On a breezy morning on Saturday, July 17, the United Japanese Society of Hawaii held a special obon service to honor the early immigrants who died and have no one to tend to their graves.

The muenhotoke (deceased without relatives) are in the yosebaka (common grave) at the Makiki Cemetery. The 36th annual obon hoyo, or memorial service, was small in attendance due to government imposed COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

Rev. Steve Toyoshima of the Higashi Hongwanji Mission of Hawai‘i conducted the obon service Japanese immigrants in Hawai‘i Makiki Cemetery on Saturday, July 17.

The service conducted by Rev. Steve Toyoshima of the Higashi Hongwanji Mission of Hawai‘i honored Japanese immigrants in Hawai‘i, including the gannenmono (the first pioneers to migrate from Japan) and 16 Imperial Japanese Naval officers who died while crossing the Pacific Ocean during the 1800s.

Mistress of Ceremonies and Co-chair of the event, Christine Kubota gave opening remarks, which was followed by a welcome from UJSH President Wendy Abe.

The 12-foot memorial monument for Japanese immigrants honors the kanyaku imin contract laborers. The first of these immigrants arrived in Hawai‘i in 1885 under a treaty signed by Emperor Meiji of Japan and King Kaläkaua. The monument is the resting place of 289 pioneers whose scattered remains were collected from untended gravesites at the cemetery.

The gannenmono memorial honors 150 Japanese immigrants who came in 1868, the first year of Emperor Meiji’s reign. This group was called the gannenmono because they arrived in “Meiji gannen,” or the first year of the Meiji Era. In 1927, the Japanese Friends of Hawaii built the monument to honor the pioneers. At that time two of the original settlers were left: Sentaro Ishii, 94, and Hanzo Tanagawa, 89.

The Japanese Navel cemetery in Makiki is the first one of its kind outside of Japan. The 16 sailors who are laid to rest here died from illness between 1876 and 1899. Japanese warships were in Hawai‘i during the Meiji Era to protect the interest of Japanese living in Hawai‘i and promote friendship and understanding between Japan and the kingdom of Hawai‘i.

Rev. Toyoshima chanted and each attendee offered incense to the deceased. And in his closing remarks, the minister acknowledged the blowing winds as a reminder that “the wind of impermanence is always here.” But we can stay rooted in our ancestral values even though “the winds may blow us here and there.” Other closing remarks were made by Yutaka Aoki, Consul General of Japan, and UJSH Vice President and Co-chair of the event Ken Ito.


Bamboo Ridge is seeking speculative work, which has seen an explosion in recent years, most notably from BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ creators, who have reshaped the landscape of these genres, allowing us to imagine other worlds, other histories, other presents, other futures, and other ways forward that are not dominated by white male colonial fantasies.

For this issue, BR is adopting a broad view of “speculative,” encompassing science fiction, magical realism, high fantasy, climate fiction, fabulism, alternate histories, slipstream, the new weird, horror–in short, anything that encourages us to imagine otherwise.

BR is open to all written and visual forms, i.e. short fiction, poetry, plays, comics, experimental forms, hybrid/mixed-genre and even speculative nonfiction. Here in Hawai‘i, our word for science fiction is “möhihi‘o,” a combination of the words “mö‘ike”  to interpret dreams or the feeling you get when you experience something in the way your ancestors did, and “hihi‘o” — a vision. Mōhihiʻo encompasses and invites visionary works still rooted in ‘äina, ancestral practices and beliefs.

While BR invite submissions from all writers, BR is especially seeking speculative works rooted in, and from, Hawai‘i, the Pacific region and island communities. Also of interest is storytelling that helps us think more deeply and imagines us into better possible worlds. In this vein, BR is not looking for work that promotes hate speech, presents stereotypes and/or romanticizes or exoticizes a culture/place/or community.

Work that is clearly racist, homophobic, ableist, sexist, classist, or anti-trans will not be considered. The deadline is Aug. 31, 2021. For submission requirements visit bambooridge.org/news/submissions-open-for-the-speculative-issue. Email read@bambooridge.org with any questions.


AARP Hawai‘i and The ARTS at Mark’s Garage are calling all artists to submit their artwork for a caregiving art contest.

To help bring awareness to National Caregivers Month, AARP Hawai‘i and The ARTS at Mark’s Garage invite artists to submit artwork that will be displayed in the “Art of Caring” exhibition this November.

From photography to sculptures, all artists from various art mediums are encouraged to submit a piece with a statement about how their art reflects the caregiving theme. President of The ARTS, Kim Taylor Reece, says he’s excited to be working with AARP Hawai‘i to highlight caregivers and also to see how artists’ will interpret this theme into the visual arts.

“We hope to shine light on the vital importance of family caregiving,” said Reece.

Artists need to email their submissions by Oct. 15 along with an artists’ statement to gallery@artsatmarks.com. Artists who’ve been accepted into the exhibition will be notified by Oct. 22. Cash prizes totaling $3,000 will be awarded to winners selected by judges in three categories: Care of Kupuna, Joy of Caregiving and Challenges of Caregiving. The exhibition will run from Nov. 5 through Nov. 27 at The ARTS at Mark’s Garage gallery in downtown Honolulu.

MaryAnne Long is a volunteer at The ARTS at Marks Garage, former caregiver and artist who teaches an art class at the Hauula Community Center. (Photo courtesy of AARP Hawai‘i)

MaryAnne Long, a volunteer at The ARTS at Marks Garage, former caregiver and artist who teaches an art class at the Hauula Community Center, is looking forward to possibly seeing some of her students’ artwork submissions in the exhibition.

“People have put their heart into the art and especially in this particular show,” said Long in a recent video special by AARP Hawai‘i. “It’s all about people who cared enough to care for somebody else. It’s going to be beautiful art and we are really, really happy to show you what people have submitted as the art of caring.”

Barbara Takeguchi, an artist in Long’s class and former caregiver herself, would attend class with her late husband Isamu Takehuchi, who suffered from dementia. Takeguchi believed it was his participation in the art class that helped keep his mind active.

“This represents my husband and that his mind was still working, that it was still moving,” said Takeguchi in the video special while she holds up a painting that was made by her husband. “[He] wasn’t at the end yet and I really appreciated that part of it.”

Long says the artwork submitted into the exhibition will represent more than just the artists’ artwork, but more for the people whose homes it resides in.

“When you make something, you don’t make it for yourself, I think,” continues Long as she holds up her watercolor flower painting. “This is my way of saying ‘I love you’ whoever you are. My art is a part of me and now it is a part of you.”

For more information about the exhibition and the contest rules, go to artsatmarks.com/call-to-artistsauditions


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