The Japanese Cultural Society of Maui awarded $1,000 scholarship to Peytynn Kubo of Maui High School for  involvement and efforts in promoting the Japanese culture.

Kubo has performed taiko for Zenshin Daiko for more than 10 years and now teaches and helps grow the organization. She served as president for the Maui High School Japanese Club since 2017 and led the club to win the Maui Mikoshi Design Contest this year, which allowed them to participate in the Honolulu Festival.

Honolulu Festival congratulated Peytynn Kubo and had an interview.

Q: We are so glad to hear that you won the award., Let us hear your thoughts about it.
I am so grateful to have been awarded this scholarship. The Japanese Culture Society of Maui contributes so much to the perpetuation of Japanese culture and I’m so honored to have been recognized by such an amazing organization.
Q: One of the reasons you to won the award was that you led the club to win the Maui Mikoshi Design Contest as the president of the Maui High School Japanese Club., How do you feel about it?
Serving as Japanese Club President this year was such a fun and rewarding experience. My teacher and club advisor, Etsuko Nagahama, is such an inspiring role model and I’ve learned so much from her. Working with her and the other students from Japanese Club was so fun! We made lots of memories together while creating the Mikoshi and learned a lot about the deep history and influence of Japanese culture in Hawaii.
Q: The Mikoshi was a beautiful, one-of-a-kind piece. What are some memorable moments during the creation process?
While creating the Mikoshi, the memory that left the most impression was our club’s first Mikoshi meeting. Before designing the Mikoshi, we got together to think deeply about what the theme truly meant to us. As we talked about the theme, Looking Back to Create the Future, we discussed how vital it is for us to pay respect to our roots and preserve our traditions.
Q: Please let us know your interests of Japan or Japanese culture.
My interest with Japanese culture began when I started taiko at the age of six. I joined Zenshin Daiko in order to have a place where I could engage in my culture and channel my energy. The taiko dojo became my safe place and home, where I was able to be creative and find confidence within myself as an artist and person.
Q: Through the Mikoshi, what did you wish to share with the world?
Our main goal when designing the Mikoshi was to shine light on those who helped shape Hawai’i into the diverse and strong community that it is today. We wanted to reflect the immense responsibility we feel to continue the legacy of those who first immigrated to Hawaii and made the ultimate sacrifice in return for a better life. We are indebted to these people who left their family and lives of comfort behind and only looked ahead for not only their children, but for generations and generations to come.