Mai Yoshikawa
Kyodo News

TOKYO — If there are any barriers standing in the way of Japan and the United States
achieving ultimate social harmony, Jake Shimabukuro hopes his
music can help to break the ice.

The fifth-generation Japanese American ‘ukulele virtuoso, who was born and raised in Hawai‘i, says he enjoys the best of both worlds — wa (harmony) on the outside and aloha on the inside.

“I have always felt that Hawai‘i is the perfect bridge to connect
Japan to the United States, because Hawai‘i is its own unique culture
and place. We are part of the U.S., but people don’t really feel that way,” Shimabukuro said in an interview with Kyodo News.

In 2001, Shimabukuro composed a musical piece titled “Ehime Maru” in memory of the five crewmembers and four students who died in the collision between the Ehime Maru, a Japanese fisheries high school training
vessel, and a U.S. Navy submarine off of O‘ahu’s south shore.

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