*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 Honolulu Festival is a 3 day event which will be held on March 11th through 13th around Waikiki and Ala Moana. There were many of our flags hanged on the streetlights of Kalakaua Avenue. They were blown in the breezing winds under the sunlight of Hawaii. This year’s theme of the Honolulu Festival was “Cultural Harmony, Journey to Peace”. The musical, Peace On Your Wings is an emotional story which everybody should be aware of when we discuss about peace. Have you ever heard about the life of Sadako Sasaki? Peace On Your Wings The Children’s Peace Monument is a place for peace to commemorate Sadako Sasaki which is located in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Sadako was exposed to the radiation from the atomic bomb and later she had developed leukemia. She folded cranes in hoping to live but lost her life at the age of 12. The musical Peace On Your Wings focuses on the life of Sadako. Sadako hoped for a world without tragic nuclear weapons and continued to promote for world peace. This critically acclaimed musical is brought to you by the children of Ohana Arts. Peace On Your Wings will be shown in the following schedule: Event Time: March 12 (Sat) 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Event Time: March 13 (Sun) 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Location: Hawaii Convention Center, 3rd floor #311 Rehearsal scenes: Ohana Arts This is Hawaiian Hongwanji Mission School. It is located along the Pali Highway across the mountains that directed toward Kailua from Waikiki. The children from Ohana Arts are rehearsing for the musical in this location. Ohana Arts is consisted of executive and co-artistic director, Jenny Taira, her sister, Cari Taira, who is a stage director with approximately 25 students in the age range of 7 to 16. They are rehearsing for the Ekiden scene which was done on the school yard just before the sunset. Shana Yasunaga, who is 14 years old will be playing the main character Sadako Sasaki. The innocent singing voices of the children echoed through the sky along with their cheerful smiles. Sometimes, they acted vigorously and energetically. At times they acted gently and calmly. Every movement depicted a childlike impression which was adorable. The scenes looked very natural and the children were having so much fun… In fact, they make you forget that they were actually acting… It seemed like I was actually seeing Sadako Sasaki back in the days. I was captivated which felt like I was watching a marvelous illusion through a viewfinder on the camera. There were scenes that made me feel like I was taking my life for granted. I wonder how would you feel after you’ve witnessed such scenes. Interview: (Center left: Jenny, Center right: Cari) ●How did you know about Sadako Sasaki? Jenny：I have read a story about her when I was in elementary school. Also, I have been to Hiroshima before and visited Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park Museum. I have been feeling strongly about her since then. ●Why did you choose this story? Jenny：I wanted to choose a story of young people, especially from Asian countries. Although the subject of atomic bombing is such a controversial topic, I was very drawn to the positive aspect of the story, which is about the importance of friendship and living with hope. ●What is your message to the audience through this work and performance? Jenny: Needless to say that my message is “peace”. I believe that we should live everyday as if it’s our last. I think this philosophy relates to the teachings of Buddha. ●What do you feel when you perform? What is the difficult part? Shana：Sadako san is a very interesting person who was very powerful and optimistic. I can feel her energy while I’m playing her role. I am very grateful that I was given this opportunity. Personally, the most difficult part is to completely internalize the character. Whenever I come to the rehearsal, I forget the life of my own and try to become like Sadako san who had the positive mindset. During the interview, Shana seemed more mature than when she was playing her role. She has the presence of a great actress. (Picture- After the rehearsal: Ohana Arts members with great teamwork skills) Every member will strive to perform cheerfully and lively with prayer for peace! Please do not miss it! Peace On Your Wings is the most highlighted event of this year’s Honolulu Festival, which symbolizes the importance of life and focus on the theme of peace. Event Time: March 12 (Sat) 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. March 13 (Sun) 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Location: Hawaii Convention Center, 3rd floor #311 The story is composed exclusively with each selected scene from the original musical for the 22nd Annual Honolulu Festival. Please come to see this inspirational musical. The admission is free.
The Honolulu Festival held an award ceremony called the Ohana 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 the cultural exchange to foster many international friendships. Also, thank you all for presenting the unique essence of the Honolulu Festival to the world. It was held at the Hawaii Convention Center on Friday, March 11. A total of 32 participating groups have received their award. It was presented by Mr. Tsukasa Harufuku, who is the President of the Honolulu Festival Foundation. The 8 participating groups also took pictures with him to celebrate this special moment. Thank you very much! MAHALO!
