My name is Scott Baba. I’ve been a freelance writer for The Hawai‘i Herald since 2020. I have been an active member of the Japanese American community my entire life, and while I wouldn’t say the community is dying, for many years it’s felt like it has been struggling. As people live their lives, it’s easy to drift away into the wider American culture and lose sight of or interest in where they came from. For me, that’s why institutions like the Herald are vital to the continued health and success of the community. With stories about local Japanese American history, culture, sports and news, the Herald offers a reason for people to care, to be interested, and to stay involved. – Scott Baba, freelance writer for The Hawai‘i Herald.
When Karleen Chinen was editing The Hawai‘i Herald, she asked me to write a piece on local politics for the Herald and I was glad to agree. I’ve known Karleen since we both worked at KHVH-Radio when it was the state all-news radio station, broadcasting 24-hours a day from its Bishop Street office. Karleen and I are mostly retired, although still writing and reporting. That includes contributions to the Herald. Writing for the Herald carries with it its own legacy. The paper’s founder Fred Kinzaburo Makino started the Hawaii Hochi in 1912, using it as his personal statement to protect the rights of the Japanese community in Hawai‘i. So the invitation to write for the Herald was not taken lightly, this was and is a newspaper of strong local impact. Because of that I’m honored to be included among its contributors. – Richard Borreca, freelance writer for The Hawai‘i Herald.
The Hawai‘i Herald was my life for 16 years prior to retiring as editor in April 2020 and during an earlier 13-year tenure as a writer and then editor in the 1980s and 1990s.
I was drawn to the paper after having read stories from the first English-language iteration while a journalism student at the University of Hawai‘i taking some ethnic studies courses. Those stories were told from the perspective of history’s unsung heroes — people who had lived the history, but whose lives and experiences were absent in history books and newspapers.
As editor, I tried to continue that philosophy of journalism. Throughout its history, the Herald has remained true to chronicling the life of Hawai‘i’s Japanese American community through its feature stories and community coverage. It will be the Herald’s legacy long into the future. – Karleen Chinen, freelance writer for The Hawai‘i Herald.
I am Violet Harada. My writing partner Melvin Inamasu and I are contributing writers for the “Honoring the legacy” features that have been running on a bimonthly basis since 2020. The column is a special collaboration between the Herald and the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i where Mel and I are volunteers. Writing these stories for the Herald is a very special way for us to express our kansha (gratitude) and appreciation for the newspaper’s unique voice in our community. The Hawai‘i Herald continues to do an amazing job of producing narratives that reflect our past as well as exciting features that capture what’s trending. – Violet Harada, freelance writer for The Hawai‘i Herald.
Former Washington Post President and Publisher Philip L. Graham has been credited as describing journalism as “the first rough draft of history” – raw beginning where truth begins. Well, for nearly half a century, with a year off in the beginning to work as a congressional aide, that’s what I have been doing. Within the last six years, at the urging of then Hawai‘i Herald Editor Karleen Chinen, I stepped back and took a longer look at issues dealing with rich history and traditions of Hawai‘i’s Japanese community. She views the Herald “as the chronicler of the AJA community for future generations and for researchers.” She added: “the Herald existed to keep Hawai‘i (and mainland) community — not just the AJA community — informed of what was going on in Hawai‘i’s Japanese American community.” So, I stand with good company. – Gregg K. Kakesako, freelance writer for The Hawai‘i Herald.
Frances Kakugawa, awarding winning, internationally published poet/author of 16 books, wrote her “Dear Frances” advice column for caregivers from 2014 -2020. A caregiver for her mother who had Alzheimer’s, Frances continues her work nationally and locally on humanizing and dignifying the care of our elders. Frances was born and raised in Kapoho on the Big Island. She was introduced to The Hawai’i Herald through former editor Karleen Chinen who attended one of Frances’ lectures and that led to her column. She resides in Sacramento, CA, where she facilitates a poetry-writing support group for caregivers. “Hawai’i Herald,” she said, “helped to have my voice heard in Hawai’i’s communities and for that, I’m very grateful.”
Visit her blog for most current events at franceskakugawa.wordpress.com, or her website for latest publications and contact information: francesk.org. – Frances Kakugawa, former writer of the column “Dear Frances” and freelance writer for The Hawai‘i Herald
I have been writing freelance articles for The Hawai‘i Herald for more than three decades. What makes the Herald a special paper is the tireless and passionate efforts that this paper’s editors and writers have made over the years to keep Japanese American community members connected with their culture and heritage. Many of the stories printed on the Herald’s pages would never have seen the light of day without this kind of focused commitment. We must also recognize the publishers, advertising and production staff, advertisers and everyone else who have kept this publication alive through both good times and bad. – Kevin Kawamoto, freelance writer for The Hawai‘i Herald.
