SPOTLIGHT BY Gwen Battad Ishikawa

Gwen Battad Ishikawa

Kansha (gratitude) and Kokoro (heart) were the themes, respectively, of the 64th and 65th Cherry Blossom festivals, sponsored by the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce.

Heather Kiyomi Omori, who was chosen queen of the 65th Cherry Blossom Festival on March 18 at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel, explained how she embraces both Japanese values during a recent interview at the Hawaii Hochi offices.

“It’s more just expressing kokoro now with others and kansha, especially, showing my gratitude. I’m grateful for everything that has happened and all the people that I’ve met that help us to perpetuate the Japanese culture. For me, though, kokoro is the balance of my heart, mind and spirit. Because I took aikido since I was 9 years old, I learned to be mindful of things I say and actions that I do, and as a teacher, I model this to my students, as well.

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