The Film Festival was co-hosted by the Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu and Honolulu Festival Foundation on the 3rd floor of the Hawaii Convention Center for 2 days on Saturday, March 12 and Sunday, March 13. The following films were screened: ■ Saturday, March 12 ・Ramen Samurai ・The God of Ramen ~ Secrets of 50-year-old Higashi-Ikebukuro Taishoken ・Jiro Dreams of Sushi ・A Tale of Samurai Cooking ■ Sunday, March 13 ・Chigasaki Story ・Mourning Recipe ・The Garden of Words ・War Memorial Program Nagaoka Fireworks in Pearl Harbor There were many interesting films compared to last year. Many have gathered to watch these films since the event itself was free admission for everybody regardless of one’s nationality and age. On the second day, the Mayor of Chigasaki City, Nobuyuki Hattori greeted the audience before the screening the film Chigasaki Story. The story takes place in Chigasaki City, where there’s an inn called “Chigasakikan” which the famous Japanese film director named Yasuji Ozu stayed regularly to write the script. It is a humorous love story of 7 young men and women, which also depicts the lives of young generation. The film was directed by Takuya Misawa, who is a rookie film director that hopes to spread the words about Chigasaki City in which he chose Chigasakikan as his filming location. His love for the city is apparent throughout his work. The Mayor Hattori explained “Chigasaki City used to be an agricultural and fishing village where there were only a few residences. However, the temperament and the atmosphere of the city have been embraced to warmly welcoming the stranger, which is similar to Honolulu. The director Takuya Misawa successfully depicted the attractiveness of Chigasaki City”. The city of Honolulu and Chigasaki City signed a sister-city agreement 2 years ago. Some may wonder why? Traditionally, the sister cities of Honolulu were been selected upon historical ties to Hawaii. Despite of it, Chigasaki City was chosen because it shares mutual cultural values, which we hope for the audience to see on the screen. The present Mayor of Honolulu also agreed and said that the shared cultures and values are the reason behind the signed agreement. The scenery, atmosphere and human empathy of Chigasaki City was surely depicted on the silver screen which reminded of Hawaii. The Mayor Hattori took a picture with the city’s mascot called “Eboshimaro”. The hat of the mascot representing the Chinaman’s Hat in Hawaii. Also, there is a rock that is similar to the Chinaman’s Hat called “Eboshi-Iwa” in Chigasaki City which is another interesting coincidence. All the seats were full for the other films as well. The film War Memorial Program Nagaoka Fireworks in Pearl Harbor is a documentary of cultural exchange between the students of Hawaii and Japan, which the audience watched thoughtfully as it discussed its importance. Furthermore, “ramen” or noodle is one of the Japanese cultures that is loved by the locals of Hawaii. The film The God of Ramen- Secret of 50-years-old Higashi-Ikebukuro Taishoken is a documentary about the life of a famous ramen chef, who owns his restaurant called Taishoken in Higashi-Ikebukuro. It’s not too much to say that he led the Japanese ramen industry to this day, which intrigued many of the local audience. In addition, some of the audience made a sound of exclamation after witnessing such a large bowl of ramen on the screen which is rare in Hawaii. The best part about the Film Festival is that you can learn about various cultures and mesmerize yourself through watching the films without having to travel overseas. This event itself can serve as a place for cultural exchange which can be a catalyst for the actual involvement and interaction. The tip to world peace is hidden under learning and accepting other cultures. We would like to thank the Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu for agreeing with our vision of cultural exchange and for holding the Film Festival.
The Nagaoka Fireworks was held for the finale at the Honolulu Festival on Sunday, March 13, which bloomed gorgeously in the night sky over Waikiki Beach. Its themes were “memorial”, “recovery” and “world peace”. There were many spectators that were anticipated to watch the fireworks this year as well.Those fireworks were launched from offshore of the beach. Lots of people have gathered to Waikiki Beach after the Grand Parade. The edge of the beach was filled with spectators who chose to watch the show closely. It has been a gusty weather during March in Hawaii. However, it miraculously subsided and Hawaii was ready for the Nagaoka Fireworks! The fireworks were collaborative performance between the city of Honolulu, Hawaii and Nagaoka, Japan. As you may know, the city of Honolulu suffered numerous casualties from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. On the other hand, Nagaoka City, Niigata Prefecture is where Isoroku Yamamoto was born. He was the Naval Marshal General and Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet of Japan. In the beginning, General Yamamoto opposed to launching the war against the U.S. Unfortunately, he was assigned as a Commander-in-Chief to attack on Pearl Harbor. Not to mention, Nagaoka City was also attacked by the American air raids. Eventually, the 2 cities signed a sister-city agreement at the 18th Annual Honolulu Festival in March, hoping to pass down the message of peace to the next generations. Ever since then, both cities have developed a variety of cultural exchange programs. The Nagaoka Fireworks symbolizes an amicable relationship between Nagaoka City and Honolulu. In the beginning, the 3 shots of white color fireworks were launched into the night sky at 8:30 p.m., commemorating those Japanese and American victims of war with “prayers for peace”. Also, the music was played along with the fireworks display, effectively delighting the spectators’ emotions by utilizing the Live Fireworks Music Application Grucci. The series of fireworks were bloomed vividly in the darkness. In addition, last year marked the 70th anniversary of the end of the Pacific War. Honolulu and Nagaoka City collaboratively hosted the Commemoration and Peace Ceremony on August 14 and August 15 at Pearl Harbor. Furthermore, the youths from both cities were invited and interacted with one another. Moreover, the Nagaoka Fireworks was held as a finale of the ceremony as well. This year the fireworks called Star Mine, was launched which was accompanied by the song America the Beautiful played by the United States Navy. The smell of gunpowder carried by the ocean breeze is one of the unique features of the Honolulu Festival. The fireworks called Phoenix were launched in the night sky, accompanied by a song called Jupiter by Ayaka Hirahara. Also, the large-scale fireworks were launched magnificently, accompanied a song called The Bridge of Friendship. The last fireworks were launched lavishly, accompanied by the theme song of the popular historic Japanese drama called Ten Chi Jin. Those dynamic fireworks brightened up the beach. The spectators were elated then responded with great cheers and exultant shouts as each fireworks lit the sky. This year’s Nagaoka Firework emphasized on the theme of “World Peace”. We often wonder what it means to “be at peace” and to “have peace”. However if we passionately strive for peace, one day it will become a reality. In addition, we believed that if we have a mutual understanding of peace then we can achieve world peace. The Honolulu Festival will continue to provide the gathering place for various people to come and have fun experiences. Lastly, we would like to express our deep gratitude to the cities of Nagaoka and Honolulu, our sponsors, for their cooperation and support for the fireworks. Also we would like give our appreciation to those who have played parts in carrying out the fireworks shows over the years.
