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.

Educational Program

Educational School Tour

2008(14th)

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

Special

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

2008(14th)

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.

Special

Friendship Gala

2008(14th)

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.

Special

Maui Mikoshi Unveiling Ceremony

2008(14th)

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

Stage

Manoa DNA

2008(14th)

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 Sportswear” which is a successful apparel brand. Furthermore, Manoa DNA’s first CD Follow Me was a big hit. In addition, 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. While the band visited Japan for their performance, Lloyd Kawakami knew that his grandfather was from Fukuoka Prefecture. On the other hand, he never knew that his grandmother was from Hiroshima Prefecture, which he discovered about it before actually performing in Hiroshima. This was big news for both the Kawakami Family and Manoa DNA fans in Hiroshima. Lloyd Kawakami nostalgically said “We feel like we came back to our hometown.” Also, he and his sons said that they would like to return to Hiroshima again in the future.  

Special

Ennichi Corner

2008(14th)

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

2008(14th)

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 the students in one of the Japanese classes (we have 2 Japanese classes consisting 15 students per class) right after we’ve received the notification about the 5th Annual Maui Mikoshi Design Contest to deepen students’ understanding about the festival. Most of the students didn’t know about the Honolulu Festival. Afterwards, we’ve explained about the Japanese mikoshi to them and brainstormed our ideas based on the theme of this year’s festival. It is a wonderful thing to have a theme. Also, we instructed the students to ponder on it for 2 weeks and then consult with their peers. Furthermore, the students were asked to regroup and each of them was given the copy of illustration of mikoshi. Then, the students wrote a short explanation about the meaning behind their design. Each group presented their design to another Japanese class which was put into a vote by the students. The design with the most votes was chosen and incorporated various ideas which were done by all of our team efforts. What were some of the ideas that came up when you guys were discussing about this year’s theme of “Experience the Wonder”? All of our students are from Asia-Pacific countries including Hawaii, Fiji, Tahiti, Samoa, Tonga, China, Philippines and Japan. Then, we thought of incorporating those cultures into our design which was well represented in our mikoshi. What is the number one question that your students have when you’re teaching Japanese language and culture? The students of Kamehame Schools are required to wear a uniform every day, so anything that is informal can be appealing to them. During the last fall vacation, we took some of the students to Japan. They showed interest in traditional Japanese culture but they were more attracted to Japanese modern technologies and fashions. They favored “A Bathing Ape” which is a Japanese clothing brand founded by one of the famous DJ. Also, the students love manga and anime in which they were standing and reading at the store. What were some of the comments from the previous students that won last year’s Maui Mikoshi Design Contest? Our students from last year enjoyed Honolulu as well as the Grand Parade. They and students from the other classes were also eager to participate this year. It is such a new experience for the many students to participate in the parade and proudly present their winning Maui Mikoshi to a large audience. What do you think the students can gain from participating at the Honolulu Festival? They can experience great things. It’s that Grand Parade! That excitement and the loud shout of “wasshoi” is such an unforgettable experience. Also, after we return to Maui, the students will be motivated to learn, which many of them advance to Japanese language level 3 and or 5 in their elective class. You’ve mentioned that you were a prosecutor, but you changed your career to lead the youth to the tight path. Please tell us more about it. I studied law at Brigham Young University (BYU) in Uta and then worked for Deloitte & Touche in Los Angeles from 1999 to 2001. After I returned to Maui, I clerked for Judge Shackley Raffetto and worked as a prosecutor. I have been interested in the field of education, so I went to BYU for my internship to obtain my law degree instead of working at the law firm. Every day, I saw the troubling youths in Maui that committed crimes. Many of them were Hawaiian like me and they were high school dropouts in which they lacked education. I was able to see the consequences of neglecting education in person. My opportunity to help out Hawaiians came during the time when Kamehameha Schools Maui was opened. My goal is to keeping the youth out of the justice system. Do you miss those days when you were a prosecutor? Yes, especially when I’m teaching the subject of law. However I do enjoy teaching business, law, marketing as well as International Studies. It is very fun. Also, we won the second place in the Mock Trial Competition last year. We know that your students are anticipated to travel to Hawaii for the Honolulu Festival. Do you have any specific plans? We have plans such as taking the airplane, staying at the hotel and go swimming in the pool of the hotel. Also, we are planning to catch The Bus to go to the Ala Moana Shopping Center. For your information, the public transportation was recently built in Maui.     We are looking forward to welcoming Mr. Kealii and his students at the 14th Annual Honolulu Festival.  

Educational Program

Interview with Mr. Kealii Mossman

2008(14th)

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 ] 

Educational Program

Educational School Tour 2008

2008(14th)

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 Taiwan, Honolulu Daijayama and staffs of the Japanese Culture Center of Hawai’i. The students were divided into small groups and experienced various traditional cultures and dances of Japan, Australia, Taiwan and Philippines. [ Read more ] movies Teacher and student interveiws from Wilson Elementary School Student from St. Anne’s Model Schoo with Taiwaninese and Australian Aboriginal Culture dancers

Parade

Grand Parade

2008(14th)

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.

