*Please refrain from unauthorized use of images. Please contact the Foundation for secondary use requests.
*Please refrain from unauthorized use of images. Please contact the Foundation for secondary use requests.
The Educational School Tour was held at the Hawaii Convention Center on March 6, 2015. This is a tour for the local students to see the behind-the-scenes of our Honolulu Festival, where approximately 1,500 students from kindergarten through high school experience and learn various cultures. Also, it focuses on the field of “education”, which is one of the themes of the Honolulu Festival along with the “cultural exchange” and the “environment” for the next 20 years. There were 20 performing groups from all over the world which they gathered to present their unique cultures toward the children and welcomed them. The “Japanese Mascot Characters”, “Child Book Reading”, “‘Oli ‘Oli Walker Riding Experience”, and “Polynesian Culture Center” were added as this year’s new programs at the Educational School Tour. The children were formed into small groups and visited each booth with the assistance from our staff members and volunteers. The students and the children were intrigued to see a huge head of the “Daijayama”, which was displayed and prepared for the Grand Parade. The huge flaming Daija (huge snake) was brought from Omuta City, Fukuoka Prefecture. According to the Japanese folktale, Daija was the god of water that kept agricultural farmlands from drought and prevented the children from getting sick. When the Daijayama’s cart passed through, the children shouted “Yoisa! Yoiyasa!” They even took pictures for each other’s despite of their little embarrassment while shouting out loud. The unique musical instrument and face painting at the booth of the Jaran Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dance Company had received a lot of attention. The children enjoyed having their face painted! Also, the members from the Alaska Native Heritage Center Dancers wore traditional costume and fur boots and told the Alaska legends, stories and culture through Alaskan native dance. The children listened to the explanations of the meaning behind each musical instrument, cultural costume and face painting which they learned various aspects from different cultures. Furthermore, HAENYEO in Us, Jeju National University from Korea was dressed as a woman diver. They introduced the diver tools in both English and Korean by using illustrations and quizzed the children. The children got excited when they received a famous tangerine chocolate from Jeju, which was a prize for the quiz. Also, there were cultural activities from Japan such as sado (tea ceremony), ikebana (flower arrangement), and wadaiko (Japanese drums). Moreover, the host dressed formally in a kimono and performed the Japanese tea ceremony. Meanwhile the children observed the preparation for the green tea. At the same time, they were a bit overwhelmed by its formality. Normally, the Japanese ikebana is formal and inveterate. On the other hand, Sogetsu-ryu encourages uniqueness and freedom which is an unorthodox approach to its performance. This way, it is simpler for the children in learning the concept of “wa” or harmony. The taiko drum represents the static and dynamic part of the Japanese culture. The children were excited to see and listen to the taiko drum. After a powerful performance by TAIKO KOZO, they picked up the drum sticks and experienced the instrument. In addition, its unique rhythms and movements made them delightful. Also, there were many other exhibitions and performances such as Taiwanese drumming dance, Ainu folk songs, Japanese sword fight, Japanese mascot characters and Polynesian traditions. Also, the children had an opportunity to ride on the JTB’s trolley called the ‘Oli ‘Oli Walker. Foremost, they enjoyed and learned the uniqueness of different cultures. Some of the children commented, “It was fun. I definitely want to come back next year.” The Honolulu Festival continues to provide ample of opportunities for the children to experience and learn various cultures. We will continue with our annual Educational School Tour and keep contributing for the local children!
