26th Annual Honolulu Festival March 6-8, 2020

Archives 2008(14th)

Date : Mar 14 (Fri), Mar 15 (Sat), Mar 16 (Sun)
Sub Theme : Experience the Wonder

Participating Performers
Republic of China (Taiwan) Nantou County Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village, Descendance Aboriginal Dancers, Toby Johnson Middle School Band, Lake Highland Preparatory School Band and Choir, Potomac Falls High School Band, CSU Pannadamman Dance Troupe, Manoa DNA, The Rafu Mutsumi Kai-Los Angeles Mikoshi Association, Honolulu Daijayama, Sonoda Gakuen High School, Suga-Ren, Tonosama Ren, Yasuco Shimizu and Her Fellow Singers, and more.

school06 Educational Program

Educational School Tour


The Educational School Tour was held on Friday, March 14, which is an annual educational program for the schools of Oahu.

From left: Dr. Gay Michiko Satsuma,Associate Director, Center for Japanese Studies at University of Hawaii at Manoa; Dr. George Mercer Brooke III, descendant of Lt. John Mercer Brooke; Mr. Dwight Damon, descendant of Rev. Samuel Chenery Damon, Honolulu’s seamen’s chaplain. Special

The 5th U.S.-Japan Cultural Exchange Seminar


The U.S.-Japan Cultural Exchange Seminar was held for the 5th time this year at the Hawaii Convention Center which the topic was on Joseph Heco.

The Best Contribution Awards presented to loyal supporters Special

Friendship Gala


The annual Friendship Gala was held at the Hawaii Convention Center in the evening on the 2nd day of the festival. There were members of the participating groups, local businesses as well as the general guests. This is an exciting event where you can enjoy various dishes offered by the famous restaurants in Hawaii.

What a memorable high school experience for these Maui students! Special

Maui Mikoshi Unveiling Ceremony


The students of Kamehameha Schools Maui won the 5th annual Maui Mikoshi Design Contest for the second time since last year.

manoa Stage

Manoa DNA


Manoa DNA, Hawaii’s newest and hottest family band performed at the 14th Annual Honolulu Festival. DNA is an acronym for Dad (LLoyd Kawakami), his two sons Nick and Alex. The name “Manoa” was added because they are living in Manoa, which the band was formed in 2005. Manoa DNA creates contemporary Hawaiian music with a beautiful harmony and excitement. In addition, Carla who works as their manager as well as a mother of Nick and Alex is also supporting the band. In the beginning, Manoa DNA performed several gigs at the graduation party. Eventually, the band officially began pursuing the music career led by Alex. Also, the Kawakami Family found “IOLANI […]

cork gun games Special

Ennichi Corner


The Ennichi Corner was held for the first time at the Hawaii Convention Center. The celebration of Ennichi is crucial in the Japanese festival.

Educational Program

Kamehameha High School Maui Campus Interview with Mr. Kealii Mossman


Mr. Kealii Mossman teaches in the Bussiness and Leadership Academy at Kamehameha Schools Maui. He used to be a prosecutor in which he saw youth constantly committing the same crimes. Then he thought it is important to lead to the right path before it is too late, so he changed his career to become a high school teacher. We would like to applaud him for his contribution to our communities in Hawaii. The Honolulu Festival Foundation had an opportunity to interview Mr. Mossman. What kind of procedures did you take in entering for the 5th Annual Maui Mikoshi Design Contest? We’ve showed a video clip of the Honolulu Festival to […]

hi_mikoshi01 Educational Program

Interview with Mr. Kealii Mossman


Kamehameha High School Maui Campus Interview with Mr. Kealii Mossman Mr. Kealii Mossman teaches in the Bussiness and Leadership Academy at Kamehameha Schools Maui. He used to be a prosecutor in which he saw youth constantly committing the same crimes. Then he thought it is important to lead to the right path before it is too late, so he changed his career to become a high school teacher. We would like to applaud him for his contribution to our communities in Hawaii. [ See Mr. Mossman Interview]  [ Unveiling Ceremony ] 

school07 Educational Program

Educational School Tour 2008


This year, students and their guardians as well as the teachers from each school participated in the educational program called the Educational School Tour. There were 71 students from Wilson Elementary School, 7 students from charter school and 51 students from the Lutheran High School of Hawaii. In addition, there were 27 students from St Ann’s Model Schools. The students enjoyed and learned about the cultures of countries of the Asia-Pacific region by actually participating in touching, watching and listening to them. The participating group for the Educational School Tour included Suginami Karutakai and Eco Cloth Zouri Circle from Japan, Descendance from Australia, Nantou County Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village from […]

dragon Parade

Grand Parade


The Grand Parade was held for the finale on Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki on the final day of the Honolulu Festival on Sunday, March 16.

