ANAHOLA JAPANESE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION REOPENS
The Anahola Japanese Community Association is happy to announce that they will start holding events again in 2022. This organization has had a long history, bringing together Japanese members who grew up or lived in Anahola and the surrounding areas. It was founded in the early 1900s by several Japanese families who bought land and erected an iconic building visible from Kühiö Highway. These founding families also established a Japanese language school, complete with teacher’s cottages in the back, to make sure their children learned the language of their ancestors even while growing up in their new home of Kaua’i.
Sarah Fujii, the current president of the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, said that even though the Japanese language school no longer exists and the building is rented by a local Baptist church, the club usually meets four times per year: a New Year’s gathering in February, a picnic in September, and two cemetery clean-up dates at various times during the year.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic halted the club’s 2020 plans and they haven’t met since that time. However, for the first time in several years, they will meet. A social event, their fall picnic, is planned for September and will be held at a beach house in Anahola that belongs to one of the old-time members. Several long-time members will be honored for their contributions, and the history of the association will be shared and recorded for posterity. If anyone who grew up in Anahola (or the surrounding area) is interested in attending, please contact president Sarah Fujii and she will give you directions.
KIZUNA HAWAI‘I DONATES TO TYPHOON HAGIBIS RELIEF
On Tuesday, Aug. 2, Mizuiro Children’s Day-Care Center in Motomiya City, Japan, held a donation ceremony to recognize Kizuna Hawai‘i for their $22,269 donation for playground equipment after the destruction of Typhoon Hagibis.
“It’s been nearly three years since Typhoon Hagibis devastated Northern Honshu, Japan and the launch of our fundraising efforts to support the people of Fukushima,” said David Arakawa, president of Kizuna Hawai‘i. “I’m grateful for the partnership with Motomiya City officials in Fukushima Prefecture and representatives of the Fukushima Kenjin Kai, who facilitated communication and served as our liaison ot Japan.”
On Oct. 12, 2019, Typhoon Hagibis, a fierce tropical cyclone, hurled into Northern Honshu, causing extensive damage. It was the most destructive typhoon to hit Japan in 61 years. Approximately 90 people lost their lives, more than 74,000 homes suffered massive flooding and 17,000 homes were destroyed or significantly damaged. The damage was estimated at $15 billion.
Kizuna Hawai‘i, a consortium of Japanese American organizations in Hawai‘i, initiated fundraising soon after the typhoon hit. The Japan-America Society of Hawaii served as the fiscal coordinator and American Savings Bank assisted the effort by collecting donations at its branches. Marian Moriguchi, director and liaison from Honolulu Fukushima Kenjin Kai, resides in Fukushima and volunteered her time coordinating with Motomiya City officials and Kizuna Hawai‘i to find the right project for Hawai‘i’s donation.
“The pandemic delayed the process of finding an entity to receive our donation,” said Christine Kubota, Kizuna Hawai‘i director, “After many months, Motomiya officials determined that Hawai‘i’s contribution would be best used for the reconstruction of a children’s daycare center that was destroyed by the cyclone.”
Motomiya City Mayor Gigyo Takamatsu expressed his deepest gratitude to Kizuna Hawai‘i and the people of Hawai‘i for their generous donation. The Mizuiro Children’s Day-Care Center reopened on July 1 with its new playground equipment, a slide and elephant play structure in a gated sand pit.
Mayor Takamatsu, Marian Moriguchi and Kizuna representative Ryoichi Okubo, honorary director of Japan-America Society of Hawaii attended the donation ceremony.
Kizuna Hawai‘i is a nonprofit organization committed to perpetuating the history of Japanese Americans in Hawai‘i and fostering friendship between Hawai‘i and Japan. Its membership includes representatives from 23 Japanese American organizations from Kaua‘i, Maui, Hawai‘i and O‘ahu. In 2018, Kizuna Hawai‘i coordinated and sponsored the 150th anniversary of the arrival of gannenmono to Hawai‘i. For more information about Kizuna Hawai‘i please visit kizunahawaii.com.
