Wakamiya Inari shrine at Hawaii’s Plantation Village. (Photo by Kevin Kawamoto)


Hawaii’s Plantation Village at Waipahu Cultural Garden Park celebrated its 30th anniversary on Saturday, Sept. 10 with free admission to its indoor and outdoor exhibits, multicultural entertainment by performers representing different ethnic groups, ethnic food sales, a gift shop and country store and various demonstrations such as Chinese fortune telling, Japanese ink and brush painting, omamori (good luck charm) sales at the Wakamiya Inari (Shinto) shrine, keiki games and a scavenger hunt that sent young and old alike in search of cultural artifacts located at various places throughout the village. Visitors could take a selfie with a shisa (lion) costume inside of the Okinawan house as well as see what an old-fashioned furo (deep Japanese bathtub) would have looked like in a plantation camp. Hawaii’s Plantation Village is a collection of historic and reconstructed plantation structures honoring the lives of Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Puerto Rican, Okinawan, Korean and Filipino immigrants during Hawai‘i’s plantation days. The village is open Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., with guided tours available from 10 a.m.-noon.

– Written by Kevin Kawamoto


 A crowdfunding campaign is in progress for “The Last Bugle,” a World War II web series based on the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Produced and directed by Burt Takeuchi, the series will follow a fictional platoon of Japanese American soldiers through the Italian campaign from 1944-1945. After a long hiatus the project is back in production and raising funds to develop the project into a successful web-based series and share Nisei history.

The pilot episode has been released on Vimeo (vimeo.com/706408503), and Takeuchi’s crowdfunding goal is to build upon the pilot with more ambitious episodes with more realistic costumes, props and vehicles and stage larger battle scenes. 

“The Last Bugle” pilot. From left: Timothy Hsu (Eddie), Ryan Takemiya (Kaz) and Jeff Uchida (Masami). (Photo courtesy of the “The Last Bugle” crowdfunding website)

Sponsors can receive perks such as sneak peeks of future episodes, personal or Zoom coffee meetings with the director and actors, thank you videos and the opportunity to view bonus clips. 

Associate producers will receive a Zoom or personal meeting with the director and actors, credit on all season episodes and a making-of video production episode as well as an invitation to local screening parties. 

For more information, please visit thelastbugle442nd.com. To donate online, please visit indiegogo.com/projects/the-last-bugle-ww2-web-series-on-nisei-442nd#/.


Honolulu Gay and Lesbian Cultural Foundation presents the 33rd Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival with six features and 20 online films that explore the diversity of the LGBTQ-mähü-aikäne experience. This year’s festival runs from Thursday, Oct. 13 through Sunday, Oct. 23 and includes some of the best recent queer films from Hawai‘i and around the world. 

Established in 1997, the HGLCF was founded as a 501(c)(3) organization to educate and raise awareness of the community-at-large about gay and lesbian culture, arts and lifestyle. The Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival is presented every year, in honor of late Hawai‘i LGBT pioneer and videographer Adam Baran. It evolved to be one of the longest-running queer film festivals in the country and is known as a bridge between Hawai‘i and the Pacific, Asia and the U.S. HRFF is an IMDB-qualified festival and member of the Asia Pacific Queer Film Festival Alliance.

Kicking off the festival is the award-winning film “Wildhood,” a story about a Two-Spirit Mi’kmaq teenager’s journey to belonging, showing at Consolidated Theatres Ward on Thursday, Oct. 14. After the screening, the opening night after party will commence at Hula’s Bar & Lei Stand. 

The award-winning film “Wildhood” opens the Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival. (Photo courtesy of the Honolulu Gay & Lesbian Cultural Foundation website)

During the week of Oct. 14, HRFF will feature Fun in Shorts, an online streaming series of short films embracing various genres, including comedy, musicals, dramas and thrillers. Some short films include “Flames,” “All I Ever Wanted,” “That’s Family” and “Sax.”

The festival’s closing weekend includes in-person screenings at the Doris Duke Theatre at the Honolulu Museum of Art. On Friday, Oct. 21 at 2 p.m., catch Izzi Rojas and Aidan Dick’s coming-of-age drama “When Men Were Men,” a tale about a young actor struggling with gender identity. Playing at 7 p.m. is Marley Morrison’s feature debut “Sweetheart,” about AJ, a socially awkward teenager who becomes captivated by a lifeguard while on vacation. 

On Saturday, Oct. 22 at 2 p.m., explore Peter McDowell’s documentary “Jimmy in Saigon,” a truth-seeking journey of the mysterious death of his oldest brother. At 7 p.m., catch Wes Hurley’s autobiographical dark comedy “Potato Dreams of America,” about a boy from the Soviet Union and his voyage to America. 

On Sunday, Oct. 23 at 2 p.m., Trevor Anderson’s “Before I Change My Mind” closes out the in-person showings with their story about a nonbinary youth in 1987 and their complicated bond with the school bully. 

To celebrate 10 days of queer films, the festival will conclude with a closing night party also on Sunday, Oct. 23 at the Hawai‘i State Art Museum, times and details to be determined. 

For more information about the Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival, please visit hglcf.org.


The five-part Kapaemahu Speaker Series closes on Friday, Oct. 14 with Māhū Madness: An Evening with Legends of the Glade Era, at the Bishop Museum and live streamed on YouTube. The speaker series is part of community discourse around “The Healer Stones of Kapaemahu” exhibition on view until Sunday, Oct. 16 in the Castle Memorial Building. The program brings together cultural practitioners, scholars, artists and community organizers to cultivate a deeper understanding of the exhibit’s themes of gender diversity, Native Hawaiian health and the power of monuments. 

The four Kapaemahu stones are located in Waikïkï Beach. While millions of people may have passed the stones, few know its history. According to legend, the healer stones are a tribute to four māhū, people of dual male and female spirit, who brought healing arts from Tahiti to Hawai‘i to treat illness and disease. The stones remained on the beach for centuries and were revered by Hawaiian nobility before colonization transformed the islands, and the stones were buried under a bowling alley as Waikïkï developed into a tourist destination. In 1963, when the bowling alley was demolished, the stones were rediscovered and restored to its current location in Waikïkï. However, the stones’ true history was censored during a time when a law required māhū entertainers to wear an “I Am a Boy” button to avoid arrest. The Bishop Museum exhibition features a life-sized rendering of the stones and spirits in the Castle Memorial Building’s main gallery and a short animated film, which details the healer stone’s history and journey. The exhibit also shares Hawaiian holistic healing and practices, which believe that the body cannot be made well without healing the spirit. The exhibition is presented in English and ‘ölelo Ni‘ihau, marking the Bishop Museum’s most comprehensive Hawaiian language exhibition. 

The Healer Stones of Kapaemahu. (Photo courtesy of the Healer Stones of Kapaemahu website)

In partnership with the PA‘I Foundation, the Māhū Madness speaker event features performances and talk story with legends of the Glade Era who pioneered Hawai‘i’s māhū representation in the 1960s. Speakers and performers include: Brandy Lee (Glade-era performer); Shelrae (Glade-era performer); Fatima Halafihi (entertainer and designer, Lady of AsiaSF and transgender activist); Sami Akuna also known as Coco Chandelier (contemporary performer and community advocate). Music will be provided by Kit Ebersbach and Starr Kalahiki.

The Bishop Museum is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The Māhū Madness panel is part of Bishop Museum’s After Hours Pau Hana presentation. The panel will also be live streamed free via YouTube. For more information about the exhibition and event, please visit bishopmuseum.org/kapaemahu. For more information about the healer stones, please visit kapaemahu.com.


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