Craft Fair

Craft Fair

2008(14th)

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. Also, there were vendors from the local’s favorite Aloha Stadium Swap Meet. In addition, Tangi Tully played his ukulele by the booth of Tangi Ukulele (ukulele brand in Oahu). He is a ukulele player that produced the Tangi Ukulele. Furthermore, there were booths where you can experience crafting and Japanese traditional arts such as temari (Japanese handball), origami (paper-folding), Japanese calligraphy, picture letter and ikebana (flower arrangement). Both adults and children forgot the time and enjoyed various activities. Some of the crafters from Japan weren’t fluent in English however, they were still able to communicate via simple English. The communication between the crafters and their guests went beyond the language barrier. After crafting, the guests looked very pleased with their finished product and the crafters looked very happy as they saw their guests cherishing it. We were delighted just by witnessing such scene. The Honolulu Festival’s Craft Fair is an annual cultural exchange event which introduces Japanese culture as roots of Japanese Hawaiians as well as one of the different cultures beyond the language barriers. Japanese Tea Ceremony The demonstration of Japanese tea ceremony was held for 2 days on Saturday, March 15 and Sunday March 16 at the Hawaii Convention Center. The tatami mat was covered for the floor on the stage. Also, the stage was decorated with flowers and a hanging scroll, which created an authentic atmosphere. In addition, the demonstrators were wearing a kimono. At the same time, various performances were taking place at the Hawaii Convention Center. Despite of it, we could feel the slow time passing by as we were observing the preparation of tea demonstrated in the Japanese tea ceremony, which we felt a sense of tranquility as well. During preparation, snacks and tea were served to the audiences as well. The cookie was served as a snack which seemed to be unique for the Japanese tea ceremony but it became more favorable for the Westerners. Also, it seemed like the tea was rare for many people whom they were holding a bowl of tea on one hand as well as a camera on the other to take pictures.

Stage

Stage Performance

2008(14th)

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 the first day, which is one of the popular groups at the Honolulu Festival. We were overwhelmed by their energy which also felt unique. The members of Kusajiodori Hozonkai performed the traditional dance of Oita Prefecture. Also, the members of Gakugeisha from Tokyo offered a koto performance with a purpose of “Enjoying and spreading arts beyond Japanese and Western music”. Mr. and Mrs. Halvoren from Canada were reminiscing about their past, recalling their last 3 visit to Japan while they were watching these performances. Eri Mauro, who has lived in Hawaii for a year said that she is happy that she’s able to watch the Japanese festivals from various places of Japan, even though she is not in Japan. She was enjoying with her mother, who came to visit from Japan. Eri came to the Honolulu Festival last year as well, which she said that the festival is growing bigger. During those 2 days on Saturday, March 15 and Sunday, March 16, a total of 24 groups performed at the Hawaii Convention Center. The last performance by Haruko Momoi, who came from Japan with her fans was titled “Enjoying the Honolulu Festival with Momoi”. The fans were called on stage and enjoyed dancing with Momoi which ended with excitement. Ala Moana Center The Ala Moana Center is the biggest shopping center in Honolulu, where it is crowded with shoppers. Also, there is a stage in the middle of the mall called the Centerstage which is used for the Stage Performance. One of the attractive features of this venue is that the distance between performers and audience is close. In addition, some of the performers may utilize the space and perform off the stage. This year, Jojima Ryujindaiko from Fukuoka Prefecture participated for the first time at the Honolulu Festival. Their sound of taiko drumming resonated throughout the venue which attracted many people. The vibration from the sound made our body shake and its powerful performance went beyond the border which the audiences looked impressed. In addition, Jojima Ryujindaiko performed overseas for the first time at the Honolulu Festival. They were pleased and said that they had such a stimulus experience because they don’t have opportunities to perform on the stage in Japan. Furthermore, Ritsumeikan University dig up treasure from Kyoto is the first Double Dutch team at the Honolulu Festival. Their mission is to spread Double Dutch outside of Japan. The members were spinning 2 jumping ropes in a skillful manner a long with dance music, while the others were performing a funky dance and jumping those ropes. Every time they were successful in showing their jumping techniques, the audiences gave a big round of applause and cheers. Tomoko, who is one of the members said, “I’m satisfied because we were able to perform better than yesterday! All can say is that I enjoyed very much!!” Also, Kanily who came to visit Hawaii from the state of Arizona for her spring break said, “This is the first time watching it. It was so energetic and their formation was cool! I want to watch it again!” The unique feature of the Honolulu Festival is that there are many performers not just from Japan but from all over the world. The members of Chum Sa Rang performed Korean traditional dance. Their light colored costume made with a thin cloth swayed as they danced such a graceful and beautiful folk dance. In contrast, there was a passionate and powerful Korean drumming performance as well. The other performances included hula, aerobics, marching band and many more. Waikiki Beach Walk The stage was set up at Waikiki Beach Walk, which is located next to the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center in Waikiki. The performances were held under the blue sky blown by a fresh breeze, which gave a relaxing resort vibe of Hawaii. Among the audience, there were families that were returning home from the beach as well as the tourists that were shopping. There were more performances compared to last year including hula, creative dance and taishōgoto (Nagoya harp) from Japan. Also, there were participating groups from various countries including Philippines, Australia and others. The taishōgoto was played by Kinmeiryu FMC Toyama which consisted of 18 members. Most of them were first time to visit Hawaii. They decided to join the festival just 3 months ago, which they didn’t have much time to practice. However, one of the members said, “We are very relieved that our performance ended in great success.” Furthermore, Descendance from Australia attracted the audiences. This is a veteran group of Aboriginal Australians, which they also performed at the Sydney Olympics. Every year, they are participating at the Honolulu Festival as well.The dancer’s face and body were painted with distinctive patterns. They were dancing to a thick rhythm which looked very strong and unique. At last, some of the audiences got together on stage and danced with Descendance. Waikiki Shopping Plaza This year, a new stage was set up at the Waikiki Shopping Plaza located in the near middle of Waikiki. The size was small, yet there were many audiences. The distance between the stage and seats were just few meters away, so the audiences may even feel the breathing of performers. Zendoji Yamabiko Daiko is a youthful group from Fukuoka Prefecture consisted of young members under the age of 20. The members got the day off from school, which they were ready to perform. Also, all of the songs were composed by the group which we were able to feel their passion from listening to each one of them. It was memorable to see the performing members genuinely enjoying in which we received lots of power. The local children were attracted by the powerful sound of taiko drums and they participated in the middle of the performance. Afterwards, they requested to take pictures with the performers, which Zendoji Yamabiko Daiko was very popular. The Wakiki Shopping Plaza is an amazing place, where the audiences and performers can be as one to smile and interact with one another.