I “met” Fred Makino while researching for my novel Picture Bride. Fred, a pharmacist, buys law books so he can help Issei with legal issues. When the sugar strike begins, Fred publishes Hawaii Hochi to support the strike. Haru, my fictional picture bride, meets the fascinating character who mentors her. So you can imagine my joy when good friend Mariko Miho, whose dad served in the 522nd, introduces me to Hawai‘i Herald editor Karleen Chinen who agrees to serialize my novel. Thank you, Fred. – Mike Malaghan, author of “A Question of Loyalty” and contributor to The Hawai‘i Herald.
My name is Carolyn, a freelance children’s culture writer for The Hawai’i Herald. I have always had an interest in Japanese culture and studied Nihon-buyö, or classical Japanese dance. I received my teaching credential from Azuma Ryu and have been teaching dance for more than 22 years. My mom and co-author, Marian, had a long career as an elementary teacher and administrator and taught many workshops in multicultural education. She has a degree in ikebana from Misho Ryu and she’s an experienced kimono seamstress. My mom and I have been writing the Culture4Kids column for 17 years. We have also written two children’s books about Japanese culture. We feel the Herald is special because it keeps the Japanese community strong and it helps to preserve and promote Japanese culture for future generations. – Carolyn Kubota Morinishi and Marian Kurasaki Kubota, freelance children’s culture writers for The Hawai’i Herald.
Aloha, my name is Dan Nakasone, and I am a freelance writer for The Hawai‘i Herald. In todays’ media landscape, it is rare to find a publication like the Herald that is dedicated to our Japanese American community. So, the Herald serves a vital role in documenting and sharing our stories that may otherwise go untold. And when those stories are lost, we are denying current and future generations the ability to learn from them. – Dan Nakasone, freelance writer for The Hawai‘i Herald.
I’m Colin Sewake, originally from Wahiawā but living permanently in Okinawa, Japan. I’m one of Hawai‘i Herald’s columnists bringing you stories from here. Articles from many writers with a diverse background from many locations make the Hawai‘i Herald a great source of information for news from the Japanese-American community in Hawai‘i and elsewhere. Subscribe and be on the look out for stories that I’ll be sharing from Japan’s 47th prefecture. Mālama pono and a hui hou! – Colin Sewake, columnist for The Hawai‘i Herald.
I pen the column “Ryan’s Table” highlighting the joys of food and wine whether it’s a new restaurant or simply a meal prepared at home … and what to drink with that meal.
What The Hawai‘i Herald means to me is a true connection to the community. In this age of social media and smartphones, it seems that we connected more than ever but those types of connections are fleeting at best. The connection that The Hawai‘i Herald provides goes deeper whether it’s art and culture, history and politics or simply an NGN viewing guide, I believe The Hawai‘i Herald keeps us connected for what really matters! – Ryan Tatsumoto, freelance writer for The Hawai‘i Herald.
Da Hawai’i Herald reminds me of my extended family gatherings, li’dat. Das wea we would find out all da latest news and informations about what everybody wuz doing. Das how we would learn about history cuz da kupuna would tell us about all da stories from before time. And das when we would practice our culture and traditions da mostest. Da Herald, its writers and its readers, we all stay part of one extended Hawai’i Japanese Okinawan ohana. As how we keep connected to our culture, to our history and to each oddahs. Aurite! – Lee Tonouchi, contributor to The Hawai‘i Herald.
My name is Kacie Yamamoto, and I’m a freelance writer at The Hawai‘i Herald. I’m also a gosei college student at USC majoring in journalism. The Hawai‘i Herald is special to me because it’s a paper tailored especially for members of my culture as a Japanese American living in Hawai‘i. I think that the stories that The Hawai‘i Herald tells resonate deeply with its readers, and I am grateful to contribute to the newspaper as I explore my own cultural identity as a college student living on the Mainland. – Kacie Yamamoto, freelance writer for The Hawai‘i Herald.
Aloha! My name is Byrnes Yamashita and I am a freelance writer for The Hawai‘i Herald. I volunteer with the Nisei Veterans Legacy and write articles that remind us of the contributions of the Nisei Soldiers both during and after the war to help make Hawai‘i a better place to live. The Herald is an important piece of our Nikkei community that connects us all together in our common heritage and culture. – Byrnes Yamashita, freelance writer for The Hawai‘i Herald.