Grant Murata has joined The Hawai‘i Herald and the Hawaii Hochi as advertising and promotions manager. He replaces Karlton Tomomitsu, who left to pursue other business interests.
Murata previously worked in advertising sales for JN Productions/KIKU-TV. However, he is best known as the talented artistic director and shihan (master instructor) of the Afuso Ryu Gensei Kai, Hawaii Shibu and the Afuso Ryu Ongaku Kenkyu Choichi Kai USA – Hawai‘i, Maui, Kaua‘i and Los Angeles, an Okinawan sanshin organization with approximately 200 members. Murata, known to his friends as “Sandaa,” speaks Japanese and Uchinaguchi (Okinawan language) fluently. He can also read and write Japanese — and he has never lived in Japan or Okinawa.
For many years now, Murata has contributed stories on Okinawan music and culture to the Herald’s Okinawan Festival edition. Murata is a man of many talents — besides being an all-around musician (he plays sanshin, taiko and koto), he is also a gifted chef who previously co-owned the restaurant, Off the Wall.
“Joining the Hawaii Hochi and The Hawai‘i Herald marks a new chapter in my life — a very challenging chapter, but one that I’m sure will be very meaningful. Since joining the staff here, I have read about Fred Kinzaburo Makino’s courageous efforts on behalf of the Japanese community. It makes me proud to be working here. My maternal grandmother read the Hawaii Hochi every day of her life. Her influence led to my involvement in Japanese and Okinawan culture.
“I’m excited to be working with the team here at the Hawaii Hochi and The Hawai‘i Herald to share the rich stories of Hawai‘i’s Japanese American community with readers for generations to come.”