The Honolulu Hiroshima Kenjin Kai held its annual membership meeting and shinnen enkai on March 10 at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i’s Manoa Grand Ballroom.
Kenjinkai president Wayne Miyao presided over the general membership meeting. He said it was an honor and a privilege to serve as president and to continue the kenjinkai’s efforts to preserve, promote and perpetuate the culture of Hiroshima in Hawai‘i.
Miyao noted that the Hawai‘i for Hiroshima campaign raised more than $45,500 to aid Hiroshima following last year’s landslides. He said he is continuing to work on developing a sister-park relationship between the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and the Hiroshima Peace Park, believing both will serve as places of peace, hope and reconciliation.
He also reported that plans are proceeding to formalize a sister-kenjin kai arrangement with the Tökyö Hiroshima Peoples Association in 2020.
Miyao then called on the various committee chairs to report on their respective areas of responsibility.
Treasurer Thomas Sakamoto informed the members that the club is in good financial health and thanked them for their donations and support.
Kevin Nakata, co-chair of the HHKK’s okonomiyaki booth at January’s JCCH ‘Ohana Festival, reported that the club sold 744 okonomiyaki in the span of four hours, earning the kenjinkai $2,700 which will be used for scholarships for the descendants of kenjinkai members. Student volunteers from Roosevelt, Kaiser and Kalani high schools and Washington and Niu Valley middle schools helped with the project once again.
It was also announced that the HHKK’s annual summer picnic would be held on Sunday, July 28, at Ala Moana Park, Area 9, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Ken Saiki reported on the clean-up of the Ehime Maru Memorial at Kaka‘ako Waterfront Park and the Hiroshima Torii in Mö‘ili‘ili. He said 2019 marks the 17th year that the kenjinkai has participated in the clean-up of the two sites.
The kenjinkai recognized Sandra Ishihara-Shibata as its 2018 outstanding member. Ishihara-Shibata participates in many aspects of the HHKK, but is especially involved in its student exchange and scholarship programs. The club also recognized Megumi Honami as its young achiever. Honami, who is a lawyer, was the club’s representative at the United Japanese Society of Hawaii’s Kenjinkai Young Achiever Recognition Program at its shinnen enkai.
The kenjinkai also recognized its two new octogenarians — Robert Nagao, the club’s immediate past president, and Kenneth Uwaine. The two new 80-year-olds were presented certificates from the Hiroshima Prefectural Government. The club also recognized elders Shizue Ishihara, age 97, and 100-year-old Isamu Shibata.
The kampai to the Honolulu Hiroshima Kenjin Kai was offered by professional recording artist Yosuke Maki from Japan, who sang at the party. Maki is originally from Hiroshima and now resides in Tökyö. He and his family visit Hawai‘i nearly every year. The kampai to the guests was delivered by state Sen. Brian Taniguchi.