Special

Hawaiian Quilts

2008(14th)

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, Tokyo and Canada. Most of the Hawaiian quilts were large in size. Even the small size was at least about 1 meter long which was worth seeing. Also, the patterns were stitched onto a plain fabric in a careful and detailed manner, so that you can recognize the design from a far instance. The traditional patterns are often used for designing Hawaiian quilts. However, the ones that were displayed were all original. For instance, each flower motif consisted of different shapes and expressions. We were very amazed by their rich originality.  Did you know that there is a meaning and message behind the design of every Hawaiian quilt?  If you take a close look at each of them, you will start to realize that it represents Hawaiian traditional culture and arts in a profound way.There were students of Poakalani & Co. that created those Hawaiian quilts that were displayed, which they had an opportunity to share the story and message behind their own work. Those stories were very fascinating which reminded us that the Hawaiian quilt is not just a simple piece of fabric that is beautifully stitched together, but rather it carries a strong message in each design.  We were able to witness the genuine Hawaiian quilts in the Honolulu Festival’s Hawaiian Quilts Exhibition. Hawaiian Quilt Workshop The Hawaiian Quilt Workshop was also held, where there was wide range of participants from beginners to experienced instructors. It was hosted by Mr. Serrao which is popular among his pupils as well as among the instructors of Hawaiian quilt to enhance their quilting skill. Then, they will start designing once their theme was decided by sketching onto a folded paper and checking the overall design with a big mirror. The participants were sketching and erasing over and over as they were checking by reflecting their sketches in a mirror. Of course the final check will be done by Mr. Serrao. In addition, if he sees any errors, he will be revising them accordingly. Every touch of his hands was educational. Normally, many of Hawaiian quilting workshops are using the Hawaiian quilts that are already prepared for the pattern to be stitched, but this time the participants started from tracing on a folded paper and cutting a piece of fabric accordingly to their pattern. It looked very difficult when the participants were meticulously cutting a fabric with scissors. However, this made them feel strongly about creating their original Hawaiian quilt in which they sketched and stitched in a careful manner. Poakalani & Co. Instructor John Serrao Mr. John Serrao is from a Hawaiian family tracing its lineage back to royal ancestry. He is currently offering his Hawaiian quilting class at the Iolani Palace. Formerly, he was conducting his workshop at the Royal Hawaiian Center (former Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center) in Waikiki. Mr. Serrao has developed many of his new original designs by studying the traditional quilt patterns that the Serrao Family has preserved. Also, he is rejoicing that he is able to preserve the Hawaiian quilting and to share this traditional Hawaiian culture with many people from outside of Hawaii in a proper form. Recently, he appeared on the Japanese TV show and also participated at the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival in Japan. Mr. Serrao’s frank and friendly personality always attracts many people. We are looking forward to seeing him again at next year’s 15th Annual Honolulu Festival. Poakalani & Co. Website:http://www.poakalani.com

Parade

Honolulu Daijayama

2008(14th)

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 with dancers and accompaniment of gong. Also, the fireworks firing from Daijayama brighten up the night sky of Waikiki. This is a must-see performance which is filled with energy and excitement. The Honolulu Festival has been promoting goodwill and cultural exchange for the past 14 years. Once again this mission will be tested during the appearance of the Honolulu Daijyama in the Grand Parade. There were approximately 25 volunteers from Kyushu, Japan and over 50 volunteers from the Hawaii Fukuoka Kenjinkai ( the association consisting over 120 members whose descendants are originally from Fukuoka Prefecture) including the volunteers from the Japanese Culture Club at the University of Hawaii. This project was led by Mr. Richard Yasukouchi, who is an active member of the Hawaii Fukuoka Kenjinkai since 2004. We had an opportunity to interview him. Practicing Scene [before the parade]   His father was also the member of the Hawaii Fukuoka Kenjinkai in the Big Island for over 50 years. However, Mr. Yasukouchi didn’t know about it until he visited the meeting hosted by the Hawaii Fukuoka Kenjinkai in which he was invited by his cousin in 2004. His first encounter with Daijayama was when he was called for assistance by the Honolulu Festival in assembling the head of a blazing dragon on March of 2004. Also, he learned how to play a gong and taiko drum during the rehearsal for the Grand Parade. Mr. Yasukouchi was very impressed with the ideas of preserving the Honoluu Daijayama as a tradition of the Honolulu Festival and hosting a festival with volunteers in Hawaii. He was assigned as a leader when the Hawaii Fukuoka Kenjinkai got involved in this great project. This year the volunteers in Hawaii will take a major role in the Grand Parade for the first time. The Daijayama’s cart will be led by the volunteers from the local communities including the Hawaii Fukuoka Kenjinkai, Japanese Culture Club at the University of Hawaii and President Theodore Roosevelt High School. The Grand Parade is near. The volunteers gathered up to assemble the Daijayama’s cart When Mr. Yasukouchi was asked what the biggest concern is, he replied: “Our main concern is the safety of spectators. The Daijayama’s cart weighs about 1.5 tons which will be pulled by the 30 volunteers from the front side. The wooden blocks will be used for brakes and this is done manually. Also, over 20 volunteers were assigned as a musical accompaniment which they will be riding on the cart. And then the fireworks will be launched from the roof. The firefighters from the Honolulu Fire Department will be responsible for the safety of the performers and spectators.” The mission for Mr. Yasukouchi is letting the members of the Junior Fukuoka Kenjinkai (age between 35-55) be the main performers of the Honolulu Daijayama to preserve its tradition. The Honolulu Festival Foundation wishes for his success as well as the success of the group. Please come to the Grand Parade on Sunday, March 16 and support the Honolulu Daijayama on Kalakaua Avenue. The Honolulu Daijayama spitted fire (fireworks) during the Grand Parade which was full of excitement.

