The United Japanese Society of Hawaii honored 26 Nikkei celebrating their 80th birthday this year with a festive party on Sept. 23 at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i’s Manoa Grand Ballroom. The event, UJSH’s annual Nenchosha Ian Engei Taikai (Senior Citizens Festival), is held in conjunction with Japan’s observance of “Respect for the Aged Day,” which is a national holiday. The birthday honorees were treated to a buffet lunch and a program of Japanese and Okinawan music and dance.
A lively shishimai performance by Hawaii Okinawa Creative Arts opened the program. It was followed by the Japanese classical dance “Matsu,” meaning “pine,” which was performed by Onoe Kikunobukazu (Howard Asao) of the Kikunobu Dance Company. In Japanese tradition, the pine tree symbolizes long life.