Jodie Chiemi Ching
The eighth Maui County issue is about those islands’ history and relevance to new generations. In this issue, the Herald takes you to Moloka‘i, or the Friendly Island, with a cover story by Dan Nakasone about the past, present and future of Kalaupapa. If you are a regular reader, then you know it’s been too long since we’ve had a story about Moloka‘i.
Nakasone has wanted to write this unique story for several several decades. Nearly 40 years ago, he went with friends to bring supplies and provide support to the residents of Kalaupapa. While there intending to give, he gained memories he will never forget in this lifetime. As Nakasone researched and interviewed employees of the National Park Service, he revealed why it’s important, even today, that the historical and cultural as well as natural resources of this refuge be preserved. With just 11 surviving Hansen’s disease patients (five at Kalaupapa), Nakasone says, “The future of Kalaupapa is in the hands of the stakeholders after the last patient passes on.”
When Herald columnist Carolyn Morinishi heard about Nakasone’s Kalaupapa story, she recalled her own unforgettable experience there. Inspired, she tied in this issue’s “Culture4Kids!” column with Nakasone’s article, sharing a kid-friendly history lesson about the people of Kalaupapa and a craft lesson on how to paint rocks just like the late Edward “Ed” Kato did when he lived there.
Finally, to bring awareness to the importance of the significant sacrifices and contributions of Kalaupapa’s residents, Gov. David Ige signed a bill into law last month designating January as Kalaupapa Month.
Another trip back to Old Hawai‘i comes from Maui-girl Kathy Collins. Collins talks to Deron Furukawa, president of the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui, about the organization’s efforts to renovate the Japanese Teahouse in Kepaniwai Park in Maui’s ‘Ïao Valley. Read more on Page 10 about the Japanese Garden at the Kepaniwai Park, one of the many ethnic cultural gardens at the park that is symbolic of Maui County’s diverse population and rich social history.
More old history can be found on Page 14. Author and film producer Tom Coffman reviews “Remembering Our Grandfathers’ Exile” by Gail Okawa – a story about Okawa’s maternal grandfather, Rev. Tamasaku Watanabe, whose Christian values of colorblind compassion worked against him and landed him in a wartime concentration camp.
Ida Yoshinaga has been tirelessly gathering the most up-to-date information for obon services, bon dance and festivals. The blessing and challenge has been that many temples are being resourceful and creative in providing different options to their members and the greater community while still following COVID-19-safe protocols.
There are also some new young voices that have joined the Herald ‘ohana. In this issue we have yonsei Nick Kurosawa’s second Herald feature, about Japanese fixed-gear or track bikes. On Page 7, “Steel is Real” steers us through the history of track bikes and a new-generation movement that’s revitalizing commuter cycling.
I would also like to thank the many organizations that have recently reached out to us to collaborate – the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i, the United Japanese Society of Hawaii and its membership organizations, the Hawaii United Okinawa Association, the Nisei Veterans Legacy, Zentoku Foundation, Discover Nikkei and Denshö. Thank you for encouraging your members to subscribe to The Hawai‘i Herald and working with us to share resources and content.
Another mahalo nui loa goes out to our sponsors and contributors of the eighth Maui County issue. We could not have done it without you:
Lahaina Jodo Mission
Maui Sons and Daughters of Nisei Veterans
Nagamine Photo Studio
Nisei Veterans Memorial Center
Pine Isle Market
Seki Machine Works
Shore to Shore Realty
Komoda Store and Bakery
Tasaka Guri Guri
Trans Pacific Tours