vigorous little dancers of the Sukakko Soran were everybody’s favorite.

The audience enjoy the performances that come out on stage one by one. Spectators gather much earlier than other years to watch the entertainment.

The audience enjoyed each performance. A lot of visitors arrived earlier than the previous years.

The Global Drums-Pangea from Canada excites the audience with their steel drum performance.

They are the members of the steel drum group, Global Drums- Pangea from Canada.

THE SUKAKKO SORAN group with their energetic, little dancers is popular with the audience.

We felt the bright light and the power of Okinawa from the lively expressions by the members of Okinawa Drum Dance Artists Churasa.

Everyone is surprised by the energetic voices. They are the Creative Dance Company "Takarabune."

The energetic voices echoed with astonishment during the performance by Creative Dance Company Takarabune.

The innocent smiles that shine on the faces of members of the Sanyo Girl's School, Senior High, Baton Club are very impressionable.

The members of Baton Club from Sanyo Girls’ School, Senior High gave their bright and innocent smiles to the audience which was impressive.









[ Waikiki Beach Walk ]

The members of Yutaka Hula Halau perform for the people of Hawaii with their beautiful smiles and graceful hula.

The members of Yutaka Hula Halau performed a hula dance with their delight smiles.

The scene where Susanoo-no-mikoto exterminates the serpent. Performed by Nichinan Kagura (Noh) Dance "Jinkosha."

This is a scene were Japanese god called Susanoo-No-Mikoto is defeating the dragon which was performed by the members of Nichinan Kagura (Noh) Dance Jinkosha.

Members of the Yosakoi Team TOKIWA nail their beautiful and stylish Yosakoi dance.

Everybody’s eyes were fixed on the yosakoi dance by the members of Yosakoi Team Tokiwa, which they performed beautifully and stylishly.









[ Waikiki Shopping Plaza ]

LOVE JUNX dance with a joyful exuberance.

The members of LOVE JUNX danced with a joyful exuberance.

The Descendance from Australia perform their unique aboriginal song and dance.

The members of Descendance performed Australian Aboriginal dance and Australian folk song.








[ DFS Galleria ]

The use of the entire stage by T.G.P. gets the audience going.

The members of T.G.P fully used the stage during their performance and excited the audience.

Taiko KOZO performs to the pleasure of the audience. They various types and sizes of wadaiko.

The members of Taiko KOZO played various shapes and sizes of Japanese drums in a freely manner.

The venue was crowded than before!
There were more visitors than the previous years. It was so packed with people that you may have difficulty moving around in some areas. There were about 16,300 visitors during a period of 2-days at the Hawaii Convention Center alone.

The queue was starting to form in the morning before the doors opened, which is a typical scene during the festival period. Also, everybody was looking forward to receive a figurine of this year’s Chinese Zodiac animal sign (rabbit) which was made of ceramic and the availability was limited. It can only be received during this time, which explains the reason behind the long queue every year.

People were lined up in the foyer of the Hawaii Convention Center before opening time.

There was a long queue before the opening.

And the crowds flowed in quickly as soon as the doors opened.

There were hordes of people entering the venue as soon as the doors opened.

Figurines of the Year of the Rabbit were given to the attendees on a first come first serve basis. So popular each year, they quickly disappeared.

A figurine of yearly Chinese Zodiac animal sign is given to the visitors, which is very popular that it runs out quickly every year.

Folks purchased the official Honolulu Festival T-shirts as well as other logo items.

The merchandise of the Honolulu Festival such as our original T-shirts and other goods were also popular.

There are always many who hope to win door prizes at the Honolulu Festival. The Grand Prize is an overnight stay at a resort hotel. Other prizes are logo items.

There are many applications of lottery to win a hotel voucher and logo goods of the Honolulu Festival every year.

Hilo Hattie displays a gigantic aloha shirt… SIZE 400 XL! Chest measurement 4.3 m, waist 4.1 m, neck 1.5 m!

The Hilo Hattie’s gigantic aloha shirt was displayed by the entrance. Size; XL, chest 4.3 m, waist 4.1 m, neck 1.5 m.

Furthermore, the Ennichi Corner was thriving as usual. Both children and adults challenged on various traditional games of Ennichi such as the goldfish scooping, yo-yo fishing, shooting gallery and kendama. Also, there were booths for hands-on experience of the Japanese arts such as origami (paper-folding) and Japanese calligraphy. Many looked concentrated as they listened to the instruction and carried out their given tasks.

