Vintage ukiyo-e woodblock prints by Utagawa Kuniyoshi, such as this one, will be on sale within the Hawaii’s Plantation Village’s Country Store. (Photo courtesy of Hawaii’s Plantation Village)


In the spirit of Obon season, original prints of old Japan’s floating world are being offered for sale for the first time at Hawaii’s Plantation Village. The prints were purchased in Japan in the 1970s and were gifted from an anonymous donor as a fundraiser.

Items such as an antique print by renowned artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861) depicts a prominent court poet and aristocrat writing while looking through a window in his room at a pheasant on a hillside. Translation at the top describes this print as “Series of 100 Poets” of the aristocrat Kakinomoto no Hitomaro. A panel of two prints shows vicious dueling between heavily armored samurai, one on a rearing stallion reeling about as a flurry of arrows fly skyward. These prints of epic battles and fierce samurai were then so popular that Kuniyoshi was asked for tattoo designs.

Each single print is matted in rich buff and framed with brushed metal, ready for wall-hanging. Price is $200-$300 depending on size of the print. 

Besides the woodblocks, other items for sale at Hawaii’s Plantation Village include an elegantly embroidered wedding kimono with gold-tipped cranes; futon-covered zabuton and pillows, and several silk obi; a wooden tansu chest; ceramic dishes and pots, and many other vintage items.

As it sits in the shadow of the old O‘ahu Sugar Mill, Hawaii’s Plantation Village shows visitors’ original structures and exact replicas of the islands’ ethnic groups that fostered today’s multicultural society. September 2022 will mark their 30-year anniversary. The prints are available for purchase during regular museum hours, which are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact the museum at (808) 677-0110, located at 94-695 Waipahu Street or email Kama‘aina and senior admission rates are available for the docent-led or self-guided tour. The Gift Shop and Country Store is open to the public, with ample free parking. For more information, please visit

Back row, from left: Jayna Omaye, former Honolulu Star-Advertiser ethnic & cultural affairs reporter; L. Kensington Ono, Punahou School sophomore; Marsha McFadden, Honolulu Star-Advertiser managing editor; Daria Stapolsky, Moanalua High School sophomore; Stephanie Yeung, Kalani High School freshman; and Lynn Heirakuji, Nisei Veterans Legacy president. Front row, from left: Nisei veterans Edward Ikuma and Kenji Ego. (Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Honolulu Star-Advertiser)


On Tuesday, April 5, the Nisei Impact! Youth Journalism Program ceremony was held at the Maunalani Nursing and Rehabilitation Center to conclude and congratulate high school students chosen for the three-month pilot program. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Report for America and the Nisei Veterans Legacy (NVL) partnered together to give high school students the opportunity to tell the stories about Nisei World War II veterans in their family and community. The program’s participants and the ceremony’s guests of honor were:

  • Marisa Fujimoto (junior, Kalani High School) who wrote about her grandfather, Kenneth Y. Fujimoto, a Nisei 442nd Regimental Combat Team veteran, because she has always been interested in learning what he did for our country. 
  • Shane Kaneshiro (sophomore, McKinley High School) who interviewed Jack Nakamura, a Nisei 100th Infantry Battalion veteran, was intrigued to know more about the Nisei soldiers who had to fight not only the enemy abroad but also to prove their loyalty to America. 
  • Kensington Ono (sophomore, Punahou School) wrote about her great-great uncle, Gerome Hirata who served in the 100th Infantry Battalion. As a descendent of Asian immigrants, she believes that the stories of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders need to be told. 
  • Daria Stapolsky (sophomore, Moanalua High School) interviewed Edward Ikuma who served in the 100th Infantry Battalion. She believes that participating in this project and interviewing a Nisei veteran helped her better understand and appreciate her Japanese heritage. 
  • Stephanie Yeung (freshman, Kalani High School) interviewed Kenji Ego who served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. She is interested in writing about the prejudices and obstacles that Nisei veterans faced and overcame. 

The ceremony began with a welcome from the president of the Nisei Veterans Legacy Lynn Heirakuji followed by remarks from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s ethnic and cultural affairs reporter and the program’s teacher Jayna Omaye. Ono, Stapolsky and Yeung followed with presentations about the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, then the ceremony closed with the distribution of the program certificates. The students’ work from the program will be featured in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and the Nisei Veterans Legacy newsletter or website. For more information about the Nisei Veterans Legacy, go to


Honorary Consul of Japan Arthur Katsumi Taniguchi. (Photo courtesy of Consulate General of Japan)

On Friday, April 29, the Government of Japan announced it will confer the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon to Arthur Katsumi Taniguchi, the current Honorary Consul of Japan of Hilo, Hawai‘i. The decoration is in recognition of his significant contributions to promoting interregional exchanges and friendship between Japan and the United States.

For 11 years, as the Honorary Consul of Japan at Hilo, Taniguchi has been a vital connection, bridging together and supporting the activities of the Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu with Hawai‘i Island. He has actively participated with the Japanese Community Association of Hawaii and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii for over 20 years, serving as president of both organizations. Taniguchi is one of the leading influential figures in the Nikkei community on Hawai‘i Island and continues to make significant contributions to the promotion of Japan-Hawaii relations.