The Friendship Gala was held on March 6, 2015, on the first night of the Honolulu Festival at the Hawaii Convention Center. The Best Contribution Award was held just before the party in showing respect to our long contributors of the participating groups at the Honolulu Festival. The award was given by President of the Honolulu Festival Foundation, Mr. Tsukasa Harufuku. The guests were queuing in front of the venue around 18:40 even though the opening was scheduled at 19:00. All the participants entered into the venue around the same time, where it was very crowded and lively. There were 5 fancy local restaurants proudly preparing and serving the dishes. These restaurants included: MW Restaurant (Desert) Morimoto Waikiki (Fish Cuisine) Ruth’s Chris Steak House (Steak) Roy’s (Duck Cuisine) Yatai Sushi (Sushi) Each restaurant was supported by our volunteers. This year was the first time for the sushi restaurant Yatai Sushi to participate in the Friendship Gala. It serves fresh and delicious sushi which was very popular that the guests made a long queue. While the guests enjoying their luxurious dishes, The University of Hawaii March Band performed for the opening party. They excited the audience with their smooth movements and steady formations along with the rhythmic sounds. Sophia University Cheerleading Team “EAGLES” appeared on stage with beaming smiles. They performed vigorously and speedy with various beautiful movements. Their acrobatic and skillful performance excited the audience. Mr. Harufuku greeted everybody during the formal opening. Also, the governor of Hawaii, David Ige gave a congratulatory speech as one of the invited guests of our festival. Followed by the formal opening was the stage performance by the ukulele players, Honoka and Azita from the talented group, Ukulele Super Kids that won the Hawaii Junior Ukulele Competition. They played impressively with a vibrant sound which unexpectedly amazed the audience since the performers were still young and small. Next was the singing performance by the famous Hawaii female singer, Raiatea Helm. Her beautiful voice and melody warmly surrounded the entire venue. The special dancing team Un Bijou performed a fascinating dance on the stage which brought a unique atmosphere . The selected dance members from Sonoda Gakuen High School entered the stage wearing a light blue colored T-shirt. They danced in high spirits!! The other students from Sonoda Gakuen High School have gathered to show their support by cheering loudly while the team was flying and jumping on the stage. The vigorous performance and the youthful energy of the dancers brought an excitement that they could not take their eyes off the stage. The hula dance was also performed in a pleasant groove. The guests seemed to be enjoying various performances. Finally, everybody was invited on the stage to dance with others for the finale. At the end of the day, everyone left the venue with a smile of satisfaction. The purpose of the Friendship Gala is to build friendship and to promote international goodwill between the people in Hawaii and the people in Asia Pacific region. The participants may learn unique cultures of different regions through dance, music and food in the Honolulu Festival.
Our dynamic Stage Performance was held on March 7 and March 8, 2015, performed by the participating groups of the Honolulu Festival. There were various performing groups from Japan, Hawaii, Australia, Korea, Taiwan, Alaska and other countries around the Pacific Rim. There were 4 stages at the respective locations: Festival Stage, Fureai Stage at the Hawaii Convention Center CenterStage at the Ala Moana Center Special Stage at Waikiki Beach Walk A lot of people were enjoying the performances at each venue. There were wide range of genres from an energetic and speedy Hip-Hop dance, to a graceful hula dance, traditional dances, baton twirling, ukulele play and singing. The performers looked nervous and anticipated while they waited for their turns in the backstage. However, they all looked confident and charming once they got up on stage. They’ve prepared their best hoping to entertain many audience. Also, they’ve trained themselves for the sake of self-improvement and fostering bonds between friends. Those feelings were also depicted toward the audience through each performance. Some audience even joined the performance and enjoyed the cultural exchange. While we were watching various performances that express unique cultures and traditions, we felt as if the world had gathered in Hawaii. Akita Kanto Festival had joined the Honolulu Festival for the fifth time in 11 years. The audience got excited by the impressive balancing skills and various techniques of Kanto holders. In addition, there was an incident in the Hawaii Convention Center, where Kanto had collapsed because it was held up too high. Hokusetsu Cheerleading Club DEARS is a cheerleading group that composed of 7 to 13 years old. This year was their first time to join the Honolulu Festival. The members used a pompom to form a phrase “We love Hawaii” and a word “ALOHA”. They’ve gave their speech in English which was impressive and also adorable. The children’s dancing performances were so vibrant. We are pleased that a lot of young generations have performed and participated in cultural exchange at our festival. Also, those children who came from overseas may inspire locals in Hawaii via their intriguing performances. The Honolulu Festival contributes to the society through education and regional activities by providing a platform for locals and others. The Yosakoi dance group, Yosakoibito danced splendidly in a beautiful costume. Various performances from each generation allow us to learn and foster which they also bridge the generation gap between the old and the young. One of the highlights as a performer of our festival is that you get to feel a sense of accomplishment as being a contributor. Also, this gives the opportunity to build fellowships among the other participants and to share a wonderful moment with the audience and supporters. We will start a new challenge to inspire others for the next year!