Stage

Tonosama Ren (Awa-Odori)

2008(14th)

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 similarly to New Orleans Mardi Gras. Over 1.5 million people including dancers and visitors participate every year. You can have the ultimate enjoyment by parading on the streets along with the musical accompaniment of shamisen, taiko drum, gong and flute. The dancing team is called “ren”, which the dancers will be wearing the same yutaka. Man and woman have a different choreography in which they will be dancing together with the shouts of “YATTOSA!” The song of Awa-Odori is famous which goes “Dancing fool, watching fool, all fools, so let’s all dance!” There is a theory that 400 years ago, people first started dancing Awa-Odori when the feudal lord of Awa Province held a festival to celebrate the completion of Tokushima Castle. Also, there is another theory that those unique music and dance were created by the drunken crowd. Despite of it, Awa-Odori is very entertaining just by watching it. The woman dancers will be wearing a kimono and straw hat, then elegant dancing by raising their arms up high and standing on tiptoes. On the other hand, the man dancers will be performing dynamically. They will be putting on a tenugui (hand towel) and tie it under their nose. In addition, the reason why the dancers are raising their arms up high is to praise heaven. There are over 900 registered teams of Awa-Odori. Among those 70 teams are active throughout the year. The Honolulu Festival Foundation is much honored to invite Tonosama Ren from Tokushima. This group has been active since 1951 which their strong and exciting dancing performance is a must-see.

Special

Suga-Ren (Yosakoi)

2008(14th)

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” is a dialect of Tosa Province (old province of Japan in the area of Kochi Prefecture) which means “Night come early” in the modern local dialect. Furthermore, both young and old want to dance in the yosakoi dancing team is because they like to stay being creative and energetic. Also, there are various types of wild costumes depending on the theme of each team. The instrument called “naruko” is normally used for the yosakoi dance which is made out of small wood similarly to castanets. Originally, it was used for driving away birds by the farmers in Kochi Prefecture. In addition, there are teams that use taiko drums, big flags and baton in their dance. The most famous yosakoi festival is been held in the city of Kochi during August, where there are over 10,000 dancers participating in the event. Also, the yosakoi festivals are spreading in various places such as Harajuku (Tokyo, Japan), Sapporo (Hokkaido, Japan), Nagasaki (Kyushu, Japan) and Surabaya (Indonesia). The Honolulu Festival Foundation is very pleased to have Sugaizanairen, the exciting yosakoi dancing team from Kochi Prefecture for the 14th consecutive time. For 25 years, Ms. Kunitomo Suga, the founder of Sugaizanairen has been active in promoting love and world peace through her dance which includes forms of traditional yosakoi, aerobics, jazz and hip-hop. Her project is called “Yosakoi Nippon” in which she has branched out her activities to Honolulu, Maui, Seoul and New York. Please do not miss this exciting and memorable performance!

Stage

Haruko Momoi

2008(14th)

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, Akihaba LOVE ~Akihabara to issho ni otona ni natta~ in which she tells of the major experiences that shaped her life, mainly focusing on those that were important in constructing her career as a musician and voice actress. She is also known to wear a costume of one of the characters that she played as an anime voice actress in her concerts. Halko, the baby-faced idol is successful in promoting her autobiography wearing cosplay school uniform in Akihabara, Tokyo, where it is known as the city of electronics and video games. It is no mystery that she is popular among anime otaku around the world. She is the idol of “Akiba-Kei” generation. “Akiba-Kei” literally means “Akihabara style” in Japanese referring to those young generations who are into manga, character figure and video game. Please come to the 14th Annual Honolulu Festival to watch Halko perform some of her famous hits in character. [“Akiba”? “Otaku”? “Denshaotoko”?]   — Halko Momoi’s Stage Information — Sat, March 15, 2008; 11:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Sun, March 16, 2008; 14:30 p.m.-15:00 p.m. Hawaii Convention Center [Halko Momoi Official Website ] 

Craft Fair

Hawaiian Quilt

2008(14th)

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 arts and crafts are taking root in Japan since hula dance was introduced several 20 years ago. It may be natural for Japanese people to favor Hawaiian quilting because they enjoy creating hand-made crafts. Moreover, we will be introducing some of the works of Mr. John Serrao and his daughter Ms. Cissy Serrao at the Honolulu Festival. The Serrao Family are looking forward to sharing their designs as well as their knowledge with Hawaiian quilt fans from Hawaii and overseas.   The history of Hawaiian quilt began in the early 1800’s, when the European entered the islands of Hawaii. During this period, the Hawaiians were already skilled in making bedding and clothing out of barks of the paper mulberry trees. Those barks will be pounded then stretched until they become like sheets in which they will be dyed colorfully. This technique is called “tapa” known as the origin of Hawaiian quilt. The stitching technique was first introduced to Hawaii by the Europeans. Also, fabrics were brought from China when the trading had flourished. In addition, the patchwork was introduced to the Hawaiians by the European missionaries. It is theorized that the Hawaiian women started quilting by utilizing the patchwork technique with their original appliqué to make the unique Hawaiian quilt. Also, during the middle of the 19th century, the method of cutting out a design from a single piece of fabric and appliquéing it to another piece of fabric with a contrasting background emerged in Hawaii. It is true that Hawaii is blessed with beautiful flowers, plants as well as the legends and myths. Most of them are used as motifs for quilting. Surely the quilters are very proud of their own work. Every quilt has its own purpose to tell a story of events and memories. Nowadays, the quilters are willing to share their designs with others. But it is also true that they are personally attached to the designing and naming of their Hawaiian quilts. As mentioned earlier, Hawaii is blessed with beautiful flowers, plants as well as the legends and myths which are used as motifs for Hawaiian quilts. Hence, it is very unique compared to other types of quilts which is also the reason for its popularity.   The Honolulu Festival Foundation encourages all of you to participate in the Hawaiian quilting class offered by Poakalani & Co. Please visit www.poakalani.com for more information on Poakalani & Co.