The Grand Parade was held on the evening of Sunday, March 13, 2016, on Kalakaua Avenue. The performers performed from Saratoga Road and headed toward the east about 0.8 miles long where the Honolulu Zoo, the end point is located. Not to mention, a lot of spectators have gathered along the roadside. Also, the opening performances were set-up at the following 4 locations, which started from 4 p.m. Starting point on Saratoga Road In front of Waikiki Shopping Plaza In front of Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa In front of Pacific Beach Hotel The children of Ohana Arts sang the american national anthem at the starting point. They’ve performed the musical, Peace On Your Wings which is about the life of a girl named Sadako Sasaki, who became the model for the Children’s Peace Monument in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. The spectators gave warm regards to those children that were beamed with smiles. Also, there were performances such as various dances including hula and juggling at each respective location. Lots of camera shutter sounds echoed along the roadside. The Grand Parade began with a parade by JAL (Japan Airlines) flight attendants with their wonderful smiles. Then, it was followed by a military band, marching band and Chigasaki Soshu-Mikoshi. The children of Ohana Arts who sang the American national anthem for the opening rode on the ‘Oli ‘Oli Walker as they paraded on Kalakaua Avenue. Also,Rimi Natsukawa who is a Japanese singer appeared on the scene! She will be performing for the after event called Ryukyu no Kaze in Hawaii~ Okinawan Harmony~ which will be held on the next day March 14. She greeted her fans with a beaming smile as the spectators cheered along the roadside. Then, next appeared were various beauty pageant winners, who sat in the convertible and waved to the spectators as they made a gorgeous entrance. Furthermore, there were various performances such as hula dance, baton twirling, hand bells, mikoshi and Japanese drums which captivated the spectators. The performers were encouraged by the warm cheers. To share the joy and to entertain others were the motivation of the performers, which made the parade more spirited and memorable. Minna Unicycle Club is a group consists of local girls. Occasionally, the children and adults held their hands for a spin, which was adorable and memorable. BIBAK Hawaii’s traditional costume attracted special attention. They promote to preserve the cultural heritage of the Igorots. Next appearance was the Flag Wavers from Faenza which they performed in medieval uniforms with their flags of Faenza (consist of white, yellow, black, red and green colors). Also, their flag wavers and the musicians are one of the top-notches in Italy, which they’ve won over 30 championships. There was a big round of applause every time when the flag waver catches the flag that was thrown high in the air. Ritsumeikan University dig up treasure captivated the spectators with their speedy, dynamic and acrobatic moves while performing Double Dutch. BestBody International in Honolulu showed off their sculptured bodies. Moreover, there were various Japanese performing arts which were uniquely blended with traditional and modern styles. Also, the members of Getappers from Waseda University performed a tap dance wearing the Japanese traditional footwear called “geta”. They were filled with enthusiasms and bright smiles which spread toward the spectators. Shotenryu (rising dragon) made a powerful appearance flying up high in the sky of Waikiki. The gigantic Shotenryu is about 164 feet tall which was brought by Saitama Ryujin Matsuri Kai. It attacked furiously toward the spectators along the roadside from left to right as a performance, which thrilled them. The scene was filled with excitement and great cheers. The sunset has started and the Grand Parade was about to reach its climax. The surprising performance was brought by Akita Kanto Festival which they reappeared with many lanterns that were brightening the night. Those soft lighted lanterns were hanged from a bamboo pole and each celebrant held and balanced them by their forehead, shoulders and back which showed incredible skills. The Grand Parade was about 4 hours long. The last 2 performances were the Hirosaki Neputa and Honolulu Daijayama. The impression of those performances can be a lot different during the night which is intriguing. Watching the Neputa with Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach in the background gave an indescribable impression, which felt the harmonization the beauty of Hawaii and Japan. The Honolulu Daijayama made a powerful appearance as it moved forward with sparks of flame in the moonless night. Their performance was shown in front of the VIP seats and the show reached its climax. At last, it passed by Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach with its strong looks. Both the spectators and performers looked accomplished, even though they were saddened by the fact that the parade had ended. We are looking forward to new performances next year! The Honolulu Festival Grand Parade received the Legacy Award from the City and County of Honolulu The Honolulu Festival’s Grand Parade has received the Legacy Award from the city of Honolulu on October 22, 2015. As a result, our Grand Parade was recognized as an annual event of Honolulu, which does not require a special request for approval from the city. The Legacy Award was given to those parades that have certain achievements however, the Honolulu Festival failed to meet the requirements on 2006. Through many obstacles and ordeals, it was difficult to be selected for the award. Meanwhile, the Honolulu Festival Foundation continued to serve as a mediator of a sister city relationship between Nagaoka City and the city of Honolulu. Also, there was a special event to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, which the Nagaoka Fireworks was launched at Pearl Harbor on August of 2015. Also, the Mayor and the Vice Mayor of Honolulu visited Japan and established a good relationship with Nagaoka City. Furthermore, we applied directly to the Mayor’s office on March, 2015 and gained petition under the guidance of the Deputy Vice Minister of Hawaii for the City Council Chairman. Our situation became hopeful which the bill was set for the ordinance amendment on August. The Honolulu Festival had received a flawless score on a 3-step evaluation process and our long years of effort came to fruition. We would like to give a great appreciation to the city of Honolulu for understanding and supporting our Honolulu Festival!
