Decades-old Maui Sushi Business Still Going Strong

Melissa Tanji
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

Running a food business was never in Stella and Douglas Kodama’s plan in 1980 when they sought to purchase the property next to their own on Lower Main Street in Wailuku. They were eyeing that parcel, occupied by Miyako Sushi, to provide more parking for their tenant, the Holsum Bakery thrift store. But, Miyako Sushi’s owner at the time, Tad Nakamoto, would only sell the property to the Kodamas if they continued Miyako Sushi for at least five more years. Nakamoto wanted to make sure that his women workers, who were getting up there in age, would not be left suddenly without jobs.

So recalls Stella’s and Douglas’ son Michael, who was a student at the University of Hawai‘i at Mänoa at the time. The Kodamas became the fourth owners of the sushi-making business. Kodama said his parents “had no clue” of how to operate a food business, but they agreed to Nakamoto’s terms anyway. While the younger Kodama was away in college in the early 1980s, his parents collected the deposits from the business and Miyako Sushi continued plugging along.

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