On Saturday, June 25, the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i will honor Hawaii Hochi, Ltd. and its founder Fred Kinzaburo Makino with the Spirit of JCCH award at the Sharing the Spirit of Aloha gala at the Sheraton Waikiki. The annual celebration pays tribute to individuals and organizations who perpetuate the spirit of aloha as well as preserve or enhance the mission of JCCH, which is to strengthen the diverse community by educating present and future generations in the evolving Japanese American experience in Hawai‘i.
Hawaii Hochi founder Makino will be honored posthumously for establishing the Japanese-language newspaper 110 years ago, which he created to serve as a voice for Hawai‘i’s Japanese community.
Makino immigrated to the islands from Yokohama, Japan in 1899, when he was 21 years old. After working in sugar on Hawai‘i island, he opened Makino Drug Store in Nu‘uanu. Later, he opened an office to assist those having difficulties immigrating from Japan, marking the beginning of Makino’s commitment to standing up for the Japanese community. His efforts resulted in higher wages and improved working conditions for sugar plantation workers.
Makino began The Hawaii Hochi in 1912, publishing stories that reflected the viewpoints of Japanese people in Hawai‘i. The newspaper voiced editorial positions such as: helping Japanese soldiers who fought for the United States in World War I receive citizenship; appealing for unity amongst plantation workers; defending Japanese language schools during a time they were deemed anti-American and filing a suit contending the discriminatory rules were unconstitutional, which resulted in a U.S. Supreme court backing.
Today, the Hawaii Hochi is the only Japanese language weekday newspaper in Hawai‘i and is distributed statewide, featuring news from Hawai‘i and Japan as well as national and international coverage.
This year, fellow JCCH honorees include: Jane Yonamine; Lillian Noda Yajima; and Japanese American Olympians from Hawai‘i. The program begins at 5 p.m. with a cocktail reception and silent auction with dinner and program to follow at 6 p.m. Individual tickets are $250; $200 for JCCH members. Table sponsorships range from $3,500 to $20,000. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (808) 945-7633 x24.