The special musical event, Peace On Your Wings was performed on: ・March 12 (Sat) 11:00a.m.12:00p,m., 4:00p.m.5:00p.m. ・March 13 (Sun) 11:00a.m.12:00p.m. There were 3 time slots available for the show which was held at the Hawaii Convention Center. The themes of the 22nd Honolulu Festival focused on “Peace” and “The Importance of Living Life” which emphasized on the “Cultural Harmony and Journey to Peace”. The main character was a girl named Sadako Sasaki, who became the model for the Children’s Peace Monument in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. This monument is a commemoration for those children that suffered and died from the atomic bombing in Hiroshima. Sadako spoke of the brutality of the atomic bomb and promoted world peace. Her life was honored through this musical and her legacy lives on through the youths in Hawaii. -OPENING- The play began with a beautiful and lively voice by Sadako Sasaki. 9 years have passed since the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Sadako was 12 years old. -EKIDEN (a longdistance relay road race)- In this scene, Sadako’s class was chosen to participate in the Ekiden. Sadako was active and loved playing sports. She became one of the selected runners in the Ekiden as a result of her hard training. Sadako was a pillar of her class. She consoled her classmate who couldn’t make it to the team and built a strong team spirit. Also, she was a popular girl among her friends because of her kindness and leadership. Sadako celebrated with her teammates after winning the race. At the same time, her health started to decline, so she went to the hospital. -AT THE HOSPITAL- Later, they found out that Sadako developed leukemia hence she was hospitalized. At one point, she and her brother, Masahiro were both saddened by her poor condition. On the other hand, the other children in the hospital were lively despite of their medical conditions. They happily introduced themselves to Sadako. Sadako felt comforted by the children’s cheerfulness and she was able to become happy again. She hoped to go back to school to be with her friends and for her quick recovery. Despite her positivity, she remained hospitalized. -SUMMER FESTIVAL- Sadako showed signs of improvement in the night of summer. She changed to a yukata (Japanese traditional summer wear) for the summer festival. “I can see my friends again!” Masahiro felt worried. He warned his sister not to exhaust herself. Sadako’s classmates were not told why Sadako couldn’t attend to school. Hence, they were delighted to see her. They spent a wonderful time dancing together. Sadako suddenly passed out in the middle of the festival. -Paper Cranes- Sadako’s classmates were shocked to discover that Sadako suffered from leukemia. They took turns to visit her at the hospital. One day, a colorful origami crane was delivered to Sadako from Nagoya with a wish for her recovery. Sadako was fascinated by the beautiful paper crane and decided to make it herself with prayers for her recovery as well as for world peace. The 12 years old girl hardly complained during her tough fight with the disease. She determined to battle against her illness with hope for life. Sadako strung all the paper cranes she created and hung them from the hospital ceiling. She folded 1,000 cranes in a month which she continued. On the other hand, she never recovered from leukemia. The family watched over her body as she eventually died in the morning of October 25. Sadako’s message of hope for life and the preciousness of peace created The Children’s Peace Monument which her prayer for world peace continues to this day. -Closing- The audience gave a warm round of applause to the performers of Ohana Arts for their excellent performance. The age of the performers ranged from 7-16 which is similar to Sadako’s age. They were able to relate to the feelings of Sadako and the children. After the performance, the audience looked mesmerized with their gentle smiles. One of the audience commented, “I was impressed with Sadako’s optimistic attitude toward life. I came to realize just how wonderful it is to live. Sadako gave me courage to go on with my life.” The group, Ohana Arts had an interview before their performance. They stated that their intention is to convey the message of peace and the teaching of “treasuring every encounter, for it will never recur” which was successful. In 2013, Sadako’s paper cranes were displayed at Pearl Harbor, Arizona Memorial. The world may learn that the children have suffered tragically as a result of the war and the atomic bombings through the life of Sadako Sasaki and the Children’s Peace Monument. World peace can be achieved if we rejoice each moment of our lives and continue to live with hope similarly to Sadako. We pray to support in achieving peace through various activities and events at the Honolulu Festival. PEACE ON YOUR WINGS Performance Schedule Peace On Your Wings is scheduled to be performed in Honolulu and Los Angeles areas. We would like to invite those who missed and we encourage to ponder on the preciousness of peace through this musical. http://www.peaceonyourwings.com/tour/
The Educational School Tour was held on March 11, 2016, at the Hawaii Convention Center. This is an educational program designed to embrace the importance of educating the youth, which they represent as the next generation. The local students are invited to observe behind-the-scenes of the Honolulu Festival. This is a place where a lot of student experience different cultures every year. Also, the Honolulu Festival Foundation is committed to provide an educational opportunity for the students and the community of Hawaii. Some of the education-oriented events have been offered over the years in the Honolulu Festival. The theme of this year’s Honolulu Festival was “Cultural Harmony, Journey to Peace” which best describe about this tour. Around 9 a.m., the local students came in a stream to the Hawaii Convention Center. The artworks from the Honolulu Festival Art Contest were neatly displayed and welcomed the visitors. Approximately, 830 students from 13 schools ranging from kindergarten to high school in Oahu have participated. More than 20 groups of artists and performers from all over the world have joined to demonstrate their cultures and traditions. The students were divided into small groups and they were led by our staffs as well as our volunteers in a yellow t-shirts to explore the venue. -The Japanese Culture- Due to a huge population of Japanese American in Hawaii, there were quite a few students that were interested in Japanese culture. They have experienced the taiko drum and challenged Japanese calligraphy. The Japanese traditional culture had always been very popular in the Educational School Tours. The students from Sakuragaoka Middle and High school stood out among all the participants this year. They have explained various Japanese traditions from their