In addition, there was a donation box set up by the Ennichi Corner since it is one of the popular events where a lot of people gather around.

Children were having a bit of difficulty trying to get their yoyo balloon moving all over the place in the water.

The children struggled to fish out their floating water balloon because it spins on the water.

The kids were distracted by the number of prizes to choose from. Now which one do I want?

The children looked distracted by a various choice of prizes.

These two friends are from Honolulu. They made their own wall hanging with their names on it. Hope they decorate their rooms with it.

These two local girls from Honolulu made the wall hanging with their own name. Please decorate your room with it!

"Don't you think mine is better?" "Maybe, but I think you cheated a little!" This happy couple enjoying calligraphy.

The man questioned “Don’t you think mine is better?” and the woman answered “Yeah but I think you cheated a little” by the booth of Japanese calligraphy.

Food booths next to Ennichi Corner included Crepes No Ka 'Oi from Kailua.

There were various food booths next to the Ennichi Corner. One of them was Crepes No Ka’ Oi from Kailua.

A Donation Box for collection of money for Japan at the Ennichi Corner.

A Donation Box for the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake was set up by the Ennichi Corner.

Cultural Experiences, Cultural Exchange, Craft Fair and Cultural Exhibitions
More than half of the area inside the Hawaii Convention Center was used for Craft Fair and cultural exhibitions. There were booths of vendors and participating groups from various countries and Hawaiian islands, which provided a place to enjoy many cultural exhibitions, hands-on experiences and buying cultural goods.

Also, the Cosplay Cafe was held this year. It was a great place for taking a rest after a nice walk around the venue. The children were taking pictures with their favorite mascots which they seemed to be enjoying.

A calligraphy demonstration. Her smooth technique stopped spectators in their tracks to watch.

This is a demonstration of Japanese calligraphy. Many people stopped by to see the smooth brush stroking technique.

It took over half a year to make these samurai armors. Just wearing it made our attendee feel like a samurai

This Japanese armor took half a year to make it. You can feel like a samurai simply by wearing it.

Look how large the firework shell is from Nagaoka in Niigata Prefecture. The smaller ones are neatly lined up in the interior of the firework.

The firework shell of the Nagaoka Fireworks was huge. There are numbers of small gun powder organized in an orderly manner inside the shell.

Many products made in Hawaii are sold at the Craft Fair. Taste testing is part of the fun.

The products of made in Hawaii were also been sold. One of the attractions is that you can get to taste many samplers of food and drink.

Miss Kona Coffee 2011 Lacy Deniz from the Big Island represents the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival booth.

Lucy Deniz, who is a winner of Miss Kona Coffee 2011. She came from the Big Island.

The traditional arts, songs and dance of Taiwan are performed at the Taiwan booth. Their colorful costumes are a major attraction.

The Taiwanese traditional arts such as songs and dances were performed at the booth of Taiwan. The colorful costumes of the performers attracted the audience.

Here are members of the Cosplay Cafe. Even Spider-Man gestures a cute heart for us.

They are the members of the Cosplay Cafe. Even the Spiderman gave a hand heart to us.

The characters in their costumes are kind enough to pose for pictures with children… even adults.

All the characters were willing to take pictures even with adults.

The Very First Bon Dance of Spring in Hawaii
The bon dance was held on Saturday, March 12, which was the first time at the Honolulu Festival. We had set up a scaffold called yagura on a corner of the venue which was decorated with paper lanterns. Also, the members of the local bon dance club offered their hands and we were able to create an atmosphere that is similar to the bon dance during summer in Japan. In addition, the Honolulu Festival’s original happi was given out to the first 100 people who participated in the bon dance to raise their spirits. Gradually, a lot of people gathered and enjoyed dancing. It only lasted for about an hour however, everybody was dancing vigorously with excitement.

The dance circle around the YAGURA got larger and larger.

Everybody danced in circle around the yagura.

Members of a local Bon Dance Club show their moves.

The members of the local bon dance club.

No matter what season, Bon Dance is always fun.

No matter what the season is, the bon dance is always enjoying.

The sound of the taiko gets louder and louder.

Everybody was grooving to the sound of the taiko drums.