Last June, then-Prince Akishino (now Crown Prince Akishino) and his wife, Princess Kiko, planted a Coral Shower Tree with Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and his wife Donna Tanoue at Thomas Square to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Gannenmono, the first immigrants from Japan. (Photo by Jodie Ching)

The Imperial Trees – Japan’s Royals Leave their Mark in Hawaii with Trees

Japan’s Imperial Family Has Added to Hawai‘i’s Beauty With Trees They Planted Kevin Y. Kawamoto Special to The Hawai‘i Herald Two trees stand just a stone’s throw away from each other in the peaceful Japanese garden behind Jefferson Hall on the grounds of the East-West Center. One tree towers over the other, although the much....
Book cover titled 'No-No Boy' a novel by John Okada

Book Review – The “No-No Boy” Tragedy

John Okada’s Raw Confrontation of a Reality Was Ahead of Its Time Alan Suemori Special to The Hawai‘i Herald John Okada wrote only one novel in his lifetime, but that one book was so original, alive and breathtaking that its impact is still being felt among Asian American writers, artists and filmmakers today. Published in....
Photo of Ethel's Grill, 808-847-6467, 232 Kalihi St.

Ryan’s Table – Chuggy’s Super Secret Supper Club

Ryan Tatsumoto Hawai‘i Herald Columnist It’s not really a secret club. It’s just dinners arranged by Grant Shindo –– also known as “Chuggy Bear” –– who started the venture with his business partner, Thomas Obungen. They had planned on opening a restaurant consulting business called Slug Media. As more and more friends asked to join,....
A framed collection of Emperor Akihito’s baby and childhood photos and his parents is part of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii’s “Okage Sama De” exhibit. (Photo by Kevin Kawamoto)

Lead Story – Emperor Akihito’s Ties to Hawaii Run Long and Deep

As a Young Crown Prince, Akihito Helped America to See the Human Face of Japan Kevin Y. Kawamoto Special to the Hawai‘i Herald Enthusiastic waves of aloha greeted Emperor Akihito during each of his official visits to Hawai‘i, beginning in April 1953 when he was just barely an adult and about to embark on a....

Review – A Powerful “Allegiance”

Jodie Chiemi Ching Commentary Because I am a writer for The Hawai‘i Herald and an Okinawan performing artist, people might think that I’m the type of mother who forces my two sons, 14-year-old Gavin and 12-year-old Cameron, to attend or participate in Japanese and Okinawan cultural activities. Actually, I rarely do. I try to encourage....
The current and future emperors of Japan — Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko (seated) with Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako. (Courtesy Hawaii Hochi)

Japan’s Imperial Couple – Akihito and Michiko Forged a New Era

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko Have Redefined the Imperial Family Kevin Y. Kawamoto Special to The Hawai‘i Herald After the last of their three visits in the 1960s, Akihito and Michiko did not visit Hawai‘i again for 27 years. When they did return again, much had changed in their lives. By 1994, they had raised....
The Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship Foundation co-founder and president Ralph Honda (left) with his successor Howard Hamamoto. (Hawaii Hochi photo)

Sidebar – The Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship Foundation

It is the wedding gift that keeps on giving. To commemorate the marriage of Crown Prince Akihito and Michiko Shoda, the future crown princess, a group of business and community leaders in Hawai‘i formed a scholarship foundation in 1959 to promote educational exchanges between graduate students from Hawai‘i and Japan. A sizeable amount of money....
Junichi’s Kenritsu Dai’ichi Chugakkou schoolmate, Yoshishige Takaesu, was 88 years old when contributing writer Dan Nakasone met him and learned Junichi’s story in 2015. Takaesu-san is pictured here with Dan showing him Junichi’s name on a memorial wall at Bito Elementary School, where Takaesu-san was a teacher.

Lead Story – Touched By War

Dan Nakasone Special to The Hawai‘i Herald As a child, I remember seeing a photograph of a young man in what looked like a Japanese uniform next to the butsudan (Buddhist shrine) in my grandparents’ home in Wahiawä, where we lived. When we moved to our own home, the butsudan — and the photograph of....
The 67th Cherry Blossom court, from left: Miss Congeniality Reeann Minatoya, Princess Katrina Shimomura, First Princess Kayla Ueshiro, Queen Lauren Sugai, Princess Ariel Lee and Princess and Miss Popularity Taylor Chee. (Photo courtesy of HJJCC)

Spotlight – Lauren Sugai Crowned Cherry Blossom Queen

Jodie Chiemi Ching On March 16, Lauren Akemi Sugai was crowned the 67th Cherry Blossom Festival queen at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel, marking the climax of the 2019 festival, sponsored by the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce. In an interview with The Hawai‘i Herald, Sugai shared her Cherry Blossom Festival experience. When her name....
Professor Hirotaka Arai leads the Hakuoh University Handbell Choir playing their numerous handbells.

Community Focus – Hakuoh University Handbell Choir Performs in Hawaii

The Hakuoh University Handbell Choir shared its amazing handbell music at a friendship luncheon hosted by Hakuoh vice president and board chair Joji Kamioka on Feb. 19 at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i. The choir also presented free concerts at Central Union Church, Windward Community College and Leeward Community College.

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