perspectives, which 10 of their booths were set by each Japanese tradition. Also, they communicated with the local students by trying their best to explain in English. There were 3 groups that performed a smooth sword fight. The local students enjoyed the demonstration of an amazing sword battle. They were dying to try it themselves and felt as if they became the samurai. In addition, Kamishibai (picture card theater) and some popular Japanese anime were introduced as well. Above is the presentation of Japanese sports such as sumo and traditional arts. This is a lecture on how to use chopsticks and its mannerism. There was a game called, “How many beans can you move using chopsticks within a certain time?” Toward the end of the countdown, many students were so excited! Some of them were rushing so much that the beans were spilling everywhere. It was filled with many classic traditional Japanese games. Furthermore, there were games such as a kendama, which was once very popular in Hawaii as well as origami, which requires one to sit down and be meticulous. There were also events that relate to Japanese Ennichi and festivities. In addition, there were games for the New year such as “shooting gallery”, “Fukuwarai”, “quoits”, “spinning top”, “Otedama”, “hagoita” and “Daruma-Otoshi”. The local students might have felt comfortable with the students from Japan since they were close in age, which can be different from experiencing and learning by the professional adult performers. -The Japanese Traditions Demonstrated By Adults- Also, adults have skills to boast about. They have their own ways of teaching based on their knowledge and experiences. Hence, they can demonstrate something that is profound. -Cultures From the Other Countries- There were also participants from other countries as well. There was a participating group called The Flag Wavers from Faenza from Italy for the first time. The group performed in the medieval uniform with flags of Faenza which were colored white, yellow, black, red and green.The flag bearers and the musicians of this group are the most talented in Italy. In fact, they have been awarded over 30 titles of Italian Championships in the ancient flag games. Occasionally, the sound of the flags cut through the air and they were thrown up so high. The eyes of the students looked mesmerized, while the performers were flawlessly catching their flags. Here is the Jaran Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dance Company from Australia. The powerful long pipe looking flute is called didgeridoo, which is a wind instrument developed by Indigenous Australians. Although it is made of wood, it is classified as brass based upon the principal of how the sound is created. Furthermore, the Wagana Aboriginal Dancers from Australia performed a comical dance, which the dancers amused the audience by mimicking the movement of a ostrich. Also, the students of Jeju National University held a lecture about a female diver again this year. In addition, the Taiwanese dance was performed by the Hawaii Taiwanese Center as well. The smiles and the joy of the students were very impressive throughout the event. In addition, they were not the only the one who have learned, but rather it was more of an interactive activity between the performers. Thus, it is undeniable to claim that the performers must also have learned a lot from the students. They may be wondered, “how do those children feel about our performance?” “how can we show them so that they can enjoy and understand better?” or discovered “this is what they are interested in!” We can say that this is the attraction of cultural and cross-generational exchange. What’s peace? What can we do for world peace? Through our various cultural exchange programs, we hope to intrigue lots of young people to learn about various cultures and cultivate their knowledge for world peace.
The Craft Fair was held at the Hawaii Convention Center for 2 days on Saturday, March 12 and Sunday, March 13. This event is very popular among families. There was a long queue even though it was 30 minutes before the opening which was at 9:30 a.m. We interviewed some of the guests that were waiting in-line. The majority told us that they are looking forward to the cultural exchange every year. Perhaps our Craft Fair highly emphasized the cultural exchange compared to all the other events of the Honolulu Festival. The anticipated guests rushed to their desire booths as soon as the doors opened at 10 a.m. One of the popular booths was the workshop held by the Nagaoka Institute of Design. The guests made a chopstick rest that shaped like the cherry blossom leaves, which had the artistic beauty of Japan. Despite of language barrier, the guests participated in making a craft with a hammer under the proper instruction of the presenter. This is a booth of Welcome to KYOTO (by Imagine) & KYOTO Wagashi Club. They presented Japanese confectioneries which is the traditional culture of Kyoto. The guests were intrigued by the traditional Japanese confectioneries which were made beautifully by the hands of skillful confectioner. Some of the guests may be the first time to see the traditional Japanese confectionery from Kyoto. Everybody was preoccupied to make their own. There were many other exhibition of Japanese traditions such as samurai (Japanese warrior), and omikuji (fortune slip) where the guests can feel the Japanese culture. The booth of Uonuma Takamachi Onigiri-tai offered rice balls made from Uonuma Koshihikari which is one of the best rice in Japan. You can’t miss this! The rice ball made from the plumped rice with adequate amount of salts gave an outstanding taste. These breads were also popular! There were many visitors by the booth of BRUG Bakery, which is a popular bakery in Hawaii from Hokkaido, Japan. All the breads were sold out by the early afternoon. The smiles of the presenters gave a sense of joy toward the guests. Many conversations and interactions were exchanged between them. The picture above shows the booth of Hawaiian Legacy Hardwood, which is an organization that became widely known in the symposium last year titled “Vision for the Future Ecotourism of Hawaii”. Currently, they are working on the project called “Koa Tree Plant Project” which is to plant Koa trees in the green land of King Kamehameha the Great of Hawaii. According to the global industrial production index from the years 1978 to 2012, deforestation has occurred every 25 days (*researched by Hawaiian Legacy Hardwood). In addition, Hawaiian Koa is an indigenous tree that only grows in Hawaii which only 10% of them have survived. The Honolulu Festival Foundation supports the Koa Tree Plant Project to protect and preserve the world’s environment. Also, the 111-Hawaii Project is a social contribution project that is officially certified by the Hawaii Tourism Japan. This is an opportunity for all sorts of local businesses to sale their