Hui O Laulima to Retrace Its Journey from “Auxiliary” to “We Can Do It!

They were just supposed to help their husbands entertain visiting dignitaries from Okinawa by serving ocha (tea) and snacks, help the men organize dinners, and sit beside their husbands and smile . . .

But something happened along the way.

If ever there was a story about what is possible when women are empowered, Hui O Laulima is it.

The evolution of the 50-year-old organization, from supporters to soldiers committed to preserving and perpetuating Okinawan culture, will be celebrated in “Kanaganatu — Forever Helping” on Saturday, March 17, at the Hawaii Okinawa Center. Their story is rooted in such Okinawan terms as chimugukuru, a loving spirit; ukaji deebiru, gratitude; and yuimaaru, the spirit of cooperation. The program was conceived of by artist and arts educator/organizer Ann Asakura, an HOL member who many know as the co-founder of TEMARI: Center for Asian and Pacific Arts. Asakura was recruited as the show’s artistic director. She describes “Kanaganatu” as a “mélange celebration of HOL through music, movement and fabric.”

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