Karleen C. Chinen
This is only the third Herald issue of 2020 and you’re probably wondering why we are already publishing our annual Big Island issue — the eighth if you happen to be keeping count.
As I noted in our Jan. 17 issue, this is a year of many anniversaries. Most of them will come in the second half of the year, so we decided to move our neighbor island issues up to the first half of 2020.
We’re usually lucky to find writers who are willing to contribute a story or two to our neighbor island edition since we don’t have travel monies to go to the islands ourselves and do our own interviews and stories. Contributing writers like Arnold Hiura, Margaret Shiba and Patsy Iwasaki usually share a story or two with us for our Big Island issue. This year, however, all of them were tied up with their own work and projects, forcing me to put on my thinking cap to find something reflective of East Hawai‘i.
We usually have a relatively easy time finding stories from the east side of the island, but are challenged finding good pieces from West Hawai‘i. This time, it was just the opposite. Contributing writer Dan Nakasone shared a story about now-retired coffee farmers Takeo and Shigeko Nakasone (no relation to Dan), who were one of the many AJA Kona coffee farmers that made Kona Coffee so famous. Staff writer Jodie Ching also talked with Kona native and now Honolulu resident Isamu Manago from the Manago Hotel family about his interesting journey to Japan as an infant that ended in his late teens with his return to Hawai‘i.
I have always been drawn to the beauty of the Big Island and memories of special friends I made there during my visits. So when I began thinking about what we could do to still go forward with this issue, four words came to me: “a sense of place.” That’s what I always feel when I am on the island . . . a special sense of place that awakens all of my senses and makes me appreciate not just what my eyes can see, but the rich history and relationships that are a part of life on the Island. I thought immediately of the literary works of writers Susan Nunes, Juliet Kono Lee and Frances Kakugawa. I think you’ll agree that their writing paints their own precious pictures.
This eighth annual Big Island issue is the first we are publishing since the passing of our dear friend and supporter Barry Taniguchi, who died last September. We miss him, but his aloha lives on in the KTA Super Stores ‘ohana he left behind. Barry’s son Toby, who stepped into his dad’s shoes, and his team continue to support the Herald. To this day, KTA is still the only retailer that carries the Herald in its seven Big Island stores. Our hearts are filled with aloha for the entire team at KTA for their tremendous support.
As I remind you every year, we could not produce this issue without the support of our advertisers and the people listed below. If you see them, please tell them that you saw their ad or story in this issue. Thank them for supporting the Herald and please support them.
Alumside Products, Inc.
Amano Fishcake, Inc.
Big Island Delights
Dodo Mortuary, Inc. & Crematory
Green Point Nurseries
Hawai‘i Printing Corporation
Hilo Termite & Pest Control, Ltd.
Honda Foods Processing
Kadota Liquor/K’s Drive In
KTA Super Stores
S. Tokunaga Store
Two Ladies Kitchen
Veteran Termite & Pest Control
Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home
Bamboo Ridge Press
Juliet Kono Lee