locally made products through this project. A portion of all sales will be donated to the local communities. Thus, it can lead to local revitalization by building a strong local brand and selling the local products, which can benefit socially and economically for Hawaii. There were Hawaiian character merchandise as well! Many of Hawaii lovers made a visit which the booth was filled with smiles. Also, the Ennichi Corner was held to encourage cultural exchange for the youth of the next generation. There was a special exhibition booth hosted by the students of Sakuragaoka Junior and Senior High School. In addition, all the volunteers assisted in the festival. Similarly to the Educational School Tours, everybody played their role to make the event successful. There were various Japanese exhibitions such as sword fighting, Kamishibai (picture card theater) and calligraphy. The students of Sakuragaoka Junior and Senior High School shared about the Japanese culture using language, various actions and visuals. Also, they themselves have discovered lots of things through cultural exchange. Furthermore, the exhibition of Chiune Sugihara was one of the booths that stood out in the Craft Fair. The passers-by were attracted by the exhibition panels and monitors that were been displayed. Do you know the real story of Chiune Sugihara, who saved the lives of 6,000 people? 70 years after the end of the World War II, his life was depicted on the film which has gained high rating. Indeed, the Craft Fair is a place for motivation to learn about different cultures via cultural exchange. This year’s Craft Fair was filled with interactions in which we had hoped for! Also, we hope that this event will contribute to world peace. When you’re happy, you can give your kindness to others. When you’re touched by the kindness of others, you can be generous and happy as well. The interaction between others will bring happiness in which peace can spread around the word. We will keep on fostering the Honolulu Festival to provide a place for more interactions!
The symposium was held on Saturday, March 12, 2016, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hawaii Convention Center. This year’s topic was titled “Japanese in Hawaii: From the plantation to Pearl Harbor to peace” followed by the theme, “Japanese immigrant and peace”. The seats were filled very quickly before it began. Ms. Lenny Yajima, President of Japan-America Society of Hawaii who was the spokesperson last year for the Honolulu Festival was the MC. This symposium consisted of 2-sessions. 【SessionⅠ】featured keynote speech about “Overview of Japanese experience in Hawai‘i” by Dr. Dennis Ogawa, a professor of the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. 【SessionⅡ】featured panel discussion on the topic of “sustainable peace”. 【SessionⅠ】The History of Japanese Immigration In 1885, the contract laborers from Japan came to Hawaii for the first time. These immigrants faced many difficulties as they tried to make a living by working on the plantations. With the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the outbreak of World War II, many of the Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps. The symposium discussed about the unique history of Japanese immigration and promoted peace and reconciliation. Here is Dr. Dennis Masaaki Ogawa, a professor at University of Hawaii spoke about Katsu Goto, who was the first generation Japanese in Hawaii. ～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～ Mr. Katsu Goto was one of the Japanese immigrants who came to Hawaii in 1885. He was one of the laborers who chose to work at the sugar cane plantations. The history of early America started in the Northeast, such as Philadelphia and Boston. However, many thought that the population gradually spread out to the West due to Gold Rush, but this was a wrong assumption. It is true that many Americans rushed to the West to find gold which Hawaii was greatly affected. At the same time, the Civil War was taking place in America during this period as well. Also, there was a shortage of sugar due to the battle in the South. When Americans arrived on the West Coast, they started searching for sugar cane in Hawaii. Thus, they required lands to build the plantations which the cheap laborers were preferred. Around 1850, Americans showed interest in annexing Hawaii to the United States. Furthermore, Hawaii’s economy was in a drastic decline. About 400,000 plantation laborers were imported from all over the world. Surprisingly, 150,000 laborers were from Japan. Also, 120,000 laborers were from Philippine, 50,000 were from China and 8,000 were from Korea. Japanese were brought in with a 3-year contract. The working conditions were horrible and the wages were very low. Only a few of them managed to save money from working at the plantations, but others could barely make a living. During this period, the population of Hawaii consisted of 7% Caucasian and 93% other races. Also, there was a big gap between the rich and the poor as well as the racial discrimination. Caucasians were not only wealthy but also had authority in Hawaii. They had control over government, logistics, economy and religion. They were very intelligent and well-managed on the laborers. In addition, if the laborers were not handled properly, they would not work efficiently. The plantations that were owned by Caucasians who utilized certain strategies. Mainly, they sorted the laborers by one’s nationality. Also, they segregated the residential arrangements. This prevented the laborers from forming a union and protest. Also, the wages were different by nationality. Chinese were paid 50 cents more than Japanese. In addition, Japanese made 50 cents higher than Filipino. There were times when Japanese laborers were unsatisfied because they were been paid lower than the Chinese laborers. At the same time, they got paid more than the Filipino laborers. Caucasian exploited this sense of racial superiority among the foreign laborers. Mr. Katsu Goto was living under those circumstances where poverty, exploitation and racism were thriving. He arrived in Hamakua on Hawaii Island by the first ship when he was 23 years old. Many of the Japanese laborers left Hawaii and returned to Japan after a 3-year contract, but he decided to stay and opened his own store. Mr. Goto was a diligent worker which his store was in good business. His merchandise was sold in fair price to every customer regardless of their nationality. He trusted all the customers and allowed them to tab their payment at his store. One day, he made a decision to stay in Hawaii for a long period of time. Hence, he began to study English and became a fluent English speaker. All the other Japanese laborers could not speak English, so they depended on him. Furthermore, the other stores were owned by the plantation owners which they hated Mr. Goto for being their competition, so they gave him death