The Film Festival was held on March 7 and March 8, 2015, by the Consulate General of Japan and the Honolulu Festival Foundation at the Hawaii Convention Center. The following films were screened: Special short movies from Sapporo International Short Film Festival and Market Mission Impossible: Samurai Hustle Special short movies for kids from Sapporo International Short Film Festival and Market The Garden of Words Sakanakami ~God of Fish~ Go for Broke ~the Memories of Hawaii Japanese Niseis! The admission was free for both adults and children. A total of 2,030 people came to our Film Screening. On the first day, the actress, Sora who played a role in the film Cry at Dusk greeted everyone on stage. This movie was also shown at the Sapporo International Short Film Festival and Market. This is an emotional story that portrays hope between a radio personality, an insurance sales agent and a girl who is striving to become a fashion model. The setting is in Otaru, Hokkaido which was also used for a filming location. The colorful use of silver screening was selected by a film director, Nakahachi. It portrays transparency which the colors give a sense of nostalgia toward the audience. Sora said that she was sensitive for the sound and timing while filming a movie. She also shared her story that she begged to purchase her microphone to a director due to an insufficient budget. In addition, she shared her episode where she done the recordings in her closet inside a comforter. Furthermore, she was very happy that the film was shown in Hawaii. She has an affinity for Hawaii since her hometown back in Hokkaido is also an island. Moreover, she explained that everyone is entitled to their own opinion about the story but it is also true that every race and ethnic group feels similarly towards distress and suffering through their daily lives. Additionally, everybody wishes to be a well-being despite of one’s nationality and or race. Also, she wanted to express her message that all humans are equal. Hence, this film is a perfect choice for the Honolulu Festival which correlates with our theme of cultural exchange. On behalf of the recovery from Great East Japan Earthquake, Mission Impossible Samurai was shown which is the samurai movie based in Fukushima. The venue was filled with laughter while the samurais try to fulfill the unexpected demand given by the shogunate and entertain with their comical moves. All seats were full on the first day where over 50 guests ended up standing. The other films were full as well. In addition, Sora who is also an author of a picture book held a special event and read one of her books called Shirokumakun & Kurokumakun in Hawaii. The children were intrigued by the story as the main character, Shirokumakun (white bear) and Kurokumakun (black bear) travels to Hawaii. When the shaved ice appeared in the story, some of the children shouted, “It looks yummy!” It felt as if there was a sense of unity among them. Furthermore, the movies and picture books can be seen as the world’s common entertainment. The use of media such as the video, music, design and so forth are necessity of cultural exchange to avoid language barriers. We would like to give a special thanks to the Consulate General of Japan! We will continue to bring more creative ideas for the cultural exchange activities for the Honolulu Festival in the future. Please look forward to the next Film Festival!
The theme for the Honolulu Festival will be divided into 3 categories for the next 20 years. They are “Cultural Exchange”, “Education” and “Environment”. The symposium was held on March 7, 2015, from 13:00 to 16:00 up on the 3rd floor of the Hawaii Convention Center. The theme was related to the environmental aspect which was entitled as a “Vision for the Future Ecotourism of Hawaii”. It discussed about the potentials of ecotourism and how it can firmly be entrenched in Hawaii. The symposium consisted of two sessions. Mr. Keiichiro Yamada, a Board member of Japan Ecotourism society; Mr. Jeffrey Dunster, CEO of Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods and also the 2014 Ecotour Operator of the year discussed about the concept of ecotourism in Session I. The panel discussion was held during Session II. Those who were interested in the topic of ecotourism and various representatives of the companies in Hawaii filled the venue. Session I: What is Ecotourism? Ecotourism is a form of tourism (travel and recreation) that considers sustaining the natural environment, culture and history of the region and it has a relatively short history. Mr. Dunster gave a speech on how preserving trees and forests lead to ecotourism. He mentioned a few interesting facts based by the global industrial production index from the years 1978 to 2012. The forests that are size of Big Island are disappearing every 25 days. Demand for tropical hardwood is doubling every 4 years. Current planting rate is below 2% of the demand. According to the Hawaii industrial production index: Hawaiian Koa is an indigenous tree that only grows in Hawaii. The price of Koa has increased by 1,000 times within the last decade. Only 10% of the Koa tree forest is remained. In addition, according to a United Nations report, all of non-preserved tropical forest will be gone by 2023. Mr. Dunster proposed an idea of “Birth of