HIROSHIMA COMMEMORATION AND PEACE SERVICE RETURNS
After an absence of two years due to concerns posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hiroshima Commemoration and Peace Service was held on Sat., Aug. 6 to honor the victims of the tragic bombing of Hiroshima 77 years ago.
The organizing committee, comprised of Reverend Jun Miyasaka and Karlton Tomomitsu of the Izumo Taishakyo Mission of Hawaii; Wayne Miyao, chairman of the Hiroshima-Hawaii Sister State Committee and president of the Honolulu Hiroshima Kenjin Kai; and Greg Waibel, president & CEO of the YMCA of Honolulu, were pleased that the ceremony was greeted by beautiful sunny weather, enthusiastic speakers and interested audience.
As the purpose of the service is to pay tribute to those who lost their lives and those whose lives are affected by the unprecedented bombing of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, the service began with a Shinto purification and blessing conducted by Bishop Daiya Amano of the Izumo Taishakyo Mission with English explanation provided by Reverend Jun Miyasaka.
During the program, several religious leaders provided messages and prayers for peace, including Reverend Takamasa Yamamura of the Hawaii Myohoji Mission, who also provided a vocal as he is well-known as a tenor; Buddhist message from Bishop Eric Matsumoto of the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii; Jewish message by Rabbi-Cantor Cheri Weiss of the Temple Emanu-El; and Christian message by Dr. Kahu Kaleo Patterson of the Pacific Justice and Reconciliation Center, who also provided a choir; Pacific Peace Choir, led by Kahu Umi Sexton.
A special presentation was made by Dr. Roy Tamashiro, professor emeritus of Webster University in Missouri, who spoke on “homage to Hiroshima, homage to life.” Many of his professional presentations and publications describe a global peace pilgrimage inspired by the legacy of the survivors or hibakusha and their successors, denshosha. Tamashiro reflected that on the second anniversary of the tragic bombing of Hiroshima, then-Hiroshima City Mayor Shinzo Hamai announced, “We renew our commitment to the establishment of peace by celebrating a peace festival.”
Tamashiro further elaborated, “As we commemorate today, Aug. 6, with solemnly inaugurating a festival of peace, despite the limitless sorrow in our mind. In this way, our homage to Hiroshima today is an homage to life. Join together to sweep away the horror of war, to renounce war eternally and to build a true peace.”
Additionally, we were fortunate to have State of Hawaii Representative Bertrand Kobayashi as a special speaker, as he was a member of the YMCA of Honolulu’s first student exchange delegation to Hiroshima in 1962. Inspired that the City and County of Honolulu and Hiroshima City established a sister-city relationship in 1959, (which was one of the first such relationships between a city in the United States with a city in Japan), the YMCA of Honolulu and the Hiroshima YMCA established the Let’s Get Together student exchange program in 1961. Bertrand Kobayashi was selected to be one of the student ambassadors to travel to Hiroshima in 1962 and is now commemorating their 60th anniversary of this historical student exchange, which is considered the longest running program between YMCAs in Japan and the United States. As related by Representative Kobayashi, “When I visited in 1962, many of the victims of the bombing or hibakusha were still alive. Meeting them was an emotional and gut-wrenching experience. The desire for peace is very strong in Hiroshima.”
Finally, our keynote speaker, Tom Leatherman, superintendent of the Pearl Harbor National Memorial spoke on “finding peace by honoring the lives that were lost.” Superintendent Leatherman said that he has been involved with the World War II historical site since 2005 when he served as superintendent of Manzanar National Historical Site, a Japanese American incarceration site in California. “At Manzanar,” Leatherman said, “it is a powerful experience to be standing at a site where American citizens of Japanese ancestry were imprisoned without due process.”
Leatherman further commented, “We, as the National Park Service, preserve these World War II stories, from the good to the bad parts of our shared history. As the superintendent of Pearl Harbor National Memorial, I have the humbling responsibility of taking care of one of the most significant sites related to our country’s involvement in WWII.”
