I don’t think I’ll ever be able to eat another hotel banquet salad without remembering fondly the happy face of KTA Super Stores chairman and CEO Barry Taniguchi enjoying his dinner salad . . . with a pair of hashi (chopsticks), instead of a fork. That is an image I will not see again in this life following Barry’s passing on Sept. 27 at the too-young age of 72.
Some years back, Barry used to invite the Hawai‘i team that worked on the Japanese American National Museum’s traveling exhibition, “From Bentö to Mixed Plate: Americans of Japanese Ancestry in Multicultural Hawai‘i” — curator (and former Hawai‘i Herald editor) Arnold Hiura, JANM’s Hawai‘i Office manager Rene’ Tomita, exhibit designer/fabricator Stephan Doi and myself (publicist) — to join the table he had purchased at fundraising dinners in Honolulu for various nonprofits. He was always a gracious and good-fun host. Barry would always ask the server for hashi to eat his salad. Fortunately, the server offered us hashi, too.