Forests” to promote ecotourism. A man in the picture is holding handful of seeds which also symbolizing that he is holding a forest. The company called Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods (HLH LLC) has initiated a reforestation project on the lands that were once owned by the King Kamehameha I. The method is simply by only using rainwater which has an ecological factor. Koa Legacy Trees are the fastest growing hardwoods which only take about 4 years to develop a forest. The numerical data shows that one Koa tree is capable of: creating $31,250 worth of oxygen reducing $62,000 worth of air pollution purifying $37,500 worth of water preventing and managing $31,250 worth of soil erosion Mr. Dunster encourages every tourist to be involved in ecotourism by taking part in protecting forests rather than only enjoying the sceneries. Subsequently, the students from the University of Wakayama gave a presentation about their unique views on ecotourism. They emphasized that the harmonization of nature, culture and history is the important factor for Hawaii’s ecotourism. All staff members gave a warm round of applause for the students of the future. Session II: Panel Discussion, Practice of Eco-tourism The panel discussion in Session II consisted of: Dr. Linda J. Cox of the Community Economic Development Specialist at the University of Hawaii and the adviser of the Hawaii Ecotourism Association John Morgan, President of the Kualoa Ranch. Mitsue Varley, Vice President of the Hawaii Tourism Japan. Hiroshi Takebayashi, Tatsuya Deguchi and Masahiko Konomatsu, the professors of Wakayama University. Mr. Takebayashi, a professor at Wakayama University discussed the importance of ecotourism from his own strategic perspective. “The strategic theory refers to a standardization of a particular practice which can be achieved by repetition of mimics. As the standardization progresses, the customer will prefer to shop in a closer area with a cheaper price. Then, the marketing will become competitive and the standard will start to degrade. It needs to monopolize in a very small and exclusive area to serve its purpose. Ecotourism can be successful in every region by considering about the local’s environmental issues and the people’s living conditions.” Afterwards, each panelist discussed about their own professional ideas on ecotourism. Lastly, Mr. Yamada encouraged everybody to share about today’s experience regarding ecotourism. Also, he created an acronym using the word “WAVE” which it symbolizes Hawaii. W.A.V.E. stands for… W: Will (under the strong will) A: Action (make actions) V: Vision (to have a clear vision) E: Enjoy (to enjoy) Furthermore, this won’t be the last symposium that deals with the topic of ecotourism. We will conserve the world’s environment and grow the number of supporters of the ecotourism movement as well as the visitors from Japan through holding many symposiums in the future at the Honolulu Festival.
The Craft Fair was held on March 7 and March 8, 2015, at the Hawaii Convention Center. The queues were already started to form as far as 100 meters away from the venue, even though it was before the opening at 10 A.M. There were a lot of visitors who are anticipated for this event. As the doors opened, the guests entered the venue with their delightful smiles in controlling their excitement. There were about 20,000 visitors in a period of two days. We appreciate everybody that came to enjoy and show support in the festival. There were about 130 booths run by each participating group inside the venue. Some held classes where the guests get hands-on experience and learn about each culture. It was crowded but lively at the same time. Furthermore, there were array of local specialties scattered throughout the islands of Hawaii. Also, each vendor introduced their traditions and skills along with their sold items. The spacious booth run by Nagaoka City offers one of the world’s popular Japanese sakes called “Kubota”. The guests learned about its manufacturing process and also they participated in taste testing. In addition, there was a booth of the Nagaoka Fireworks, which allowed the guests to see the inside of a firework shell and learn its mechanism. It is also known as a finale of the Honolulu Festival. Furthermore, colorful carps were swimming elegantly which amazed the passersby. Moreover, there was a booth for painting wind chimes held by Nagaoka Institute of Design. Every booth was successful in creating opportunities for interaction and enjoyment. The participating groups welcomed every guest with their warm smiles. One’s “interaction” and “experience” are the highlights of Craft Fair. It is one of the events that strongly encourage to participate in the cultural exchange and to interact with others. The Craft Fair is an event that gives a valuable experience by introducing the guests to various cultures which serves as a bridge for the cultural exchange. There must be a lot of things that the visitors have not seen before. There might be people who decided to make a change in their lives through this event. The Honolulu Festival is a place for everybody to foster one’s compassion and one’s mind. We will continue contributing to various communities and offering opportunities for the cultural exchange through myriad of activities and events.
