Japan’s Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko Reflect on Their Hawai‘i Gannenmono Visit

Editor’s note: The following essay, written by Their Imperial Highnesses Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, was emailed to The Hawai‘i Herald and other news organizations by deputy consul general Takayuki Shinozawa of the Japanese Consulate in Honolulu. After returning to Japan, the couple penned their impressions of their weeklong visit to Hawai‘i to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Gannenmono’s arrival in the Islands — it was then translated into English. We are happy to share their reflections with you.

In this commemorative year of the 150th anniversary of the first group immigration to Hawai‘i by Japanese people in 1868, our visit to the state of Hawai‘i at the invitation of the state government was a most memorable and fruitful one. Although our visit happened to be at a difficult time for those affected by the Kïlauea volcano eruptions on the island of Hawai‘i, we wish to express our sincere appreciation to Governor Ige and everyone concerned who extended their warm welcome and kind hospitality to us.

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