Jodie Chiemi Ching

We at The Hawai‘i Herald are so excited to bring you the ninth annual Big Island special edition! It’s only fitting that Kïlauea grace our cover to tie in with our theme of resilience, renewal and transformation that flows through our collection of stories in this year’s Hawai‘i island issue. 

We kick off the issue with the breathtaking artistry of 1977 Hilo High School grad Bruce Omori. Known for his dynamic photos of Kïlauea’s lava flow and eruptions. Writer Patsy Iwasaki, Ph.D. describes him as “modest and soft-spoken” — a huge contrast to his fiery photographs. 

Another inspiring story is that of cabinetmaker Milton Kanda. The Pähala-born craftsman married his high-school classmate Edith Yoshida and together they moved to Orange County, California. There they overcame racism, opened Milton’s Cabinets and raised a family. Learn more about the Kanda family’s journey on Page 7. 

Yonsei Ryan Kawamoto, from Pähoa, was first exposed to film making when his father Charles Kawamoto used to make home movies using Super 8 film and, in 1985, created a slide show to honor the Kanyaku Imin (contract laborers). Turn to Page 8 to read more about Kawamoto’s flourishing career and his passion for AJA storytelling through film, including the production of motion picture “Voices Behind Barbed Wire: Stories of Hawai‘i.”

Then we go all the way to Okinawa to find yet another piece of Hawai‘i-island aloha at Donald’s Poke Shop (Page 10). Writer Colin Sewake goes to Okinawa-shi to show us some ‘ono-kine grindz prepared by Puna-raised Donald Weightman. After going through the standard What school you went? and You know so-in-so? Sewake learns that Weightman is his cousin’s classmate from Waiäkea High School. 

A big mahalo to all those who made this special edition possible. 

If you would like to purchase additional copies of this issue, or other Herald issues, you can get them at all KTA Super Stores locations. Hawai‘i island’s KTA is the only neighbor island retail outlet that carries The Hawai‘i Herald. We are truly grateful! 

Mahalo nui loa to …

Alumside Products, Inc. 

Amano Fishcake

Big Island Delights

Rachel Ana Brown

Dodo Mortuary, Inc. & Crematory

Green Point Nurseries

Hawai‘i Printing Corporation

Hilo Termite & Pest Control

Honda Foods Processing

Melvin Inamasu & Violet Harada

Patsy Iwasaki, Ph.D.

Japanese Community Association of Hawaii

Kadota Liquor/K’s Drive In

Kawamoto Store

Kimura Lauhala

KTA Super Stores

Manago Hotel

Carolyn Morinishi & Marian Kubota

Gwen Muranaka

S. Tokunaga Store

Colin Sewake

Two Ladies Kitchen

Yamada Furniture Store

Stacey Yoshinaga

Zentoku Foundation


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