The Hawai‘i Herald’s Time to Rise
Jodie Chiemi Ching
The Herald has been ready for a bit of change for a little while now. Not only because friends and family of my Yonsei generation were saying things to me like The Hawai‘i Herald is still around? … Oh yeah, my obāchan has that paper … but also because the way the media needed to support the community has evolved. People in the community need the information to help time navigate this new abnormal. The stories provide statistics, medical and mental health resources and hopeful stories about how we are all in this together. Also, we look to the values our Issei, Nisei and Sansei passed down to us to get us through feelings of isolation, loss and anxieties we never experienced before.
In the past two years, we started to pray to the Issei and Nisei and asked them: How did you get through it? How did gaman (quiet endurance), gambari (persistence), chügi (loyalty), kansha (gratitude), meiyo (honor) and gisei (sacrifice) help you survive the plantations and World War II? We started to ask our Sansei parents and grandparents: How did you take those values and raise the bar in business, politics and the arts? It’s time for the rest of us — Yonsei, Gosei and upcoming New-sei generations — to rise during the Year of the Tiger. We are standing on the shoulders of immigrants, soldiers, internees, hibakusha … and the Herald tells their stories so we never forget where we came from, so we always have guidance to where we are going.
Some of the ways we are evolving in 2022 include a new cover, more social media engagement, improvements to our website, more collaborations with community individuals and organizations and, when it’s safe to do so, more public appearances with fun engaging activities (our photo booth is currently under construction).
The Herald will honor our Japanese and local history, traditions, values and culture. But it will expand its relevance to technology, business, environment, the LGBTQIA2S+, wellness and more. Since its founding, the Herald’s purpose has been “To serve the Japanese American community, one of the largest and oldest immigrant groups in the state, by gathering local events, issues, lifestyle and people.” – Kenneth H. Toguchi, founding editor of The Hawai‘i Herald.
What’s New Now?
The first thing you have probably noticed is our new cover and logo. Our goal was to freshen up our cover but still have a logo that honors our ancestors and celebrates our current Japanese American community. So we removed the red frame to show off more of the cover photo and created a logo that symbolizes a publication that connects all generations — Issei, Nisei, Sansei, Yonsei, Gosei, and so on — through a chronicle of stories affecting Hawai‘i’s Japanese American community. The horizontal lines in the connecting “H”s are uneven. The high line represents our ancestors and kūpuna who pass down to their children and grandchildren — represented by the lower line — traditions, values and stories.
If you have not followed us on Instagram or Facebook, you will want to do so now. Kristen Nemoto Jay is the Herald’s staff writer and the rock star digital media editor. Every time The Hawai‘i Herald is published, Jay posts exciting preview videos of the entire issue. I want to thank all of you who actively engage with us through social media. And as soon as this issue is in the books, we will be recording our first pilot podcast. So you’ll want to get on Instagram to keep updated on when we will go live!
I also want to introduce you to our new columnist who will be in our Jan. 21, 2022 issue. Her name is Dr. Jodi Nishida, aka the Keto Queen. She is a doctor of pharmacy and an accredited Metabolic Healthcare Practitioner. Nishida has been in healthcare for over 25 years. She has certifications in ketogenic nutrition, cardiovascular disease management, pharmacogenomics and medication management. Her article “The Truth About Sugar” is mind-blowing. For example, Nishida was the first to teach us that the food industry has 120 names for sugar! She will teach us how to clean up our eating and help a lot of us stick to our New Year’s resolutions.
In addition to our monthly series “A Question of Loyalty,” by Mike Malaghan, starting from the Herald’s next issue, we will begin with a new historical fiction series titled “Child of a Hawaiian Immigrant,” by Genpachi (Jūkichi) Tsushima. His novel won first place in the United Japanese Society of Hawaii’s novel contest, celebrating the centennial year of Japanese Immigration to Hawaii in 1968. His son, Bob Tsushima, approached The Hawai‘i Herald and shared that the translation of the novel from Japanese to English was a whole journey in itself, which we will share when we debut the novel on Jan. 21. It is a compelling novel with mystery, a little romance and much hardship. For me, who did not live during immigration and World War II, I felt like I was transported to that time. We are excited to share this new historical fiction series with our readers.
Photo Booth Under Construction
I have faith that this COVID-19 pandemic and its variants will eventually ease up. And when that happens, The Hawai‘i Herald is planning to have more of a presence at community events where current and back issues can be sold and take photos in our photo booth. Our plan is for the photo booth to look like The Hawai‘i Herald’s cover and be big enough for families and groups of friends to enjoy.
The official Herald staff is small but the ‘ohana is as big as the community that exists in Hawai‘i and beyond (we have individuals and organizations that contribute and collaborate with us from Japan, California and even Minnesota). All those businesses who sponsor us with advertisements; the retail locations that sell our paper; the subscribers (we love the little notes of suggestions and encouragement, we read them all); readers who call and send emails; former employees who still advise us and keep in touch; our growing group of social media followers; freelancers who write and come up with brilliant ideas and suggestions; artists and photographers who have leveled up publication and brought depth to our stories; our comic strip artists who help lift our spirits; and those who call or meet with me to share your story or ideas — thank you, our Herald ‘ohana, for all that you do. We are grateful for all of it, big and small.