Leatherman concluded his message with the following: “One this day, as we reflect on and commemorate the devastation at Hiroshima 77 years ago, we must see the connection between Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Pearl Harbor. We must learn as much as we can about these events and we must find a way to use this knowledge and compassion we gain to prevent something like this from ever happening again, to anyone. Only when we have learned this lesson can we truly honor those whose lives were lost, both here on O‘ahu and in Japan. Only then can we find peace.”
The program ended with the ringing of the Hiroshima Peace Bell by all participants and attendees.
With the success of this year’s program, plans have already been initiated for the 2023 service. The organizing committee welcomes the attendance and support of all for their future programs.
-By Hiroshima Commemoration and Peace Committee
DTRIC INSURANCE COMPANY, LIMITED CELEBRATES 30TH ANNIVERSARY
On Saturday, Aug. 26, local company DTRIC Insurance Company, Limited, celebrated 30 years of providing coverage to businesses and individuals in Hawai‘i. Earlier this year, in celebration of its 30-year benchmark, DTRIC’s senior officers planted 30 milo trees in the North Shore on Earth Day, April 22, to demonstrate their commitment to creating a more sustainable Hawai‘i.
“Our three decades of success would not have been possible without the support of the local community,” said DTRIC president and chief executive officer Takuya “Taku” Mitsueda, who noted that the milo trees were planted in representation of their customers, employees and agency partners.
Established in 1992 by Dai-Tokyo Fire and Marine Insurance Company and Royal State Insurance Company, DTRIC is an acronym of the names of the founding partners – Dai-Tokyo and Royal Insurance Co. DTRIC Insurance entered the casualty insurance market in the early 90s, a time where Hawai‘i’s no-fault laws and strict regulations made it difficult to offer automobile coverage; however, DTRIC was able to find solutions to offer a group automobile program for the state’s largest public employee union.
Two years later, the company expanded into commercial insurance lines after noticing the downturn in availability of general casualty and workers’ compensation insurance and began working with local businesses on operational and safety issues, which helped reduce insurance costs.
In April 2001, Dai-Tokyo Fire and Marine Insurance Company merged with Chiyoda Fire and Marine Insurance Company to form Aioi Insurance Company, Limited – one of the largest property and casualty insurers in Japan.
Nearly 10 years later, in Oct. 2010, Aioi Insurance Company merged with Nissay Dowa General Insurance Company to form Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Company, Limited (ADI). ADI and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company were a subsidiary of MS&AD Insurance Group, which is Japan’s largest insurance company and fifth largest property and casualty insurance group in the world.
By 2017, DTRIC Insurance became a wholly owned subsidiary of ADI. The company unveiled a new logo featuring three green mountains to symbolize how Hawai‘i’s mountains provide protection against the elements and represent strength and longevity and help create a thriving and prosperous community.
Mitsueda, a native of Japan, joined ADI in 2004 and was named DTRIC’s president and CEO in 2021. Prior to moving to Hawai‘i, Mitsueda had experience working in the United Kingdom, Germany and Thailand in addition to head positions in Tökyö.
“Hawai‘i is a great place of ethnic variety and my experience of having worked in a number of countries is probably helping me to be able to work in this diverse society,” said Mitsueda in an introductory video, adding that DTRIC will continue to support the local community with a variety of initiatives, including donations to nonprofit organizations as well as the Drive Aloha campaign.
Launched in 2016, DTRIC created the Drive Aloha campaign to promote safe driving in the community by practicing aloha spirit on the road. The campaign discourages drunk driving, speeding, jaywalking and the use of cell phones that could lead to accidents. DTRIC noted that over the last ten years, the traffic fatality rate in Hawai‘i is nearly twice as high as U.S. states with the best driving records. As a locally based insurance company, part of DTRIC’s mission is to support the community.
This year’s Earth Day tree planting took place at Gunstock Ranch’s Hawaiian Legacy Forest on the North Shore. The team at the Hawaiian Legacy Forest will monitor and nurture the trees into an endemic ecosystem.
“There is no better way to commemorate DTRIC’s anniversary,” said Mitsueda, “than by living out our mission of raising environmental awareness among employees, our communities and the next generations.”
For more information about DTRIC Insurance Company, Limited, please visit dtric.com