Children learn Japanese penmanship by viewing the samples Craft Fair

Craft Fair


The Craft Fair was held for 2 days on Saturday, March 15 and Sunday, March 16 at the Hawaii Convention Center. There were lots of booths where you can experience hands-on activities and purchase crafts of various countries including Japan and Hawaii. About 2/3 of space were filled with booths inside the venue. There were more visitors during lunch time, which became too crowded to move around. Most popular were the locally made products such as handmade cookies, natural soaps, hula goods, bags and fashion accessories. There were shops from neighboring islands other than Oahu.Those products that are made in Hawaii were popular especially among the tourists for purchasing souvenirs. […]

Her loyal fans support her by dancing along to her song.  Awesome. Stage

Stage Performance


The Stage Performance was held at 4 locations in Waikiki. The performers performed on respective stages and entertained many audiences. There were powerful and relaxing shows where the audiences can also participate in some of them. Also, you can watch the performances that you’ve missed from the previous festival. We are looking forward to seeing the performers for next year! Hawaii Convention Center (HCC) Every year, the Hawaii Convention Center which has the largest stage will be used for the Stage Performance in Ala Moana. It is where you can sit back and enjoy each performance, which there were many elderly visitors. Sugaizanairen was the first group that performed on […]

John’s daughter Cissy who is also an instructor. Special

Hawaiian Quilts


The Hawaiian Quilt Exhibition was held at the Hawaii Convention Center for 2 days on Saturday, March 15 and Sunday, March 16. It was hosted by Poakalani & Co., which is a company owned by John Serrao, who is also Hawaiian quilter. There were various Hawaiian quilts displayed inside the venue. At the same time, the workshop and hands-on activity for designing quilt patterns were set up as well. A total of over 60 Hawaiian quilts were exhibited. They were created by the students of Poakalani & Co. and pupils of Mr. Serrao. Also, we were able to see the works from not only Hawaii, but also from Niigata Prefecture, […]

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Suga-Ren (Yosakoi)


As we’ve mentioned in our article of Awa-Odori, the yosakoi dance is a modern version of tradition Awa-Odori Summer Festival and it was originated from Kochi Prefecture located in Shikoku, Japan. Ever since then, the yosakoi dance was accepted from young people in Japan as well which has been tremendously popular. Also, there are schools and teams of yosakoi dance throughout Japan. The dance is performed at various places such as festivals and school events. In addition there are competitions where the dancers show their dancing skills. The yosakoi dance is creative and also energetic which is a fusion between traditional dance and contemporary music with a modern form.  The word “yosakoi” […]

momoi Stage

Haruko Momoi


Haruko Momoi, who is referred as “Halko” by her beloved fans will be performing at the 14th Annual Honolulu Festival. Her nickname “Halko” was inspired by HAL 9000, the onboard computer of the Discovery in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. She is known as a voice actress as well as a singer-songwriter in Japan. She formed the duo “UNDER 17” with Masaya Koike and composed songs of various anime and videogames. Also, she played voice roles of various anime characters including Komugi Nakahara in The SoulTaker, Chika Minazuki in Ai Yori Aoshi, Tama-chan in Bottle Fairy and Ai Hayakawa in Final Fantasy: Unlimited.   Furthermore, Halko had published her autobiography, […]

quilt03 Craft Fair

Hawaiian Quilt


We will be focusing on Mr. John Serrao, who is a famous Hawaian quilter in Oahu that offers the Hawaiian quilting class called Poakalani & Co. The Hawaii Quilt Exhibition will be held at the Hawaii Convention Center on March 15 and March 16. There will be over 60 Hawaiian quilts created by the students of Poakalani & Co. Also, there will be demonstration of quilting and workshop. About 200 years ago, many of families in Hawaii passed down the tradition of Hawaiian quilting as an heirloom by great-grandmothers and grandmothers. Nowadays, the Hawaiian quilt regains its popularity which is becoming a favorite hobby among Japanese women. Also, the Hawaiian […]

akiba04 Stage

“Akiba”? “Otaku”? “Denshaotoko”?


“Akiba” is an abbreviation for the city of Akihabara in Japan. “Akiba-Kei” literally means “Akihabara style” in Japanese which refers to Tokyo’s “Electrical Town”, where it is known for selling electronics, manga, anime and other related goods. Also, “Otaku” can be translated as “geek” or “nerd” in English which is referring to a person who is obsessed about manga and or video game with great attention to detail. Otaku generally refers to men in their 20’s and 30’s that hang out in Akihabara. Many of them are alienated from the mainstream Japanese society due to their unique lifestyles of being obsessed with high-tech gadgets, anime and manga. They are also […]

daijyayama Parade

Honolulu Daijayama


The fire spitting dragon called Daijayama will be coming from Fukuoka Prefecture in Kyushu, Japan to the Honolulu Festival. The Daijayama Summer Festival celebrates the legend of the Daijayama which dates back over a thousand years attracting over 400,000 people. The Daijayama’s cart will be leaded by lots of people and parading around the streets of Fukuoka Prefecture in July of every year. According to the folktale, Daijayama is a water god that blesses farmlands with water and protects children’s health. The large Daijayama’s cart measuring 20 feet in height and 33 feet in length will be featured in the Grand Parade. It will be led by over 75 people […]

tono01 Stage

Tonosama Ren (Awa-Odori)