Stage

“Akiba”? “Otaku”? “Denshaotoko”?

2008(14th)

“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 obsessed with young and cute Japanese idols between the ages of 10-20’s. Those people that are otaku meet the fellows with the same interest to go see their favorite idols in Akibahara. Densha Otoko (Train Man) is a 2005 Japanese film that flawlessly portrayed the otaku culture. It is a love story of a man who is otaku and a beautiful woman in which they encountered on the train. It was based on the true story of this one otaku who posted his series of stories on the Japan’s largest internet discussion board called “2channel”. The story starts off when the mains character, who is otaku saves a woman from harassment by a drunken man on the train. This incident gave an opportunity to go on a date together. In addition, the main character saved a person for the first time which the woman expressed her great gratitude to him. This film depicts the typical life of Japanese otaku but also a nice guy, who desires to lead a normal life but his shy personality hindering him from making a girlfriend and socializing with others but online. Furthermore, during the first encounter the main character was amazed when he was asked for his home address by the woman because she wanted to give him a gift in return. After he gone home, he shared his experience with his fellows on 2channel, which he was nicknamed as “Densha Otoko (Train Man)”. Eventually, he received the gift in which his fellows online persuaded him to go invite her to a date. However, he himself being otaku had never experienced dating a woman so he asked for some advice on 2channel such as what restaurant should he take her to and what to talk with her. Then, Denshaotoko finally broke out from his shell and after several months, he confessed his love to the woman. He realized that she was feeling the same way in which he rejoiced about it with his fellows online and this had spread quickly over the internet. The story of Denshaotoko is very heartwarming. The popularity of this film and the positive portrayal of the main character reduced negative stereotypes of otaku, which became socially acceptable. Halko Momoi, who is an anime voice/videogame actress and also a singer performed at the 14th Annual Honolulu Festival. It is no mystery that she is popular among otaku in Hawaii as well. She also has a fan-base in Hawaii, where there are many who are into anime and manga. In addition, there is an annual anime event called “Kawaii Kon” in Hawaii, where about 3,000 fans gather to enjoy concert, panel discussion, video games, cosplay and karaoke. The next Kawaii Kon will be held at the Hawaii Convention Center from April 18 to April 20.    

Special

Descendance

2008(14th)

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 common cause” which means to preserve and spread Aboriginal Australian culture and tradition. The Aboriginal Australians were the first human inhabitants in Australia continent and its neighboring islands. They include Torres Strait Islanders and indigenous people which they make up about 2.5% of the total population of Australia. It is been said that they started living in Australia between 40,000 and 70,000 years ago. On the other hand, according to the Aboriginal history those Aboriginal Australians existed in Australia since the time began. Also, the language spoken by the Aboriginal Australians does not relate to any other languages outside of Australia. It has been confirmed that there were 350 to 750 types of dialects during the 18th century. However, they were reduced down to 200 languages by the early 21th century. 20 of them are still been used, but the rest are considered as endangered languages. Furthermore, the music plays a crucial role in preserving the Australian Aboriginal culture. According to the Aboriginal legend, their ancestors transformed their appearance from an animal to a human which they started living in Australia and populated the region. Also, they laid down the rules so that their descendants can prosper. The ancestors left their power and wisdom through music and dance for the offspring to carry on.   Also, the didgeridoo is a wind instrument measures over 1 meter which is made out of trees that are 1500 years old. It can be used as a drum stick during singing and dancing. Jose Calarco, who is a director of Descendance created a new genre with his members that they never have done before, which was an exciting collaboration of dance and music with other cultures. They include flamenco, Indian, Middle Eastern, Native American, South American, Asian and African cultures in their performance. Descendance is spreading their wonderful culture and music of traditional as well as contemporary Aboriginal Australians to Australia and the rest of the world. Once again you can watch their exciting performance at the Honolulu Festival. Please look forward to them!

Special

The Highlights of the 14th Annual Honolulu Festival

2008(14th)