threats. However, Mr. Goto continued to support the other laborers and his store. His misfortune exemplifies one of the famous Japanese proverbs which quotes, “The nail that sticks out gets hammered in”. October 29, 1989 4 years after Mr. Goto’s arrival to Hawaii, he was found dead in the morning which he was lynched and his body was hanging from the electric pole in the town of Honokaa. He was buried in a cemetery of Hamakua Jodo Mission. Mr. Goto had a niece named Fumiko. At this time, she was in Japan. Later, she heard about her uncle’s demise after she revisited Hawaii. Nevertheless, she was not upset but remained calm. She visited the cemetery in Honoka, which the grave was rotten away and it was unrecognizable. Therefore, she decided to build a beautiful grave with the granite. Instead of holding her grudge and anger, she dedicated herself to praise her uncle and share his legacy with the world to build a peaceful society. She stated, “Pass down the story about the past, praise the great achievement and contribute to the future.” During her later years, she established the Japan Foundation. The scholarship from the foundation provided opportunity for young Japanese to visit Hawaii and learn about peace. This also creates a chance for them to expand their knowledge about the Japanese culture and to build goodwill between Hawaii and Japan. Fumiko gave a meaning to her uncle’s death by contributing for a better future. ～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～～ Dr. Dennis Masaaki Ogawa told his story. “At present, both Mr. Katsu Goto and Fumiko had passed away. The monument of Mr. Goto was dedicated in Honokaa. If you have a chance to go to Hawaii Island, please visit his monument. It is so beautiful that you can’t miss it. 400 beautiful ties are laid on the roof with two wooden pillars. The monument is written in both English and Japanese. Also, there are two pillars; one is from Ohia and the other is Hinoki from Japan. The foundation is the rock from Waipio valley and the wall is made of granite from Hawaii Island. The monument itself represents strong ties between Hawaii and Japan. I think it is exactly the same as the theme of the Honolulu Festival, “Peace and Cultural Harmony”. When the MC asked the audience, “please raise your hand if you think you have learned anything new from the story you just heard”, and many raised their hands. There was a big round of applause throughout the hall. At the end of session I, the short documentary, The Untold Story: Internment of Japanese Americans in Hawaii was shown and the audience recognized the historic tragedy. Also, the Honouliuli Internment Camp was designated as the Honouliuli National Monument by a presidential proclamation on February 19, 2015 from President Barack Obama. 【SessionⅡ】Pondering Sustainable Peace Through a Story of Japanese Immigrants Mr. Kenneth Kaneshige from Hawai‘i Plantation Village Docent, George Ariyoshi a former Governor of State of Hawai‘i, Mr. Paul Uehara, President of Aloha Tofu Company and Ms. Carole Hayashino, who is President of Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai’i were present during this session. Each of them expressed their opinion on the life of Mr. Katsu Goto. The session II started with the topic of how achievements and sacrifices of first generations and second generations have contributed to our present life. Interestingly, the “sense of value” was a common phrase emphasized by each speaker. Ms. Carol Hayashino stated, “okagesamade (thanks to you)”, “gaman (to endure)”, “ganbare (try your best)” and “shikatanai (can’t help it)” are the Japanese cultural words which they represent the values of Japanese people. They are always been the foundation of Japanese Americans who had survived through rough times.” Mr. George Ariyoshi stated, “Hawaii has a very important sense of value called “haji (disgrace)”. What it means is that you do not disgrace people who are close to you such as your family members or the people who are important to you. Also, it is important not to embarrass them.” This was one of his values that he learned to embrace since his childhood in Hawaii. He continued, “With that sense of value in mind, if you achieve what’s necessary, then the world will come together as one and we can create a better future whether if you are living in Japan, America or other countries.” Mr. Paul Uehara explained that his values are “working together”, “working very hard”, and “building a mutual trust”. Mainly, these attitudes can be seen in the Japanese American companies and families. Also, the idiom “actions speak louder than words” was the message taught by his parents. He continued, “the values that I was taught have been penetrated not only to our family, but also to our Aloha Tofu Company. Now it is my mission to figure out how I can pass these values to the next generation.” Mr. Kenneth Kaneshige discussed about the sense of value using an example from the first session on the harsh environment at the plantation. “The workers who were in charge of managing each race of the laborers emphasized about embracing your own original skill rather than being friendly with everyone. Also, they encouraged not to lose the sense of values and pass on to the next generation. As a result, values of the Japanese were built very strong. For instance, there were 150 Japanese Buddha temples and 180 Japanese schools in Hawaii during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Japanese culture and values were highly cherished. What I would like to emphasize is that Hawaii has become a multi-cultural state that embraces cultural diversity in which we peacefully co-exist. Hawaii is where everyone accepts and enjoys.” Lastly, Mr. Yasushi Misawa who is Japanese Consul General was one of the audience asked these 2 questions. 1. How much do young people in Hawaii as well as the U.S. mainland know about the legacy of the Japanese immigrants? 2. How can the visitors from Japan learn about this legacy? I would be pleased to know if there’s any place to visit in Hawaii. Dr. Ogawa from the University of Hawaii responded “I don’t think they know what I know (Laugh). So, I can’t retire anytime soon but rather I need to continue teaching.” Furthermore, he seemed aware that every nationality is interested in the history of their ancestors. Also, he once again realized the responsibilities of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii as well as the Hawaii Plantation Village to teach the history of the Japanese immigrants for the tourists and young locals. So what can we do? This symposium gave us the opportunity to explore what it is. The historical bond is connected by the sense of values. It is important to learn about the past by sharing tradition for the peaceful future which the communication becomes crucial. We hope that our cultural exchange will contribute to world peace and we will be taking a new approach next year.