CBP’s Susan Utsugi was recognized at Honolulu Hale for her SBA award by (from left) Honolulu Councilmember Carol Fukunaga, Mayor Rick Blangiardi, and Honolulu Councilmember Calvin Say. (Photo courtesy of City & County of Honolulu)


On Friday, May 6, Central Pacific Bank (CPB) and its customers were proud recipients of nine of 14 U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Small Business Awards for Hawai‘i, including Senior Vice President, Division Manager, Business Banking Susan Utsugi who was named 2022 Women in Business Champion of the Year for the State of Hawai‘i.

“Women entrepreneurs often have unique challenges because of the many hats they wear and don’t always have access to networking and support, which is why we are creating opportunities for women and their businesses to thrive,” said Utsugi in a recent press release. “I am grateful to the U.S. Small Business Administration for recognizing the important impact women-owned businesses have on our community and economy and invite more women to join our network.”

Utsugi’s efforts have helped lead to the creation of women’s business programs including:

  • Programs offered by Hawaii Women’s Business Center, now known as The Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership
  • Women-owned business programs at CPB such as Women’s Business Central
  • WE by Rising Tide program, a program of the CPB Foundation

Utsugi devoted over 100 hours over three months in developing, coordinating, and facilitating WE by Rising Tide, a free 10-week program designed to mentor women-owned businesses, helping them enhance skills to take their business to the next level. Through the program, 20 women business owners created a community of support, helping each other with common challenges and celebrating successes. The CPB Foundation is currently accepting applications for the 2022 WE by Rising Tide program. For more information and to submit an application form, go to

In addition, CPB congratulates its customers for receiving SBA Small Business Awards for Hawai‘i. The CPB awardees include:

  • Women in Business Champion of the Year for the State of Hawai‘i – Susan Utsugi, Central Pacific Bank
  • Small Business Person of the Year for the State of Hawai‘i – Scott Loomer, Truss Systems Hawaii
  • Young Entrepreneurs of the Year for the State of Hawai‘i – Rennell Saro and Danielle Hawxhurst, Kona Crust
  • Family-Owned Business of the Year for the State of Hawai‘i – Ronald Anthony Rodrigues, Commercial Tire Source
  • Small Business Person of the Year for the City & County of Honolulu – Erin Kanno Uehara, Choco le‘a
  • Women-Owned Business of the Year for the City & County of Honolulu – Marie Kumabe, Kumabe HR
  • Family-Owned Business of the Year for the County of Kaua‘i – Lori Koga, Tanaka Hardware
  • Small Business Persons of the Year for the County of Hawai‘i – Timothy & Sandra Heaton, Gypsea Gelato
  • Small Business Person of the Year for the County of Maui – Lynn Nalani Solu, Kihei Rent-A-Car

 “We sincerely congratulate all of the honorees for their well-deserved recognition and success as this is a validation of their hard work and commitment to their company,” said CPB President and Chief Operating Officer Arnold Martines. “CPB is proud to be the leader in Hawai‘i supporting small businesses, including women-owned enterprises, as a diverse business community helps support a well-balanced and thriving economy.”

 All of the SBA award winners were recognized at the ceremony for their achievements and contributions to the local economy.


Tomodachi Gala Award recipient Jake Shimabukuro. (Photo courtesy of Jake Shimabukuro)

On Thursday, June 9, local boy and world-renowned ukulele artist Jake Shimabukuro will receive the 2022 Tomodachi Award from the Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington (JCCCW) during the third annual Virtual Tomodachi Gala. The award recognizes Shimabukuro’s many years of promoting and celebrating the strong bond tied between the United States and Japan through music and education. The event will be held on the JCCCW YouTube channel, where Shimabukuro will also perform live for its viewers.

Shimabukuro is recognized as the world’s pre-eminent ukulele artist and musical ambassador, recently nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as a member of the National Council on the Arts. Throughout the years, Shimabukuro — a proud Okinawan and local boy from Hawai‘i — has accumulated millions of fans throughout the world who admire him as an ukulele virtuoso, composer and producer. He has created soundtracks for Japanese films, and he’s played in some of the world’s most prestigious concert halls including the Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center and the Sydney Opera House. His repertoire includes classical, jazz, rock, Hawaiian, Japanese stylings and everything in between. His newest album “Jake & Friends” pairs him with musical legends such as Willie Nelson, Jack Johnson, Bette Midler, Jimmy Buffett and Kenny Loggins. The JCCCW is also recognizing Jake’s philanthropic work through The Four Strings Foundation, which supports ukulele music instruction in the nation’s public schools.

To view the Gala, go to on Thursday, June 9 at 7 p.m. (PST). The Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington would like to thank its sponsors for their support: Costco Wholesale, Sachie and Jeff Nitta, Toshiko Sunohara, Budokan Judo, First Financial Northwest Bank, Uwajimaya, UnionBank, Woodburn Company, Larry Blackstock and Lori Matsukawa, Michi North, Alvin and Mitsuko Terada, Doug’s Lynnwood Mazda, NBC K5, Tsuchino and Mike Forrester, Tazue and Yutaka Sasaki, Asian Counseling and Referral Service, International Community Health Services Foundation, Seattle-Kobe Sister City Association, Homer and Barbara Yasui, and Alaska Airlines. Though the viewing is free and open to the public, donations are welcomed to help the organization continue to share its content and support within the community. Go to to learn more. To become a Gala sponsor, contact Lori Matsukawa at For general questions about the event, call (206) 568-7114 or email  


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