The Ennichi Corner and bon dance were held on Sunday, March 7 and Saturday, March 8, 2015, at the Hawaii Convention Center. Bon Dance(Bon Odori) Unlike last year, there was a big scaffold called “yagura” built-in the middle of Mall Lobby. The people gathered around by the set and enjoyed the bon dance in a pleasant atmosphere. Also, there were people from various countries that participated in the bon dance. It seemed that the Japanese festival has been widely recognized across the world. The sound of the taiko drum and the beautiful accompanist often called “ochoushi” filled the entire hall. It was played by a group, Iwakuni Odori Aiko Kai which participates annually in the Honolulu Festival. Also, it was touching to see everyone from all over the world dancing lively with one another and be united as a whole. Please watch our video clip below. It was held twice on the 7th and once on the 8th. Each bon dance lasted for 35 minutes. The people learned and enjoyed as they danced to various types of Ondo song, which began with “Dai Tokyo Ondo”. We interviewed some familiar faces of annual participants in the bon dance. HF：“I know that you are annual participant in the bon dance. What does it mean to you?” Participant1: “My purpose is to support in promoting different cultures with my friends in Hawaii.” Participant2: “I’m planning to continue spreading the words about the bon dance in Hawaii. Also, I would like for non-Japanese communities to inherit the Japanese traditions despite the fact that I’m also a non-Japanese. Finally, I would like to pay my respect to those ancestors which is the original meaning behind the bon dance.” We were impressed by the passionate participants! We look forward to seeing you all at our next year’s festival. The Ennichi Corner Once again, we were able to hold the Ennichi Corner for this year’s Honolulu Festival which is one of the traditions of the Japanese festival. The spacious corner was set-up on the first floor of the Hawaii Convention Center. There were some traditional games such as throwing hoops, shooting targets and yo-yo fishing which gave a sense of nostalgia toward the Japanese visitors. Everybody was preoccupied with playing games. Not to mention, there were food booths which are also one of the highlights of our Ennichi Corner. There were various foods offered from Japan, America and Hawaii. Furthermore, there was an ice cream inside the strikingly-large size corn dogs. Also, cotton candy is one of the popular snacks at the festival. The girl seemed very delightful after she received her candy. In addition, the Carnival Corner was also popular which consisted of inflatable equipment that you often see in the American festival. The families smiled happily and created wonderful memories. Please look forward to the next year!
The Grand Parade was held on Sunday, March 8, 2015, on Kalakaua Avenue. It was the last live performance by the participating groups. The visitors from around the world gathered on Kalakaua Avenue to watch the performance. It started from Saratoga Road and ended around the Honolulu Zoo area which was about 1.3 km long. The opening performance was held in front of the 4 locations of Kalakaua Avenue. The performers from Honolulu and its sister city Kashiwazaki performed a chorus and hula dance at the main stand in front of the Moana Surfrider Hotel and Westin Hotels & Resorts. Their impressive performance fascinated the audience. Furthermore, there were various performances such as singing of the national anthem, dances and shamisen by the other MC stands. They performed simultaneously which entertained the audience. The time was 4:30 PM. The Grand Parade began with a marching performance by the military band. The volunteers held the Honolulu Festival banner while they paraded on the streets. Also, the audience cheered while the marching band, dance and sword fight were performed, which the camera shutter sounds echoed loudly throughout the streets. The ‘OLI ‘OLI Walker performed a continuous curve driving which brought much excitement. Note that this trolley performance was exclusive for the parade. The participating group from Sonoda Gakuen High School that had the largest number of 231 students danced to the Japanese music hits. Their youthful moves hyped the crowds. Each performer had performed vigorously and gracefully with a wonderful smile, which brought a lot of excitement while the audience warmly watched over the performances. The big dragon from Saitama Ryujin Matsuri Kai had appeared. Ryujin was floating gently in the air of Waikiki, which brought excitement with its glaring red eyes. Sometimes, it dived into the audience along the roadside which amazed them. The Grand Parade reached a last phase and the sky started to darken. Also, the Japanese traditional dance called the Gujo-Odori and Awa-Odori were performed. In addition, a portable shrine had appeared with a unique Hawaiian design of a pineapple. The performers encouraged each other and performed vigorously. Once again, Hirosaki Nebuta had arrived! It feels much different to watch one of the famous Japanese festivals in Hawaii. The gigantic lantern floats gently while it softly illuminating the lights in the nightfall. The surprised performance by the Akita Kanto Festival first appeared with the Japanese lanterns illuminated by fire on the bamboo poles. Each celebrant will be holding the bamboo pole that weighs more than 110 pounds just by using an arm or over the forehead. They gave a great enjoyment to the audience. The parade lasted about 3 hours long. The Daijyayama appeared on the scene for the finale which was led by a total of 200 people. The sparks scattered along the street as the Daijyayama made a powerful entrance. Furthermore, the Consulate General of Japan, Shigeeda and the governor of Hawaii, David Ige rode on the Daijyayama from the front of the Moana Surfrider Hotel. The performance reached its climax with many cheers and a big round of applause. Everybody seemed highly anticipated for the parade next year as well. The performers felt a sense of accomplishment while the audience seemed gratified by the performances which were inspiring. Please look forward to our event next year!