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 year’s Honolulu Festival “Experience the Wonder”. [ See more ] Hawaii Convention Center Maui Mikoshi Unveiling CeremonyMar 15, Sat 11:00 – Grand Parade (Waikiki/Kalakaua Ave.) Mar 16, Sun 16:30 – 20:00 The theme of this year’s seminar is “The First Japanese U.S. Citizen: Joseph Heco and the Beginning of the U.S.-Japan Relations”. We will be introducing the life of Hikozo Hamada as known as Joseph Heco. Also, we will be inviting special guests to have a discussion on how Heco contributed to relations between the U.S. and Japan. He was the one who wrecked his boat in the U.S. and contributed to modernize Japan during the end of Edo period 150 years ago. Please come and attend our seminar.    [ See more ] [ Joseph Heco Story ]  Hawaii Convention Center 3rd floor Amphitheater, Room 310 Mar 15, Sat 10:30 – 12:30 Descendance from Australia will be participating for the 4th time at this year’s Honolulu Festival. This group will be performing the Australian Aboriginal dance.        [ See more ] Waikiki Beach Walk (Lewers St.)  Mar 15, Sat 11:05 – 11:35Hawaii Convention CenterMar 15, Sat 15:30 – 16:00Ala Moana Shopping CenterMar 16, Sun 13:15 – 13:45Grand Parade (Waikiki/Kalakaua Ave.) Mar 16, Sun 16:30 – 20:00Hawaii Convention Center, Lobby The powerful Daijayama changed its name to the Honolulu Daijayama and once again it will be appearing at the Grand Parade. Please watch and enjoy their compelling performance on the last day of the Honolulu Festival. [ See more ] Grand Parade (Waikiki/Kalakaua Ave.) Mar 16, Sun 16:30 – 20:00 There are over 900 registered teams of Awa-Odori. Among those 70 teams are active throughout the year. The Honolulu Festival Foundation is much honored to invite Tonosama Ren from Tokushima. This group has been active since 1951 which their strong and exciting dancing performance is a must-see. [ See more ] Hawaii Convention CenterMar 16, Sun 11:10 – 11:30 Waikiki Beach Walk (Lewers St.)  Mar 16, Sun 13:00 – 13:20  Grand Parade (Waikiki/Kalakaua Ave.) Mar 16, Sun 16:30 – 20:00 The Honolulu Festival Foundation is very pleased to have Sugaizanairen, the exciting yosakoi dancing team from Kochi Prefecture for the 14th consecutive time. For 25 years, Ms. Kunitomo Suga, the founder of Sugaizanairen has been active in promoting love and world peace through her dance which includes forms of traditional yosakoi, aerobics, jazz and hip-hop. [ See more ] Hawaii Convention CenterMar 15, Sat 10:00 – 10:10 Ala Moana Shopping CenterMar 15, Sat 14:35 – 14:45  Grand Parade (Waikiki/Kalakaua Ave.) Mar 16, Sun 16:30 – 20:00 Haruko Momoi adored as “Halko” by her fans will be performing at the 14th Annual Honolulu Festival. She is very famous as a voice actress as well as a singer songwriter in Japan. [ See more ] Hawaii Convention Center (Festival Square)Mar 15, Sat 11:15 – 11:45Mar 16, Sun 14:50 – 15:20 The Ennichi Corner will be held at the 14th Annual Honolulu Festival. “ You can get to experience goldfish scooping, yo-yo fishing origami (paper-folding), Kamishibai (Picture Card Theater). Also, you can experience wearing a yukata. We also offer cotton candies and masks similarly to Ennichi in Japan. “Ennichi” refers to a special day for the Japanese to celebrate their relation with a particular deity. [ See More ]  Hawaii Convention Center (Festival Square)Mar 15, Sat 10:00-17:00Mar 16, Sun 10:00-15:00 We will be focusing on Mr. John Serrao, who is a famous Hawaiian 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.              [ See more ]  Hawaii Convention Center (Festival Square)Mar 15, Sat 10:00-17:00Mar 16, Sun 10:00-15:00 The booths will be run by over 100 vendors from Hawaii as well as in Japan at the Craft Fair. The Japanese culture such as origami and ikebana (flower arrangement) will be introduced which you can also have hands-on activities. [ See more ] Hawaii Convention Center (Festival Square)Mar 15, Sat 10:00-17:00Mar 16, Sun 10:00-15:00

Feature Articles

Special

School Excursion + Honolulu Festival

2008(14th)

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 before they arrived. They are performing in some of their local parades but they seemed nervous because this was their first time to perform in Hawaii. More in all, they were filled with hope and joy because they get to see the blue sky as well as the blue sea of Hawaii and also experience different cultures in person. The students played beautiful harmony while their parents were kindly watching over them. Mrs. Welch, the mother of Emily Welch who was playing the flute in the front row for the Lake Highland Preparatory School Band and Choir from Florida was happy and said, “It is such a great experience for the children to perform in Hawaii since it’s their first time.” Lake Highland Preparatory School Band and Choir (Florida) The Symphonic Band from Lake Highland Preparatory School is comprised of students in 7th through 12 grade. Also, the choir consisted of 9th through 12th grade also joined the band to participate at the Honolulu Festival. They sang beautifully and clearly while the Symphonic Band played the music. Also, the Symphonic Band performed on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship as well in the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade. They are highly praised in various concerts and marching competitions both locally and all over the U.S. Furthermore, the group of choir is led by Bettie Ann Candelora. They do tours in New York, Chicago, Bahama and others. On December 2007, they participated as the Candlelight Professional in Epcot at Walk Disney World. In addition, they are performing at the Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede every year. Also, they are planning to perform for various community service projects such Ronald McDonald House Charities. Potomac Falls High School Band (Virginia) Potomac Falls High School is located in Sterling, Virginia which is a suburb of Washington D.C. Their band programs include symphony, concert band, jazz, flute, marching band and indoor drumline. Also, the band is performing solo and small ensembles. This school is also known for their marching band which is relatively new. Despite of it, they have already won 150 awards. Also, the band has earned the title of “Virginia Honor Band” for 7 times at both the State Marching Band Festival and the District Concert Band Festival. Toby Johnson Middle School Band (California) The Toby Johnson Middle School Jaguar Marching Band and Color Guard are from Elk Grove, California. The band members are all 8th graders led by Jay Roberts, who is the director and they have been active for 2 years. Also they won various competitions around North California in 2008. We are waiting for lots of various performers including school bands, brass bands and cheerleaders to participate at the Honolulu Festival. See you all at the Honolulu Festival!