Awa Odori (Awa-Dance) originated from Tokushima, the capital city of Tokushima Prefecture on the island of Shikoku in Japan. In August, the Awa Odori Festival will be held during the Obon period in which ancestral spirits are believed to return according to the Buddhist teaching. Also, this is the time when people go back home and visit a grave site to honor their ancestors. In addition, the Bon Festival will be held during the Obon period as well which the Awa-Odori is known to be derived from it. Today’s Awa-Odori Festival is being performed with visitors for excitement. Furthermore, Tokushima’s Awa-Odori Festival is one of the popular festivals in Japan […]

descendance02 Special



The Honolulu Festival Foundation is proud to have Descendance for the 4th consecutive time at the Honolulu Festival. This is a group of Aboriginal Australians and they are popular worldwide in which they are performing in over 15 countries. The group Descendance originated from the Ngaru Dance Company is Sydney’s first professional independent dancing group consisting of Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders established in 1993. “Ngaru” means to “shake a leg” which is a dance style prevalent in the Cape York Peninsula in North Queensland. In 1999, the group’s changed to Descendance which was reorganized by accepting many artists from various tribes. Their motto is “One people fighting a […]


The Highlights of the 14th Annual Honolulu Festival


Manoa DNA is a new popular family band in Hawaii. DNA is an acronym for Dad (LLoyd Kawakami), Nick (son), Alex (son). One of their songs Discover Aloha With Me was used for the TV commercial of the campaign “So Much More Hawaii“ run by the Hawaii Tourism Authority in 2008. [ See more ] Hawaii Convention Center Mar 15, Sat 12:15 – 12:45 Mar 16, Sun 12:10 – 12:40 The Maui Mikoshi Contest is part of Honolulu Festival’s educational program offered for high school students in Maui. This year’s winning school was Kamehameha Schools Maui which won for the 3rd time. The students of Kamehameha Schools Maui designed their mikoshi under the theme of this […]

Feature Articles

band02 Special

School Excursion + Honolulu Festival


There are many school bands and wind instrument bands not just from high schools in Hawaii, but also from the U.S. mainland at the 14th Annual Honolulu Festival. These are the school bands that participated from the U.S. mainland: Lake Highland Preparatory School Band and Choir (Florida) Potomac Falls High School Band  (Virginia) Toby Johnson Middle School Band (California) Up until now, the participating groups from Japan were most noticeable at the Honolulu Festival. But recently, there has been an increase in the number of school bands from the U.S. mainland. The majority of those students from the mainland were first time visiting Hawaii in which they were very excited even […]

media_khnl2 Special

Mahalo to Local Media


There was a lot of local media at the 14th Annual Honolulu Festival. Due to their support, thousands of visitors came to the festival from March 14 through March 16. The Honolulu Festival Foundation is very grateful for the support given by the local broadcast, radio and newspaper. The most frequent questions we’ve received from the local media were “What is the purpose of this festival?” and “What is the importance of this annual event?” The theme for this year’s Honolulu Festival was “Pacific Harmony”. We believe that it is important to promote cultural understanding and ethnic harmony through cultural exchange between people of Hawaii and the Asia-Pacific region. Also, […]

Momoi takes a picture with her new fan.  Please come back to Hawaii and perform for us! Special

Enjoy the Honolulu Festival with Momoi


Follow the lead of Momoi! Japan’s proud anime culture goes overseas! Many of the participating groups promoted their own traditional culture and arts at the Honolulu Festival. This year, Haruko Momoi, who is an anime voice actress as well as a singer-songwriter came to promote anime culture under the theme of “spreading Japan’s proud anime culture to the world!” with her fans from Japan. Haruka Momoi loves anime and video games ever since she was little. She has been writing articles on anime over the internet since her high school years. Later on, she emceed for TV and radio programs. Also, she was producing idol groups and offered some songs. […]

Beautiful smiles and tears of joy-Hawaii Forever Special

Sonoda Gakuen’s School Excursion in Hawaii + Honolulu Festival


Sonoda Gakuen High School’s School Excursion in Hawaii + Honolulu Festival The students of Sonada Gakuen High School, which is located in the city of Amagasaki in Hyogo Prefecture stayed in Hawaii for 5 days and 4 nights. They participated in the Grand Parade on Sunday, March 16. This year was their 3rd time to participate in the parade. The students didn’t travel just for sightseeing, but rather they interacted with people in Hawaii and made them happy with their powerful performance which was inspiring as well. Let’s take a look at what they’ve done during their school excursion. Arrived in Honolulu! 5 sophomore classes consisting of 159 students including […]