The Stage Performance was held on Saturday, March 12 and Sunday, March 13, 2016, at the various venues in Honolulu.
The Friendship Gala was held at the Hawaii Convention Center on Saturday, March 12 and Sunday, March 13, 2016. Its purpose is to promote friendship as well as international goodwill between people of Hawaii and people of the Asia-Pacific region. Also, March 11 of this year marked the 5th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. Therefore, the events of the 22nd Annual Honolulu Festival were conducted with a wish for Japan’s recovery. The Chinese lion dance welcomed the guests, who were waiting for the opening of the festival. When the doors were finally opened at 6:40p.m., the guests hurried into the venue with excitement. The guests were greeted by a wide variety of dishes which were prepared by chefs from the popular restaurants in Hawaii. This year, the chefs from 8 restaurants showed off their favorite dishes. The participating restaurants were: Ruth’s Chris Steak House (Seared Tenderloin) Tommy Bahama Restaurant and Bar (Ahi Tacos) The Nook Neighborhood Bistro (Chicken Burger) Eat Honolulu (Chicken & Terrine) Noi Thai Cuisine (Seafood Wontons) Bread + Butter (Strawberry Caprese) Buho Cocina Y Cantina (Mexican Flan) Artizen (Portuguese Bean Soup) The guests enjoyed tasting a variety of dishes in which there were lots of smiles. When they were asked about the food, a majority of the guests have answered “Delicious! We are so lucky to taste these food from the popular restaurants all at once!“ The people exchanged lively conversation with one another while enjoying the tasty gourmet. Most importantly, “building friendships” is the main purpose of the Friendship Gala. The cheerleading team, TWISTER performed on stage while the guests were enjoying the meal. The loud shouts and their dynamic moves drew the attention. The members excited the audience with their acrobatic stunts. Afterwards, Tsukasa Harufuku made an opening remarks followed by the Mayor of Nagaoka City, Niigata Prefecture who was invited as a special guest, and Roy Amemiya who is the Honolulu City Management Director. The children from Ohana Arts performed the musical Peace on Your Wings for the 22nd Annual Honolulu Festival Special Event. They sang like angels to celebrate the opening. Those pure and beautiful voices captivated the audience. These were just a beginning of the Friendship Gala. Furthermore, various performances were held on stage. A total of 260 sophomore students from Sonoda Gakuen High School came to participate in the Grand Parade on the final day of the festival. The selected members gave a preview performance on stage. They have been practicing their dance in class since last year. With jumps, leaps, and somersaults, the students’ youthful and agile movements instantly filled the hall with enthusiasm. The other students joined around the stage which the performance became more vigorous. The special unit, Un Bijou was composed by 3 choreographers from different genres. They had performed last year as well. Their exotic dancing performance captivated the audience. The dance was followed by Hawaiian diva, Raiatea Helm. Raiatea claims her role as a Hawaiian is to protect and pass on the Hawaiian culture. She sang “Imagine”, a tribute song for the East Japan Great Earthquake recovery effort with her sincere heart for Tohoku. Kupaoa also joined the support for Tohoku and sang a Hawaiian version of the support theme song “Hana wa Saku (Flowers will bloom)”, accompanied by a hula performance. The calm melody and gentle voice permeated the audience’s hearts which created a peaceful atmosphere. The atmosphere had changed when the Ryukyu Daiko Team began performing their powerful taiko drumming on stage. The group performed a unique Okinawan-style rhythm with ever-changing formations with the loud “Bam, Bam” drumming. The energetic performance using their whole bodies rekindled excitement in the hall! Ensuing was the climactic finale. The audience began climbing up on the stage, where everybody was welcomed to free-style dance. Everybody was dancing in their own ways. Without a sense of shyness, everyone was having a wonderful time! The sound of a canon shook the exhibition hall with a “boom!” and numerous shining ribbons were released onto the stage. It was such a well-orchestrated finale. This was the moment when everybody came together as one which the venue was in a peaceful atmosphere. By sharing similar joy, feeling and excitement with one another, many fellowships were built in peace. Foremost, the Friendship Gala is to promote friendship and international goodwill between people of Hawaii and the Asia-Pacific region. If this cultural program becomes larger, perhaps people can sprout friendship with each other and the world will be filled with peace.