Special

Mahalo to Local Media

2008(14th)

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, we are hoping that the children of Hawaii can experience various cultures and apply their knowledge outside of Hawaii. In addition, whether you are from Japan, Korea, China, Philippines or others, we believe that it is important to explore your ancestral culture and find various information on it regardless of country. The Honolulu Festival began to serve as a bridge for cultural exchange between Hawaii and Japan. It is now developed as a multi-cultural event, where you can get to watch various performances of traditional and modern cultures of the Asia-Pacific region including Australia, Tahiti, Philippines and Korea. One of the attractive parts of the festival is that the performers from various countries will be gathering in Honolulu, where the visitors can watch and experience different cultures for 3 days. You can’t witness many cultures in one spot, even if you went to other festivals in foreign countries. Another unique feature of the festival is that there are lots of cultures that you can experience. For instance, there are many participating groups that perform traditional Japanese culture, yet there was also Haruko Momoi, who is an anime voice actress in Japan. She will be presenting the culture of Akiba on stage. Also, Tonosama Ren from Tokushima Prefecture will be performing Awa-Odori and Manoa DNA will be presenting contemporary Hawaiian music. In addition, the mascot of Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics will be coming to the festival. This is an event where you can watch and experience lots of cultures such as the Japanese tea ceremony and Australian Aboriginal dance at the same time. Furthermore, the Ennichi Corner was held for the first time at the Hawaii Convention Center. The children experienced the Japanese summer festival in Hawaii, where there are many Japanese and Japanese Americans. They played various Ennichi games such as goldfish scooping, quoits and yo-yo fishing. [Aired Clip 1] [Aired Clip 2] Local media coverage included: KHON 2’s Morning Show featured the junior high and high school students of Zendoji Yamabiko Daiko from Fukuoka Prefecture as well as the group Descendance from Australia. Also, it featured demonstrations of how to play a spinning top and kendama (cup and ball game) as part of introducing the Ennichi Corner. KHON 2 also came to report the educational program which was held for the local children (including elementary, junior high and high school students) on Friday, March 14. Descendance was also featured on the local radio show hosted by Perry and Price on KGMB9 and KSSK. KHNL8 introduced various activities at the Hawaii Convention Center. KHNL8 and KGMB9 featured the Grand Parade which was held on Sunday, March 16. ‘Ōlelo Community Media featured the highlights of the Honolulu Festival for the second time from last year. On Saturday, March 15, Hawaii’s 2 largest newspapers, the Honolulu Advertiser and the Star Bulletin came to the Hawaii Convention Center to interview performers and visitors, which was featured in the article. The Honolulu Festival was broadcasted live on radio KCCN FM 100 and Power 104.3. Hawaii’s famous Japanese free magazine “Aloha Street” published such a wonderful article regarding the festival. DJ Uchida introduced about the Honolulu Festival on the J-Wave’s radio show “Color of Hawaii” in Japan.   Also, the Honolulu Festival was featured on many newspaper articles including the Nishinippon Shimbun, Chunichi Shimbun and Mutsushimpo. The Honolulu Festival Foundation is very grateful for all the support given through television, radio and newspapers. Please continue to support us next year as well and please look forward to the 15th Annual Honolulu Festival!

Special

Enjoy the Honolulu Festival with Momoi

2008(14th)

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. Not to mention, she has been releasing her CD and DVD as well. In addition, she is performing in the Anime Expo which is held all over the world. Furthermore, she is known as “Momo-i” among her fans which they are called “Momoist”. These Momoists exist not only in Japan but also in the U.S. mainland. Mr. Kent, who is a fan of Momoi from California came to Hawaii with 3 other fans. He instantly became her fan after he first saw Momoi on the internet back in 1998. Ever since then, he has been traveling to her events and concerts. Momoi’s fans from Japan as well as from the U.S. wanted for people to know about Haruko Momoi through this year’s Honolulu Festival. Hence, they prepared booklets consisted of lyrics to her songs in Roman alphabet and also, they brought glow sticks. As a matter of fact, the fans were discussing on the internet (such as blogs) about handing out their booklets to the locals in Hawaii prior to the festival. It can be said that there was already cultural exchange between fans in Japan and the U.S by wishing for Momoi’s successful performance. Saturday, March 15: The Stage Performance Day 1 Haruko Momoi and her 20 fans from Japan have brought the vibe of Akihabara to the Hawaii Convention Center. The fans were singing powerful from the very beginning and they were standing in 2 rows in front of the stage. They were waving their glow sticks left and right which they were yelling in excitement. There was an original sticker on them which was printed “HALKO MOMOI 14th Annual Honolulu Festival Mar 15・16 2008”. Gradually, the audience got excited by Momoi’s upbeat number and her fans superb shouts as well as their dance (refers as Wotagei). Jackie Inada, who is a woman that lives in Hawaii for 25 years said “Momoi has a strong voice which is very ideal for the wide stage like the Hawaii Convention Center. I like her songs because they sounded fresh.” In addition, she was dancing to her songs with her grandson. After the performance, her autograph session was held, where there was a long queue. Even though she told her American fans that she can’t speak English, she still interacted with them through her heart. It can be said that Momoi successfully captured the hearts of the audience with her powerful performance. The performance by Momoi with her fans went beyond the subject of anime. This was a moment that the Japanese subculture traveled across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii/ the U.S. Saturday, March 16: The Stage Performance Day 2 There was more excitement on the second day. The fans were lined up in the aisle and danced along with Momoi. The local children, adults and even seniors were observing those fans and swinging glow sticks in which they enjoyed the songs. Momoi was wearing loose socks (baggy socks) and dressed up in school uniform. Her appearance looked rare for the American elders which one of them was asking about it to the Japanese tourists. It was very intriguing for Americans to see the Japanese trends of young generation for the first time. Toward the end of the performance, Momoi called out her fans to the stage and danced with them. They performed a dance which is commonly referred to as “Wotagei”. They were dancing in unison which was fantastic. We felt that this dancing performance is crucial in the world of idol and anime. One of the crazy fans shaved the name “Momoi” into his hair, which we felt his passion toward her. There were people who heard about Momoi for the first time. Despite of it, she was able to capture the hearts of those that are not fans of anime. Initially, Momoi’s autograph session was only scheduled for the first day, but it was held on the second day due to its popularity. The crowd of people gathered by the table to receive Momoi’s autograph. Also, there were anime fans from Kawaii-Kon which is a community of anime in Hawaii. Haruko Momoi was surrounded by many of her fanatic fans in which she was taking pictures and shaking hands with them. She was such a wonderful woman, who always shows her hospitality. This year, Haruko Momoi introduced a new culture at the Honolulu Festival. It is true that the anime culture is now international. The Japanese anime especially receiving a high rating and it is spreading to the world. We thought that it is an important part of cultural exchange for people outside of Japan including Hawaii to know a person like Momoi, who represents the contemporary anime culture. We are looking forward for Japanese anime characters to appear on stage as well as in the parade and interact with people from around the world. In the near future, there may be a cultural exchange among the anime characters from the U.S. as well as the countries of the Pacific Rim at the Honolulu Festival! Haruko Momoi’s live clip in Hawaii Audience Interview Haruko Momoi’s Official Blog http://ameblo.jp/momoi-ktkr/entry-10081023739.html Haruko Momoi’s Official Website http://www.right-gauge.jp/