The Nagaoka Fireworks was the finale for the Honolulu Festival, which is highly anticipated by many every year. This day was a bit chilly evening in Hawaii. The spectators from the Grand Parade headed toward Waikiki Beach to watch the fireworks. They waited 30 minutes before the show with a great anticipation. Some enjoyed the view by the shoreline and some looked up at the sky. Also, some of the audience were gathered around and waited outside the lanai of a guest room near the beach. The show started at 8:30 P.M. The fireworks have launched with a loud sound and the ray of lights reflected in the sky. It began with a single shot of white color fireworks with a message of prayer for peace. It fired three times as a commemoration to the war causalities of the U.S. and Japan with thoughts of lasting peace that establish good relation between them. There was a great floral fireworks bloomed in the night sky over Waikiki. The fireworks were launched steadily from barges on Waikiki Beach. Also, many of the spectators were using their earphones to listen to the radio. The FM radio station called the “Hawaiian105 KINE” was in charge of broadcasting the event. It tells about the background and the message of each firework that was launched into the sky. The background music blended beautifully which made one’s experience more impressive and memorable. Furthermore, the star mine fireworks titled The Bonds of Friendship between the U.S. and Japan was launched with the Hawaiian state song called Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī which was also a national anthem during the Kingdom of Hawaii. In addition, its red and gold symbolizes the color of the outfits of the Royal Family, which were selected to commemorate King Kamehameha the Great. Another star mine fireworks called Phoneix was launched into the sky with a promise to take a leap forward from the Niigata Chuetsu Earthquake which occurred a decade ago. They are Nagaoka’s symbol for “recovery” in hoping for Niigata. The spectators enjoyed the fireworks along with the song called Jupitar by Ayaka Hirahara. Also, the fireworks called HAWAII FIVE-O bloomed magnificently along with the theme from its TV series. The fireworks set off from 3 different locations by various intervals and sizes. The big sized fireworks were the main show. Also, the fireworks called Shidare-yanagi entertained the spectators with numerous random shots which are loved by the people of Nagaoka. The show reached its climax! Also, the fireworks called Ten-Chi-Jin was the finale. Its name came from the title of the historical Japanese drama, which the story takes place in Nagaoka. It is one of the popular Japanese dramas in Hawaii. Furthermore, the fireworks set off with the epic theme from the original drama which created a luxurious atmosphere. The colors of the fireworks brightened the sky of Waikiki in full bloom for about 15 minutes. This year’s Nagaoka Fireworks was successful which brought many smiles and excitement. The audience exchanged dialogues to each other in satisfaction as they were leaving the scene. They looked anticipated for the next year! The themes of Nagoka Fireworks were “Memorial”, “Recovery” and “World Peace”. We hope that the viewers were able to grasp them as they watched such spectacular show of the fireworks. Furthermore, this year mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World World II. The peace ceremony between Honolulu and Nagoka City will be held as a commemoration on August 14 and August 15 at Pearl Harbor. In fact, the Nagaoka Fireworks will be launched one again for the finale. It is true that everybody wishes for peace. The Nagaoka Fireworks continues to inspire others regardless of one’s race, ethnicity and generation.
The Honolulu Festival held an award ceremony called the Best Contribution Award in honoring those devoted participants who have contributed for many years. We would like to express our appreciation to everyone who came to Hawaii from overseas for building friendship through cultural exchange. Thank you very much for representing the essence of Honolulu Festival to the world. A total of 29 participating groups were given the award! Also, the award ceremony was held at the Hawaii Convention Center on Friday, March 6, 2015 which was presented by Mr. Tsukasa Harufuku, president of the Honolulu Festival Foundation. Furthermore, 14 participating groups who participated in the ceremony took pictures with President Harufuku to commemorate their special moment.