Special

Sonoda Gakuen’s School Excursion in Hawaii + Honolulu Festival

2008(14th)

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 teachers arrived to Honolulu in the morning Friday, March 14. They ate at Planet Hollywood which is located near Waikiki Beach Walk (one of the venues used for the Honolulu Festival). Afterwards, they went to Diamond Head for a hike! There were many students that visited Hawaii for the first time which they looked excited with anticipation. Next day, the students practiced dancing for the parade at Kapiolani Park from 7:30 in the morning. They were looking toward Waikiki beach and practicing hard while the sun shined on them. They were making sure for the last time to see if they haven’t forgotten their moves that they’ve learned. After breakfast, the students were divided into 3 groups and enjoyed Hawaii. One of the groups went to the beach and another group went shopping to the Ala Moana Shopping Center. Also the other group went to play tennis. Great Excitement at the Friendship Gala The students participated at the Friendship Gala in the evening at 7. They looked very satisfied since this is an event where you can enjoy fine dishes prepared by the top notch chefs in Hawaii. The most popular was the “Sesame Peanut Butter Crunch with Homemade Jelly” from The Pineapple Room prepared by the Chef Alan Wong. The Best Contribution Award was also held at the Friendship Gala. This is an awarding ceremony to honor the participating groups. Also, the group of Sonoda Gakuen was given the award from the President of the Honolulu Festival Foundation, since they participated in the festival for 3 consecutive years. Furthermore, there was a great excitement during the finale. This year, the group of Tonosama Ren performed their Awa-Odori at last. The students went up on stage and enjoyed dancing with everybody. We are performing for those people who came to see our dance! Before the parade, the teacher said “I know that you guys will be exhausted and tired during the parade but we should keep smiling and do our best since there are many who came to see the show!” The students took his advice and danced cheerfully until the end. Eventually, the spectators along the roadside of Kalakaua Avenue were smiling and giving a round of applause. We felt that the commitment of the students of Sonoda Gakuen allows many people to be inspired every year. Moved to smiles and tears! All of sudden, the rain started to fall when the students were about to reach the ending point. After the performance, the sweats and tears made a mess on their matched costumes as well as on their face. In addition, the students and teachers were in floods of tears. Furthermore the students felt a sense of accomplishment since they practiced dancing for the past 5 months. Also, the parade reached its climax by the warm cheers from the spectators. Also, the students from 5 classes brought an excitement. Each moment seemed like they were having an unforgettable experience. Moreover, the students were still excited even during the group photo. They all left their fantastic smiles in Hawaii with the sunset behind them. movies [Interview with Mr. Rai, Sonoda Gakuen High School’s Vice Principal] We interview Mr. Rai, who is the Vice Principal of Sonoda Gakuen High School and also the head of the dance club. Interview Clips ■How was your experience at the Honolulu Festival? This is my second year to participate as the head of our dance club. There were lots of exciting moments last year. The students are proud and happy that there are people who are warmly watching their performance in the parade. Even after their return to Japan, they were still talking that the Honolulu Festival was amazing. ■There are various school excursions, but why did you guys chose the Honolulu Festival? Up until 3 years ago, our school excursion was a ski trip to Hokkaido. However, it is becoming a mainstream to go on a trip within Japan during junior high and traveling abroad during high school. Hence, we were pondering on what country to visit for our school excursion. At the same time, we discussed that sightseeing is not enough to be considered as education. Then, we heard about the Honolulu Festival around the same time. We thought that the Honolulu Festival is an ideal place where the students can present what they’ve learned and express themselves, so we chose Hawaii as our destination. We believe that this is a great place where the students can be inspired, so we will continue to participate in the festival. Also, when the students move into senior year, they have to focus on their future career. Therefore, it is very significant for them to go on a school excursion during the junior year. ■How different are your students when they are in Japan versus when they are in Hawaii? Normally, the students won’t go outside of school so they tend to be introverted. On the other hand, they will become extroverted in Hawaii, where they are communicating with a stranger when they are walking on the street. Also, the students can build their confidence by interacting with people from around the world in a cosmopolitan city like Honolulu. We believe that this experience can be useful in the future. In addition, the students can feel that they are capable of inspiring others in a place where they can present what they’ve learned and practiced in school. ■Are you planning to participate in the Honolulu Festival again in the future? Yes, we think that seniors can inspire juniors by participating in the festival which is becoming like a tradition in our school. On Sports Day, our students who went to last year’s school excursion presented the dance that they’ve performed at the festival in front of all students and some guardians. Those students who watched the performance said that it was a wonderful dance. We believe that it is very meaningful experience for the students to show their daily progress in a place where there are people from various countries.   Report: Sonoda Gakuen’s School Excursion in Hawaii + Honolulu Festival